Homemade Make-up: Contour & Mattify



This morning I woke up to find I had run out of face powder! My face all covered in white shimmering sunscreen, I needed to find a solution. I often use straight cornstarch when contouring my face, but I hardly contour, and unless I wanted to look like I was dead or a Geisha this morning, straight-up cornstarch was not an option.

Exact measurements for recipes involving skin tone are difficult. We’re all so wonderfully unique in that area. Sometimes you can also find happy coincidences when making powders. A week or so ago, I was applying some face paint to my daughter and friend’s faces and I needed a powder that I didn’t own. Well, her friend has a rich, dark complexion. She has perfect skin that you can only dream about. Her mom says she just has baby skin but I believe she’s just blessed, there is a radiance emanating from her skin.

While rummaging through my house to find a powder solution, as my baby was tugging on my pants, I came across my Dutch process cocoa powder. The container I had was the exact color of her skin, what a lovely happenstance. I added a bit of arrowroot powder and she looked amazing. The application was flawless.

Today, I didn’t have any arrowroot or cocoa powder of any kind. Cocoa powder is tough for me to use as a pigment for face powder anyway… my skin is as light as can be. I am one of  those types that wishes I have a floating umbrella over my head at all times for sun protection and apply sunscreen to my face all day.

I used what I had, Cinnamon and cornstarch.


  • arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • cinnamon
  • cocoa powder


  1. You can use arrowroot powder or cornstarch interchangeably. Even if you have very dark skin. One of these two ingredients should be your base as either will soak up the facial oils. You should start with 1T of arrowroot or cornstarch powder, then add pigment to adjust.
  2. Add cinnamon always, I believe it adds vibrancy. Even if just a bit.

Add cinnamon and cocoa powder a 1/2 t at a time to get the desired shade.

instructions for my shade of mat powder

  1. In small bowl add 3T cornstarch and 1t cinnamon.
  2. Mix together
  3. Use old loose powder make-up container for storage.
    instructions for my shade of bronzer
  4. In small bowl add 3T cornstarch and 1-1/2T cinnamon.
  5. Mix together
  6. Use old loose powder make-up container for storage.

instructions for my shade of highlighter

  1. Tub of cornstarch!

These recipes are great for emergencies or for a person that prefers not to use chemicals on their face. The shelf life for all mixes are long. You are not cooking with these ingredients so potency is not a problem. I wouldn’t mix a large quantity anyway. Your will smell good enough to eat!

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