Making a non comedogenic DIY blush stick is a very quick and simple project that uses only natural ingredients.
As much as I like to do things as naturally as possible, I have to confess to being addicted to two beauty products that aren’t very natural at all. I’m not sure I’ll be able to find a natural alternative to permanent lipsticks, which I’d have a hard time giving up. DIY blush sticks, on the other hand, were easier to make on my own than I could have ever imagined. Had I known, I would have made the switch long, long ago.
Most semi solid combinations of natural oils, creams, and waxes have the disadvantage of being somewhat comedogenic, meaning they can cause breakouts in a lot of people. I see many bloggers swearing that coconut oil works wonderfully for them, leaving their skin clear and soft, but coconut oil has a pretty high comedogenic rating (4 on a 5 point scale!) and leaves me with a lot of tiny pimples all over my face after a few weeks of using it.
For my daily moisturizing, I have switched to using a mixture of oils on my face, but I actually mix myself a combination of oils, without coconut oil in the mix, that I can share with you another day. I choose non comedogenic oils when mixing up products for my face because, despite my 40+ years of age, my skin still is prone to breakouts.
The problem with making solid or semi-solid DIY beauty products, even when they don’t use coconut oil, is that they usually use a wax to harden the mix to make it solid enough to use in a stick applicator. Most waxes are more comedogenic than the oils that I wanted to use in my blush stick, something I wanted to avoid, if possible.
After a bit of research, I realized that shea butter is surprisingly low on the comedogenic scale (0 out of 5!). Because of it’s texture, I assumed that it would have a high rating for some reason. It’s semi-solid texture makes it perfect for this sort of product, though, without needing to add in any waxes or anything else to get the desired texture for a blush stick.
As for the coloring agents, I found one by accident one day while visiting a local ethnic shop.
The store is run by a Pakistani family, but sells a variety of products from all over the world. One of the products happened to be “achiote,” or annatto seeds, something I found amongst the Latin American spices. Because I tend to be a curious person, and love to try new things all of the time, I looked it up and found it is a natural food coloring used in certain Latin American dishes. It’s orange hue is perfect for making a blush for people who look best in warm hues like red heads.
I look better in cooler tones myself, so I opted to make another blush stick with alkanet root powder, another natural colorant that I have used in the past in DIY lipglosses. (I guess that’s just one more thing that I’ll have to add to the list of things I’ll show you how to make sometime soon.)
Alkanet root makes more of a blood red color, which highly contrast the pretty orange color of the achiote or annatto seeds. You can choose either for your blog or use a combination of the two to get a custom color somewhere in between.
I’ve been using my DIY blush stick for several weeks now, and I really like it.
When you first put it on, especially if it’s a hot day, it can look a bit oily when first applied. You can either choose to wait and let it be absorbed by your skin, or you can choose to set it with a face powder or light colored powdered blush. The later option has the benefit of giving your blush real staying power.
I don’t think I look very good in just the annatto seed blush, as orange doesn’t really flatter me, so I’m not even going to show you that pic 😉 , but using a combination of the two blushes together gives me a combination that I like better. It works for days that I’m wearing clothes with warmer tones.
All of the above pictures are untouched and using the blush sticks and only the blush sticks on my face.
I only used a very thin layer, especially on the top pictures.
In fact, you can probably see that I have used the same stick for my lips. For lipstick, though, I have a preferred recipe using the same colorants for better coverage and staying power that I will try to share with you soon! By using the same natural colorants, you are sure to make a matching lipstick that will look great with your blush!
More often than not, though, I layer the blush with either a homemade powder blush or a homemade face powder. (I guess I’d better start cranking out some posts!) That way not only is my face not shiny, but the blush has true staying power.
Want to make your own?
It’s easy, so let’s get to it!
- 1 Tbsp. shea butter
- 1/4 tsp. annatto seeds (Use this for an orange blush)
- 1/4 tsp. alkanet root powder (Or use this for more of a blood red color)
- 8 drops tea tree essential oil Optional – adds antimicrobial properties
- If you are using annatto seeds, grind them up into a very fine powder using a coffee grinder or similar appliance.
- It is very important that you end up with a very fine powder, so I usually use only the fine powder that accumulates on the cover of the grinder as it grinds. I wanted to make sure my alkanet root powder was fine enough, so I ground it more in the coffee grinder, and, once again, used only the fine powder that accumulated on the cover of my grinder.
- If you aren’t sure how much fits into your small deodorant containers, measure it out with water. I was able to fit around a Tbsp. of water into an empty canister, so I made my recipe with around 1 Tbsp. shea butter. Mine were small, 15ml deodorant containers just like the ones that can be found here (Affiliate link): http://amzn.to/1FTkNJW
- Heat your shea butter in a double boiler over your stove until it’s completely melted.
- Stir in either fine annatto seed powder or alkanet root powder, or use a combination of both. To get the concentration I achieved with my blush, use around 1/4 tsp. total powder for every Tbsp. of shea butter.
- Add in 5-10 drops of tea tree oil. This is optional, but it adds in antimicrobial properties which not only helps the product last longer, but it could help fight acne on your skin.
- Pour your mixture into your applicator container and let it cool and harden up. I used small containers that are like small deodorant applicators, but you can also pour it into small aluminum tins to use as a cream blush that you can apply with your fingers.
- You can now use your blush stick. I apply it directly to my cheeks, and use my fingers to blend it in. Set it with powdered blush or face powder to set it, if you so choose.
Some people have been asking me about the containers I used. You can find containers just like mine on Amazon.
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Thanks so much for impacting us with your knowledge and time you spend to do research we appreciate.
Just binge-read your blog. Love the cute little containers, super convenient to use! I was wondering if you can post more recipes of blushes using either rose powder/hibiscus/beetroot powder? Would love to try that out too.
Love everything about your blog.
Tracy Ariza, DDS
Thank you! I’ve actually tried with those and haven’t been successful with them. I think they would need to be used in an emulsion as they are water-soluble and clump up in something like this. I have been meaning to come up with some ideas for more cosmetics, though.
Right now I’m focusing on some of the basics- and want to overhaul my lotion and conditioner posts- and will slowly move towards updating and adding new cosmetics. 😉
I’ve just found your blog and I love all the natural makeup recipes but honestly when I saw DDS after your name I was instantly excited to see that your also a dentist because I’m an RDH and LMT and I love love both my careers and now I’m starting to incorporate healthy living. Looking forward to reading more from you.
Tracy Ariza, DDS
Awesome! Thanks, Kristy!
Thank you for this blog! i was wondering instead of using alkanet or annato seed powder, could you use hibiscus powder to give it a pink, subtle shade?
Honestly, I’m not sure how it would work. Common sense and logic say it would work fine, but I started experimenting with lip balms and not everything disperses well into the oils. I didn’t try hibiscus, but I did try with some fruit powders and they sort of clumped up in my lip balms and didn’t work well.
I really need to update this post and start sharing more options for homemade makeups. This is very basic and can be too oily feeling for most people. The addition of arrowroot would help with some of the oiliness. I’ll be working on more options for better homemade makeups soon- now that I’ve studied a lot more and know a lot more about formulating that sort of thing.
Lately I’ve been really busy updating and going through older posts like this one (I haven’t quite gotten to this one yet!), which is part of what is keeping me from posting more often. I’m trying to improve these older posts, though, and give people better information.
The biggest takeaway here is that alkanet and achiote work really well in homemade cosmetics- and are very natural and safe to use!
Oh, if you do try it, I’d love to know how it works!
(I’ll eventually be experimenting with it too, though.) 😉
Khlaren Sarah de Leon
Hi! Have you tried adding argan oil? I think it’s non comedogenic as well and it gets absorbed by the skin quickly. It doesn’t leave a greasy look and feeling once it is absorbed by the skin.
Any other natural colors that you’ve tried so far?
I haven’t tried it. I think if you added argan oil, that you’d have to add a wax or something to keep the product solid- which is fine, but the waxes may clog pores possibly?
That’s why I was looking for something solid that wouldn’t need any waxes.
In hindsight, this blush is usable, but is a bit too greasy if you are used to using more professional quality products. I’m working on making better ones. I think adding some sort of starch like arrowroot powder to this would also help. Not only would it reduce the greasiness, but it would help keep it in place better.
I haven’t experimented with other natural colors with this product- but have been using some others in other products. I tried with lip glosses- and these two were the best. I used fruit powders, but they clumped up and didn’t go on nicely.
I’m now experimenting with other powders for making eyeshadows and powder blushes. Hopefully, they’ll make their way to the blog soon!
I also use iron oxides and micas sometimes- which you can see in my Halloween makeup tutorial. They’re not as natural as the alkanet root, of course, but they are another option for making a more professional looking makeup.
Hi. Could you use beetroot powder instead of annatto seeds?
My gut feeling is no. Well, you could, but I’ve had issues with beetroot powder not incorporating itself well into some other recipes I’ve tried with.
I have a thought… I just noticed the other day that I had an old jar of shea butter that is way past its shelf date. I also have some homemade beetroot powder in my pantry. Let me see if I get a chance to try it out and let you know. If it does work, I’d like to do more experiments with the recipe. I think adding arrowroot powder, for example, would help reduce the shine and make it less oily. I also would like to play with adding a touch of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to give a slightly more opaque color.
I’ve been wanting to try these things for awhile now, as I posted this before learning a lot more about oils, colorants, etc. 😉
I’ll get back with you as soon as I can give it a try.
Hi! I’m loving your blog and DIY projects. Have you ever experimented with mica powder?
I was actually about to play with it yesterday, but got distracted and never got around to it. I wanted to make a loose blush and some pressed eyeshadows. I think they will be much better than this…
This was one of my older posts before I started learning a lot more about formulating cosmetics. I need to update the post because I think this is still quite usable, but would probably be better with some sort of powder like arrowroot to help offset the greasy feeling. 😉
I’ll definitely be experimenting and sharing on the blog when I’m happy with it.
I’ve had a growing collection of mica powders and magnesium stearate, etc.- and meaning to make the makeup, but life has gotten in the way.
This looks quite interesting to try, finally a project to spend a weekend on 🙂 So far I have been buying my non-comedogenic oils (have been using this article as a guide http://healthead.com/non-comedogenic-oils/) but this seems much much better. My skin is prone to acne and taking things in my hands is something that I really need for my self-esteem right now. Thanks a lot!
This is super easy to do. It gives a natural type color that I like for days when I don’t want to wear makeup, but just want a bit of color.
That said, it’s not great for the days you want to go out on the town because it’s tricky to control and does look a bit greasy when you first put it on. I mostly use it in the summer and when I want to bring my son to school without putting makeup on. 😉
I’m actually woking on some DIY makeup and creams, etc., that are a little less crunchy and closer to what you would find in stores. It’s probably going to be my main focus in the next couple of months.
I’ve already made a few things, and working on perfecting them before they go up on the blog.
Good luck with it!
Tracy, Do you think it would work with hibiscus powder?
I haven’t tried it, but I would imagine it would work fine if you have a fine enough powder.
I’d love to hear how it works out if you try it!
(Perhaps you could try with just a few drops first to see what you end up with so you don’t waste too much product if you don’t like the results!)
Will do! I think I’ll grind mine finer first and then give it a go and let you know next week.
I was actually experimenting with different fruit powders and lip glosses today, and I found that most of the powders I used didn’t mix into the oils as well as the alkanet and annatto seeds do, so perhaps I got lucky with those two.
I didn’t have hibiscus powder, but tried with raspberry powder and beetroot powder, and they both tended to clump up instead of blending in well like the other two.
The lip glosses use a combination of oil and wax, so it’s a different base, but still it makes me think that not every natural powder is going to be this effective for using in homemade cosmetics (or at least not the oil based ones).
I’d definitely experiment with a smaller amount, just in case. I’d hate for you to waste a lot of product on something that isn’t going to work well!
Where did you find the containers you used?
I bought mine locally, and I live in Spain, so that makes things tricky. 😉
That said, mine were 15ml and I think they are pretty much exactly like these found on Amazon.
I hope that helps!