DIY Fail: Makeup Edition

Have you seen those Pinterest fail photos where people try to recreate swanky cakes or fancy nail art or precarious updos, only to have the venture end in utter disaster? Well if you haven’t, you can check out some good examples here.

Last night, I became one of those people. In my quet for zero waste, and
after my somewhat terrifying romp through the EWG’s website checking out my previous makeup collection, I thought that making my own makeup was the perfect solution. All I needed was arrowroot powder, coconut oil, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg and cocoa powder. All you have to do is mix the ingredients until you get something close to your skin tone. You then add some oil until you reach a foundation-esque consistency and apply it. Voila! DIY makeup. I’m a great baker, a decent cook, and can follow directions when I feel like it, so this should be a piece of cake. Right?

I (for once) diligently followed the instructions and came up with something that seemed to match my very pasty skin. I took a brush and swiped the mixture on my cheeks, but the powder just fell from my face. Hmm. I dabbed moisturizer on my face, realizing that some moisture might help the powder stick to my face. I reapplied the powder and though it stuck a little, it was so translucent that I couldn’t really notice a marked difference. As I stood there at contemplating this turn of events in the mirror, my face started to feel a little raw and began to turn red. I was reacting to the ginger.

I was determined to get a good result, splotchy red face or no, so I went the liquid foundation route and mixed the powder with melted coconut oil (in amounts unspecified by the website’s vague instructions). The mixture instantly darkened. I frowned, unsure why the instructions didn’t mentioned this. Regardless, I dipped my foundation brush in this new concoction and brushed it across my face. It clung to my skin in uneven chunks and when I continued to dab, hoping to even out the clumps, they collected in on themselves in larger clumps and fell off. I smelled amazing, like cake or a pumpkin spice latte, but I had not achieved makeup nirvana.

I consulted various websites again, looking for troubleshooting tips. I scrolled through each one looking for ‘try this when’ or ‘do this if.’ There was absolutley nothing about ‘what to do when you find out this recipe is a total waste of time.’

I tried again, wondering if I hadn’t used enough oil. I switched to sweet almond oil. I mixed the arrowroot powder and spices together again and kept adding a little bit of almond oil until I reached the consistency I wanted. Once again, the mixture became very dark from the moisture and when I applied it to my face again, the mixture felt sticky and thick and dark flecks from the spices remained on my face. I mixed more almond oil and tried again, but the mixture’s color was still off and the dark flecks remained.

Frustrated and unhappy with the website’s recipes, I huffily rinsed the failed attempts from my face. Maybe I should leave this makeup business to people who actually know who they’re doing. So I caved and bought RMS Beauty’s Un-Cover Up. It comes in a plastic free glass jar with a metal top and its ingredients get good ratings on EWG’s Skin Deep in terms of the danger of its ingredients. Sometimes it’s better to support a company that you believe and whose products are consistent with your values.


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