Posted on

Copyright Amy @ DIY PAK and Rebecca @ DIY Cosmetics LLC : Revised January 13, 2017

No portion of these writings may be copied or reproduced and are the sole copyright of the two above authors and businesses.

DISCLAIMER: The information herein provided is for general information only. Any health or safety-related issues should be further researched, and the advice requested of a properly qualified professional. DIY PAK and DIY Cosmetics and owners cannot be held responsible for, and will not be liable for, the inaccuracy or application of any information whatsoever herein provided.


In this part of the DIY makeup series, we will learn how to mix oxides together to match any skin tone. Recipe guidelines are below, along with tips on how to adjust to cover the full range of skin tones.

Most foundation bases are made from a combination of oxides plus titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and a filler such as Kaolin or Mica to dilute the color.

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide each produce a different end product. Titanium will be more opaque and provides more coverage. Zinc oxide create less coverage, and we have found that they are better for foundations for people of color. Below is a picture of an example of the same oxide blend with zinc and titanium so that you can see the difference.



Nearly all foundation blends are combinations of yellow, red and black oxide. When you see foundation blends and instructions that start with brown oxide, this is simply a pre-blended combination of the three colors.

Not all oxides shades are the same and can give you very different results. Some have an orange undertone whereas others may have a blue undertone. The formulas we are providing for you in this article use two very different red oxides that give you a large variation of color. The photo below demonstrates how differently blends using the two different reds can appear, with all else being the same in the formula.


Finally, your end shade may be adjusted with typical shades that are used as “color correctors.” Below is a photo of a foundation blend in three different variations after these color correctors has been added. We suggest that you pre-blend your color correctors with mica ahead of time at the same percentage as you foundation blends (2 grams of pigment per 8 grams of mica, or a 1:4 ratio). This will make it much easier to add to your foundation blend after you have made it. It is almost impossible to blend a tiny bit of pure pigment to a foundation without high speed blending equipment.

Too orange – add a pinch ultramarine blue (second from the left)

Too pink – add a pink of chromium green (third from the left)

Not pink enough – add a pinch of manganese violet (fourth from the left)




It is really helpful to have a scale that will measure in very small increments. You can try using teaspoons, but you will have a hard time duplicating your blend. All of our formulas that we are sharing with you are measured by weight, not volume, and will make 10 grams of foundation base. You can choose to use either titanium or zinc oxide, but you will need to stick to the exact oxides to reproduce these shades.



Before you make your foundation, you want to make your foundation base. This is a combination of colored oxides, usually mixed with about 60% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. This base will be mixed with fillers later to create your final mineral foundation product. Translucent blends containing no titanium or zinc and are generally called “mineral veils” and are not used for coverage.

All of our foundation base recipes consist of 60% zinc oxide. This will give you a medium-colored base to start with. You can add more for lighter skin tones or less for darker skin tones.

NOTE: If you have very dark skin, do not adjust it by using more black oxides. Adjust your blend by using a higher percentage of your foundation base in the total formula. In the below image, the powders along the bottom are pure oxide blends (pigmented oxides mixed with zinc oxide). The top blends show what happens when you mix 20% of your oxide blends with your filler when making your mineral foundation. In other words, if you make 10 grams of foundation, you would use 2 grams of oxide base plus 8 grams of filler.




#1 Dark Brown, Red Undertone : Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

1.8 grams Yellow Iron Oxide

1.2 grams Red Iron Oxide R

0.6 grams Black Oxide

#2 Dark Beige, Red Undertone: Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

2.5 grams Yellow Iron Oxide

1 gram Red Iron Oxide R

0.5 grams Black Oxide

#3 Medium Beige, Pink Undertone: Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

2 grams Yellow Iron Oxide

2 grams Red Iron Oxide R

#4 Dark Brown, Yellow Undertone: Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

1.8 grams Yellow Iron Oxide

1.2 grams Red Iron Oxide Y

.06 grams Black Oxide

#5 Dark Beige, Yellow Undertone: Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

2.5 grams Yellow Iron Oxide

1 gram Red Iron Oxide Y

0.5 grams Black Oxide

#6 Medium Beige, Orange & Red Undertones: Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

2 grams Yellow Iron Oxide

2 grams Red Iron Oxide Y

#7 Dark Brown, Red Undertone:  Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

1 grams Yellow Iron Oxide

3 grams Brown Oxide

#8 Light Beige, Pink Undertone: Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

2 grams Tan Oxide

2 grams Yellow Iron Oxide

#9 Light Beige, Yellow Undertone: Makes 10 grams

6 grams Zinc Oxide

1 grams Tan Oxide

3 grams Yellow Iron Oxide



These recipes are intended to be starting places. If your foundation is too light, then add more foundation base until you get the shade you want. Make sure you keep track of what you are adding by weight. If it is too dark, then add more zinc or titanium by weight until you get the shade you want. Always take careful notes as you experiment so that you can replicate your recipes later.

Matte Foundation Base: Makes 10 grams

2 grams Foundation Blend

4 grams Kaolin Clay

4 grams Matte Mica or Serecite

Satin Foundation, Low Luster: Makes 10 grams

2.5 grams Foundation Blend

4 grams Kaolin Clay

3.5 grams Fine White Satin Mica *

*The fine white satin contains titanium dioxide, so it will be lighter and more opaque than the matte base. This is why we suggested adding more foundation blend.

Satin Foundation Blend, High Luster (good for highlighters): Makes 10 grams 

3 grams Foundation Blend

2 grams Kaolin Clay

5 grams Fine White Satin Mica *


Weigh out your foundation base and fillers

Add to high speed blender (coffee grinder or mini hand grinder or mortar and pestle as described in DIY Makeup, Part 1).

Your powder will be ready to use, but it will better adhere to your skin if you add an additional 0.5 grams of Magnesium Stearate .