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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Eyeshadows

If you ever frequent reddit's /r/indiemakeupandmore, you'll always find people asking about how they can make their own eyeshadows. So here's a guide that'll hopefully answer the question once and for all.

Now, there's several methods of making your own eyeshadows, but first...

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I have not tried all of the kits/recipes listed below, so proceed at your own risk.

Now that that's out of the way, the first method of making your own eyeshadows is...


1. Buy A DIY Eyeshadow Kit

You can easily buy a kit with instructions on how to make your own eyeshadows from various suppliers. Here are some of them:

Contains approx. 38g of colour + ingredients for base. Assuming a 2:1 ratio of colour to base (though it could be 3:2 too), you get 57g (or 63.33g) of eyeshadow. A tub of eyeshadow contains approx. 1.5g of eyeshadow, so this means you get about 38 tubs (or 42 tubs) of eyeshadow. That's $ 1.07-1.18/tub of eyeshadow.
Contains only 4 colours so your options are limited. There's 2 tsp of each colour, so that's about 21.33g of colour or about 14 tubs of eyeshadows. That's $ 2.26/tub of eyeshadow.
Comes in a loose powder & pressed versions. Contains 9 different pigments and 22g of base. There's no specification on the amount of pigments you get, so we can only make educated guesses about how many eyeshadows you can make out of it. Using the fact that the loose powder version contains 22g of base, and using the 2:1 & 3:2 colour to base ratio assumption, we can guess that you get about 55g or 66g of eyeshadow (or 36 or 44 tubs of eyeshadows). That's $ 0.45-0.55/tub of eyeshadow.
Available in loose powder & pressed versions. Loose powder kit makes 24 eyeshadows, pressed eyeshadow kit makes 15 eyeshadows. Contains tons of extra stuff like a pressing tools, glitter adhesives and foiling products. The loose powder version contains an interference mica that lets you make duochromes. That's $ 1.63-2.60/tub of eyeshadow.

Considering buying a tub of eyeshadow will cost you $4+ whether you're buying indie or mainstream, these kits are really worth it if you're feeling crafty.

Now the 2nd method is...


2. Just Mixing A Bunch of Colours Together

You can just buy micas online (the retailers I mentioned above also sell micas on their own) and mix a bunch of colours to get the colours you want. TKB even has their Pop Collection (to see all the colours, search "pop" on the site), which are ready to wear loose eyeshadows that already contain a base to improve blendability and adhesion.

This method is much faster & cheaper. TKB's micas usually cost about $1.50 for 6g. That's $1.50 for 4 "eyeshadows".

As you can see from a previous post I wrote, micas can look great on their own. Unfortunately, I noticed that without a base, they're a bit more of a pain to blend and sometimes end up flying off and creating bald patches when used over a primer only (comparison post here).

However, there are ways you can counter this:

1. By using sticky bases, primers, etc. that work to keep the micas on. This sounds bad, but unfortunately, there are some established indies who do this and get away with it. For a guide on how to figure out if your eyeshadows are basically "repackaged" micas, you can head here
2. Buy a ready made eyeshadow (like TKB's Pop shadows) & mix some micas in to get the colours you want. The ready made eyeshadows already contain some base. Adding more micas in may mean you're lowering the effectivity of the base, but it's better than nothing. You can make duochromes this way. 
One of the eyeshadows I made, Angua, is made this way. 

As you can see, it has quite a pretty shift!

 The recipe for this colour is just:

Dump them in a bag, squish, squish, squish to mix, and you're done!

The 3rd method is...


3. Mixing with a Premade Base

Basically, you buy a base, you buy micas/pigments, then you mix the colours with the base. And that's it. Here are companies offering bases:

In the SEA IMAM gathering, we made our eyeshadows this way by purchasing a base from an indie company, and by Method #2 using TKB's ready made eyeshadows. Here's the eyeshadows I came up with:

To see what everyone else came up with, you can head here.

Now the final method and the one that takes much more work...


4. Making an Actual Eyeshadow Base From Scratch

Mixing the colour is easy, making the base needs more cosmetic science knowledge. Luckily, you can easily google recipes online for the base.

Here are some recipes I found (click for links):

From Jenni Raincloud:

  • 8 tsp Titanium Dioxide
  • 3 tsp Sericite Mica
  • 4 tsp Zinc Oxide
  • 2 tsp Kaolin Clay (optional)
  • 5 drops of Essential Oil (optional)

From Hildablue:

  • 1 part rice starch
  • 1 part mica satin white


  • 3 tbs titanium dioxide
  • 2 tsp magnesium stearate
  • 1-2 tsp mica satin white

From Humblebee & Me:

  • 8 tsp titanium dioxide
  • 1 tbsp sericite mica
  • 4 tsp zinc oxide
  • 1 tsp magnesium stearate
  • ¼ tsp jojoba oil
  • 5 drops vitamin E oil

From Love to Know Make Up:

  • 3 tbsp Micronized Titanium Dioxide
  • 1 ½ tsp Magnesium Stearate
  • 1/4 tsp Jojoba Oil
  • 2 ½ tsp Sericite Mica (any finish)

From Ponte Vedra Soap Shoppe Inc:

  • 3 Tblsps Micronized Titanium Dioxide
  • 1 ½ Tsps Magnesium Stearate
  • 1/2 Tsps Bismuth Oxychloride (optional for better slip)
  • ¼ Tsp Jojoba Oil

From Smink och deo by Finn Andersen found on Hildablue:

  • 8 g (0.3 oz) talcum powder
  • 6 g (0.2 oz) magnesium stearate
  • 4 g (0.14 oz) potato starch

From Swiftcraftymonkey:

  • 3 tbsp treated sericite mica
  • 1 tsp micronospheres
  • 1 small scoop calcium carbonate


  • 4 tsp treated sericite mica
  • 1 tsp titanium dioxide
  • 1 tsp dry-flo

From U-MakeItUp:

  • 3 tsp Mica Coated With Carnauba Wax
  • 1 ½ tsp of  Titanium Dioxide
  • ¾ tsp of Magnesium Stearate
  • ¾ tsp of Kaolin Clay


So knowing all this, why still purchase indies? Personally for me, I still purchase indies for the following reasons:

  • Because some stores have better formulas than what you can find online (Fyrinnae, Dawn Eyes)
  • To support nice store owners (this includes helping them swatch)
  • To support artists designing label art
  • Because I don't have the time to do it myself

And this is the exactly why I don't tolerate unethical/unprofessional behaviour on a brand owner's side.


  1. wow very nice ! Loving the gold tone ^^

  2. Same reason I quite tryig to make my own. Way too much time. Plus I like supporting already established good indie companies

  3. Great Information sharing .. I am very happy to this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post.
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  4. This helps me so much as someone who wants to make their own eyeshadows for her and her friends.
    Seriously, this was wonderful.
    I hope one day I will be able to have a successful company on the side... That would be nice.