I read an article just the other day advising women to switch to toxin-free nail polish. Now, I know polish isn’t crafted from organic rainbow clouds and purified Amazon rainwater. But really, I never gave much thought to the little vat of chemicals that I lacquer my nails with each week.

It made me think about the other scary concoctions in makeup and beauty products. Experts say the skin absorbs about 60 percent of any substance applied. So I started looking around for a few rainbow clouds to rub on my dark eye circles. What I found? Organic makeup = pricey.There had to be inexpensive, organic alternatives.

After some soul searching and an Internet search, I ended up with an awesome adjustable contouring powder, a sun-kissed bronzer that leaves you smelling like cinnamon, and some translucent face powder that works just as well as Bare Minerals. All three recipes cost less than a quarter each and  don't eat your face off. Bonus!

Contouring Powder

Things you'll need (change the amounts based on your skin tone)

  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon (adds glow)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (sun kissed)
  • ½ teaspoon cocoa powder (adds darkness)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or powdered sugar (lightens it)
  • 5 drops (or so) of rubbing alcohol (to make it stick together)
  • Empty compact


  • Mix the ingredients together into a small bowl making sure to break it up into a fine powder. Place the ingredients into an empty compact and smooth it with fingers or the back of a spoon. Let sit overnight. It will be firm and ready to use in the morning.


Things you'll need (change the amounts based on your skin tone)

  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon powder
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 drops (or so) rubbing alcohol
  • 1 empty compact


Blend the ingredients together in a bowl or blender to make a fine powder, place in the compact and smooth out with  fingers or a spoon. Let the bronzer firm up overnight. It will be ready to use in the morning.

Translucent Face Powder

Things you'll need

  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baby powder or talc (you can leave this out if you want)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

A word about talc from the American Cancer Society: "Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes. It is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powders, as well as in a number of other consumer products. All home-use talcum products in the United States have been asbestos-free since the 1970s."


Combine all of the ingredients together and place them into a clean powder container (jar with a lid) and apply with a brush.

Makeup is often dirt cheap, and sometimes free, with coupons and sales. But for those worried about chemicals, there’s a way to have nice cosmetics without sacrificing savings.

 This has been a guest post by August from Granite Falls, NC
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