What people used before commercial cosmetics where sold is the true organic makeup. Though I am guilty of buying the occasional eyeliner, simply out of convenience, I still make and use a good deal of organic makeup myself.
I am not talking about makeup that is currently on the market. Instead, I am referring to real organic makeup. This is the makeup of the Egyptians, of the Native Americas, and of the Victorians, etc.
Modern and even some ancient cosmetics can be harmful
Modern makeup actually does more harm than good. Even the nice organic foundations and bases can clog pores, doing ones skin no justice at all. If one lived in a harsh climate, it might make sense to want to cover the skin as even many of the ancients did, but I feel it is now unnecessary.
How the ancients did it
1. Foundations bases and powders – Lead based foundations (very toxic).
2. Rouge and lipstick – red ochre – The Egyptians made this from clay. Alkanet, crushed flowers, and crushed berries were used throughout Europe, and by many Native American tribes. These were usually mixed with olive oil or animal fat.
3. Eyemakeup – Egyptians, Romans, Mesoamericans, and many others have used such things as crushed lapis, azurite, or malachite.
4. Black Eyeliner – The Egyptians used kohl (ground Galena), or soot from agrimony with saffron added
Charcoal or soot mixed with olive oil were used by the Greeks. Some of these were extremely toxic.
5. An old “grease paint” trick – while not really “ancient,” more Victorian, and now considered a bit archaic, to say the least, was to mix beeswax, benzoin gum, with burnt cork, or other more colorful pigments.
How I do it
1. Foundations bases and powders – Corn silk/cornstarch/rice powder/talc. I rarely use these, except to “set” the oils and greases in the other makeups as needed.
2. Rouge and lipstick – I use crushed flowers,crushed berries,and powdered herbs, or most any natural substance which can give the desired color.
For all that follow here, I mix with either olive, safflower, or mineral oil, and either beeswax, and/or parafin, and either benzoin powder, or gum arabic powder, depending on how “powdery” I want it (this will henceforth be known as “base ingredients”).
3. Eye makeup – Same as rouge and lipstick, only with greens and blues, sometimes mixed with reds to make purples, etc. Same “base ingredients” as well.
4. Black Eyeliner – Soot , or “lamp black,” which is to that used to make India ink. Again, I use the same “base ingredients” as previously mentioned. 5. Greasepaint – burnt cork, and same “base ingredients”, made in a more solid form to accommodate sticks or pots of make up in large quantity for larger applications.
In addition : I also use a great deal of Petroleum Jelly, which is helpful if you don’t have beeswax, and also great for removal of makeup as well. It is also good for the complexion.
As you can see, my methods attempt to remove the “harm” caused by some ancient, and many modern methods as well. Thus, my top 10 Organic Cosmetics would be:
5. Corn silk/cornstarch/rice powder/talc
6. Olive, mineral, or other natural oils
7. Benzoin or acacia gum (natural preservatives)
8. Powdered herbs
9. Burnt cork
10. Petroleum Jelly
Additional sources : Personal experience and experimentation, and info found at :