Crafting Cosmetics or Making Mineral Makeup

I’ve never been someone who wears a lot of makeup. I always feel bad when I buy makeup; most of it goes to waste because it expires before I use it all. Also, I hadn’t found a liquid foundation that didn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I tried using Airbrush makeup, which works really well and doesn’t irritate my skin, it just has a high learning curve to use. When I found out I could make my own mineral makeup, it seemed to meet my needs well because it’s cheaper than buying mineral makeup from the store, and if I waste it, I don’t feel so bad. Plus, I could potentially find out what ingredients irritate my skin (so far, Bismuth Oxychloride).

I bought the Mineral Makeup Kit from TKB Trading. First thing I should have done was email them back saying that I got 4 lids for one size of the containers, instead of two lids and two bottoms. I waited too long for their return policy. Oops. I still haven’t contacted them about it. But if I wanted to replace the 2 containers, it’d only be about $4. Meh.

If you do buy the kit, I would recommend reading the instructions that come with the kit first. It lists the things you could potentially make. it comes with two containers that are good for foundation, 2 medium size (probably blush and concealer), and 2 eyeshadow size containers. If you want to make more than that, I would recommend more containers.

The basics of making mineral makeup go like this:

  • Sanitize all the things you will be using with alcohol. You should wear a dust mask and gloves. I also put down wax paper over my breakfast table.
  • Your ingredients will go into a coffee grinder. You grind the minerals together to get it evenly mixed.
  • Once you’ve blended the things you want to make, put them into a container.

Kinda simple.

Here’s the thing about making powdered makeup. It makes a horrible mess. The first coffee grinder I got was the cheapest one I could find on Amazon. The powder started to work it’s way out of the coffee grinder at the seal. I chalked it up to a terrible coffee grinder. A while later, I bought a new coffee grinder from Bed Bath and Beyond. Same problem. The powder started to get down into the inside of the grinder, and it was still coming out at the seal. Not to mention it wasn’t mixing the powder well enough; a lot of it was sticking to the sides, and it wasn’t mixing the powder at the bottom. Maybe I expected it to mix better than it actually does. Maybe I was being too impatient. I did my best to get a foundation, concealer, and mineral veil made and then stopped after that.

I haven’t given up though. I read that some people use a mortar and pestle to grind the minerals together. I bought one, but I haven’t tried it yet. My hope is that the mortar and pestle will give me greater control, even if it will take longer to mix. I will report my findings once I give it a try.

Make your own Cosmetics: Lipstick

I was reading one day on reddit (go figure) about things that are cheap to make and have a high markup. One person talked about Makeup. That sent me on another research hunt to find out what it takes to make makeup. One of the easiest things to make is Lipstick.

I took a look at the site which has a kit with a mold. The only problem I had when I went to their site was that they were out of the lipstick molds. (This seems to be a frequent occurrence because as I write this, they are out of stock.) But I had a problem; I WANTED IT NOW! So I cheated a little. I ordered everything individually that came in the kit minus the lipstick mold (and probably some instructions). I found a few other sites that sold lipstick molds, but the only other place that had an inexpensive lipstick mold that was the exact shape I wanted was Lipstix Remix (and they are currently not taking orders… that’s interesting…) Lipstix Remix is really meant to take the leftover lipstick in the bottom tubes to remelt them and create a new usable lipstick. That’s not really what I was after, I just wanted the molds. I bought two kits so I could have two molds. 

So now armed with my materials and tools, I got to work! Here are the basic steps:

  • Clean all the materials you are going to use with rubbing alcohol.
  • I use olive oil on a cotton swab to rub the inside of the mold so it will release the lipstick bullet easily.
  • Melt about 4 grams of the uncolored base in the microwave in 20-30 seconds at a time. WATCH CAREFULLY to not over melt. (I think I use more base than is suggested because I don’t want super strong colors)
  • Add colorants to the uncolored base until you get the color you like.
  • Remelt in the microwave if it starts to get too hard to stir anymore.
  • Once you’ve got the color you like, pour into the mold.
  • Place the mold in the freezer. I’m pretty impatient and pull it out of the freezer about 10 min after I put it in, I think recommended is 20 min.
  • Carefully press the empty tube onto the bottom of the bullet.

That’s it! Pretty easy and only about 30 minutes worth of work for some professional looking results. The TKB Kit is about $57 and makes 16 lipsticks and comes out to about $3.56 per lipstick. Not too bad and it gets cheaper as you go since the mold is probably half the cost.

Here’s a picture of my first color!


For a little more information on lipstick in general, check out TKB Trading’s FAQ on Making Lip Products

What I Learned After I Killed My Orchids

To sum up, to take care of the basic Phalaenopsis (aka Moth) orchids, do the following:

  1. The best way to water is to submerge the whole root base into water for a little bit, then take it out, about once a week. The roots should never stay entirely wet. (Unless it’s packed in moss… then water a LOT LESS FREQUENTLY)
  2. After the first blooms start to fall, to get it to branch off and bloom again, cut the spike (the part with the flowers) just past a node (joint looking part on the spike) and seal it with cinnamon; it will kill bacteria.
  3. After the blooms fall and the spike turns brown, cut the spike down near the base. This is a good time to repot. Be sure to check the roots for any problems (bugs, root rot, disease).
  4. Use Orchid specific fertilizer once a month.

My poor, poor orchids. My husband bought me my first orchid for Valentine’s Day 2010:


Then he bought me a second one Valentine’s Day 2011:


Orchids aren’t super difficult to take care of, but I managed to kill them both.

I killed the 2011 one first about 4 months ago. It was tightly packed into the pot with Sphagnum moss when I got it. I didn’t realize how different watering an orchid in moss would be compared to what my first one was, which was in bark. The biggest indicator I didn’t know about until too late was that a new leaf was growing, but it was curling and stunted and not at all like the other leaves. This meant that the plant was in distress and that I should check the roots. So I took it out to check it. Root rot. Everywhere. The moss had held in so much moisture that it rotted out 95% of the roots. I cut off everything that I could but that only left 2 small roots. I figured it was lost, but I repotted it in the bark media and continued to water the small roots. After a few months, I gave up and called it a lost cause.

Then, just last month, I gave up on the 2010 one as well. Before that, I had succeeded to get it to rebloom after the first bloom, then had an entire new small spike last year! I was happy that at least this one had survived. This one was an “Ice Orchid,” which is really just Phalaenopsis orchid where they advertise a more user friendly way of watering (granted it does work pretty well). However, I was bit timid about watering and changed the way I watered because of the fiasco with the other one. I have a cute little plant mister that I was using to water it and it seemed to do ok for a while. What I didn’t realize was that the mister was not getting the water down to the lower level of the roots. At some point I had done the research and I helped my mother-in-law revive her orchids. I don’t really remember telling her that one of the best ways to water an orchid properly was to submerge the entire pot into water, then let it drain, once a week. When I told her that I had been improperly watering them, she told me what I had told her. Oops… How did I forget that? I could have saved them. 🙁

But, this will not be the end of my Orchid adventure! Armed with my knowledge from my failures, I have my eye on some mini orchids!

My First Book

My parents came to visit our house for the first time last week. My mom had recently finished an art class on book binding, so I asked if she could teach me how. Here is the result! outside cover

inside cover

book spine

For my book, we kept it simple to save time. My mom got all fancy and put a bookmark in hers. I really liked book binding because it was something very simple to do without a lot of expensive materials. We started early on Thursday morning after breakfast and maybe an hour the next day finishing them up.

Normally I research a hobby to death, buy everything I need, then do it, but this time it was a little backwards for me. It still doesn’t change my habits though, I still looked up a ton of information and videos after my parents left. By far one of the most useful resources for bookbinding was Sea Lemon’s Youtube channel.

The way my mom and I did ours was similar to the first video below. We used illustration board instead of book board, spray adhesive instead of glue, and made the covers about 1/4 inch larger than the signatures. We also didn’t cut the corners of the cover paper like in the video, but I think my next book I will.

Of course there’s a subreddit for everything: /r/bookartssection which is where I found this tutorial Japanese Stab Binding Tutorial: Marionette


Now to figure out what to write in them!