I’ve always thought concealer was a great big Catch 22. You start with an angry clogged pore that turns into a zit. So you cover it it up with some fleshy coloured goo (though let’s be honest, you aren’t fooling anyone within 2 meters of you). Said fleshy coloured goo clogs even more pores, and on it goes. A never ending zit parade, probably designed by the makers of concealer so you can never stop buying it.
The last time I was in Sephora I noticed funny little pots of distinctly non-face coloured goop. That you were supposed to put on your face. It came in a selection of pastels, including minty pink, lavenderish purple, and some sickly looking yellows and oranges. As a designer I figured these were either a) very boring face paints or b) some sort of opposite-colour correcting device type thingy.
It turns out it was b. I didn’t really think much of it until I saw the greeny one that looks like choc-mint ice cream (without the chips, obviously) used in the first bit of this video. Up until this I would have guessed that you would be left looking like Elphaba or the Grinch who stole Christmas. Guess not.
So I thought I would take the idea and apply it to concealer. But I didn’t stop with colour correction. I also wanted no pore clogging and lots of healing power.
Now, I’ve tried concealer before. Or, at least I should say I’ve tried to make concealer before. I made it as a lotion, and it was sort of ok at first… and then it drastically changed colour after a week, which was pretty suspicious (in addition to making it useless), so I tossed it. This time, after making my a bunch of different lipsticks, I thought I’d go entirely oil-based.
So: I selected rosehip oil and sea buckthorn seed oil for their supposedly legendary anti-acne wonders, and vitamin E oil for its general awesomeness in helping the skin heal. I thickened the whole mixture with some beeswax, cocoa butter, and cupuacu butter.
For the colorants, the first step was making it opaque with some oil-soluble titanium dioxide.
Then, I added some multani mitti and zeolite clays (feel free to use any clay that sort of matches your skin tone) for some starting colour and the awesome healing/pulling properties of clay. From there I used a mixture of oxides to get it the rest of the way to my skin tone. I then divided the mixture, and added a hint of green to one part, giving me an anti-red concealer, and a plain, skin-coloured concealer.
The resulting concealer is exactly my skin tone, and works beautifully. I am so very thrilled with myself.
DIY Healing Concealer
4g | 0.14oz beeswax
7g | 0.25oz capuacu butter
5g | 0.17oz cocoa butter
4g | 0.14oz sea buckthorn seed oil (the fruit oil is likely to be so orange that it’ll effect the colour of the final product)
4g | 0.14oz rosehip oil
1g | 0.03oz vitamin E oil
1g | 0.03oz magnesium stearate (optional; adds slip)
Now it’s time to use oxides to get exactly your skin tone. I found this part to be pretty darn annoying, frankly. Lots of measuring, mixing, blending, stirring, testing, and repeating the entire process. In the end I think I used approximately 1 tsp of yellow iron oxide, 5/16 tsp of red (I use these tiny measuring spoons for tiny measurements like this), and 3/16 tsp of brown. It turns out I didn’t take terribly good notes (sorry!). Anyhow—work slowly, take your time, test and blend away, and you will eventually come out the other end with you-coloured goo.
If you’d like a red cancelling concealer, mix in a bit of green chromium oxide. This recipe makes quite a lot of concealer, so I’d recommend doing what I did, and dividing it up.