Over Christmas we had a positively frigid cold snap here in Calgary; waking up to temperatures below -40°C with windchill was not uncommon, and most days had “highs” no higher than -25°C. This lasted for about ten days, and while my preference would’ve been to sleep through it swaddled in flannel, that wasn’t really an option as I have a just-barely-one-year-old puppy. So, we walked—once a day at the “warmest” time of day. And Lottie loved it; seeing her frolic through the champagne powder like a furry lunatic was positively delightful. Anyhow, as I waddled along behind my snow-loving puppy, bundled up in a ridiculous amount of down and Gore-Tex, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it all was. That was the inspiration for this Snowy Dawn Cream Luminizer.
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We were usually alone out there (surprise surprise), surrounded by lumbering snowdrifts that obscured the landscape like a heavy blanket. Right around the winter solstice the sun barely pokes its nose over the horizon before heading back to Australia, so the light is always fairly low. Combine low light, extreme cold, and snowdrifts and you get the most beautiful colour shifting magic happening on the snow. It’s white, but it’s also gold and blue and silver and lavender all at once and not at all. Catch it at the right time and you’ll get flashes of cool gold blended with white-silver and diamonds—that is what I wanted to capture with this luminizer.
To get that colour shifting magic I knew I’d need a hilite mica from TKB—hilite gold, in particular. To that I added a bit of pure white-silver and pure soft gold micas to round it out. Oooh, pretty. I wanted to make this luminizer a solid, creamy one with a silky, powder-like finish, so I added my mica blend to a base of rich jojoba oil, silky cetyl alcohol, and magical silica microspheres. The silica microspheres not only give this luminizer the most amazing dry-touch finish, they also make it even silkier than it would be with cetyl alcohol alone, which is to say super silky. This stuff feels brilliant on the skin.
Much like my highlighting moon drops you can definitely play around with the mica blend to create something different. I’ve kept the batch size quite small as 5g of luminizer is a colossal amount of luminizer, even if it doesn’t sound like much of anything at all. Because it’s a small batch you will need a scale accurate to 0.01g to make it as-is, but a scale like that will likely only run you about $13, and you’ll use it more than you think you will. Your other option is making larger batches, but you’ll burn through mica pretty quickly—fast enough that buying a new scale is likely cheaper in the end!
The making of these is delightfully simple—weigh, melt, stir, pour, and chill! I found these lovely little pots take on a rather funny top texture when they cool, and chilling helps reduce that. It’s no big deal, though—that odd bit is strictly aesthetic and swipes away with the first use anyways. I’m loving gliding this across my cheekbones and dotting a bit by my tear ducts for a bit of snowy magic that’s all my own 🙂
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Snowy Dawn Cream Luminizer
0.0125g | 0.25% vitamin E oil
Prepare a water bath by bringing about 3cm/1″ of water to a bare simmer over low to medium-low heat in a wide, flat-bottomed sauté pan.
Weigh the jojoba oil, cetyl alcohol, silica microspheres, and micas into a small glass dish. Place that into your prepared water bath to melt everything through—this will happen in just a few minutes as it’s such a small amount of product. Stir with a flexible silicone spatula to combine, breaking up any clumps of mica so you can be sure you’ll notice any remaining, unmelted beads of cetyl alcohol.
While the mixture melts, place a 5g jar on a plate so you can easily move it to the fridge to cool.
Once everything has melted through, remove the glass dish from the heat and stir in the vitamin E oil. Quickly transfer the melted mixture to your 5g jar, and then gently and smoothly move that jar on the plate to the fridge to cool.
When the luminizer has fully set up (give it about twenty minutes), you’re done! To use, swipe your finger across the surface of the luminizer and apply to cheekbones, brow bones, your cupid’s bow, or wherever else you’d like a little more light. Enjoy!
Because this luminizer is 100% oil based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using this batch calculator from Making Skincare. As written in grams this recipe will make 5g.
- You can use another midweight carrier oil like fractionated coconut, safflower, sunflower, or sweet almond instead of the jojoba oil
- DO NOT substitute the cetyl alcohol
- You can use sericite mica instead of the silica microspheres, though this will significantly reduce the powdery finish of the luminizer
- Feel free to use a different blend of micas as long as it totals 1.5g