When it comes to make-up, my eyes are generally the only thing I can be bothered to pay attention to (and even that’s new). If I’m feeling lazy (but not so lazy as to forego make-up entirely, which certainly is not a rare occurrence), I’ll put on mascara, do my eyebrows, and put on a bit of Eye Bright to, well, brighten things up.


Eye Bright came in a Benefit concealing kit I ordered online, and quickly became my favourite part of the kit. Eye Bright is a pale pink paste (with what might be the tiniest hint of shimmer) that brightens your skin and catches the light. I put it under the brow, at the inner corner of my eye, and under the lower lash line.

The cosmetic base, ready for additives.

The cosmetic base, ready for additives.

As I generally do, I got to thinking about what Eye Bright might be made of. The ingredients proved a bit iffy, as is to be expected with store bought cosmetics (though not altogether terrifying—props, Benefit!). From what I could recognize, it’s basically a paste of titanium dioxide, micas, some petroleum and plant based oils, and a variety of waxes. That sounds very DIY-able indeed.

I started with my cosmetic powder base. It’s super easy, and very versatile. It’s mostly titanium dioxide, with zinc oxide, magnesium stearate, and sericite mica (USA / Canada). The oxides are for opacity, while the magnesium stearate and sericite mica (USA / Canada) are for slip, adhesion, and light refraction.

The leftover base powder. I can combine 1/2 tsp of this with 1 tsp of the melted oils and wax to make more whenever I want!

The leftover base powder. I can combine 1/2 tsp of this with 1 tsp of the melted oils and wax to make more whenever I want!

Micas provide shimmer. The original uses carmine for the slight pink tint, but since I don’t have a stash of ground up beetle bits, I decided to go with a pinch of red iron oxide. The oils and waxes create the pastey base for the powders, and that’s it. This is going to be fun.

I decided to start by mixing together the powders, and then turning them into a oil-based paste, rather than mixing together the oils and then adding the colourants. I figured this would give me a better chance of ending up with a highly pigmented final product.

DIY Benefit Eye Bright

3 tsp cosmetic powder base
1/32 tsp red iron oxide (scant)
¼ tsp sericite mica (USA / Canada)
1/32 tsp silver mica

2g beeswax (USA / Canada)
5g jojoba oil (USA / Canada)
<1g Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)

Blitz the cosmetic powder base, red iron oxide, sericite mica (USA / Canada), and silver mica together in a coffee grinder.

Melt the beeswax, jojoba oil (USA / Canada), and Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada) together. Place 1 tsp of the melted oils in a small dish. Add ½ tsp of the powder mixture. Squash everything together with your finger, microwaving for 10–15 seconds as needed to soften things up. When everything is combined, pack the mixture into a shallow tin.

Notes as of November 2018:

  • Make sure you wear a dust mask so you don’t inhale the powders after whipping them up—that can be dangerous to your health over the long term.
  • Check out my book, Make it Up, for a better formula that uses fewer ingredients and is much more flexible. My book also has lots of colour blending tips and a few different starter colour blends so you can create a wide variety of different shades of cream highlighters.

The final result! Mine could easily be made more less with a bit less red iron oxide, or more sparkly with a bit of extra silver mica. Mine could also be “cooled down” with a teensy bit of blue ultramarine.