This homemade bronzer has a lot in common with my homemade blush. It’s easy, effective, and uses most of the same ingredients. Swap the red iron oxide for a mix of red, yellow, and brown iron oxides, and some bronze mica, and voila, bronzer.

The process is pretty much identical. Mix everything together (minus the colourings), and the press the mixture through a fine sieve, again and again, adjusting the colouring as you go. Be sure to test it on your skin as you go.

If you have an extra coffee grinder that you only use for DIY projects, you’ll find you get much better results using a coffee grinder to make this powder, but it’s not necessary. The coffee grinder will produce a much smoother, more uniform powder in far less time, so if you’re interested in making more powdered cosmetics, it’s definitely worth picking one up from your local thrift shop for $10–$15.

Zinc oxide gives us a bright white base to work from, which we’ll colour with the oxides. While the mica looks stunning in the jar, it doesn’t add much colour to the final product—just a touch of fantastic, light catching shimmer. Jojoba oil and Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada) help weigh down the powder to keep it from poufing out and being easily inhaled, as well as giving us a bronzer that doesn’t dry the skin and leave our skin looking flaky and dry (ugh).

Homemade Bronzer

6 tsp zinc oxide
1½ tsp sericite mica (USA / Canada)
1 tsp silk powder (optional)
½ tsp magnesium stearate
2 tsp French red clay

¼ tsp jojoba oil (USA / Canada)
5 drops Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)

5/8 tsp bronze mica
5/8 tsp brown iron oxide
½ tsp red iron oxide
1 tsp yellow iron oxide

Mix everything but the oxides and mica together. Pass through a fine sieve again and again, until smooth. Gradually add in the colourings, passing through the sieve between additions. Test on your skin to gauge the colour and correct as needed. Store in a mason jar.

If you have a DIY coffee grinder you can also do all your blending in there instead.

Notes as of November 2018:

  • You’re definitely going to want to make this in a coffee grinder that you only use for DIY projects. It’s the only way to get an even, thorough colour blend, plus it’s way faster! Just 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.
  • If you want to press this makeup, this is how.
  • 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 bronzer.

Interested in learning how to make more natural cosmetics? Click here!