One of the most amusing trends that swings back and forth is the trend of how your skin should look—dewy and moist, or matte and dry (or glittery, if it’s the 90’s). Since I don’t particularly care one way or another (oddly enough, I feel that skin should look like skin, and beyond that I don’t really care), I get a bit of a kick out of noticing popular opinion change. Anyhow, this lovely little lotion type concoction nicely walks that line, lending a bit of glimmer and brightness without staying into glitter or shine territory.


The store bought product this is based on is one manufactured by Benefit cosmetics. I really like a lot of their aesthetic philosophies (generally, brighten, define the brows, and bring out those eyelashes), so I have a handful of their products, and I quite like them. I just don’t always like the price tag for something that is basically just pale pink goo.


I usually can’t be bothered to work out the cost per unit of my various concoctions—most of the time I am perfectly content to know they are infinitely cheaper than the store bought version, and then go on my merry way. This time, however, I did decide to work it out, and I couldn’t believe it. My version costs 0.6% of the cost of the store bought version. That is, if theirs were $100/tube, mine would be $0.60. And that’s without me getting bulk discounts like the make-up manufacturer would. Those margins are downright ridiculous.


Anyhow, this fun little highlighting cream is easy to whip up, and goes a long way. You can layer it for a stronger effect, or blend in a small amount along your brow and cheekbones for a subtle effect (as I prefer to).


I’ve chosen camellia seed oil because it absorbs quickly and easily into the skin, but any other fast-absorbing oil will do as well. You can use oil soluble titanium dioxide if that is what you have on hand, just be sure to add it to the oil phase instead of the water phase.

It's blended on the right side, but not on the left.

It’s blended on the right side, but not on the left.

Homemade High Beam Highlighting Creme

4g | 0.14oz emulsifying wax
1g | 0.03g Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
8g | 0.28oz camellia seed oil
1/8 tsp magnesium stearate (optional)

37g | 1.25 fl oz  warm water

1/4 tsp titanium dioxide (water dispersible)
¾–1 tsp silver mica
1/16 tsp red iron oxide (I use these tiny measuring spoons for tiny measurements like this)
Speck blue ultramarine

Broad spectrum preservative of choice (why?)

Combine the e-wax, Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada), camellia seed oil, and magnesium stearate in a small pan. Melt over low heat.

While the oils are melting dissolve the titanium dioxide in the warm water.

Once the oils have melted, remove them from the heat and set the pan on a cloth oven pad (to insulate it from cooling too quickly when set on the counter). Slowly whisk in the water/titanium dioxide mixture. Once they have emulsified, blend in the mica and oxides. You’re aiming for a very pale pinkish colour with just a hint of colour—test it on your skin as you go and see what you think. I am always amazed at the power of oxides to colour lotions and what not, so work slowly and carefully.

When you’ve arrived at a colour you like, stir in the preservative and decant into a container of your choice. I have found that lip gloss containers that have a wand attached to the cap are just perfect, but if you can’t find one of those (I only know of one supplier, and they are located in Calgary), a small glass jar or vial works fairly well when paired with a little brush for application.