This update to my awesome airbrushing powder is designed to disguise excess redness in the skin while combating shine and giving your skin the appearance of perfection without heavy coverage. So, long story short, it’s pretty awesome.

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Powder on the left side, and not on the right. I don’t have a hugely red complexion, but you can see the difference through the cheeks.

 

The majority of the powder is a blend of silky arrowroot starch and light-diffusing sericite mica. The sericite mica is the perfection powerhouse of this powder, diffusing the light around your face to give the appearance of smooth perfection without covering up adorable freckles.

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Absorbent clay and astringent cucumber extract battle excess oil and shine, and silk peptides help manage moisture and keep skin strong and healthy.

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Magnesium stearate and isopropyl myristate add slip and adhesion. Both sound chemically, but are safe. Magnesium stearate is a magnesium salt of stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid that’s found in things like cocoa butter and tallow. It gives great slip and adhesion to powdered cosmetics, making them feel creamy and lovely. Isopropyl myristate is made of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and myristic acid (a common and naturally occurring fatty acid). It functions as a binder and an emollient, helping weigh down the final powder so it’s harder to inhale, and gives the final powder a wonderful velvety feel. If you don’t have it, jojoba oil works pretty well, too.

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After all that, it’s time to colour the powder. The amount of iron oxides you’ll need will vary based on your skin tone, but you shouldn’t need too much of anything here as the powder is supposed to be translucent.

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Now, you’re probably used to seeing red, yellow, and brown in face powders—but green? Green is our magical anti-redness ingredient. It counters red in the complexion brilliantly. You won’t need much at all (as you can see my powder doesn’t look green in the slightest). I recommend adding the green the tiniest amount at a time, testing it on your skin between additions, so you end up adding the exact right amount of green to counter the redness of your complexion. And then write that amount down so you can do it again next time 🙂

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Red-be-Gone Airbrushing Powder

1 tbsp arrowroot starch (or cornstarch or wheat starch)
1 tbsp sericite mica
½ tsp silk peptides
½ tsp zeolite clay (or kaolin)
¼ tsp cucumber extract
1/8 tsp magnesium stearate

15 drops isopropyl myristate (or jojoba oil)

Red iron oxide, as needed
Yellow iron oxide, as needed
Brown iron oxide, as needed

Green iron oxide, as needed

For this project I’d really recommend working in a dust mask so you can avoid breathing fine powders, which is never a good idea. The final product is weighed down with the isopropyl myristate, but when you’re initially blending the dry powders they really pouf up when you take the lid off the coffee grinder, making them very easy to inhale. So—get a dust mask, and always leave the lid on the grinder for a few minutes after you’re done grinding.

Blend the starch, sericite mica, silk peptides, clay, cucumber extract, and magnesium stearate together in your DIY coffee grinder.

Drop in the isopropyl myristate and blend until you have a nice, velvety powder.

Start adding your oxides. If your complexion is somewhat similar to mine you’ll need mostly yellow, and just a bit of red and brown (the teeniest of specks, not even a nip). Work slowly, take notes, and test the powder on your skin between additions, checking in a mirror to make sure you’ve got a match. Remember—we want to match parts of your face or skin that aren’t really red, so don’t go adding tons of red to the powder, that defeats the point!

Once you’ve got a good match for your not-very-red skin, it’s time to start adding the teeny-tiniest amounts of green chromium oxide. Test the powder on red bits of your skin—preferably bits that border on not-too-red parts. You’ve got a match when the powder neutralizes red areas to not-so-red areas.

Transfer the powder to a sifter jar. To use, buff the powder into your skin with a kabuki brush. If you find the powder looks dry on your skin try applying argan oil beforehand, and/or follow up with a setting spray. Enjoy!

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