I will be honest: there is nothing I hate more than standing in a pharmacy comparing lotions and makeup. With all the advertising and glitter, it’s easy to get suckered into paying upwards of $15 for a tube of BB cream that will somehow make you look like Kate Hudson.

After living the life of a hilariously broke college student, I decided it was time to break up with CVS and explore the world of DIY cosmetics. I’ve always been a fan of natural beauty products, and after conducting some research on making my own, I discovered many items labeled as “natural” are actually NOT NATURAL, and, frankly, they’re pretty bad for you.

Skin is essentially a giant porous sponge that absorbs all the products we put on it. Approximately 60 percent of the products we use on our skin are absorbed and deposited straight into the circulatory system — yikes! This is a big deal when you consider the fact that commercial cosmetics can contain heavy metals, toxic dyes, and surfactants, all of which build up in the body when used over time. Some chemicals used in commercial cosmetics have even been linked to cancer.

All the more reason to ditch the drug store compacts and embrace your inner beauty, right?

But if you’re not ready to go completely naked (sans makeup, I mean), then look no further than your own kitchen cabinet for easy, truly 100 percent natural beauty products. If you have these ingredients on hand, you’ll never have to waste money on expensive treatments that are packed with chemicals.

1. Aloe Face Masks

Aloe doesn’t just need to be saved for use on sunburned summer skin!  It also has the power to moisturize your dry winter skin and can be mixed with other natural ingredients such as sugar or oatmeal for a refreshing and moisture-packed face mask/scrub.

If you choose to use aloe, be sure to buy the plant itself or use only pure aloe for the most natural option possible.

2. Cinnamon Treatments

Cinnamon is a pretty dynamic spice. It contains calcium, fiber, manganese, essential oils, and like honey, is anti-bacterial.

To treat acne, you can combine cinnamon and honey to make a spot treatment for pimples.

You can mix cinnamon with coconut oil or vaseline to make your own lip plumper.

3. Coconut Oil Conditioner

If you have thin, dry hair like I do, the winter can be brutal. Dry air and cold temperatures suck all of the life out of my hair and extra conditioner seems to make matters worse. So, to help hydrate my locks naturally, I pre-condition with coconut oil.

All you need is one jar of coconut oil and you’re set for the winter. Simply melt two or three tablespoons (more depending on hair length and thickness) and apply directly to the length and ends of your hair. Let the coconut oil set for at least an hour before you shampoo your hair. I usually leave the coconut oil in overnight and wash it out in the morning.

I recommend coconut oil because I like the smell, but you can also use olive or almond oil in lieu of your regular conditioner.

4. Make Your Own Foundation & Bronzer

This recipe is going to be different for everyone and can be played with to create the perfect tone for your skin. Arrowroot powder can be found in grocery stores and is great for absorbing excess oil to create a more matte effect. The other spices act as colorants to subtly tint your foundation to match your unique tone.

What You Need:

  • Base: Arrowroot powder

Then, add:

  • Cocoa powder (adds brown/tan tone)
  • Finely ground cinnamon (adds reddish/brown tone)
  • Turmeric powder (adds yellow tone)


Combine all ingredients in a small container you can close to minimize spillage.To use as foundation, use more arrowroot powder as a base then add colorants to match your skin tone. For bronzer, use less arrowroot and more cocoa powder and cinnamon. You can add other spices like beet powder or macha to add slight red and green tones to help even out troubled skin.

I recommend using a wide blush brush to apply. For the first application, blend powder into the brush (more than you would normally use), and then gently knock out extra powder to get better base coverage.

5.  Beet Lipstick

Beets have the most amazing natural color than can be used to make natural cosmetics. If you happen to have beet powder hanging around your cabinets, you can use it as blush or mix with arrowroot powder to make pink eyeshadow.

But if you don’t, you can use beet juice mixed with coconut oil or vaseline to make all natural lip color. I recommend using a fresh, organic beet to do this, but, in a pinch, you can take the juice from a can of beets. If you’re using a fresh beet, chop it into cubes and heat in a sauce pan for about 20 minutes. Then drain the juice from the pan, let cool, and mix with vaseline or coconut oil. You can adjust the beet/base ratio to achieve lighter or darker colors.

If you’re not into making your own cosmetics, check out these links for eco-friendly cosmetics you can buy:

See how easy it is to go truly natural with your beauty routine? You’ll save money — and, better yet, your health!

Image source: I Stock Photo / Creative Commons