Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DIY: Mineral Highlighter


This is a tutorial on how to make your own highlighter. It's the second of my DIY tutorial posts.

First you'll need some supplies. I purchased most of mine from TKB Trading or How to Make Cosmetics (they're both the same website). I like them because everything is fairly priced, they always have a small 'freebie' pack you can include in your order and you can purchase sample sizes of everything to try (which is often more than enough for a couple individual projects). (To add the freebie set, type free into the search bar and add the product to your cart).

What you'll absolutely need:
Recommended things:
Why these ingredients? Let me break it down.

Travel to Neptune or any highlight and shift is to provide the actual highlight and colouration to your finished product. Travel to Neptune is a blue to green shift which is the ethereal look I'm going for, but choose one that makes you happy. You can also use one of their Hi-Lite pigments which only flash one shade for example gold, or purple. The Hi-lite pigments are cheaper and work, but I love the look of the travel to pigments for more unique colours. This ingredient is going to be the majority of our highlighter so that you get excellent pigmentation.

For the base (or the parts that make the highlighter stick to your skin and last for a while)...

Boron Nitride is a white powder. It improves the 'slip' or creaminess of a product making it apply better (less patchy). Boron Nitride also helps with the adhesion- basically it increases the lasting power of the highlighter on your skin- so you get hours of wear instead of minutes.

Silica Microspheres are a translucent powder that does many things for the formula. They are slightly oil absorbent so they're great for my oily skin. They also increase the 'slip' of a powder. Silica spheres are light reflectors, and so will reduce the look of pores and wrinkles slightly too.

Magnesium Myristate is another soft translucent white powder. This product improves adhesion, slip, pressability (meaning if you are going to press this into a pan later it will work better), as well as helping to make the ingredients meld together better. Basically it helps the ingredients become one final product instead of just mixed together powders.

Kaolin Clay is white again, and another great oil absorber and thus a great choice if you have oily skin. It also helps with adhesion to the skin.

Allantoin is a skin protectant. It soothes the skin and you only need the smallest amount to make a difference. 

Now for the recipe, I broke this down into 20 scoops total with my tiny 0.1 gram scoop. This creates enough to fill a 36 mm pan about half-way when pressed. I don't recommend using a grinder on anything other than the Magnesium Myristate, Kaolin Clay or Allantoin as the others can be damaged if you grind them and won't feel right or possibly perform incorrectly.

Travel to Neptune pigment: 50% or 10 scoops
Boron Nitride: 20% or 4 scoops
Silica Microspheres: 20% or 4 scoops
Magnesium Myristate: 5% or 1 scoop
Kaolin Clay: ~ 4% or 3/4 scoop
Allantoin: ~1% or 1/4 scoop


1. Take your sieve and place it over your bowl. Place on your dust mask to avoid breathing in the powders. Measure out each amount of ingredient and empty through the sieve into the bowl. The sieve will make sure there are no clumps and make it easier to get an even mix.

2. Mix all the ingredients together with your small scoop.

3. Move the mixed ingredients into a small ziplock baggie. Squeeze, shake and move the baggie so that the ingredients are throughly and completely mixed. You can also use a clear small jar to do this if you want to keep the highlighter loose.

4. Optionally you can press the highlighter with just oil (i.e. jojoba oil) into a pan. I've not tried it with alcohol so I can't recommend that method. (See my tutorial on how to press powders: here)

5. Try it out! It should be smooth and pigmented. :) I have oily skin and I got hours worth of wear out of it. It was fairly easy to build up in pigmentation too.

The nice thing about making your own highlighter is you can specify exactly what you want it to look like and it's cheaper. You'll make a ton of product just with what is available in the sample bags purchased. For example the powders used in the recipe from TKB cost a total of $10.25 USD for the six sample size packages of the powders. If you use all of your travel to neptune pigment to create highlighter you can create a total of 5 grams of highlighter. If you use a Hi-Lite powder from TKB trading instead of one of the more expensive travel to pigments you can create a total of 12 grams of highlighter for $10.25 USD. A similar highlighter from NYX is $8 USD for 6 grams or the Make Up Geek one for $20 USD for 7 grams.

Well that's it! Let me know if this works for you if you decide to do it, I'd love to know how my recipe works for people other than myself. Also feel free to ask any questions. If you share the recipe please link and credit back to me- I worked hard to come up with the right percentages and ingredients. Until next time.

Disclaimer: I purchased all these products myself. At this time I'm not affiliated with any of the companies shown or mentioned.
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