Unfortunately, Halloween makeup can contain lots of not so nice chemicals. As you may know, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal government agency responsible for overseeing cosmetics, does NOT conduct itself any pre-market testing, or require any pre-market testing, of cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients. In fact, as clearly stated on the FDA’s website, cosmetic manufacturers are free to use almost any ingredient they want in their cosmetics, except for 9 ingredients that the FDA has banned and certain color additives are regulated. Compare this to the European Union, which has banned well over 1,100 ingredients from cosmetics or limited them.
Then, on top of that, you have Halloween makeup, which is frequently done as inexpensively as possible by companies that don’t really care about bad reactions because the products aren’t on the market long enough. So you find not only hormone disrupting phthalates and carcinogenic compounds found in regular makeup but also often heavy metals such as lead and more.
So what’s a green mama to do to make her goblins, ghosts and witches eek-o-scary? Homemade, non toxic Halloween makeup of course!
EDIBLE GOOP (Wounds, Warts, and More)
My favorite homemade Halloween recipe is for “edible” goop. And while I describe this as edible you can eat it but it doesn’t taste all that great.
You can use edible goop to make scars, warts, wounds, etc.
To 1 oz. gelatin (not Jello, but plain, unflavored old-fashioned gelatin, usu. located right next to the Jello), add 2 tablespoons boiling water and stir, let sit for 3 minutes. As you stir, the gelatin will dissolve.
The picture shows the dissolved gelatin after sitting a bit.
Smart Mama Tip: The gelatin doesn’t smell all that great, so you can add 2 to 4 drops of an essential oil if your child doesn’t like the smell. Sweet orange essential oil is a good one to add. If you do add an essential oil, make sure it is suitable for skin contact.
Then pour mixture onto natural waxed paper or other surface. You need to shape the gelatin to make what you want – a wart, a scar, whatever. You need to work fairly quickly, particularly if you are going to mix in some color. The picture on the right is what the gelatin looks like when poured on natural waxed paper.
Add in what you need to create the effect that you want. If you want a wound, add some red coloring. If you want the wound to look old, consider adding some chocolate syrup. If you want a witch’s wart, add some green coloring and perhaps some hair (some bristles from a brush perhaps?). For a ghoulish effect, add cornstarch or flour. For a swamp thing, perhaps dill weed or tarragon. For dead skin, add oatmeal. Get creative! For the leech looking effect below, I added some instant coffee crystals and some brown coloring from water added to coffee crystals.
Let your creation cool and gently peel off the waxed paper.
Once dry, adhere using corn syrup – you just need to let the corn syrup dry.
You can scale up the batches as needed. These look best made the same day that you are going to wear them – they dry out and shrink a bit.
For cleanup of your bowl, just peel the gelatin out – it will all stick together. If some gets stuck, just use hot water to dissolve it a bit to get the dish clean.
HOMEMADE FACE PAINT
Homemade face paint is hard, I think. With pantry staples, I haven’t hit upon a successful recipe to give the same consistency as store bought face paint.
But, with homemade, you know what is in the stuff! No heavy metals, for one thing.
So, the usual recipe for “edible” face paint is 10 tsp cornstarch, 2 tsp white flour, 5 tsp vegetable shortening and 1/4 tsp vegetable glycerin. Mash together with a fork until the mixture balls up. Once this is mixed together, you can add a bit more glycerin as needed. This will make a white base. Separate into different white blobs and add the necessary color. I’ve made a tan (for a lion or cat) using some water collected from coffee crystals. This mixture is relatively “pasty” and will not give you clean lines, but it works. It is edible, although it isn’t very tasty.
Another option is to add basically equally parts lotion and cornstarch. For this recipe, I’ve used 1 tblsp Harley James baby lotion and 1 tblsp cornstarch. (I bought some of the Harley James to try but I still like my Earth Mama Angel Baby.) The trick to this one is to have a lotion that you like to start – one that gets a 0 or a 1 over at Skin Deep’s cosmetic safety database. The white made with lotion will still be a little translucent, but if you make colors, it will give you cleaner lines, particularly if you use a comsetic brush to paint. Again, I’ve made a tan using water from water added to a few coffee crystals.
Another recipe is 3 tblsp cornstarch, 1 tblsp flour, 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup corn syrup (light). The corn syrup makes this sweet, so it may be too attractive for little ones. To make this, add the cornstarch adn flour in a bowl. Stir in the corn syrup and water until smooth. Once it is mixed together, divide as needed and add colors.
For fake blood, use light corn syrup, a dash of castile liquid soap (to make clean easier), and red coloring. Easiest to use is red food color. If you want darker blood or more realistic blood, add a dash of blue or some chocolate syrup.
Use aloe vera gel (you can get at almost any natural food store), and mix in some fine glitter. This should be kept away from the eyes. Alternatively, if you have some mineral makeup that you trust, you can use it as well.