What Is Makeup Made Out Of?

There are more makeup options available today than ever before, and finding the right makeup to fit your aesthetic and your skin tone can be challenging enough. When it comes to looking for specific ingredients or finding makeup that fits your vegan or clean lifestyle, the process can be overwhelming. 

Don’t worry. Here at Journ, we’re dedicated to making healthy, long-lasting, and creative makeup and skincare products available to everyone, no matter what your needs or styles might be. We also want to ensure you have the information, guides, and resources you need to pick out the best makeup for your skin and your vibe. Here’s a quick look at the ingredients often found in makeup products and what you’ll find in the products available here on our website. 

What Is Mainstream Makeup Made Of?

Makeup has been around for thousands of years, and over time it has incorporated many, many different ingredients

Some are innovative, like the use of black kohl in Ancient Egypt to reduce glare from the hot sun. Others are fun and festive, like shaped beauty patches popular among the aristocracy in the 17th and 18th centuries (which also doubled as coverage for smallpox spots). 

And, of course, there’s no forgetting the many poisons used throughout history in the name of beauty, like belladonna drops for bigger eyes, arsenic for pale skin, and mascara made of coal tar. Women even used leeches to drain their skin and make it appeal paler and more attractive. 

With this long and exciting history of makeup practices, we have to wonder about the materials and ingredients that go into making the products we use today. 

Here are some of the common ingredients you’ll find in makeup kit staples on the shelf. 


The main ingredient in lipstick is wax, which is what gives lipstick its distinct shape. The wax is combined with oils, anything from cocoa butter to petroleum, to get the smooth, moist texture of lipstick. The amount of oil in your lipstick will affect its viscosity, spreadability, and color. 

There are many different ways to color lipstick, so it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients before you buy. Lipstick pigments are most often made from titanium dioxide, mica powder, and iron oxide, which are cut in specific ways in order to reflect light differently. These minerals give you the deep color that you’re looking for. 

When you choose a red lipstick, you should be on the lookout for ingredients like carmine, though. Carmine is actually made from the dried skeletons of a certain kind of bug, so it isn’t vegan. 

The last ingredient to watch out for that might be coloring your lipstick is FD&C dyes. These are artificial dyes that create pigments that can’t necessarily be created by products found in nature. They have to be approved by the FDA, but many choose to avoid them anyway. 


There are a few different types of foundation, and the ingredients will vary depending on whether you use a water-based foundation, silicone foundation, or powder foundation. In powder foundation, you’ll find a powder base with binding agents and pigments. They often have soothing ingredients known as emollients and may contain wax, as well. The emollients may include petrolatum, cocoa butter, and jojoba or castor oil. 

Both silicone and water-based foundations are a combination of water and other ingredients. Water-based foundations utilize oils or alcohols, and silicone-based foundations use silicone, but there are a couple of different kinds. You may also find other minerals, oils, or alcohols in silicone-based foundation. 

Foundation pigments are usually a combination of a few of these ingredients, each of which has a slightly different shade: titanium dioxide, mica, and iron oxide. The titanium dioxide is useful for lighter shades, while iron oxide is most useful for deeper tones. They can be combined to create a nearly endless selection of shade ranges. 


Mascara is typically made up of a polymer that is mixed with a pigment in black, blue, brown, or your other favorite shades. Waxes and oils are often added to mascara to change the texture and viscosity so that it goes on smoothly and remains in place all day long. 

If you’re using waterproof mascara, it will likely contain beeswax or carnauba wax and some form of petroleum to help repel the water since they’re made up of hydrophobic molecules. Iron oxide is also often included to make the pigment as dark as possible. 

Blush and Eyeshadow

Eyeshadows and blushes tend to have very similar compositions, and they usually include a combination of base fillers, binders, slip, and preservatives. The base filler is commonly mica or a form of clay, and occasionally talc, although this ingredient is controversial. If mica is used, it can add quite a bit of shine to your eyeshadow. 

The binders are what give your eyeshadow or blush its staying power. If you’re using powder eyeshadow, you might come across zinc or magnesium eyeshadow. A cream-based product might use silicone or wax. 

Slip is usually silica or nylon powder, and it allows you to smoothly glide shadow across your skin. Preservatives vary widely depending on where you buy your eyeshadow or blush, but a common inclusion is glycol. 

What Are Journ Products Made Of?

Here at Journ, we’re dedicated to providing clean, accessible, and transparent products to everyone on the search for long-term skincare solutions. We believe that everyone should have access to products they love and trust. That’s why our products are vegan and why they’re made with ingredients you can find in your own backyard. 

Here are some of the common ingredients you’ll find in our makeup products

White Lily

White Lily is an ingredient found in our Kauai product, used for managing the effects of hyperpigmentation and acne scars. White Lily help reduce the appearance of dark circles or discoloration. If your skin is red or puffy, White Lily is a great ingredient

Sweet Almond

Sweet Almond is one of the ingredients in our Marrakech product, which is also used for reducing the appearance of spots and discoloration. Marrakech is better for medium and deeper skin tones, while Kauai is more effective on medium to light skin tones. 

Sweet almond is rich in fatty acids and helpful vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E. This is helpful for keeping the skin moisturized and providing relief from dryness and irritation.  

Carrot Seed

Carrots aren’t just delicious for eating. Carrot seed also has many properties that can benefit the skin, which is why it’s also in our Marrakech product. You’ll want to turn to Carrot seed to reduce the appearance of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. 


One of the other ingredients you’ll find in Marrakech is Rose, and there are many reasons for it. 

Most importantly, rose is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, like Vitamin A, C, and E. These vitamins can help to smooth out the skin by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, redness, and tension. It also helps to hydrate the skin and may even be used to reduce the pH balance of the skin’s microbiome. 


Grapefruit is another ingredient rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which is why you’ll find it in our Alpenglow corrector used for evening out skin tone and boosting the glow of skin. Grapefruit has rejuvenating properties, and it can help to reduce redness. 


Blueberries are they a delicious treat for hot summer days and are incredibly high in antioxidants. They can help to prevent aging, improve your skin’s circulation, and even aid in the healing of wounds from acne scars. Individuals who have existing skin conditions can benefit from skin care products with blueberries, like Alpenglow. 


Lily isn’t the only beneficial flower for clean skincare. Daisies, like the kind in our Alpenglow product, can be used to tighten the skin and fight signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. It will also help to make your skin glow bright and fresh, like a day spent in a flowery meadow.

Shea Butter

Shea Butter is one of the classic ingredients for soothing the skin. Not only does it help to moisturize, but it captures the moisture so that your skin can retain a smooth, healthy texture. You’ll find it in our ALSO lotion, and it’s sure to soothe every time. 


Hibiscus is more than just a delicious flavor of tea or a beautiful flower. The Hibiscus in our ALSO lotion works to help moisturize your hands and keep them feeling smooth.


Jojoba is another ingredient found in our ALSO lotion, and it helps to hydrate and moisturize. It’s especially helpful for managing the effect of sunburned skin or skin that is chapped or damaged. Jojoba oil is soothing and not greasy, and it can even protect the skin from germs. 

The Ingredients in Your Makeup Matter

When we know the ingredients that go into our makeup and skincare products, it is easier to decide on the best options for our needs and what to pick to protect our skin. That’s why our team here at Journ is dedicated to transparency and providing you with products that always soothe and smooth with ease. 

You’ll find a wide range of clean ingredients in our makeup products, from fruits like Blueberries and Grapefruit to flowers like White Lily and Hibiscus. 

Whether you’ve been using clean skincare products for years or you’re just beginning the search for makeup products you can trust, we’re here to help every step of the way. Explore your options here at Journ and begin creating a makeup and skincare routine of your own. 


Makeup | Smithsonian

Vitamin A | National Institutes of Health

Antioxidants: In Depth | National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health