Make-up: Duplicating a Color

The expression 'never say never' comes to mind. Unintentionally, I have kind of started doing make-up for others. It was this fabulous review of a sample of my blush that presented me with the first challenge: duplicating a color.

Note-taking monster that I am, I figured I had fighting chance of matching the color by checking old notes. However, my notes revealed that the original blush color was based on a color base from an even earlier session. The older notes weren't detailed enough to be of any use.


This is one of the reasons I don't do color make-up for others. Luckily, I had saved a sample of the desired color powder mixture.

Save The Faves

The ideal way to duplicate a make-up color is to match it before it is added to the product (In this case, a cream blush). As soon as color is added to a cream, pencil base, etc,  it will take on a different hue and be even more difficult to match. Therefore, always save a sample of your fave color mixtures so you have something to compare to when your friends and family members start voicing requests.

Trial and Error

Even if you are super diligent about taking notes, trial and error is the only way to match a color when doing smaller portions. The small container in this picture contains the original color. The larger container is the new batch. The amount will tend to 'grow' as you adjust and fine-tune the color. This may not be very visible in this photo, but the new color is a bit too 'cold' (too much blue).

Here is the second check. As you can see, the container is even fuller now, and the color still needs adjustment. Now it's a tad too light.

The third check and the color is now spot on (although the shadow in the photo makes this a bit hard to see, but then, some time has passed since I started). All of the color adjustment has resulted in a healthy portion (the container is filled to the brim and the extra is visible in the mixing bowl on the left).

Transferring the Mixture

The color is worked into a dollop of cream (I used my own Herbal Repair Toning Eye Solution as the base), transferred to a plastic bag and worked down to a corner.

The tip is snipped off and the product is transferred to the container.

Voilá - The Old and The New

Here is the final product next to the original blush sample. (The shadow on the original sample makes it look a bit darker in this pic). Both in the container and on the skin, it's a perfect match.

I am quite surprised at how this color is equally flattering on all 3 of the distinctly different skin teints that have tried it.

PS. This color mixture consists entirely of pearlized colors, so it was just a question of sifting colors together. (If working with matt colors, it is necessary to use a powder grinder). The matching process came down to adding a bit of this and that, thoroughly sifting the mixture, checking and just repeating the entire process until the color looked right. The color matching process took me about half an hour and resulted in enough color for several more blush batches.

Have you ever duplicated a color? Any tips to share?


Rikke said…
Tak for spændende og informativ læsning. Flot resultat!

kh Rikke
LisaLise said…
Ih tak Rikke,
Man er altid i tvivl om det lader sig gøre at matche en farve, men denne gang lykkedes det. :)
Agnes said…
Hi Lisa,

I was wondering if you could help me to get the colors right on myy project. I am working on getting ash brown color for eye brows with oxides, sericite mica and titanium dioxide (a little boron nitride for adhesion) I've tried using red, brown oxides along with black, yellow, titanium dioxide and ultramarine blue, but I keep getting dark greenish shade. Would appreciate a little help if you could. Thank you. ..:-)
LisaLise said…
Hey there Agnes - to get a brown shade, start by thinking skin tones. All skin tones (even an ash brown) can be made with very few colors. Try this post
and this post for tips on how to create a skin tone palette.

Agnes said…
Hi Lisa, ok, thanks. Let me try. :-)
niecie2k said…
yes, I have all but given up making my own mineral powder/foundation. I either end up looking like a flash light or an overly tanned unnatural person.
I can't tell you how many times I've tried. As a matter of fact, I recently got sent home from work because I was told I "looked sick". I didn't tell anyone it was my makeup LOL, but yes; seriously, I have wasted so much product and just cannot get a shade that looks natural on me.
LisaLise said…
Hi Niecie2K - Oh I do feel for you-- it's not fun being 'outside the normal color scale' and I definitely speak form experience. Hope you manage to find a good solution!