DIY Makeup: Pearl Primer

Controlling pores & oiliness is typically my biggest cosmetic challenge so I use a homemade clean, PUFA-free, color-correcting pore primer!

It’s made with pearl powder tinted blue with butterfly pea tincture, then combined with tallow and beeswax. It blurs & smooths my pores better and longer than any product I’ve tried, with no breakthrough oiliness later, and the blue tint cancels out redness beautifully. It’s perfect for when I want to improve my complexion without wearing base makeup but it does not actually provide any coverage.

I can really only vouch for my own fair-to-medium olive complexion (Fitzpatrick Type 3). Pearl powder is white on its own but very translucent – it doesn’t leave a white cast like mineral sunscreen can. And it’s NOT actually pearlescent at all, it’s matte. I’ve also tested it on Type 5 complexion and it had an initial brightening effect that settled into a perfect match after a few minutes.

Here’s how I made it – you can skip the tincturing process if you just want a colorless primer and then it’s SUPER fast and easy to make:

Pore-Blurring Pearl Primer Recipe


  • Steep butterfly pea flowers in vodka or similar clear alcohol for 4 weeks. Strain.
  • Mix tincture with pearl powder till you have a blue paste. Let it dry overnight and then crush it into powder. I used a mortar and pestle and then sifted it through a fine strainer. You could also use a food processor.


  • Start by melting together equal parts (visually) of pearl powder, tallow, and beeswax. You could also use cacao or shea butter instead of tallow if you prefer a vegetarian recipe, but pick a non-comedogenic fat that is solid at room temperature. I do not recommend coconut oil for use on the face because it tends to clog pores.
  • If you go for an oil instead of a solid fat base then you’ll want to increase the amount of beeswax so the final product is firm at room temperature.
  • Keep testing the consistency on your own skin till you get the right ratio. It should blur the pores, smooth the skin, mattify, and moisturize without looking or feeling oily at all, just comfortable.

I also like to use a very light dusting of the pearl powder to “set” the primer, as well as any base makeup. I find it totally non-comedogenic but always patch-test products before committing to making a big batch or using them all over your face.

I use it at night as part of my skincare routine too and I love that I wake up with fresh looking but still deeply moisturized skin rather than looking like a glazed donut!

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