Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mineral Makeup Buying 101

Mineral Makeup Buying 101

Maybe you have never considered this, but buying makeup can be overwhelming! Especially online when you can’t touch, feel, or try the makeup. Consider this a helpful and buyers beware tips for the everyday online consumer.

There are many mineral makeup lines today and there are many “handmade” lines out there too. What does all this mean? How do you choose what’s best? Just because its mineral makeup does NOT, I repeat, does NOT mean its natural…. Natural is an extremely broad term, you can have a jar full of chemicals and bad ingredients and the manufacturer can literally sprinkle a few minerals in there and call it mineral makeup! SCARY stuff peoples! Since my main venue of selling is in the handmade market, my main concern is you buying a “handmade” line.

So here are some things to look for:

What are the ingredients? You want the most natural product you can find. It’s been said that women can ingest up to 5 pounds of chemicals per year through there makeup and face care alone! You have heard less is more right? I believe the same to be true in all things we consume. At Mixology Makeup our ingredient philosophy is just that! We use the basics and we use it to its full potential. Our line includes Titanium Dioxide & Zinc for adhesion and natural SPF, Iron Oxides and Mica for color, Sericite, Kayolin Clay, or Silica for slip and smoothing pores and fine lines and oil control, and Ultramarine blue to balance colors. That’s 8 ingredients if one product contained all of them and none of them are chemicals! In two of our specialized products I add French green clay and Allatoin and they are my only two products that have a shelf life of 2-5 years. Allantoin is used to help promote skin healing benefits for sunburns, minor scrapes, and cuts. It holds the ability to help heal the skin tissue as well as stimulate the growth of healthy tissue. It’s considered nontoxic and non-allergenic. Our French Green Clay has enormous absorbent powers due to the constitution of its micro molecules. It literally "drinks" oils, toxic substances, and impurities from your skin. Its toning action stimulates the skin by bringing fresh blood to damaged skin cells, revitalizing the complexion, and tightening pores. French Green Clay is marvelous for helping to clear problem skin. Use it daily on trouble spots, or weekly as part of a complete facial treatment. Mined from bedrock quarries in France, it is completely natural, unscented and fragrance free.

Ingredients to stay away from :

Bismuth Oxychloride - is found in most of the mainstream mineral cosmetic companies...a by-product of the lead and copper refining, rarely occurs in nature, a skin irritant, leaves an unnatural shiny finish, clogs pores and causes blemishes, in large amounts can cause cystic acne, many people are sensitive or allergic to this filler ingredient. It is used because the cost is SO cheap it is better for mass production.
Talc - a known carcinogen very drying and irritating to skin, accentuates lines, linked to uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and respiratory problems in infants.
Chemical Preservatives Parabens - man-made preservatives have been found in breast cancer tissue and increases the aging process (mineral make-up is inert and needs no preservatives) By adding you give the product a shelf life and the potential to grow bacteria.
Alkyl Hydroxdy Benzoate Preservatives and red dyes are both linked with cancer.
Corn Starch and Rice Powder - cheap fillers, not minerals, look for asbestos free, again used mostly to enable mass production at a low cost, but high price to the consumer.
Dyes or Lakes - coal tar derivatives, low-level exposure is linked to cancer (like the bright UV colors are a BIG NO-NO)
Dimethicone - a silicone oil.
Carmine – animal product, used to get the red in your bold pinks and reds etc, derived from crushing beetles shells, stay away if you are a vegan.


The handmade world is full of re-sellers. I have to say it’s my pet peeve because I work hard to bring a truly original and honest line to the public, which takes many, many hours while others claim the same thing but resale makeup for a cheap price, which in essence attempts to dupe the public in authenticity and originality. It’s upsetting to me to see this happening on handmade sites, go sell elsewhere please.

Some things to look at: please note this is my blog and my opinion only …
  • Pricing, if it is super cheap and not a sample… my guess is it is not handmade, but rather a re-seller. I am not saying prices should be astronomical, but reasonable, we have to pay listing fees, paypal fees, supplies, and we need to pay ourselves for making it – business 101: $4 won’t pay the bills!
  • Pictures, these are a huge clue to me! Stock photos are rampant and you may be buying a color that is NOT the actual color in the picture, but the photo sure looked pretty. Or you can have the reverse where you are looking at a stock photo and it truly is the color and it’s because it supplied or bought from the re-sellers suppliers… I am not saying you can’t have great photos you took yourself, I know I like mine, but they are my customers, my friends, and family and I work hard on my product photos, but you can still tell they are not perfect not airbrushed.
  • Names, I have seen multiple handmade lines that are not even changing the names of the product when they buy it from the supplier! Ones I see a lot of, the exact name or variation of names, Dragonfly/Chameleon, Antique Copper, Coral Reef, Patina, a new one I see a lot is Duochrome colors, or color shifting, etc… In fact a while ago I listed one of these to show it’s not unique to that shop/maker, anyone can get it. Now I don’t think it’s bad to offer some micas for customers who want to mix their shades to have more shine or shimmer, etc… but if the line is solely based on colors they don’t make… to me, it’s a problem. I hate to say it, but most of the bright, rainbow type colors that are trendy right now are not made buy the sellers nor are they all, all natural, vegan, or even safe for your skin in some cases. Do your own test, you could buy a set from any of the shops and they will be the same with just a different label. Compare the photos. A lot of the shades you see over and over are just mica pigments or they can be called pure pigments etc, but here is the thing with mica; is mainly translucent and has no staying power on its own. So you are buying a pigment that will rub, sweat, or fall off! They are made to be mixed into fillers and ingredients that give them the staying power they need.
  • Ask questions, it’s not a bad thing! I answer questions all the time and I love it! Do they only sell one product ie: eye shadows? How long have they been business making makeup? Review history of their line? Do they mix using a base they don’t make? Bottom Line; Find out who you are buying from.
I only say all this cause I have seen it all! I have literally had a customer buy my makeup, decide they love it and will never buy from anyone else again. Then a month later they have changed their own shop and added an entire makeup line including even items I don’t make yet and say it’s handmade by them. While I am enthused about her heightened interest in mineral makeup, I am concerned about her claim. It is highly unlikely, at best, to be able to learn to create a line of mineral makeup, design labels and packaging, and get professional photos taken in a single month’s time. I know it took me at least 2-3 to get everything ready to launch, I feel the need to protect my art and my customers and that’s why I am being so bold in sharing all this… I have worked hard for the recognition and awards my line has received and I work hard to continually give back to those who need it. I have invested my life into providing my customers with a unique shop, names, collections, and photos. I hope this helps you – the consumer – out a bit and I hope you continue to buy handmade!

If you have read this and want more about all our Mixology Moxie, sign up for our newsletter at Also for a limited time if you go to my Etsy shop and make a purchase enter “Makeup 101” in the buyers notes and get 10% off your order! We will refund your PayPal account.

Keeping you Pretty & Healthy,


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Makeup Tips & Tricks

In an effort to keep going green you can now view our Makeup Tips & Ticks info here!

Less is always more in mineral makeup; you need very little on the brushes…

Loose Mineral Foundation
Tap a small amount of loose mineral foundation powder into the top of your jar, and swirl/dab your flat-top foundation brush or powder buffer brush into it. Tap the bottom of the handle with the brush head facing upward on a hard surface (ie: bathroom counter). This settles the powder into the brush head. Firmly spread powder on clean, dry skin in a circular motion to evenly blend pigments. For the most natural look, start with less powder, and buff it in well, using a circular motion. Then go back for a second coat if needed.

Mix Tip: I like to use a paper pallet for doing my makeup. I know it sounds all fancy, but honestly I keep a tissue box in my bathroom and each day pull one out and put it on the counter to buff out the powder in place of the lid, it makes things less messy and easy to clean up quickly! I know, I know, I am a genius and soon all the other makeup companies will be telling you to do this too! :)

For blemishes, age spots, scaring a separate concealer most of the time, is not needed. Use a shadow brush, finger, or the edge of the flat-top brush to apply small amounts to the problem areas and blend well after you have applied your foundation. For those with dry, flaky skin, Mixology loose mineral foundation can be blended with your favorite moisturizer to create a cream foundation. First, moisturize as usual, and then tap a small amount of powder into the palm of the hand. Add a drop of moisturizer. Blend the two products together until a smooth, creamy consistency is achieved. Use your fingers or make-up wedge to apply.

Mineral Veil / Setting Powder
Veil is just a fancy word for Setting/Finishing Powder. Its job is to finish or “set” the look. It will tone down shine and polish off your face. All are translucent, but with different functions. Go Commando is all white and is made for people who need a lot of oil control or people who would like a primer for before foundation. Get Veiled is for most people who need just a little shine control. Afterglow is for people who want the candlelight glow or a fresh dew look. I recommend applying all with our Powder Buffer Brush or a fluffy brush and again just lightly over your face. You can wear it over or under your foundation, play with to see which you prefer. Nighttime Veil use for spot treatment, all-over, or mix a little with water to make a mask and leave on for 5-10 minutes, it gets flaky...

We have 3 cheek products – blushes, illuminizers, and bronzers. They warm up to your skin as you apply, try applying like your foundation in small circular motions with our Babuki brush. For best cheek results try using one of our bronzers first, then use one of our blushes for a POP of color on the apples of your cheeks and then slightly blend it back into the bronzer. This gives you a natural or healthy glow look. Use the illuminators to highlight your face, cheeks, and chin. Or I love to use Radiate for just a faint hint of pink on my cheeks and nothing else sometimes. Also some of our cheek colors and eye shadows make great lip colors if used with lip balm or gloss!

Eye Liner

Wet Liner: For best results do wet liner. I use the lid or hand to mix the liner, use a small fine eye liner brush (like the one we carry) and dip it in some water, put a little bit of powder in the cap or I prefer on my hand and make a little paste. You don't want it too runny or too thick. Then swirl your brush in it and drag to a fine point. Then sweep the liner across your lash line as close as possible. Let it dry and you are set for the day!

Dry Liner: Use our angled brush the small angled side, put a little powder on it and blend into your eye line. Great for a smokey look! This same brush works for doing your eye brows too.

Eye Shadow
Mineral shadows that have a bit of sheen can help deflect light thereby creating a youthful appearance, but not a frosted, overdone look. Apply a medium coat to start, but don’t be afraid to layer to darken it. Use the lightest shade under your brow, a darker one close to your lashes and the darkest on the crease and blend them towards your brow bone and out. You can also use an accent shade (usually a dark tone) and create a > in the outer corner of your eye and blend it a little in towards the center and out towards the brow. This is just something that can give you a more dramatic look or change up your routine! For spring and summer you can also play with using a brighter tone in your crease i.e.; Flicker all over the lid and try using Embark in the crease and blending just to brighten your eyes up or just a bright eye liner like Rock Show!

Wet Shadow (Foiling)
Same consistency as doing wet liner, just use a shadow brush (see our wet/dry brush). Sweep on lid or all over let it dry, it will intensify the color and sometimes give a bit of a metallic look. Many of Mixology shadows also make beautiful eyeliners!

Mix Tip: Minerals are multi-purpose powders so your favorite blush might be one of our eye shadows like Punk Shoes or your perfect lip color may be a blush like POP. You can be creative with them! Paint with them or create your own custom color or nail polish!

Have fun & Mix it Up!

Join our Beauti-licious Club! It’s our eye shadow of the month club!
3 subscription choices to fit any budget – It’s better than Jam!