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,