Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mineral make-up ingredients: Micronaspheres or Ronaflair M-Sphere

I'm not sure exactly why I'm posting pictures of various fillers in these posts. They're white powders - for the most part - and you can't tell much about them from the pictures. But I guess I just don't want the posts to seem boring...

Micronaspheres - or Ronaflair M-Sphere as it seems to be called these days and might be what they call Pashmica but more likely Silica Microspheres at TKB Trading - has an INCI of mica, silicone dioxide, so it's a mica that is coated with silicone dioxide to make it feel smoother, more lubricious, and generally silky on your skin. It acts like a bunch of little ball bearings, rolling over your skin to make it feel soft upon application and on your skin.

It is a great oil absorber, which means it will keep your colour true thoughout the day.

It is an incredibly fluffy product - a 57 gram (2 ounces) container is about 8 ounces in volume - and reminds me of Natrasorb Bath in that it's so fluffy, it will get everywhere if you don't cap it properly when storing it! The particle size is less than 15 microns, averaging 3 to 10 microns.

Micronaspheres are used at about 10 to 25% in a powder application, but you could use at 100% of your base, if you wished. It is not oil soluble (so if you want to make an emulsified foundation, you'll have to use Ronaspheres...more about which in the next week or so...)

Why use Micronaspheres? Unlike sericite mica, it tends to work with all skin types because it is a good oil absorber and will keep your colours from morphing during the day. (Sericite mica is a good oil absorber and keeps colours from morphing, but you'll want to pick the right one for your skin type.) It does feel really lovely on your skin, and it is almost completely invisible when applied. It's a lot easier to mix into a base than any of the other fillers (see below). And you can use it on its own as a filler, just including colour.

Cost wise, it's comparable to treated sericite, about $5.00 per ounce.

DO NOT use Micronaspheres in a grinder of any sort. Because they are meant to be a rounded, crushing or grinding them will destroy the shape and lose the wonderful silky feeling. Add them at the end of your blending in a bag process and mix lightly. They will blend with the other ingredients very well without a lot of effort.

Usage rate: 0 to 100% in powdered applications. Not suitable for emulsified or anhydrous products.

Whiteness or opacity: To make a colour lighter, to cover up imperfections.
No whiteness here and it is very transparent.

Translucency: The base itself is almost invisible once applied.
Very translucent, almost invisible. (Try this on your hand to see - or not see - the results!)

Skin protection
Doesn't offer any significant skin protection.

Slip: The product feels nice going on and staying on.
Feels really silky and smooth upon application and on your skin.

Adhesion: The product remains on your skin.
Good adhesion. Add a great adhesion ingredient - titanium dioxide, zinc oxide - to increase the adhesion.

Absorbency: Your colour will remain true throughout the day and not morph into something due to environmental stresses or skin oils.
Fantastic! Great for keeping colours from changing throughout the day.

Light scattering properties: To give your skin a dewy glow.
It will offer some shine, but not a ton. Good for low to medium coverage foundations on its own.

EYE SHADOW WITH MICRONASPHERE BASE - very sparkly, very sheer
1/2 tsp Micronaspheres
1/2 tsp to 5/8 tsp mica of choice
(I used shamrock green mica from Brambleberry and white mica for this one. You can see it's quite vibrant!)

Why would you use this base instead of one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide? Micronaspheres do have very good staying power and the colour will stay true throughout the day. They will not change the colour of your micas, so they work well if you want to make a sparkly, mica based eye shadow as a highlighter or if you want to use the colour shifting type micas and want to keep the colour close to the colour of the mica.

A caution: Although this feels really lovely going on, it isn't not as tenacious as the base with sericite mica. But it is wonderful for really sparkly, shiny colours!

90% Micronaspheres
10% sericite mica (treated or untreated, your choice)

You can add your favourite things to this - 3% silk, 3% allantoin, 3% calcium carbonate - and so on to create a sheer finishing powder.

To use this base as a light coverage foundation:
Try adding some colours to this to make a very sheer, very light foundation. Because this should impart no whiteness at all, you'll want to start with 2% colour - if you're using iron oxides, and you should for a foundation because the sericite mica will impart its own sheen - and work up to 20% for women with darker skin.

Using untreated mica, this will be a light coverage base for normal skin.
Using treated sericite mica with dimethicone, this will be a light coverage base for oily or darker skin.
Using treated sericite mica with magnesium myristate, this will be a light coverage base for dry skin.

To use this base as a bronzer:
Using about 3/4 tsp of the base, add up to 3/4 tsp iron oxides and micas (brown toned) to create a very light coverage bronzer.

To use this base as a sparkle dust:
Or you could add some mica and create a sparkling dust to shimmer all over your body. I like to start at 10% mica - peach or silver is just gorgeous here - but you can go as high as 50% if you like your sparkle dust sparkly! (My best friend is a belly dancer, so she likes it to be super sparkly to shine under the lights!)

Join me tomorrow to meet the oil absorbers - calcium carbonate and modified starches - just in time to make an opaque foundation base on Thursday.


ReKcaHx said...

Swifty based on some of the things I have found recently I would like to say that I had nothing to do with that and would never have said anything like that about you and the great work you have been doing.
That is all I am going to say here.

Thanks for all that you do!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I'm Swift, not Swifty, on the Dish. I'm afraid I don't know to what your post refers, and I have no way of contacting you as there's no link to your profile. If there's something you want to discuss, please contact me directly at my e-mail (on the front page of the blog). But I think you have the wrong person...

Mich said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for the great info!

I believe that the difference between TKB's Silica Microspheres and their Pashmica is that the Pashmica is a blend of the spheres and mica whereas the Silica Microspheres is just the spheres. I use Pashmica in applications where I want more slip than plain serecite provides...it is quite silky!

Note to anyone with really dry skin and "fine lines": I find that if I go over ~5% on the Microspheres in a foundation/face powder, it makes my skin even drier (because it soaks up the oil) and actually accentuates those fine lines. Not the look I'm going for! (Luckily, Pashmica doesn't seem to amplify the lines.)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks for the information, Mich! I tend to formulate for oily or normal skin, so I'm more accustomed to the theoretical for dry skin. It's great you've got the experience and can share it!

Jing Yi Kenny Tan said...

i cant find information on micronaspheres online. is it the same as microspheres?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I don't know. Check the INCI name of the ingredient you've found with the INCI name listed above as see what you have!

Anonymous said...

I loooove using Micronasphere M. Unfortunately my supplier has discontinued it. Do you have any recommendations for suppliers?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Malene! No, sorry, I don't. It's a source of frustration for me, too.

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

so... why not use in an emulsion? what could happen there - could it absorb the oils , does it clump, what is the problem ? :(

aap0calyptic said...

Hi Susan!

I am a little lost on some of the contents of this page differing the products. But I was wondering if specifically "silicon dioxide" can or can not be used in a grinder or is it one that must be worked in after the grinding?

Trying to formulate a new setting powder using products that are new to me so I want to make sure that I do not mess up how to use them!

I also plan on adding silk powder. Is it okay to use in a grinder?

Lastly, I have found very little in regards to carnauba treated serecite on your blog as well as elsewhere on the web (only seen what you mentioned on the serecite mica page). So I was curious if you knew the usage rates and if they were up to 100% in a powdered product as well?

I think my setting powder will be formulated with these ingredients but still must determine my percentages:
Carnauba serecite
Silica microshperes (silicon dioxide)
silk powder
magnesium stearate

Thank you so much,

Venus Lim said...

Hi Susan,

May I know why it is not suitable to be used in emulsion and anhydrous system? any reason behind?

Thank you.