Monday, March 7, 2011
A few thoughts on mineral make-up
Fillers: Fillers aren't a bad thing - they're necessary. Fillers are what give the pigments adhesion, water proofing, shine, skin protecting qualities, and so on. Without fillers, you've just got some mica that will rub off your eyes in a matter of a few hours, if you're lucky. Adding ingredients like allantoin, silk powder, calcium carbonate, and others help to protect our skin, soothe problems (not a claim!), reduce sebum production, reduce the look of fine lines, offer some shine, and more.
I wish we had another word for the things we include to help our skin - it's a lot like jewellery making's "findings" or sewing's "notions" as a catch all phrase for everything that isn't the main attraction - but we don't. So if you're buying a product that contains "no fillers", ask your vendor what they mean because odds are you're buying pure pigment instead of a well created product.
Liquid mineral make-up products tend to be creams or emulsions, and it is possible for them to contain organic ingredients as well. You can have a product that is mostly organic, like a creamy foundation, primer, or cream eye shadow, but you cannot find a 100% organic version of any of those products. You might be able to find 100% organic primers - for instance, a nice toner or a liquid primer, both of which would be colourless - but those are going to be hard to find.
Vegan: There are very few ingredients in mineral make-up derived from animals. Carmine, beeswax, and silk are amongst those few. If you see a vendor advertising their products are vegan and you notice those ingredients listed, ask them about it.
Very few home crafters will go through all the trouble of being certified organic or approved by an organization like PETA, so I'd be wary of those claims. There's nothing wrong with them making a statement about being vegan or using organic ingredients, but question them if you have any doubts.
Synthetic: I saw an interesting comment about micas being synthetic. Mica itself isn't, but the colours you see are synthetic in the sense of being put there by human beings. If we only stick to those colours nature has given us, we'd be stuck with all the matte, non-shiny, non-glittery colours we can make from iron oxides, ultramarines, and so on, and that would be boring. So accept that to get any form of sparkle, shine, or fun colouring, you are using synthetic colours placed on mica.
I also saw a few comments about brushes being synthetic. They're either synthetic or they come from animals. You have to make a decision about this. If you don't want a brush made from animal hair, then you're going to get a synthetic one. Synthetic doesn't mean cheap or poorly made. It means that it isn't made from genuine animal hair, hide, or skin.
Preservatives: Ask your vendor about preservatives. Most mineral make-up ingredients don't need preserving because they are mainly composed of rocks, but if you're buying a creamy product, you'll want to ask how they avoid contamination. If your vendor is including botanical ingredients in their products, like extracts, you'll want to know what they're using to make sure you don't get creepy crawlies in your foundation powder.