Friday, December 30, 2005

All natural makeup (Makeup and mineral makeup)

I only use 100% natural makeup. Finding truly all natural makeup can be difficult, doubly so if a person is also vegetarian or vegan! For these reasons I began using mineral makeup about a year or so ago, and I love it! Not only is the color range awesome for women of color, but there many brands are also 100% natural. I love how the powder 'foundation' makes my skin look flawless. I have pretty good skin, but do have a touch of red around my nose from old acne scars, and just a tiny amount of powder covers it up and controls my skin from getting oily. A couple of the ingredients (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) also provide sun protection, and also help reduce inflammation. Also, since there are no fillers in mineral makeup, you only need to use a little bit of product (MUCH less than you think) to get great coverage, or highly pigmented, rich color. Many companies also offer generous samples at great prices, so it is extremely economical. Note: while many companies are 100% natural and vegetarian/vegan a few ingredients to look out for are:

which is a natural, red colorant derived from the shell of crushed beetles. While this pigment is relatively non-toxic, those who are vegetarian or vegan should read ingredient lists of companies carefully, or contact the company directly, as sometimes mineral pigments are coated with carmine but are not listed as an ingredient. There are also a few people that are severely allergic to it. It is typically in red, pink, and purple products, so read the ingredient lists of these colors.

a synthetic preservative that has found its way into some mineral makeup lines. It has been found to weakly mimic the estrogen hormone, and has been found in cancerous breast tissue. The link to cancer is debatable however, since paraben levels in non-cancerous breast tissue have not been studied. However I tend to avoid them since they are known irritants, and many estrogen-mimicing substances can cause mutantions and feminization in many other species, and all the cosmetics we use get washed down the drain and into our watersheds.

synthetic colors (FD&C colors):

Though synthetic colors may not be listed in every ingredient list, some companies carry micas that have been coated with synthetic color. Some people are highly allergic to these colors, though they have been generally regarded as "safe". I personally stay away from them.

beeswax and lanolin:

I use these natural ingredients but vegans may want to read ingredient lists of lip products to avoid them.

bismuth oxychloride:
some companies (like bare escentuals) use this natural ingredient. Bismuth gives the skin a glowy look; some people find it too shiny and that it emphasizes pores. Many people are also highly allergic to it.

Mineral makeup:

I like Monave and Jlynne Cosmetics which are both woman owned, mineral makeup companies. Both are sold online; however, Monave has its own store in Maryland, and sells wholesale, so you may see this brand in other places.

Both use only all natural ingredients (with the exception of a few synthetic fragrances in some of the soaps that Jlynne sells). Both also do not contain carmine (a color derivative from beetles) and their minerals are not coated with synthetic colors. Their products also do not contain parabens. And they list all of their ingredients on their websites. They both have awesome forums!

I like Jlynne's foundation the best; it is my "holy grail". It is very light/not dense and it NEVER cakes. It comes in around 40 colors. Their eye shadows are very nice and come in wearable shades (good for the day). If you are vegan, all of their lip products contain beeswax and/or lanolin. Their lip creams are more like colored lip balms; they are nice to wear during the day but for night wear, try another brand. Their lip gloss is even sheerer but really moisturizes nicely and are not sticky at all. Great customer service! I recommend subscribing to their newsletter, and joining their birthday list (The company sent me a very generous gift certificate to spend for my birthday).

Monave's foundation is a bit more dense, and their foundation color range more limited. However, since half of their customers are African-American, they make some of the darkest foundations I've seen out of any brand. Their eyeshadows are my absolute favorite; very sparkly and vivid colors. Their lippies are also my favorite; rich, creamy, creamy, color. Best of all, they just switched their lipsticks to a vegan base, and in Feb will began carrying a few more vegan lip products. Their glosses are highly pigmented, even more than their lipsticks, but the glosses are still not vegan though. I really admire the owner, Deb. She really cares about her customers, and what goes into her product. They also sell kits for any inspiring mineral makeup hobbyists!

Another small, woman run mineral makeup company is Cory Cosmetics. She also makes a wide range of all natural skin care, dozens of products. This lady is a formulating fiend!

Mineral makeup application:

If you are not used to applying mineral makeup, it is a bit different than applying regular makeup. Traditionally people use a kubuki or a flat top (made with animal hair) to apply foundation, but since I'm veggie I use either a flocked sponge or a large taklon brush. The flocked sponge is sold at Jlynne (though I found some at Target out of all places!), and the brush I got at my craft store. If I'm not mistaken Monave is looking to offer taklon face brushes in the future. But for those that like the kubuki and flat top, both Monave and Jlynne are cruelty free.

Another lippie choice:

Ok, not mineral makeup, but still herbal, all natural lip balm/tint. Aubrey Organics makes a great vegan product called natural lips available in 3 colors plus clear. I like mixing the pink or red with the brown, which makes a very pretty raison shade. They also make powders (face, blush, and browns for eyes) but they contain silk.

Other natural makeup brands:

Other natural brands you might want to check out are Burt's Bees, Paul Penders, and Miessence.

Some of Burt's Bees makeup contains carmine and beeswax. Their formulas are pretty nice, but their colors (with the exception of their lippies) are somewhat limited. Their foundation is clay and mineral based. I liked their lippies, but I've decided to no longer use them once my current stash runs out, once I discovered exactly what carmine really was!

Paul Penders makes very nice mascara (which is nearly all natural; it contains only 1 synthetic ingredient) and lipstick. They also make concealer, and eye and lip pencils. I've only used their mascara and one lipstick--I liked their mascara but want to find one that is 100% natural. The lipstick texture was nice and it was heavily pigmented but the color didn't look so great on me (which is surprising because I usually can get away with wearing most colors).

I haven't used the Miessence line, but it looks mainly all natural and mostly organic. Some of the products contain beeswax, and since they are from Australia, they are a bit pricey. And their color range is a bit limited.


Unknown said...

hello solarkat,

thank you for sharing all your research and opinions! it's been very helpful in my quest to go natural and if possible, organic with all my skin and hair care products. I'm thinking of purchasing some samples of mineral foundation from J Lynne and i'm having some trouble picking out shades. I am also of asian descent, like you. I am actually 75% filipina and the rest chinese, so I don't have very light skin nor do i have very dark skin. I wondered what color/s you wear for the foundation as well as the lip creams, which also sound nice.
I'd appreciate any advice on how to purchase from J Lynne. I was just going to try maybe 4 samples before buying a full size.

Again, thanks for sharing!

Solarkat said...

Hi Carla

I'm pretty sure I answered this through email (and if I didn't I am really sorry; I just realized how behind I am on comments on this blog, answering this question so late)

I used to wear 1.5 JL, but now my holy grail is everyday minerals in light winged butter.


. said...

Check out this website.

Solarkat said...

Hi Ral

Sorry for the late response (working on my thesis).

Thanks for posting :) EWG's database is great; I've plugged them before :)