Thursday, August 31, 2006

Craft Mineral Makeup! (Mineral Makeup)

I've been experimenting with crafting mineral makeup for the last few months. I haven't tried making any foundation yet, but I have made eye shadows galore (I've made at least 8 different shades of gold eye shadow!), a couple of blushes (I usually don't wear blush so this is a milestone for me!), and even a few lippies (I made the color but used an all natural pre-made base; plan on making my own base soon).

There are only three mineral makeup books that I know of (I am a natural cosmetic book fanatic, and I've been looking for books on mineral makeup but I haven't found that many).

The first one is Creative Faces by Maxine Nelson. I borrowed this from the library a while back, and I personally didn't like it very much. There was a section on ingredients but most of their recipes for eyes and foundation were based on talc and some (like the lippies) used F D&C colors (ingredients I avoid). Also the instructions were not that specific; they were basically "take a pinch of this" and mix it with a teaspoon of that etc, which is very vague (when crafting you definitely need to use a gram scale). But you may get some basic info from it.

The second one is Recipes for Makeup by Karen Bombeli. I have not read this one, but the amazon reviews are pretty bad (there is apparantly a lot of spelling mistakes). Also I've seen the website of the author's company and many of her recipes have a lot of synthetics that I avoid (more so than the book above).

The last one is from Coastal Scents: Mineral Makeup Secrets Revealed (online book). I don't have this either but someone e-mailed me a review about this book, and it also contains some ingredients I avoid (but still primarily natural), and apparantly contains just basic information.

I personally learned more about minerals from Deb (owner of Monave and Monave's MMU kits (I have two of them). Once a year, Deb hosts and teaches an all day conference on making MMU (the only person I am aware of that teaches how to craft MMU). I haven't taken the seminars but I've e-mailed her many questions about mineral makeup crafting, and she has been very friendly and helpful. She is awesome! In addition to the kits she sells individual loose pigments and micas. Deb is also working on a book--I told her I'd be one of the first ones in line to buy it if she ever finishes it!

Other companies that sell loose micas, pigments, and kits are Tkb Trading and Coastal Scents. Tbktrading sells so many different choices! If you are concerned about using certain ingredients be sure to read the ingredients for every mica and pigment etc you buy. Tkb also has a great blog on minerals!

Gram scales (to weigh the minerals; to keep recipes accurate) or any scales for that matter can be purchased at Oldwill Knott Scales. Monave sells mini grinders, or you can use a blender to mix (please purchase a separate blender for your cosmetics; don't use the same one that you blend food in).

Tips on crafting:

Unblended colored micas are very intense and usually need to be mixed with a base. Though the straight unblended colored micas also make great intense eyeliners and eyeshadows, especially wetlined or foiled!

I suggest trying a variety of different bases (micas), since all of them will make the colored micas look different. To make things lighter: You can mix the colored micas with serecite (uncolored mica; it will make your blends more matte), or with the splendids/highlights/starlights (which are the refraction micas; which look like white powders but in the light have a 'highlight' color; comes in several colors), or silver fine (a whitish silver color). To make things darker: black mica, the blackstars (which are dark/black but with different tones; they are coated with iron oxides; comes in several colors). OR try mixing the colored micas together.

The shades look way different depending on what you mix with what. As an experiment I took one colored mica and then mixed it with each of the other micas I mentioned. The end results looked so different, even if I started with the same colored mica!

You can also try bases/blends of bismuth (if you're not allergic), titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and magnesium stearate (avoid this if you are vegetarian).

Don't mix the colored micas for too long, as over blending may damage the mica particles.

If you use pure iron oxides (to make matte shades), they need to be mixed for much longer than the colored micas, and you don't need to use as much of them.

Also try playing with the ratios too!

Micas in creams/lotions; how to make sparkly creams/lotions:

I've read (from Monave) that the easiest micas to use in a product are probably the splendids which refract light and come in a variety of colors: blue, violet, red, gold, green (in the jar they look like a white powder but if you move them in the light or wet them you can see their different colors).

You will definitely need to use either a gum or gel to thicken your lotion (or make a cream which are thicker than lotions), to prevent the micas from sinking (or you could just shake gently).


Anonymous said...

Again I really do love your blog, I wear all natural makeup too, I also like flower pigments, and I stay away from the FD&C colors too, and the parabens. Your blog seriously rocks!!! one of the best reads I have had in while, and refreshing to know I am not alone in things I feel are important.

Solarkat said...


Thank you very much! I'm glad you find my blog informative! :)


Solarkat said...

To Debra

I did not post your comment because your email address was in your comment. But I did email you a few days ago, let me know if you didn't get my email.


Unknown said...

Hello I too craft Mineal Makeup and I even have 2 of the books you mentioned Bombeli's book is tuly terrible! Avoid at all costs, The coastal scents book is good for beginners you are on your own once you advance. My first kit came from Monave but her instruction pamplet was a little vague. All in all I say just keep researching ingredients coastal scents offers basic ideas on ratios and such but a lot is trial and error. I have made foundations eyeshadows bronzers veil blushers and lipsticks from scatch still working on glosses but have found a few ready made bases that work very well. Hope to see more people here and must say this is a really great blog!

Solarkat said...

Hi satay31

Thanks for posting :) I am glad you like my blog.

I agree the coastal scents one is pretty basic. For Monave, there are several pamplets (so the combination of all of them is a good resource but just one of them may seem a little vague like you mentioned).

>Hope to see more people here and >must say this is a really great >blog!

People post on my blog every few days but there are at least 180 different entries so many different places to post comments. So if you'd like to chat more with other crafters, I suggest visiting garden of wisdom forum (GOW is an ingredient vendor that also sells natural based skin care) or all natural beauty forum (to discuss all natural skin care; I am the Eco Living writer on one of the all natural beauty websites) or soapdish forum (I only post there sometimes). Links to GOW and anb forum are on the main page of this blog, and I know I've posted the soapdish link in an entry (you may need to do a search through the search box).


Solarkat said...

Forgot to add I am one of the mods on GOW forum so I am on there daily :)