Right now there is a big controversy in the online world of mineral makeup.
Specifically a backlash against minerals that are purchased, most specifically colored micas, and simply repackaged and sold at an exorbitant markup. The problem with this is twofold.
1. These companies are not selling products that will actually perform well as makeup, therefore defrauding the customer, and at the same time reflecting poorly on the boutique mineral makeup community as a whole. Most customers then assume all minerals are probably crap, and why waste their time & money. These companies often claim to have Custom designed their lines, again defrauding the consumer. I understand the concern, and the outrage, as money is something in short supply for many these days, and to find you wasted it, frankly, sucks. But, I also think that many people are feeling conned, and that is never a pleasant thought.
I know that several of these “outed” companies purchase the same products from the same suppliers that I do, but do not actually go through the process of creating an actual makeup product, ie. shadow, blush, bronzer, etc.
2. This brings me to my second part of the problem. People are now ranting that all mineral companies are charging too much because they either just dump mica in a jar, or mix it with a bunch of “fillers” too stretch it out & then charge a huge markup, for crap they could buy themselves for 1/10th the price.
I invite you to try.
This is the area of most concern to me. I agree that companies that just repackage micas will eventually be discovered- simply because their items will not function well as makeup, at least not without sticky primer, waterproof sealants, and a whole host of other steps that the consumer should not HAVE to do just to make their makeup wearable. Mica’s pretty, but it doesn’t stick.
Companies that make actual mineral makeup- usually use these ingredients now being touted as useless, cheap, or unnecessary. I feel I MUST offer an explanation as to why this misconception just isn’t so…
Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Sercite Mica, Carnauba Wax, Kaolin Clay, Magnesium Stearate, to name a few- all offer something to the base of any cosmetic recipe (including professional brand products). Whether adhesion (sticks to skin), Slip (glides over skin), Color Stability ( color won’t change with body oils), Lubricity (creaminess), Opacity (coverage), again this just names a few. Many of these products do more than one, but it is usually the combination, or formula of the base recipe that creates the makeup’s performance ability, the rest is color (though often colorants can offer some of these qualities as well).
For example, I have four different shadow bases matte, silk, satin, and sparkle. Each of these can have colorants ground or mixed into them. The depth of color from pastel to deepest pigmentation depends upon what I choose to add and how. I can also then adjust from sheer to opaque in each of these by adding more or less Zinc, Kaolin, Serecite, Titanium Dioxide, etc, again based upon what I am looking for. I may then have to adjust again, because I want sheer, but can’t sacrifice adhesion…….and, trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Another common complaint, is that it looks just like the mica, so, obviously it’s not actually an eyeshadow. There are some micas that are just so gorgeous that I want them to stand as an eyeshadow, no mixing of colors on my part can make this color anymore gorgeous. Dragonfly Mica (no longer available) is one of these. If you looked at my eyeshadow, called Stunning, and compared it to a sample of Dragonfly, you would think I did nothing to it, but you would be wrong! It took a lot of effort to create a base that would let this mica perform it’s magic- the color is UNBELIEVABLE! and yet actually BE a shadow. I can now wear this color and it won’t budge until I take it off!
Lastly, please do not just look to the weight to determine value. Minerals are a unique product in that they have vastly different weights. A tsp of sercite (approx 2grams) and a tsp of Zinc (approx 3.5 grams, I figured I might as well weigh them to give you the most accurate info possible) do not weigh any where near each other for the same amount, therefore some products will weigh more, and others less than others depending upon the ingredients used to make them. Oxides weigh considerably more than mica. All products will have weights all over the spectrum. I personally use a standard weight on my jars (the lowest of all my products), and fill the jars to well over that weight, every time. In doing this I know my clients are always getting MORE than what they’re actually paying for, and I can be compliant with the FDA’s rules.
Please be an informed consumer, by all means read reviews, but look further- look to the website, do they clearly disclose their ingredients? A red flag should go up if there are no ingredients to be found anywhere. If in doubt contact the site, most conscientious formulators will respond to questions, especially about ingredients- we want you to be assured our products are safe. Inspect the packages, are they properly labeled with manufacturer, or company name, weight of ingredients, an indicator if it is not lip safe, etc. Do they offer a large range of cosmetics, foundations, concealers, as well as shadows, blushes, bronzers, lip glosses & lipsticks, and even skin care products. If they only offer shadows, there is a possibility that they MAY be a mica only repackager, so look for further clues, like the ones above, and if you’re still not sure, either inquire or keep looking elsewhere.
Lastly, be willing to spend, just a little more, on quality products. I cannot sell an eyeshadow for $5. The multitude of ingredients I use preclude such a low price, not to mention the time I invest in creating these products. I have not, nor will I, ever use another’s recipe, but as a makeup artist I also feel that my color knowledge has distinct value in creating great product.