Does the Mineral Movement Produce Golden Results?

By: Aliesh Pierce

Professional makeup artists are at the forefront of most beauty trends. We are invited to product launch parties, given pre-launch samples to use on photo shoots or runways and allowed to request products on behalf of celebrity clients. But there's a new trend that most "professional" makeup artists aren't part of; the mineral makeup movement.

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the Mineral movement. In fact, the concept was launched with an argument of being superior to conventional makeup because it's "so natural you can sleep in it". But then, as Lisa Sickler, trainer for Babor cosmetics, states, "Yes, it's natural. But why would you form an occlusive layer over the largest organ of the body at night when it's repairing most?".

Despite questionable propaganda, mineral makeup does have it's benefits. Publicity tells us that mineral makeup leaves out harmful ingredients. There are no synthetic colorants, no fragrance and none of the comedogenic oils found in conventional makeup. It is also touted as being 100% anti-bacterial.

What they don't tell us is that, according to John Reinhart, cosmetic chemist consultant pigments used are the same minerals that are in conventional makeup. We never hear that natural fragrance in cosmetics can have a therapeutic effect. Nor are we told that some oils like almond, apricot, jojoba and even natural mineral oils can re-create sebum and actually help heal certain skin conditions. He also states that, while it's true zinc will not allow organisms to live, they will grow in titanium and iron oxides.

The roar of the mineral movement can now be heard partying right next to Viva Glam at the MAC counter. Mineralize Skin Finish, MAC's contribution to this craze, is meant to be an addition to your regular makeup application, not the only makeup to be used on a daily basis. John Stapelton, Sr. Artist for MAC Cosmetics says that, while makeup artists still rely on Studio Fix for coverage, "Mineralize adds sheen to the high planes of the cheeks and down the nose".

Mineral makeup is comprised of naturally occurring pigments of which titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (both white in hue) are the most prominent. Unfortunately, the darker, richer tones found in Iron Oxides are difficult to control without a carrier and are therefore used in lesser quantities.

Should you still insist on joining the Mineral Movement, there are a few application guidelines to follow. For instance, most minerals lines have a relatively high percentage of mica and bismuth to add sheen and pearl-essence. Selecting a foundation in a slightly warmer hue will eliminate the glassy gleam mineral makeup gets when natural sebum production takes over. This is done by applying three varying shades to the jawline with a Q-tip. The color that blends best without leaving a white cast is your perfect shade. Also, look for lines that mix in cream concealers. Jane Iredale offers Circle/Delete in duo sets with one shade to compliment skin and one to correct and cancel out darker discolorations.

Custom blending will ensure a perfect match. "Color match" specialists can address your unique concerns and change your formula according to the season. That's why, Mineralogie retails Powder Minerals in thirty-three shades and seven corrector colors. As a makeup artist and Founder of Mineralogie Mary Van knows, if it matches, and "goes on smoothly. It will stay on and give perfect coverage"

Mineral foundations have been criticized as being too heavy, so blending is key. Add a bronzer to bring skin tone back to life. Try purchasing a second foundation one full shade darker to brush around hairline, over the chin and nose and just below the apple of the cheek to add dimension. Or try I.D. Minerals Warmth to mimic the look of skin's natural blush. To really pump up the glow, use MAC's Mineralize to re-create skin's natural sheen.

Tips for Burn Survivors:

Mary Van, founder of Mineralogie, insists that, for burn survivors, "loose is always the way to go". She also suggests that a synthetic brush might be gentler on the skin.

John Reinhardt notes that an anhydrous makeup or pigment suspended in a wax-like carrier may be a better choice for burn survivors.

Sigrid Konrad, Director of Education for Babor America suggests burn survivors prep their skin with a Babor Express Relief ampule and form a healing barrier with Babor's Advanced Biogen Intensive Repair. This type of nutritive primer should actually be the first step of any makeup application.

My Tip: The sun protection factor as set up by the FDA only provides10 minutes of UV blockage per point. (I.E. 15 SPF = 150 minutes of protection) Therefore, any UV protection you choose must be re-applied.