02 July 2011

making faces :: mineralize this

a selection of mac "mineralize" products
every year around this time, mac cosmetics introduces a brand new "mineralize" collection. these are colour cosmetics made with "mineral formulas" that have a devoted following [and a smaller group who truly doesn't get what all the fuss is about]. in honour of that, i thought i'd take a moment to reflect on what "mineral makeup" actually is and how its meaning has changed since its introduction.

mineral makeup is a very broad term these days, but it started with the bare escentuals company, who introduced a loose mineral foundation in the 1970s.  at the time, they were capitalising on a popular captivation with things natural, basic and healthy. the idea was that mineral makeup included a number of ingredients that made it adhere better, give a natural glow and absorb excess sebum. perhaps more importantly- since a lot of the ingredients in mineral makeup are found in regular makeup as well- mineral products were made without parabens, pertroleum products and ingredients that tended to cause allergic reactions. they were also generally formulated without synthetic dyes, giving them that nice, natural aura and making people feel generally whoelsome about wearing them.

READ MORE ABOUT MINERALS AND SEE THEM IN USE



satin and frost finishes on a mineral blush
of course, as you might have deduced, a lot of this was marketing hype. as mentioned, the magical ingredients that make mineral products so appealing are used to make virtually all cosmetics. and as mineral makeup has progressed from loose powder foundation to full ranges of colour cosmetics, a lot of the ingredients that were originally excluded- like dyes- have been put back in. and while products are still generally non-comedogenic [meaning they don't clog pores], there are a small number of people [anecdotal evidence on the internet would indicate to me that it's a more significant number, but statistically, it's apparently quite small] who have reactions to bismuth, which is one of the minerals most often used to create mineral makeup [along with mica, it helps give the products their light-reflective quality].

so what's the big deal? what's the secret that's kept bare escentuals in business for decades and that makes one of the world's most successful companies do a new collection of mineral products [as well as offering a permanent assortment] every summer?

those who love their minerals now don't necessarily buy into the whole "more natural" story. as far as foundations go, people seem to like the fact that mineral foundations feel light, which is great, especially in the summer. products for the face [which would include not only foundations but blushes and highlighters, like mac's "mineralize skinfinish" products] give a healthy sheen [courtesy of the mica included], rather than a matte finish, which reflects the sunlight so plentiful at this time of year. products are reputed to be long-lasting [individual results may vary]. most mineral foundations also include titanium dioxide, which is a natural sun block, so they can add some sun protection. [note :: this does not mean you can or should skip sunscreen.]

mineral eye shadow
colour mineral products are popular because they have depth- the mica is there to give a sheen, but it's easy to thread multiple colours into a single final shade. in fact, one of the easiest ways to recognise a mineral product is because they're often sold in little domed pans and look like a view of a planet from space. the individual colours may not be immediately obvious in the application, but the colours tend to exhibit a dimensional quality not seen in regular products.

additionally, mineral products are usable dry or wet- with wet giving added intensity to the colour. the advantage here is that it can allow for a product to give two very different looks and that one can achieve a very dramatic result without having to apply several layers of colour.

whether one loves them or not is a highly subjective thing. my subjective opinion is that,  i usually love the "glow" i get from mineral highlighters or blushes and i wear them more often than not, but i find that the foundations are at best ok [i don't get the long-lasting effect at all] and that the eye shadows are never quite as pretty in use as they are in the pans. doesn't mean i don't own them, but they never quite live up to their promise.

i'll undoubtedly be dipping into the mac "semi-precious" collection in the near future, but for the moment, here are a few examples of mac mineralize products past put to use.

"quarry"
this eye shadow [pictured above] was my first mineral product ever. i love how it looks in the pan, with its combination of antique gold, pale blue and peachy copper, but on the lid, i find it just shows the gold. there's some depth, to be sure, but it's nothing as exciting as the product itself. i've used it a little wet to get some added oomph.

face ::
nars sheer glow foundation "mont blanc"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "001"

eyes ::
mac mineralize e/s "quarry"
nars eurydice e/s [dark side only]
mac eye kohl "smolder"
diorshow mascara

cheeks ::
mac mineralize skinfinish "golden lariat"

lips ::
mac l/s "funbathing

"family silver"
this look uses an eye shadow that was a combination of two shades- one a white/ silver and the other a warmer, darker pewter shade, both shot through with copper veining. both shades are very shimmery, which can look overdone if you're not careful. in this case, to make the lids a little more dramatic, i used the lighter shade wet, but used it dry as a highlight, so that it wouldn't be too much. i will say that i think this look was much better in person than in the photos. something in the photos just washes it out a bit, particularly the eyes.

face ::

nars sheer glow foundation "mont blanc"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "001"

eyes ::
mac mineralize e/s duo "family silver"
mac e/s "restless"
mac fluidline eye liner "blacktrack"
mac eye kohl "fascinating"
ysl faux cils mascara

cheeks ::
mac mineralize blush "miss behave" [used as a highlighter]
mac blush ombre "ripe peach"

lips ::
too faced l/s "drop dead red"

"perfect topping"
this one is really more about the non-mineral products, although i do find it gives an idea of the soft glow one can get from mineral highlighters and foundation.

face ::
nars sheer glow foundation "mont blanc"
lush colour supplement "jackie oates"
mac mineralize skinfinish natural "light"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "001"

eyes ::
mac fluidline eye liner "dark diversion" [used as a base, all over the lid and along the lower lash line]
mac pigment "deep purple" [applied over the base]
inglot e/s "351"
diorshow mascara
makeup forever concealer pencil [along the water line]

cheeks ::
mac mineralize skinfinish "perfect topping"
mac powder blush "mocha"

lips ::
mac l/s "riveting"

"stereo rose"
ah, pinkish-amber stereo rose... this was the smash hit from mac's mineral collection last year [actually a reissue from several years earlier] and sold out in record time. although it's listed as a "skinfinish", which would normally mean a highlighter or overall product, on me it's purely a blush- and a remarkably bright one at that. it's a very summery colour, for sure and very reflective. i find that you can see the distinctive mineral "sheen" on this one more easily than on some others.

face ::
lush colour supplement "jackie oates"
lush "charlotte island" [a body tint that i've been mixing with jackie oates to get a perfect, light summer colour for me]
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "001"

eyes ::
inglot e/s "351"
mac e/s "nanogold"
mac e/s "swell baby"
mac e/s "parisian skies"
mac greasepaint stick "charred mauve"
mac eye kohl "smolder"
diorshow mascara

cheeks ::
mac mineralize skinfinish "stereo rose"

lips ::
mac l/g "viva glam cyndi"

3 comments:

Biba said...

Great post! You really did quite a research here about mineral make up.

I admit, I totally fell in love with mineral make up about two years ago and I still like it. My favourite are: Meow Cosmetics - great eye shadows; BellaPierre - my holy grail loose foundation; Lily Lolo; former The She Space...

I like MAC's mineralize products too, but only have two, since they are not available anywhere near me.

Red lips, Black hair said...

What an awesome post, so informative. Thank you for taking the time to do it! You look beautiful in all your pics, I LOVE Drop Dead Red, I need it! It looks beautiful! Mineral makeup is so beautiful. I love Aromaleigh and Meow for e/s and Pure Luxe blushes.

flora_mundi said...

Thanks very much to both of you for the comments and the suggestions, I'm definitely going to have to try to check those out.

And yes, any fan of red lips needs to have Drop Dead Red!

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