Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mineral Make up Part One

I'm a mineral makeup convert. I had worn Clinique foundation for years but wasn't happy with it. But, I was even less happy with other brands of makeup. Then about three years ago, I was diagnosed with basal cell skin cancer. The cancer was deep and it was on my face. When I was first told what was going on and the Mohs surgeon told me I would have a scar after surgery, my statement to him was that's fine, I'd rather be well than not well. Well, I didn't quite have the same reaction after surgery. I had a huge scar on my face. My surgeon actually did an excellent job but I was having trouble dealing with it. I kind of went into mid-life crisis mode. No, I didn't have an affair or go drinking on weekends. I hit the internet. I started searching for foundations and scar treatment. I don't mind looking my age but I didn't need to look older than I am. I then discovered mineral makeup. It so happened that my quilting friends and I had seen the Bare Minerals display at Sephora when we were in Chicago. We all came home with a kit. At first, the Bare Minerals had unbelievable performance. But as time went by, I didn't think the coloring was right on me. That is one issue that I have with Bare Minerals. They are very limited on the foundation shades. With more research, I discovered there were tons of small, unknown mineral makeup companies out there. I started ordering samples to test out the formula and coloring. When I'm not wearing my foundation, I use the foundation from Meow Cosmetics.

With so much time on the internet, I then discovered that people were learning how to make makeup at home. My initial thought was "this is so cool, but no way in hell would I be able to do that". Eventually, I decided that I could probably make eye shadow, blush and mineral veil. I'm still thinking "no way in hell am I going to learn to make foundation". The really funny thing was that after I had all my supplies on my counter, I started with the hardest thing first, foundation. I have yet to make eye shadow or blush even though I have lot's of mica colors to mix. So that is the story of how this hobby started. Let me show you how it's done.

I first need to talk to you about the supplies. Later, we will move into the actual making of makeup. Besides your ingredients, a really important item to your success is a good grinder. There are lots of different things to use. Some people use small blenders, tobacco grinders, coffee grinders. My two favorites are my Braun stick blender and the Magic Bullet. In the picture, you can see how discolored the handle is to my Braun mixer. This is from the oxides that I use. Several years ago, my husband got this blender for my for Christmas. After researching what to mix my ingredients with, I came up with this. I can tell you my husband wasn't thrilled with my use of the stick blender. He told me "I bought that for you to make me meals, not to make makeup!" Well, that didn't stop me. I kept using it. After all, it was under my roof and available, why go out and buy something different. Plus it did a good job with the tough task of mixing the red oxides. Well last year for Christmas, the girls and Jeff were at the mall wandering around, trying to figure out what to get me. One of the girls spies the Magic Bullet. They pretty much all agreed that I needed this for my makeup. So I might be the only person in America that has their Magic Bullet in their craft room and not their kitchen!

Let's talk ingredients now. We need a couple of things to happen. We have to have color (oxides). We have to have a way to get that color applied to the face (fillers). We have to keep the makeup on the face (adhesion). We can choose to correct some things, like oily skin, dry skin, mature skin. So what I need to do is to think about the characteristics of the individual's skin when I start to put the recipe together. Some of the ingredients that I don't use are French talc, cornstarch and bismuth oxychloride. Bare Minerals uses the bismuth as one of their fillers. This ingredient is a sharp, heavy mineral. The bismuth is the reason why you need to do so much buffing with a brush. You are actually trying to buff the foundation into your pores to hold it on your face. Many people also have issues with itchiness and sweating with bismuth. There are some concerns about talc and lung issues. I really don't have any issues using this for myself but because I make makeup for my sisters and some others, I decided not to use it. My choices of ingredients aren't superior to others, just my powders of choice. These work well for me and my recipes.

Now for the white powders. I'm sure that if my package ever busted open at the post office, I would probably have some explaining to do. Whitney made a comment one day about all the suspicious bags of white powder appearing in our mailbox.

The colorants that are used are iron oxides. These are heavily pigmented and can stain your clothes, kitchen counter, etc. The oxides can be used in just about all types of makeup, eye shadow, blush, foundation, veil. On their own, they can be kind of blah, but you can add some zing by adding mica's. I'm going to save eye shadow ingredients for another day.

The only other tool I need is a popsicle stick. I use this to cut the oxides and blend them together. Now that we've have our tools assembled, we are ready to make makeup. Onward to part two.

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