Tried and tested: mineral make-up

| 9th May 2012
Tried and tested: mineral make-up
With synthetic and chemical free formulas, and a colour range to rival Monet, modern mineral make-up is skin and planet friendly. Thea Byrgesen rounds up the best

Beauty might come from within but a little organic lipstick never hurt anyone. That’s not to say though, that conventional lipstick can’t do some damage, with many of the cheapest brands coming contaminated with lead and synthetics. As more and more women wise up to the pitfalls of conventional cosmetics, sales of mineral make-up are skyrocketing. Mineral makeup contains all-natural ingredients such as seed oil, flower extract, titanium dioxide and mica. Mica and other minerals are naturally occurring and have been prized for their colour for centuries, with the ancient Egyptians in particular making use of the shimmering green mica. What’s more, with mineral, there’s no synthetic colours, carmine [beetle’s blood], artificial fragrances or petrochemicals. It’s also a natural UVA/B ray blocker, which means no extra suncare is needed. So who’s making it?
Certain big brands, including The Body Shop, Clinique and Origins, have begun to make inroads into the mineral make-up market, while other brands such as MAC and Maybelline have introduced small mineral make-up concessions. According to Origins, they would make all their products with 100  per cent natural essential oils and minerals if they could. ‘At Origins, we search all over the world for the most potent plants that have the effects that we’re looking for on skin. We source the highest quality therapeutic plants, 100 per cent natural essential oils and certified organic ingredients,’ says Dr. Lieve Declerco, director of Origins Global Plant Medicine team. But you don’t have to go to the big brands for your mineral fix: there’s plenty of small specialist operators around offering products as good as anything the likes of Clinique makes and with much better green credentials to boot. To prove it, we put our five favourite eco-friendly mineral brands to the test: once you’ve tried them, you won’t go back to MAC.

Neal’s Yard Remedies Lip Gloss in Fig, £9.50
Part of Neal’s Yard Remedies’ new mineral make-up collection, the lip gloss is based on organic orange oil and anti-oxidant white tea to moisturise your lips. It’s a lip gloss but works like a lipbalm and contains a natural SPF. 92 per cent of the ingredients are organic. Like all good glosses, it gives your lips a natural-looking pop of colour with a gorgeous glossy sheen. Particularly impressive was the consistency – not too thick, not too thin – and the plumping effect it has on thinner lips. It’s also non-sticky, which means you won’t have a problem on windy days.
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Terre d’Oc Beaute du Monde Anti-Pollution Foundation, £24.95
98 per cent of the ingredients are of natural origin and 20 per cent are organic, which means that this is one foundation that works for the planet as well as your skin. Smooth textured and sheer, it’s great for a natural look and will leave your skin soft and smooth. ‘I use a mineral foundation myself,’ says make-up artist, Kerry Herta. ‘It’s so natural looking it’s like a second skin, and on hot humid summer days it wears better than traditional liquid makeup.’ It’s also long-lasting, with our tester reporting that it stayed on and didn’t streak – even in the rain.
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bareMinerals READY Bronzer in The High Dive, £24
Made with 100 per cent pure mineral pigments and fortified with bareMineral’s patented SeaNutritive MineralTM Complex, READY bronzer gives skin a gorgeously natural sunny glow. As an added bonus, it has anti-ageing properties, which means you don’t need to bother with moisturiser when you’re wearing it. It’s also long lasting, and according to our testers, stayed on – streak-free – all day.
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Bellapierre Shimmer 9 Stack in Iris, £59.99
With nine eye-wateringly bright colours included, Bellapierre have put paid to the myth that mineral make-up only comes in dreary browns and pinks. Despite the rainbow of hues, the shimmer shadows only contain three ingredients: mica, iron oxide and titanium dioxide. An Ecologist favourite, we were impressed by the huge colour range and the ease of use: all of the shades are buildable and can be used for a sheer wash or a super-bright pop of colour. A little goes a long way too, so you won’t need to restock often, and the shadow stays on crease-free all day long.
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Dr. Hauschka Lipstick in Rose Crystal, £21.95
The perfect day lip colour, it looks beautifully natural and suits everyone. Packed with natural essential oils, it leaves lips soft and smooth, and protects them from the elements – even a downpour couldn’t make it slide off. ‘I love the new Inner Glow Rose Crystal lipstick,’ said our tester. ‘A must for more mature women whose skin tends to become more translucent and needs a subtle rather than vivid coloured lipstick.’
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