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Five Best Mineral Makeup Products

Reviewed by Marta December 14, 2008 20 Comments

I am usually wary of mineral makeup, as you will have noticed from my post the other day. Behind the hype there is often little more than mica. This couldn't be further from the truth for the products in this round up.

RAW Natural Beauty Perfect Balance Concealer & Highlighter ($38) will do much more than cover up imperfections. It will help rectify them. There are several good antioxidants derived from plants including acai berry, pea extract and buckwheat. There is also the intriguing inclusion of capparis spinosa. This is caper bush (better known for the berries that are used in cooking) and it has high levels of rutin. In humans, rutin attaches to an iron (ion i2) and prevents it from binding to hydrogen pyroxide, which would lead to the creation of harmful free radicals. Best of all, there is nothing not to like.

NVEY Organic Eyeshadow ($24). This is so organic, that it passes the Australian government test (Aussie organic standards are much more rigorous than the, it must be said, pitiful ones of the US). Just about everything in an NVEY product is good for you or politely neutral. There is neither talc, nor mineral oil, nor nasty preservatives. Take the Organic Eye Shadow, it has a corn starch base with jojoba, coconut, palm and carrot oils. Vitamins C and E have been added, as well as chamomile. Apart from pigments (nice and intense) that's it.

Everyday Minerals. If you are terrified of breakouts from makeup, then it doesn’t get much more natural than Everyday Minerals. This brand actually lists the 28 ingredients (mostly chemicals) it DOES NOT include in the foundations, eye shadows and lipsticks. There are only four ingredients, all of them natural: mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxide and zinc oxide. The color palette is subtle and has some unusual shades. Oasis, for example, is a sort of glamorous gold and Diary is a sort of grayish lavender.

Jane Iredale Dream Tint ($39). Now this a good find: a tinted moisturizer that uses only safe minerals, has a non-chemical sunscreen and a handful of helpful anti-oxidants. I've just ordered Jane Iredale's latest product, Dream Tint SPF 15. At $35 it isn't cheap, but there is a lot to like and I've had to give up VIP Expert by Terry after discovering that it was the cause of a bad outbreak of rosacea that afflicted me a few weeks ago. Dream Tint has some algae extracts, sunflower seed oil, jojoba and white tea. One of the minerals included is boron nitride, a graphite-like substance that is one of the hardest materials known to man. As an ultra-fine powder it is included in dental filling compound and cosmetics. I don't understand how, but boron nitride is also self-lubricating. Its role in Dream Tint seems to be to diminish the appearance of wrinkles (depend on the white tea to do something about the wrinkles themselves) and impart a silky feeling. Dream Tint has no preservatives or other potential irritants.

Josie Maran's Finger Paints. I like Ms Maran's approach to make up - pretty, practical and poison free. Finger Paints have a really nice texture with a subtle shimmer and I really like the fact you can dab them anywhere the mood or need takes you: eyes, cheeks, lips. There are so many nice things in Maran's cosmetics that they might actually be good for you. In Finger Paints, there is actually argan oil, as well as grape seed, pomegranate, avocado, jojoba, olive, flax.... I could go on. The only think not to like is BHT, which was banned from food in Europe but seems to be OK topically. And the packaging is biodegradable! I tell you, when you buy this you almost feel as if you've given a donation to Green Peace.

Ingredients in RAW Perfect Balance

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isocetyl Stearate, Ozokerite, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Pisum
Sativum (Pea) Extract, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Pulp Oil, Polygonum Fagopyrum (Buckwheat) Seed Extract, Silica, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Boron Nitride, Nylon-12, Aluminum Starch
Octenylsuccinate, Tocopherol, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Capparis Spinosa Fruit Extract.
May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Ingredients in NVEY Organic Eyeshadow

Corn Silk, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Magnesium Stearate, Zinc Oxdide, Vitamin E Acetate, Jojoba Oil, Chamomile Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Carrot Oil. May Contain: Ci77019 (Mica); Ci77007, Ci77491, Ci77492, Ci77499 (Iron Oxide); Ci77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

Ingredients in Jane Iredale Dream Tint

Water/Eau/Aqua, Algae Extract, Sambucus Nigra (Elder Flower) Extract, Dimethicone, Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Boron Nitride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Candelillate, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Glyceryl Polymethalcrylate. [+/- (May Contain) Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492), Mica (CI 77019)].

Ingredients in Josie Maran Finger Paints

Octyldodecanol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprilic/Capric Triglyceride, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Corn Starch, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Beeswax, Ozokerite, Isononyl Isononanoate, Mica, Kaolin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil, Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Organic Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed, Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil, Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, BHT. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Carmine, D&C Red #6, 7, 21, 27, 30, 40 Aluminum, Calcium, Barium, Talc Lake, FD&C Yellow #5, 6 Aluminum Lake, D&C Orange #4 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake, Castor Oil, Lanolin Oil.

  • August 17, 2012

    by Jessica

    My Nvey Eco organic eye shadow in 150 grey shimmer has bismuth oxychloride as one of the ingredients :/

  • October 18, 2010

    by babbi

    Has anyone heard of Alima Pure mineral makeup. I got some samples of their foundation and like it a lot but am not sure about their ingredients.

  • May 27, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Sorry Ellena, I got so caught up in the topic, I forgot to use your name in the above comment- which is in answer to yours (No.16). All reputable mineral makeup companies should state their ingredients up front; if not first thing, then with a drop-down menu of its own. The better brands will list what they DON'T use with pride. Again, have fun! ~jk

  • May 27, 2010

    by Julie Kay

    Yes. My opinion (of loose minerals) is they should NOT contain: Bismuth Oxychloride, Talc, Dyes, Lakes, Fragrance, Waxes, Phosphates, Chemical Preservatives, Carmine.
    Find a brand, and there are many out there, who stick to the basics: Titanium Dioxide which provides a broad spectrum sunscreen and is a natural anti-inflammatory; Zinc Oxide also provides protection from UV rays and is calming to irritated skin; Rice Powder is used as an emollient and has vast oil absorbing properties; Kaolin Clay keeps your makeup looking fresh and is an excellent absorbent; Iron Oxides are FDA controlled when used in cosmetics and provide pigments; Micas are a natural mineral that provide the focus of the final palette: luminescent, semi-matte, or matte.
    Have fun w your minerals! Try the samples offered by so many brands. I tried probably 30 brands before I narrowed it down to 3-4 brands that had matches for my skin. ~jk

  • May 27, 2010

    by Ellena

    Has anyone heard of Earthlab (
    It is a Canadian brand from BC that I came across in a home show. I had them try the products (concealer and foundation, both mineral powder) on me. It felt nice and the coverage was good but after 3-4 hours needed to be re-applied (I have combination skin).
    I also checked their web and they do not use nano particles (so they claim). I am not sure if it is a brand to be trusted though. Any thoughts?

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