Thursday, April 15, 2010

Allergies & Pigment - Where Is the Balance?

I recently had a friend who said she had issues with wheat by-products and was looking for perhaps a more natural makeup with high pigmentation. She uses bare minerals, due to allergies, but had an issue with how the pigment wears away after a few hours of wear. So, can you go green? And, how awesome are these fashionable mineral powders?

I did some research with a cosmetic chemist, and learned that there are no wheat by-products in any makeups. The only issue at all with some cosmetics and allergies is if it uses real lanolin, which is an animal by-product used as a vehicle (the lubrication part) of a makeup. Also, folks need to know that makeup is not 100% organic. All makeup, no mater what, has some sort of preservatives in it; so, unless your makeup requires living in the fridge, it is not organic by normal standards.

In terms of mineral makeups (bear with me- this is going to be unpopular), they are not good for lasting pigment, nor for allergies. Mineral powders, unless pressed into a cake (like how eye shadows exist in compacts), are simply loose flying straight pigment...that you breathe.

Strike 1: Anyone with allergies or respiratory issues will definitely have an issue with this makeup over time. The same goes for airbrushing. I'm not a huge fan of those personal airbrush systems that were launched this year due to that fact. As a professional artist, I have to wear a medical mask if airbrushing for more than an hour or so to protect my lungs, and I don't do it every day. I would not suggest anyone breathing anything loose in the air over time every single day.

Strike 2: The other problem with mineral powders are that they're straight pigment...yet they don't stay put. That's because they are just a loose powder with no vehicle (the lubricant in its chemistry) to make it stick to the skin. That's why you always see shiny, sad faces a few hours into the application.

Strike 3: If you have any fine lines or scarring, using mineral powders on top of that texture will just call attention to it even more; which is obviously not the point to making up ones face.

There. I said it. Loose mineral powders are not so swell. But, like I said, pressed powders are much safer to breath.

I suggest brands like Makeup Forever, Smashbox, NARS, Laura Mercier (for the more natural client) for a consumer-friendly, yet professional level pigmented foundation. If you want to get really into it, I do suggest Ben Nye and Joe Blasco for your deeper coverage (but you'll want to learn about applying with a sponge and doing some custom blending).

I do offer individual and group lessons to teach application, products, and more. Email or call with questions. I can always do a tutorial blog or product recommendation as well to touch lightly on a topic. :)




  1. Thanks Brett! I appreciate your hard work and research. Apparently the nutritionist doesn't know everything. =D