Why mineral make-up is having a revival

Mineral make-up

Mineral make-up is shaking off its classic reputation. Georgia Seago discovers how rich pigments and a nod to the wellness trend are broadening its client appeal.

This summer’s key make-up aesthetic is glowing, healthy skin with coverage so natural-looking that freckles shine through. But we all know that in practice “no make-up make-up” is anything but, and summer’s humidity is hardly suited to a full face of product.

It’s lucky, then, that mineral make-up is having a bit of a moment, reinventing itself in the eyes of consumers as an attractive, full-time alternative to conventional formulas, offering comfortable textures, buildable coverage and skincare benefits.

“Mineral make-up has come a long way. When it first came out it was as though it could only be used for certain clients who wanted something very natural,” says Natalie Soto-Carlisle, international make-up artist and educator for mineral brand Jane Iredale. “But now that clients are becoming more educated about ingredients and product testing, it’s at the forefront of the market. We’ve been seeing more launches of very clean mineral make-up.”

The general shift in consumer consciousness towards healthy living practices is behind the mineral makeover, agrees Clare Pinkney, make-up artist for mineral line Youngblood. “Mineral make-up is definitely becoming on-trend again. Consumers are making much more educated choices about what they eat, what they apply onto their skin and how they look.”

Why the "active beauty" trend is shaping the market

Industry analyst Mintel identified “active beauty” as a key trend for 2017, and predicted that effortless products for sporty women will be in high demand this year. New, high-tech production methods combined with the natural properties of minerals give these formulas long-lasting, sweat-proof qualities that make them perfect for clients looking for make-up to support an active lifestyle.

“As long as you’ve set mineral make-up correctly, you can stand in the rain or go swimming and it will last,” says Soto-Carlisle. Jane Iredale’s Hydration Sprays are designed to set mineral formulas, and she says setting formulas like these are the key to a long-lasting face. “The spray increases adherence and makes the minerals transfer -proof, so make-up won’t get onto fabrics,” she adds. This, combined with the way the minerals are produced, are the keys to longevity.

A carefully refined milling process results in minerals that lie flat on the skin, meaning that a perfectly blended finish is possible without having to buff the product into skin. Youngblood’s Minerals in the Mist spray performs a similar function and can be used before and after mineral application for the best wear.

“Longevity is traditionally achieved by chemical ingredients and alcohol-based setting sprays, but mineral make-up should allow the skin to breathe,” says Pinkney. “It should be non-comedogenic and nonacnegenic, while still allowing the client to conceal and cover any flaws, with the ability to create a variety of finishes from matte to dewy with light to full coverage.”

The ingredients to watch out for

High-quality mineral make-up is commonly free form parabens, talc, artificial fragrances and dyes, while Youngblood products are also free from metallic compound zinc oxide, a physical sunscreen. Pinkney advises clients to steer clear of powders that contain talc, as it’s known to clog pores and dehydrate the skin, but zinc oxide shouldn’t be completely ruled out

Pinkney explains that the brand chooses not to use zinc oxide for sun protection in its products because “it is, in fact, a drying agent”, but it’s generally considered one of the safest and most effective sunscreen minerals, so clients should decide for themselves. Instead, the brand uses titanium dioxide, another physical protectant that helps guard skin without clogging pores, she says.

Soto-Carlisle agrees that talc should be avoided: “it’s linked to skin dehydration and doesn’t photograph well, so in pictures it often comes up grey or ashy.

Clients could also look out for ingredients that have skin health benefits and work with the minerals to increase the performance of the make-up.

“An antioxidant pomegranate infusion is used in our Pure Pressed Powder to help increase UV protection,” says Soto-Carlisle. “Lemongrass is another ingredient we use as it’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.” Minerals such as rhodolite, zincite, malachite and hermatite also have skin healing properties, says Pinkney.

How mineral make-up will continue to evolve

Mineral make-up brands have been hard at work to make the products more on-trend and appealing to all consumers, especially make-up savvy millennials. Earlier this year Jane Iredale launched an ad campaign with beauty bloggers and digital influencers in a bid to capture the attention of the younger market. Soto-Carlisle says: “The big trend is bringing a little more glamour into mineral make-up to really compete with conventional lines. We’ll definitely be seeing a lot more fully pigmented products and larger shade selections.”

“It’s about application. When you have a synthetic binder, you blend in a back-and-forth motion to get colour payoff, but with minerals you press instead,” explains Soto-Carlisle.

A far cry from the old reputation of mineral make-up, products are emerging in innovative formulations to rival those of conventional brands. “Previously it was considered very chalky and heavy in appearance, but now minerals have the most natural of appearances, perfect for that healthy Californian glow that’s so on-trend this summer,” says Pinkney.

Mineral make-up 2

The link between mineral make-up and skin treatments

The link between mineral make-up and skin treatments make it an ideal addition to the salon. Therapists can be sure the client is protected from the elements without undoing their work on the skin, and clients can leave the salon without having to go barefaced.

“After services, it’s key that therapists have [make-up] on hand. Don’t think of it so much as foundation or make-up, but as a protection to your client’s investment. The last thing you want to do is send them out into the elements barefaced and exposed to environmental damage,” advises Soto-Carlisle.

She says it’s all about education and explaining the skin health benefits of minerals, “thinking of base products more as a dry sunscreen to tone down any inflammation and redness from the treatment, but also to protect the skin.”