Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mineral Makeup Controversy


Right now there is a big controversy in the online world of mineral makeup.
Specifically a backlash against minerals that are purchased, most specifically colored micas, and simply repackaged and sold at an exorbitant markup. The problem with this is twofold.
1. These companies are not selling products that will actually perform well as makeup, therefore defrauding the customer, and at the same time reflecting poorly on the boutique mineral makeup community as a whole. Most customers then assume all minerals are probably crap, and why waste their time & money. These companies often claim to have Custom designed their lines, again defrauding the consumer. I understand the concern, and the outrage, as money is something in short supply for many these days, and to find you wasted it, frankly, sucks. But, I also think that many people are feeling conned, and that is never a pleasant thought.
I know that several of these "outed" companies purchase the same products from the same suppliers that I do, but do not actually go through the process of creating an actual makeup product, ie. shadow, blush, bronzer, etc.
2. This brings me to my second part of the problem. People are now ranting that all mineral companies are charging too much because they either just dump mica in a jar, or mix it with a bunch of "fillers" too stretch it out & then charge a huge markup, for crap they could buy themselves for 1/10th the price.
I invite you to try.
This is the area of most concern to me. I agree that companies that just repackage micas will eventually be discovered- simply because their items will not function well as makeup, at least not without sticky primer, waterproof sealants, and a whole host of other steps that the consumer should not HAVE to do just to make their makeup wearable. Mica's pretty, but it doesn't stick.
Companies that make actual mineral makeup- usually use these ingredients now being touted as useless, cheap, or unnecessary. I feel I MUST offer an explanation as to why this misconception just isn't so...
Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Sercite Mica, Carnauba Wax, Kaolin Clay, Magnesium Stearate, to name a few- all offer something to the base of any cosmetic recipe (including professional brand products). Whether adhesion (sticks to skin), Slip (glides over skin), Color Stability ( color won't change with body oils), Lubricity (creaminess), Opacity (coverage), again this just names a few. Many of these products do more than one, but it is usually the combination, or formula of the base recipe that creates the makeup's performance ability, the rest is color (though often colorants can offer some of these qualities as well).
For example, I have four different shadow bases matte, silk, satin, and sparkle. Each of these can have colorants ground or mixed into them. The depth of color from pastel to deepest pigmentation depends upon what I choose to add and how. I can also then adjust from sheer to opaque in each of these by adding more or less Zinc, Kaolin, Serecite, Titanium Dioxide, etc, again based upon what I am looking for. I may then have to adjust again, because I want sheer, but can't sacrifice adhesion.......and, trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Another common complaint, is that it looks just like the mica, so, obviously it's not actually an eyeshadow. There are some micas that are just so gorgeous that I want them to stand as an eyeshadow, no mixing of colors on my part can make this color anymore gorgeous. Dragonfly Mica (no longer available) is one of these. If you looked at my eyeshadow, called Stunning, and compared it to a sample of Dragonfly, you would think I did nothing to it, but you would be wrong! It took a lot of effort to create a base that would let this mica perform it's magic- the color is UNBELIEVABLE! and yet actually BE a shadow. I can now wear this color and it won't budge until I take it off!
Lastly, please do not just look to the weight to determine value. Minerals are a unique product in that they have vastly different weights. A tsp of sercite (approx 2grams) and a tsp of Zinc (approx 3.5 grams, I figured I might as well weigh them to give you the most accurate info possible) do not weigh any where near each other for the same amount, therefore some products will weigh more, and others less than others depending upon the ingredients used to make them. Oxides weigh considerably more than mica. All products will have weights all over the spectrum. I personally use a standard weight on my jars (the lowest of all my products), and fill the jars to well over that weight, every time. In doing this I know my clients are always getting MORE than what they're actually paying for, and I can be compliant with the FDA's rules.
Please be an informed consumer, by all means read reviews, but look further- look to the website, do they clearly disclose their ingredients? A red flag should go up if there are no ingredients to be found anywhere. If in doubt contact the site, most conscientious formulators will respond to questions, especially about ingredients- we want you to be assured our products are safe. Inspect the packages, are they properly labeled with manufacturer, or company name, weight of ingredients, an indicator if it is not lip safe, etc. Do they offer a large range of cosmetics, foundations, concealers, as well as shadows, blushes, bronzers, lip glosses & lipsticks, and even skin care products. If they only offer shadows, there is a possibility that they MAY be a mica only repackager, so look for further clues, like the ones above, and if you're still not sure, either inquire or keep looking elsewhere.
Lastly, be willing to spend, just a little more, on quality products. I cannot sell an eyeshadow for $5. The multitude of ingredients I use preclude such a low price, not to mention the time I invest in creating these products. I have not, nor will I, ever use another's recipe, but as a makeup artist I also feel that my color knowledge has distinct value in creating great product.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


So Halloween is here, which means Someone's gonna get hurt! Not really, but it's fun to pretend!
Here's my version of a clumsy skater punk!

Ooooh, that had to hurt!
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Congratulations to Crystal S. you are the winner of the Color Inspiration Contest!!!!
Crystal wanted to see a matte orange, and boy did that get my brain racing! I made 3! The final color, is called Bawdy! I will also be sending Crystal my new matte navy Fleet week, as well as Satisfied, First Crush, and Rich Amber, my newest matte bronzer, Bare Luster, and Petal lip gloss. ( and there might just be an extra surprise thrown in just 'cause!)
Of course, it doesn't surprise me that another makeup artist came up with my favorite inspiration! if you haven't found crystal's blog, you should! She is a
beauty, and talented to boot.
here's the link- http://makeupbycrystals.blogspot.com/
Crystal send me your mailing info and your package will be sent out Monday!
Congrats, again, and I hope you enjoy!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Deadline 12 Am eastern standard time!

The deadline for my color inspiration contest is 12 Am eastern Standard time TONIGHT! This is your last chance to follow me & submit an entry, so get those brains working! I will announce the winner first thing Sat am (my time, around 10 or so, cause I' m sleeping in!) there have been some really good suggestions, and one has really sparked my interest, can you do better?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Only 1 more day!

Last minute submissions- get them in!!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some photos in! Yay!

So here are a couple of the photos from my last shoot on Thursday. This model was so sweet and ultra professional, of course doing major runway shows and movie spots kind of helps LOL.
The photographer, Stehpanie, is very talented; she really has the ability to capture a great shot. She does very little retouching, which as a makeup artist I love, because I know if the model's skin/eyes/lips/ look great, I did my job well! These particular photos were really aimed at a more commercial look, so clean, pretty makeup was my focus.

Don't forget my color inspiration contest ends Friday! it's not to late to follow me, and place an entry. See the entry that lists all the great makeup you can win!
photo Copyright Spierce Photography
credits Jasmine Tang model

Friday, October 9, 2009


We had beautiful New England weather for our photo shoot yesterday. Click the link to see Minuteman National Park, a beautifully historic site, in Concord, Ma. If you're ever out this way I suggest a visit. Concord itself was a cute little town & the park was lovely.
The leaves were all shades of green, red, yellow and orange- the sun was out, with only a little cloudiness. The model was both sweet & gorgeous, and so professional, all in all, a very talented girl & it was a real pleasure working with her. I also liked the photographer- she was very enthusiastic & I could tell that she loved what she was doing, which I know is going to show in her pictures. I can't wait to see them!
I'm looking forward to the opportunity of working with both of them again. It's such a great feeling on a shoot when everyone "clicks" & adds their creativity to create great pictures!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Photo Shoot

Photo shoot today! Gorgeous model, great photog- Up at 5am, soooooo tired- tell you all about it tomorrow-pics soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tarte mini Cheek Stain

So while browsing through Sephora today, I saw a mini Tarte Cheek Stain, in true love, for only $10. It's a cute, itty bitty thing (.17 oz), but the lovely thing with these stains is that a little bit goes a looong way. I couldn't wait to try it, so put some on right when I got home over the makeup I was already wearing. I know, don't yell, over powdered makeup, big no no, but minerals are much more forgiving & workable & I did not end up with some muddy mess on my face, but rather a beautiful pinky glow on the apples of my cheeks. I do recommend, however that you apply this after your moisturizer or primer, and before any foundation, even minerals! (I was just too excited to wait) One of the things I most love about a gel or stain cheek color, is it's ability to mimic a truly natural looking flush, & showcase the skin texture, rather that just cover it up. Plus the Tarte stain is a water based, alcohol free formula, so is gentle to the skin, even sensitive types, and the color will look beautiful on pretty much everybody. The only drawback, I personally find, is that stains usually contains dyes, which are not a natural product, this contains blue 1, yellow 5 and red 40, among others. But since most people aren't bothered by dyes, and the above mentioned are food grade dyes, this is probably not a concern for most makeup enthusiasts; of course I still encourage you to read your labels! I also really love that it comes in a mini- because I'm always looking to pack as much different stuff into my kit as possible & full sizes, of all but the most essential items, are cumbersome & hard to fit in a kit. That's why I'm always on the hunt for great palettes and multi-tasking items. I know there's a 3some of Tarte stains out there, I think I'm going to have to make another trip!
I included a link to the true love mini stain page @ Sephora, become a beauty insider & earn points as well!
Naturally, you can also find this at www.tarte.com

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I'm starting to get inspired! I've had some really great suggestions, and am definitely looking into a couple colors that are making me say, hmmmmm.....!
The only thing people are forgetting is... you have to become a follower to submit a viable suggestion and be entered into the contest, so click that follow button gals (and guys!)


Saturday, October 3, 2009

What you can Win!

Just a small example of what can be your! Satisfied- a gorgeous peachy pink with golden glow, and Rich Amber a matte mineral bronzer and contour powder.
To enter-become a follower-and submit your idea for my next eyeshadow!