Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

Mineral Makeup Performance

A few days ago I was speaking with an aspiring makeup artist who said she’s found most makeup artist reluctant to use mineral makeup for photo shoots. I thought that was interesting because I’ve worked hard to get the hang of working with minerals for shoots. Using natural products, as much as possible, is important to me.

But, it seems many makeup artist feel natural cosmetics do not perform to the standard of traditional makeup. I’ll admit, I find it easier to work with traditional makeup on shoots, but I suspect much of that has to do with my comfort level. I’ve worked as a makeup artist for nearly 15 years. I’ve only used natural brands for the past year.

To get another perspective, I spoke with Kimberly Platko, natural cosmetics formulator and President of Geografx, LLC. Platko formulates beauty products for eight mineral lines currently on the market, in addition to her own “label.”

Here are her answers to my questions about the performance level of natural cosmetics.

Todra: I’m hearing that other makeup artist are hesitant to use mineral brands for photo and television shoots because they don’t feel minerals perform well enough to go beyond consumer makeup. What would you say about that?

Kim: I think it's subjective. What one makeup artist thinks performs well, another may not. Definitely working with natural ingredients is a limiting factor. It limits what you’re able to do.

Todra: What do you mean?

Kim: Foundations, for instance. I think it’s possible to get some very good formulations that work really well, especially in the loose minerals . When you get into liquids it gets harder. There are very few chemical-free carrier bases and you need that for a liquid foundation. I haven’t been able to come up with one.

Todra: And for artists who like to work with liquids, that immediately turns them away from the natural options.

Kim: Exactly. But for some people who have serious skin issues or health conditions, the ingredients in the product is the deal breaker for them; whereas for a makeup artist the deal breaker may be coverage. I find everybody has to draw the line on how much natural is important to them. There are degrees. And there are trade-offs.

People say why don’t’ you have a fire engine red lipstick. Because we don’t use dyes or carmine. It’s impossible to get that color through natural means. But again, for some consumers, the safety of the product and the sustainability of the raw materials are really front seat for them. That may not be the case for a makeup artist.

Todra: See, that’s hard for me because those things you just mentioned are very important to me, but I have to have something that performs well on my jobs.

Kim: I understand that. For most consumers, they’re happy to have something a little less complicated.

Todra: Can we expand a little bit on this? Is it more costly to produce natural makeup?

Kim: I’d say, “Yes.” Chemicals are cheap and can be mass produced. Anything that is plant based is expensive, especially the ones that use the more expensive essential oils. There are EOs that can sell for $50 for a dram. Many thousands of flowers can go into making one ounce of an essential oil. That’s why some of the natural lines are quite expensive.

Todra: But I see $65 foundations that have very little natural ingredients. What’s justifying that cost?

Kim: $65 foundations are priced on prestige as well as overhead and packaging. Some of it is just greed. It’s not the price of the raw materials.

Todra: I figured as much. Well, thank you for taking the time for this interview. I appreciate you sharing your expertise with my readers.

Kim: No problem. I’m happy to do it.

If you are a makeup artist working with minerals, I'd love to hear your take on this discussion.

*I will be hanging out in the Big Apple for a mental health week. Not sure if I'll be able to blog, but I'll post as soon as I'm back.