Mineral Eyeshadows

Pamela Miller
mineral eyeshadow

What makes mineral eyeshadow so much different than regular eyeshadow? The difference is in the ingredients and what the eyeshadow actually contains. Finely milled, mineral eyeshadow is often in powder form and is composed of micronized minerals. Free of talc and fillers often used in traditional makeup products, mineral eyeshadows offer a slightly healthier option and may bring skin benefits with them.

Mineral Eyeshadow Benefits

Sun Protection

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are primary ingredients in mineral eyeshadow and other types of mineral makeup. Both of these minerals play an important role in protecting the skin against sun damage, so mineral eyeshadow has the power to protect the delicate skin around the eyes while also enhancing and contouring them.

  • These minerals have the ability to provide broad spectrum protection from the sun, which means they work against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Even though mineral makeup can offer some sun protection, it should not be relied upon as the only form of sun protection for your skin. It's best to wear an SPF of at least 30 underneath your makeup.

Healing Benefits

In addition to providing sun protection benefits, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide both also have anti-inflammatory properties. This means that these substances can help boost skin healing. Mineral makeup may also be recommended to patients who have just undergone plastic surgery because it is believed to have soothing properties.

Good Option for Sensitive Skin

Mineral eyeshadows provide a soothing alternative to traditional shadows that contain talc and other fillers, as talc can be a skin irritant. Mineral shadows are perfect for those who:

  • Are allergic to talc
  • Have sensitive skin
  • Are suffering from rosacea and acne

Color Considerations

Without the fillers that traditional makeup products may contain, mineral makeup is often comprised of pure pigments, meaning the color payoff will be stronger. This can also mean that a little will go a long way. However, the number of times the minerals are micronized, or milled and processed to create smaller particles, determines the amount and type of coverage they provide. If the minerals in the makeup are not micronized several times, the color payoff and depth may leave much to be desired.

  • When the minerals are micronized around six times, the particles are larger and light to medium coverage can be obtained.
  • When the minerals are micronized around twelve times, the particles will be smaller and provide fuller coverage.

For the color to provide bold payoff, the makeup must be finely milled so the minerals can sit closer together, resulting in a more highly pigmented look. Of course, it is always possible to layer the makeup to create deeper color payoff.

Products to Try

If you're considering taking the plunge and trying mineral makeup on for size, there is an array of options when it comes to mineral eyeshadows.

bareMinerals

Bare Escentuals, the company behind bareMinerals, is the pioneer in bringing mineral makeup to the cosmetics industry and they have a variety of eyeshadow products, including the newer pressed version of mineral eyeshadows. Pressed palette quads, loose mineral eyeshadows, and cream shadows offering a shine to the lid are all available. From nude and natural shadows to more fun colors such as green and blue, Bare Minerals doesn't skip a shade of the rainbow when it comes to playing up your lids.

Purchasing: bareMinerals can be found online, through individual bareMinerals stores, Ulta, and Sephora.

e.l.f. Cosmetics

For a more budget friendly option, e.l.f. Cosmetics (eyes, lips, face) also offers their own version of mineral eyeshadows. They include pressed eyeshadow, loose powder, and a waterproof shadow liner in their range of mineral eyeshadow options. A variety of shades are available from neutral shades to pops of color such as lilac and brilliant shades of blue.

Purchasing: e.l.f. cosmetics can be ordered online and in department stores and drug stores such as Kmart, Target and Walgreens. Use the online store locator to find a retailer near you.

Application

Mineral eyeshadow usually works beautifully applied wet or dry, but to deepen the color simply wet the makeup brush until it is slightly damp. The dampness of the brush also helps to create a smooth application.

If you find mineral powder eyeshadow to be messy and hard to work with, you may prefer one of the pressed mineral eyeshadows that are now available.

Long-Time Beauty Solution

Although mineral makeup may seem like a fairly new trend in the makeup world, in reality it actually borrows from ancient makeup practices. Several ancient cultures utilized minerals and ground them up into a finely-milled form so they could be used on the face to enhance one's beauty. For example, Cleopatra herself utilized kohl to define her eyes. Mineral makeup was brought to the cosmetics industry in the 1970s by Bare Escentuals and since then, many other cosmetic companies have adopted mineral makeup into their own cosmetic lines.

Mineral Eyeshadows