Mineral Makeup - LA Mineals

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Custom Formula or Repacked Mica?

There's a baffling mystery in the mineral makeup world. How to tell if an eye shadow is a custom formula, or if it's just repackaged mica? For the customer, it's really hard to tell. A color can look exactly the same from one company to another. However, the ingredients may vary tremendously. For re-packagers, it can mean easy profits with little knowledge. For formulators, this mystery can cause doubt and loss of profit.

We're hoping to clear up this mystery and help you determine what companies may be just re-packaging micas, and what companies are actually formulating cosmetics.

Mica is a mineral. Mica is used in the production of pearlescent pigments. Many metallic looking pigments are composed of a substrate of mica coated with another mineral,to give it shine and or color. By itself, it is not generally suitable for cosmetic purposes, but is intended to be used as a PART of a formula. Pure micas will appear beautiful on the skin, and when applied as an eye shadow. However, most will not have much longevity and will creep into creases or just disappear.

So how can you tell the difference? Here's some clues:
  1. Price: if the company is selling jarred "eye shadows" for $2-3 each, chances are it's a re-packaged mica. They don't have much invested in it, hence lower price point.
  2. Does the company also sell matte eye shadows? Matte eye shadows have to be formulated from base ingredients, with pigment added to the base. We have yet to see a wholesaler offer bulk, matte eye shadow.
  3. Does the company also sell foundation, concealer and other makeup products? The formulating requirements of a skin toned foundation and other skin toned products are also a great indicator. If the company has no formulating skills, chances are they won't be offering foundation.
  4. How long has the company been in business? Re-packers come and go by droves. Most don't bother to go to the expense or trouble to have their own website or brick and mortar store.
  5. Ingredients: Look for ingredients like Magnesium Stearate, Magnesium Myristate (increases adhesion), Boron Nitride (increases slip and shine), Silica or Silk Powder. These are ingredients that increase the adhesion and feel of the product. Not necessary for EVERY eye shadow, but look for it in SOME of their eye shadows.
    NOTE: ingredient lists are the LEAST reliable way to determine a re-packer from a formulator, especially if you are just looking at one product. A mica may consist of: mica, titanium dioxide and iron oxide, straight from the supplier. A formulator may add additional iron oxides, but that would not change the ingredient list! At times this is all that's needed to make the mica suitable for a beauty product. So be sure to check for the other signs above ;)
  6. Try samples: even if it's re-packed mica, you may love it and want to buy it! But why be stuck with a slew of shadows that look pretty, cost hardly anything, and don't stay on your eyes?
At L.A. Minerals, we offer our customers unique, custom formulated cosmetics. All of our items we offer for sale have been crafted from base ingredients, designed for function and beauty.
We have years of experience formulating and selling our products, around the globe. We care about the reputation of reputable companies in the mineral makeup world. And we care about our customers.

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