Thursday, July 17, 2008

How Green is Your Makeup? Introducing Purely Cosmetics: Mineral Makeup for the Eco-Woman

Robyn Bloom
Owner & Creator/ Purely Cosmetics

"My success has always been on listening to my customers and
providing them with solutions to meets their needs."

CELESTE: How were you introduced to mineral makeup?

ROBYN: When I stopped working for Corporate America, I promised myself two weeks off from wearing makeup to let my skin breathe. Five years later, I was talking with a friend about the crappy care I took of my skin. She was the one who introduced me to mineral makeup and the wonderful feeling (or should I say "lack" of feeling) of wearing no makeup at all! I was hooked.

Not long afterwards, my daughter and I were shopping, when we were accosted by someone with a mineral makeup kiosk. He asked me what type of makeup I wore, and I proudly told him, thinking he'd go away. He was my first educator about the differences in mineral makeup and the chemicals that are put into the household name brands. I plunked down $60 (yikes) for a jar of foundation for my teenage daughter right on the spot. Deciding I didn't want any of those irritants in my makeup any more than I did for my daughter, I started looking online for mineral makeup companies.

CELESTE: How did you formulate your own line?

ROBYN: After reading many forums and looking at all the various ingredients that can go into mineral makeup, I decided to formulate my own line using the purist ingredients I could find while still offering a reasonably priced product. I researched the properties of the various ingredients, the pros and cons of each, and ended up with 2 foundation formulations: my basic foundation that has the minimalist approach, using only zinc oxide, mica, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides. It's natural, provides sunscreen protection, and works for those with even the most sensitive skin.

CELESTE: Tell us about your Skin Smoothing formula.

ROBYN: My Skin Smoothing formula is a geared more for the mature crowd - it contains silk powder to hydrate your skin, jojoba oil to nourish it, boron to reduce pore visibility, and silica to blur fine lines. It also has more zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in it to increase the sunscreen protection (the silk powder also reflects UVA and UVB rays), in addition to providing more coverage without looking "cakey" for those of us who's skin isn't as perfect as it was when we were 20-years old.

CELESTE: How do you test your products?

ROBYN: There is no animal testing involved in any of my products - I use REAL people with REAL skin issues (blotchiness, acne, roseacea, etc). Because I do not believe in a One-Size-Fits-All approach, my starter kits are fully customizeable with the customer's choice of shades and types of products they want included. Right down to the brushes.
CELESTE: What kind of brushes do you carry?

ROBYN: I carry both synthetic, vegan approved makeup brushes as well as natural haired bristles. The natural hair brushes are only handmade, first cut hairs, making them the softest because their tips are still intact (those would get ruined with machinery) and pointy instead of blunt cut (think about how soft the hair was on your legs the first time you shaved them versus the blunt ends you get when the stubble grows back in).

CELESTE: What is the Beauty Blender?

ROBYN: It's a new type of applicator. It's a hot pink egg shaped sponge that applies makeup flawlessly and without the mess that brushes can. When your Beauty Blender needs replacing (they should last about 4 months), you can send it back for recycling! Learn more about the Beauty Blender here:

CELESTE: Are you using natural and/or organic ingredients for your products?

ROBYN: Yes, all of my products are either organic, or organically derived. Some HAVE to be produced in a lab, as they can be toxic without the impurities removed (such as iron oxides). Those that are not straight minerals (stearates, such as magnesium myristate or zinc stearate), are vegetable derived (usually they can be vegetable or animal derived; I try to stay as vegan as possible). The only powder I use that is not vegan (and also has a shelf life, but it's 2 years) is 100% Pure Silk Powder, which comes from the cocoon of the silk worm.

CELESTE: Do you use any parabens, petroleum, or perfume?

ROBYN: There are no parabens, talc, bismuth, or preservatives of any sort in any of my products.

Many mineral makeup companies use many of the same basic ingredients: mica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. Larger companies will use lots of fillers and ingredients that don't belong to bulk up their products. Nor do I use micronized particles, as the safety of these have yet to be determined. A good comparison of many well known companies versus my product can be found here:

CELESTE: Is your packaging recyclable?

ROBYN: The packaging isn't recyclable but they certainly are reusable.

CELESTE: What sets your line apart from other natural beauty products on the market?

ROBYN: What will set many small companies apart is the texture, adhesion, staying power, and obviously, the shade selection. I also believe that customer service ranks right up there.

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