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Safer Mineral Makeup Foundation

Written by Irina Webb

Safer Mineral Makeup Foundation

I don’t often use foundation for my face, but on special occasions, I feel like using some. So I wanted to have some on hand for those occasions, and I contacted a few companies before making my final selection among the safer mineral makeup foundation products available today.


Let’s dispel marketing claims


First of all, let me dispel some marketing claims for you and tell you that there is no such thing as “organic” or absolutely safe makeup. However, we certainly can take steps to reduce exposure to toxicants commonly found in makeup.


Petroleum versus mineral makeup


There are two types of makeup: petroleum-based and mineral makeup. Both might have traces of heavy metals; but from specifications detailed by the FDA in 21 CFR 74, generally petroleum-based color additives have higher limits for lead, arsenic, and mercury. For example, lead limit is doubled for many petroleum-based dyes, 20 ppm versus 10 ppm for mineral pigments.


In addition, petroleum-based dyes have other contaminants specific to petroleum including benzo[a]pyrene, PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and brominated resorcinol. Some of these contaminants are human carcinogens.


Thus, as always and in this case, I recommend staying away from petroleum-based products. Unfortunately, while mineral makeup is a better choice, it still contains traces of heavy metals.


So how do heavy metals end up in mineral makeup?


The raw materials of mineral makeup such as iron ore are mined from the earth. When they are mined, it is inevitable that other minerals such as lead will be part of that process.


In the lab, raw materials are purified and synthesized into cosmetic grade pigments. During that process, the amounts of contaminants are reduced, but they are not completely removed. While the amounts left are tiny, heavy metals accumulate in the body adding to toxic burden over time.


What can we do as consumers?


  • Choose mineral makeup versus petroleum.


  • Buy mineral makeup from companies you trust that source their mineral pigments from reputable suppliers, preferably not from China.


  • Do not use powdered makeup as you might inhale airborne particles of makeup.


  • Consider not wearing makeup or reduce frequency of wear.



Mineral makeup foundation I chose


As you might remember, I use and recommend Annmarie facial oils (to read more about them, visit here). I have been in touch with them for some time now and find that the people of this company are genuinely interested in making a difference and providing us with the safest skin care products and cosmetics.


They even went above and beyond, supplying me with mineral pigment documentation that satisfied me that the levels of heavy metal contaminants are consistent with the levels stated in the FDA’s specifications.


I also like that Annmarie mineral makeup has nothing other than mineral pigment ingredients, which include titanium dioxide, mica, zinc oxide, and iron oxide.  It is challenging to avoid other common fillers commonly found in mineral-based makeup.


Safer Mineral MakeupI love the way they sell their mineral makeup foundation. Basically, they allow you to “try before you buy.” For only $20 (with no shipping charge), you will receive 8 shades of mineral makeup foundation and a small bottle of facial oil. Please see the picture on the left.


This was very helpful for me.  Since I have not used a mineral makeup foundation in a long time, I had no idea what shade I needed.


The amounts of each mineral makeup are generous. I quickly determined my shade and I have used that particular bottle 5 times and expect that I can probably use it at least 10 times more before I run out.


This is how Annmarie mineral makeup foundation works


Simply tap less than a pea-sized amount of the powder in the palm of your hand and add 2 drops of facial oil, mix them and apply to your face. The more of mineral makeup you put, the more coverage you have.  And if you want just a tad of coverage, apply mostly oil. You can mix and match different shades to create your own. The idea here is to provide you with control over the color and type of coverage you want to achieve. And this idea is very well executed!


The mineral makeup brightens my complexion and shaves off a few more years from the age stated on my driver’s license.


And lastly, your mineral makeup foundation sample kit comes with a $10 gift certificate towards your future purchases, so then you can decide which shade to which you want to commit.


Where to buy the mineral makeup sample kit


Annmarie website


I hope you get to try it if you use makeup. And if you do not use makeup, congratulations on freedom from vanity!

SAFER mineral makeup foundation powder

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33 thoughts on “Safer Mineral Makeup Foundation”

  1. I used to use mineral makeup but found that it would settle into forehead lines I didn’t even have or dry out my skin under eyes making me look older. Do you find this does that? I see the oil is something different in application compared to the last one I used. I also used to notice it would make my fave itchy around my jaw line at times. It was bare minerals..

    1. Hi Vanessa:

      I imagine that can happen if you use too much powder. The good news is that you can play with proportions of oil and powder and find what works the best for you. And obviously, it did not make me itchy; otherwise, I would not recommend it. Bare Minerals powders contain Bismuth Oxychloride, which can cause skin irritation.


      1. Hi, Mary: welcome! I am glad you joined. I will be posting more about makeup soon and if the brands, you asked for, satisfy my health standards, you will see them. Thank you for asking. ~Irina

  2. Hi Irina! Thx for all of your research! I’m a nursing mom and was just advised I have acne rosacea. Sigh. I’m very careful with what I eat and use on my body (try to eat organic and unprocessed foods). Just wondering if this oil and makeup would be a good option for folks with my condition. Or, should I follow up with the company? Thx again!

    1. Hi Jaime: I am sorry to hear about your skin condition. It sounds like you are on the right path! I am sure with diet changes and better skin care products, you will be cured soon. You might also want to look into gluten-free diet. Generally, plant-based oils are very helpful for acne rosacea as they have anti-inflammatory properties. Also, zinc oxide used in the Annmarie makeup has anti-inflammatory benefits. Do you use any makeup now? Make sure you avoid bismuth oxychloride. I think the best way to find out is try the product because it is so individual. Let us know how you liked it. ~Irina

  3. Thank you for posting this info, Irina! I have been wondering about make-up for awhile and have been wanting to find something safer. I currently use Zuii, which Good Earth sells, still I really didn’t know much about it. I did just learn about this line, Annmarie, at Gathering Thyme in San Rafael (a great herb shop), and a lady there did demonstrate the foundation for me last Saturday (at an Open House they had). I did end up buying their serum with aloe for “older” skin (that’s me now!). I am very happy about this synchronicity with your blog post this week. So I purchased the sample kit for myself, as well as a sample kit for oily skin for my tween daughter, which is also really important!! Thank you!

    1. Hi Erin: Good question! You can see a list of ingredients here. Basically, it is a blend of different plant oils, herbs, and plant extracts for normal, combination, and sensitive skin. I use their anti-aging facial oil.

  4. Thank you for this, Irina! I rarely use make up, but there are times when I’d like to use a bit to even out my skin tone when I know there will be photos taken on special occasions. I’ve never been sure what color to buy, and this sample kit will allow me to customize to my needs. Just placed an order.

  5. Thank you very much for your informative reply, Irina! About three times a week, I wear Gabriel foundation. Prior to becoming pregnant, I was strictly Paleo but it’s been hit or miss for nearly a year. I’ll try the products and let you all know my experience. Thx again!

  6. They even had free shipping to Canada!! I’m sold haha! Thank you so much Irina! I’ve been wondering about their makeup and appreciate you doing this research 🙂

    1. Hi, Alma! No, I have not heard of this brand. Thank you for asking. At a first glance, it looks pretty good. I would have to contact them to learn more. Have you tried it? What are you looking for in makeup? ~Irina

  7. Hi Irina, have you done any research on Alima Pure? I switched to using their products from more traditional makeup because a friend of mine who has sensitive skin recommended them, but I don’t know if they’re up to your standards.

    1. Hi, Theresa: I would have to look into it more closely and contact them as well when I have time. Do you like it performance-wise? Which products do you use? ~Irina

  8. Have you looked into Jane Iredale products? I am wondering about your thoughts on their mineral foundation. Thanks!

    1. I have but I do not remember off top of my head what specifically stopped me from recommending their products. We can go over their ingredients on the phone if you book a 15-min consultation. ~Irina

    1. Thank you for your asking! Yes, heavy metals in makeup seems to be an issue companies and organization including EWG shove aside. I believe we would all benefit from regulations on suppliers of pigments and dyes. I will be publishing a post next week regarding this issue. ~Irina

    1. Hi, Amber: it looks like they use a variety of clays instead of mineral pigments for colorants. Have you used their foundation powders? ~Irina

  9. I have acne prone skin and it breaks out constantly I also have itching around my jaw with the use of bare minerals and I am afraid of putting oil on my skin as it is already an oil factory.

    1. Hi, Michelle: I know what you mean. When I used to have to acne, I did not feel like applying facial oils even though I was told it was okay to do. Are you using Bare Minerals powder? There is Bismuth Oxychloride in it that anecdotally I hear may cause irritation in some people. By the way, since writing this post, I found a foundation that I currently use. It is not oily or greasy at all. You might want to check it out here: Let me know what you think. ~Irina

  10. Interesting. I’m going to purchase the sample kit you mentioned. Have you done an assessment of Young Living’s Savvy Minerals? I’m curious to find an unbiased review.

    1. They emailed them my questions and to my disappointment, they did not answer them to my satisfaction. Thank you for asking, Nanette. !Irina

      1. Thank you for responding Irina. I just realized you did!! That’s so unfortunate. I was considering their products and asked that question in a “Savvy Minerals” group with 50k members and one of the members replied with the standard copy and paste response that is on the YL website.

        From YL: “Q. From where is the mica in some Savvy Minerals products sourced, and is it obtained using child labor?

        A. We have been assured by our vendor that the mica used in our Savvy Minerals makeup line is mined in the United States, and there is no child labor involved in the sourcing of this ingredient.”

        I’m not even sure how to respond to her.

        BTW, what social media can I follow you on?

        1. I still wonder what country their iron oxides are mined in. They did not disclose that information to me. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram with ireadlabelsforyou handle. Thank you, Nanette. ~Irina

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