Yellow, green and purple… Where do shades of mineral cosmetics come from?


As you know it, mineral eyeshadows come in so broad colour scheme that it’s hardly possible to choose just one. Blue, yellow, red, green are just some of them. They deal with two tasks: mineral eyeshadows offer us nice-looking makeup and deliver various finishes. Do you know how a colour of mineral cosmetic is obtained? If not, read on the entry.

Colouring oxides in mineral cosmetics

You can find them mostly in eyeshadows and blushers, they are seldom added to concealers, foundations and powders. In most cases there are four basic colouring oxides of contrasting shades that enable to obtain various colours. They are: yellow iron oxide, red iron oxide, chromium oxide green and ultramarine (ultramarine blue and ultramarine violet). If you want to modify mismatching shade of a cosmetic or warm up/cool it down, colouring oxides bought as dye intermediates should do.

If it wasn’t for the oxides, your mineral cosmetics would be white, they would give you light or high-coverage and highlighting finish. Their concentration in cosmetics should be really low. Also, they can be used as individual colouring cosmetics because their texture impedes using them as loose products. Moreover, wiping them off from skin or bristle of makeup brushes is troublesome.

MINERAL PIGMENTS is just another name for colouring oxides.

Types of colouring oxides

  1. Yellow iron oxide is a neutral pigment that neither cools down nor warms up a particular colour. To get these qualities, yellow iron oxide must be combined with either ultramarine or chromium oxide green – wins cooling down property, or with red iron oxide to deliver warming up effect. Cosmetics containing this oxide are recommended for people with fatigued skin, rosacea and enlarged capillaries. It’s not true that yellow iron oxide delivers orange shade and that it isn’t suitable for pale and reddened skin.
  2. Chromium oxide green gifts skin with cool and olive tones. Cosmetics with its content cover up redness and severe rosacea. The paler the skin is, the more olive tones it has, whereas the more tanned, the more red shades it has.
  3. Red iron oxide makes skin look tanned and warms it up. It delivers orange tones when a particular cosmetic has a high concentration of red iron oxide. Naturally, it can be made more toned due to chromium oxide green.
  4. Blue and violet, that is ultramarine, cool skin or soften warm and neutral colours. Thanks to them you can obtain neutral, toned and cool colours.
  5. Other common colouring oxides are: titanium dioxide (titanium white), zinc oxide (zinc white), iron black oxide, manganese violet, Prussian blue (Berlin blue).

How to combine mineral pigments?

If you want to combine several pigments or add them to a cosmetic, you must know that they cake easily. For that reason, it’s necessary to use either a mortar or a spatula. In case that the obtained colour still doesn’t match your complexion, pour a small amount of the cosmetic and again mix it with a colourant. Remember that you must stir and combine both the pigment and cosmetic thoroughly. Otherwise you will notice colour smudges on your face appearing right after the application of the cosmetic. In order to achieve even makeup, you have to remove all the applied cosmetics and repeat the application. For that reason, it’s so crucial to combine both substances precisely first time round.

Mica – pearl pigments

Pearl pigments, that is mica, belong to silicates. The name derives from Latin word describing something shiny which is strictly connected with the effect that mica produces. They deliver lustrous, shimmering, glossy, opalescent, metallic or matte and toned finish. They are available in various colours and in most cases they are mixed with matte pigments. If you add it to powders, foundations or eyeshadows, you will obtain the effect of reflected light. This enables you to achieve the effect of smoothed out skin, camouflaged wrinkles and skin pores. What’s interesting, mica can work as an individual cosmetic – in most cases it has the form of eyeshadows.

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