Krissy Ferro Answers: What is REAL Mineral Makeup?

If you’re among the millions who have made the mineral switch, this is for you. You may be getting much more than you bargained for… that is, more than minerals in your makeup. Professional makeup artist Krissy Ferro has some illuminating information on the subject of mineral makeup.

Donna: “Mineral” makeup is such a buzz word today. What is real or pure mineral makeup?

Krissy: Real mineral makeup uses only minerals naturally derived from the earth in the entire formula. Common minerals are Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Mica, Calcium, Silica, Iron Oxides and various clays. There are no talcs, artificially manufactured ingredients, dyes, fillers, preservatives or chemicals in real and pure mineral makeup.

Minerals are literally crushed rocks derived from the earth that are pulverized into a fine powder. They are rocks and non-living, so real mineral makeup is inorganic… not organic. Many people think the word organic means natural.

Real mineral makeup is not to be confused with mineral “based” makeup. Mineral based makeup uses some minerals. But it also adds fillers, preservatives, dyes and other non-mineral ingredients to the formula. Unfortunately, to legally call a product mineral makeup, all you need is the presence of some mineral ingredients.

Donna: Why do we want to wear pure mineral makeup vs. mineral based makeup?

Krissy: There are so many benefits from wearing pure mineral makeup. It’s essentially concentrated makeup.

One container of pure mineral foundation can replace four or more liquid or powder foundations. So it will save money. Also, pure minerals provide a flawless HD finish. Imperfections are completely minimized. Women of any age, race, style and skin type can wear real mineral makeup without irritation and without worry of negative effects on the body, the environment or cruelty to animals.

Pure mineral makeup is:

– Hypo-allergenic

– Waterproof

– Long wearing

– Absent of talc, which prevents pores from getting enlarged

– Absent of waxes used in pressed makeup that visually exaggerate fine lines

– Gives the appearance of wearing no makeup, where the skin looks glowing

– Protective from UVA and UVB rays, wind, and free radicals

– 100 % non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, chemically free, and hypoallergenic

– Anti-inflammatory

– Calming and soothing to the skin

– Absent of germination of bacteria or microbes both in the container and on the skin

– Preferred and recommended by plastic surgeons and dermatologists

– Protective of damaged skin

– Safe for skin with acne and will reduce redness

– Flawless with a long-lasting finish

– Safe to sleep in

– Longer lasting than traditional cosmetics, which is typically six months

– Extremely lightweight

– Is safe to be used after aggressive skin treatments including: laser surgery, microdermabrasion and chemical peels

Donna: What do consumers need to know about pure mineral makeup vs. mineral-based makeup?

Krissy: There are several marketing tactics that can confuse consumers. So, being armed with information is also helpful in finding the right products. Consumers need to know:

1. The names of real mineral ingredients

2. The names of ingredients to stay away from, or that are not minerals

3. How to read an ingredients label to verify just how pure “mineral” a product really is

All cosmetics use some mineral ingredients. So they can all mostly be categorized as mineral based. And since mineral makeup is such a high demand buzzing product, cosmetic brands have basically re-marketed a lot of their existing products or formulas as mineral-based to capture the dollars from the buzz. All of which can confuse many consumers who want pure mineral makeup.

For example: One singular mineral product within a brand is marketed as all natural or all mineral does not mean the entire brands line of products are all natural or all mineral. We call this a “bait and switch”. The “bait” is one product highly marketed and touted as pure minerals using words like “100% bare,” “pure minerals,” “natural ingredients.” The “switch” happens when consumers believe that to be true on the rest of the product line. Which many times is essentially traditional makeup loaded with chemicals and preservatives.

Product Label Guidelines: Cosmetic manufacturers by law have to list ingredients in order from most to least. This means whatever is listed first is what that product contains the most of, and whatever is listed last is what that product contains the least of.

What you want to see:

The good stuff listed first or as primary ingredients… not just in the “may contain” list.

– Titanium Dioxide

– Zinc Oxide

– Mica

– Calcium

– Silica


– Iron Oxides

– Clays such as Kaolin Clay

– Other natural ingredients.

What you DON’T want to see:

Non-mineral ingredients listed in the first few ingredients. Or good mineral ingredients listed at the end of an ingredients list or in the “May Contain” list, which is no guarantee.

– Bismuth Oxychloride (man-made mineral, not naturally occurring, found in several mineral brands)

– Parabens of any kind, which can start with “ethyl” “methyl” or “propyl”, which are hormone disrupting chemical preservatives

– FD&C dyes, which are artificial chemical dyes


– Cornstarch (made from plants, and requires preservatives)

Donna: Why did you create Ferro Cosmetics?

Krissy: As a makeup artist, I needed natural cosmetics in my kit. A growing number of clients were having skin reactions to traditional makeup products. Some couldn’t wear makeup at all because of all the dyes and chemicals.

At first, I thought finding a natural pure mineral makeup would be easy. I saw infomercials for brands claiming to be natural. But when I dug deeper into the ingredient list, I realized that they weren’t natural. Some of these popular makeup brands had the same ingredients women needed to stay away from.

I did find a few brands that were actually 100% natural. However, the variety of shades and tints were too minimal. As a professional makeup artist, I needed a complete line that allowed me show my clients all different styles and looks. As well as the ability to work on a professional level with HD, now standard for TV and film.

I sourced vendors that sold actual pure mineral ingredients, along with some basic formulas, and created my own line of pure mineral makeup out of pure necessity. It’s called Ferro and is an entire professional makeup line that is 100% natural with gorgeous shades of color for all skin hues.

Donna: Can you use Ferro Cosmetics on professional photo shoots?

Krissy: Yes! It looks fabulous in photo shoots. In fact, there is a growing demand by models, makeup artists and producers or photographers for pure mineral all natural products. We’ve been working closely with professional celebrity artists and photographers to meet their needs. One of the great benefits of the product being all minerals is it allows the model or talent to look like themselves. This is especially important for male actors and models. It’s also great for photographers and retouchers because there isn’t as much work retouching skin as pure minerals provide better coverage that traditional makeup and lasts for hours.

Donna: Anything else we need to know?

Krissy: This year Ferro Cosmetics is proud to partner with an amazing charity called Ferro Cosmetics created THE BEAUTY BOX and donates a portion of the profits back to Fashion Hope.

Donna Sozio is a journalist and the author of two books including The Man Whisperer. She lives in Los Angeles.

Image: Lorena Cupcake