Tuesday 29 March 2011

Inika Mineral Foundation

I swore a solemn promise, not so long ago, to seek out the best green make up, for my own personal use and rather ambitiously, my make up kit too. When I say green make up, I just need to add we're not talking Kermit. But you know that, and if you don't, it's about time you caught up!

So looking around there are the usual loose powdered foundations, which (I'm a little ashamed of admitting this... here goes)... I have never actually tried. I know! Shocker. Call myself a make up artist when there is an entire foundation format completely overlooked. The reason is this. I don't really like loose powders. There. I'm fussy. I can't really be bothered with the faff. And I spend enough of my time cleaning brushes in my kit to be bothered to clean my own in my make up bag! Fingers are my friends and they work very well with my Chanel. And yet not so well with powder.

But the quest has begun and with my aversion to powders it seemed right to opt for a liquid mineral base. It didn't have to be completely pure (let's face it, there ain't nothing pure about a made up face) but it did have to exclude the silicones (hate that feeling of siliconed skin), the parabens and PEGS etc too.

The first brand I've tried is Inika, completely surpassing my expectations on purity as they are a 100% natural make up range and from Australia too. Good going Oz. That means Inika exclude from all their products parabens, petrochemicals, fillers, talc, bismuth oxychloride, mineral oils, pthalates, GM ingredients and fragrances. They are also non-comedegenic as in they don't clog the pores which causes acne. You can read more about the brand and it's ethos on the website here.

I'm using the liquid foundation base in Cream, the lightest shade. A note on colour, seriously, wear the one meant for your skin. I have been dabbling in trying slightly warmer shades that I thought might lift my skin tone but it never looks quite right... if you want a warmer glow, think about a decent bronzer in the right places. Foundation goes all over and will unbalance your natural colouring, which will look just a little bit weird. Having said all that, there are only four shades in this range, which doesn't give you a lot of choice. I am using the lightest and although it is a little too light for my skin, it definitely doesn't look too chalky or ashen and it does seem to compliment my own skin tone. So there is a little flexibility there!

Trying it out on my hand, I was very impressed. But it is a curious formula. It's definitely more a cream, than a liquid and when I tried it out for the first time on my face I was a little concerned. But the key is this: abandon all prior understanding of how a foundation moves and behaves on contact with the skin. Don't expect this one to look or feel the same. Do persevere in applying it thoroughly. As you begin to blend it in it almost separates in a kind of patchy way. But once you finish blending, it does in fact leave you with a very even dewy kind of complexion.

Admittedly, it's not one for a full coverage effect, and my skin is reasonable happy so I'm not sure how well it would perform if I did have major skin complaints. But I do really like the finish. It is decent coverage, it's not wishy-washy. And the thing with maximum coverage is that is can actually draw attention to the very things you are trying to disguise like dryness, uneven texture, enlarged pores and spots. This almost completely disappears into the skin (eventually) leaving it looking mysteriously better and more even-toned without you really seeing why. Clever. Very clever in fact. The only thing I would add is that because it is quite a thick cream and it does move a little strangely on the skin, you must take care when blending around the eyes so as not to drag or pull the delicate skin in that area. Got it? Good.

What's really interesting, I think, is what makes up this foundation (excuse the pun). The first ingredient is aloe vera leaf juice, followed by shea butter, macademia nut oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter. You can't beat that for skin-friendliness. Much better in my eyes than the number one ingredient on a foundation I had been using, cyclopentasiloxane, which is a silicone.

I'm happy with this first venture into natural make up and I'm feeling quite smug about it actually because I have been wanting to 'greenify' this area of my life for some time now. I think products that get absorbed into your skin are the most important ones to address and so I will be happily wearing this, for the time being at least - I have a sneaky suspicion it will not last overly long as I feel like I have already used half the tube in about two weeks. This may be due to the squeezey tube / pump dispenser combo which is designed to keep air out and thus be more hygienic (nifty) but it does mean it feels like there's next to nothing left in the tube! I will keep you posted on this detail...

Inika Liquid Mineral Foundation in four shades 30ml £25 approximately
Available in store from Whole Foods retailers. I got mine at Content Beauty / Well Being in store but also available online.

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