From Cavewoman Chic to Runway Ready with Minerals

A Historical Look at Mineral Cosmetics

Let’s take a look at the history of mineral cosmetics and discover some of the best natural beauty secrets. Yes, that's right, we're talking about our clean mineral makeup, the better alternative to those chemical-laden concoctions that have the potential to wreak havoc on our complexions.

In a prehistoric world, our ancestral sisterhood found themselves without the aid of contouring palettes or false eyelashes to attract a mate. Instead, they relied on the earth's natural minerals to enhance their beauty.

Can't you just picture our ancient ancestors grinding up rocks with their primitive mortar and pestles, crafting a rudimentary eye shadow to make their eyes pop? Of course, we may never know the precise details, but we like to imagine them rocking that ochre-tinted smoky eye around the fire pit.

Fast forward a few thousand years to the land of the pharaohs, where Cleopatra herself was known to indulge in the finest crushed lapis lazuli to create that iconic, electric blue eyeshadow we still covet today1. We're pretty sure that if she were alive today, Cleo would have her own makeup line, complete with eco-friendly packaging and a YouTube channel to showcase her killer cat-eye tutorials.

It's no secret, that the ancient Egyptians were obsessed with all things glamorous. Gold, precious gems, and other shiny trinkets adorned their bodies, but it was their devotion to mineral cosmetics that truly set them apart. Their quest for natural beauty from the earth. They embraced the power of malachite, a green-hued mineral that supposedly protected against evil and disease, by using it as a vibrant eye color2. It's not every day that your makeup doubles as a talisman against misfortune!

Meanwhile, in ancient Greece, our predecessors were all about their search for the best healthy skin care products that that would create that Grecian glow. When they weren't busy philosophizing or sculpting marble statues, they were slathering their faces with a white lead-based paste called ceruse.3 Sure, it may have been toxic (oops!), but the Grecian gals couldn't get enough of that ethereal, otherworldly complexion. Talk about taking "pale and interesting" to a whole new level!

Moving to the 18th century, Europe was a veritable hotbed of powdered wigs, corsets, and Marie Antoinette-inspired decadence. The ladies of the time were fascinated by beauty marks, painstakingly applying tiny patches of velvet or silk to their faces to emphasize their alabaster complexions. And what better way to achieve that sought-after pallor than with mineral cosmetics? They developed a coveted skin care routine by mixing powdered minerals like zinc oxide, and pearl powder to create a porcelain-like effect, a look that truly said, "I haven't seen sunlight in years, darling."

As the centuries rolled by, our love affair with mineral cosmetics waned, overshadowed by the rise of synthetic makeup. But fear not, mineral mavens, because the 1970s ushered in a new era of natural beauty. When the hippie movement took hold there was a renewed interest in all things organic and earthy so it began to flourish. Suddenly, it was cool to be eco-friendly and au naturel, with women everywhere tossing their chemical-laden makeup in favor of Mother Earth's finest offerings. And thus, the mineral makeup renaissance was born.

Enter the 21st century, when mineral cosmetics have become a staple in our makeup bags, and we couldn't be happier about it. We have mineral-based, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free makeup products, from foundation to blush and beyond. The popularity of mineral makeup has skyrocketed, and we're all about that guilt-free glow. You can check out our selection of over 55 mineral eye colors here.

But ladies, let's not forget that even our mineral makeup has its roots in the past. You might say that our present-day obsession with mineral cosmetics is simply history repeating itself. We've come full circle, embracing the natural beauty secrets of our ancient predecessors while adding a modern twist that is safer and cleaner than ever before.

The next time you find yourself in the makeup aisles, contemplating whether to splurge on that gorgeous mineral blush or eyeshadow, just remember that you're not only treating your skin to a healthier alternative, but you're also taking part in a millennia-old beauty ritual. And who knows? Maybe one day, our descendants will look back on our time and marvel at our dedication to our best, just as we've looked back on the Egyptians, Greeks, and 18th-century Europeans with admiration.

Evolving and growing in our understanding of beauty and wellness, it's important to remember that sometimes, the best answers can be found in the earth beneath our feet. We've laughed and we've learned, and it's clear that mineral cosmetics have stood the test of time. Our journey has been from the depths of prehistory to the catwalks of today.

In the meantime, let's raise a toast to our mineral makeup-loving ancestors, and the enduring power of earth's natural treasures. Here's to a future filled with radiant complexions, bold-eye looks, and rock-solid beauty rituals!

And remember fellow mineral makeup enthusiasts: no matter how advanced our beauty techniques become or how many YouTube tutorials we watch, sometimes it's the simplest, most natural ingredients that truly make us shine. So, go forth, and let your inner cavewoman strut her stuff because mineral cosmetics are here to stay!

Basking in the radiant glow of mineral cosmetics, let's take a closer look at some of the most iconic examples of mineral makeup artistry throughout history, as well as some contemporary trendsetters who have mastered the mineral makeup game.

Iconic Walk Through Makeup History

Cleopatra and the history of mineral makeup

Cleopatra's Cobalt Crush: As we mentioned earlier, our girl Cleopatra knew a thing or two about making a statement. With her signature crushed lapis lazuli eyeshadow, she wasn't just a queen, she was a mineral makeup goddess. Today, we can channel her regal vibe with a bold, electric blue eyeshadow, perfect for turning heads at any soiree. Try our Blue Sparkle or Emerald Green for a vibrant pop of color.

Geisha Glam: Fast forward to the Japanese Edo period, when geishas captivated audiences with their delicate beauty and artistic performances. They used a white powder called oshiroi, made from rice powder and crushed pearl, to achieve a flawless, porcelain-like complexion. While we might not go quite so heavy on the powder, a light dusting of mineral foundation or our finishing powder for setting your look can still provide that same polished glow.

Victorian Vixens: The Victorians may have been known for their modesty and restraint, but they certainly knew how to make a statement with their makeup. Ladies of the time would pinch their cheeks to create a rosy flush, a technique that can easily be replicated today with a touch of mineral blush. And let's not forget the alluring kohl-rimmed eyes favored by Victorian beauties, a look that's still in vogue today.

The Flapper's Smolder: The Roaring Twenties saw the rise of the flapper, with her daring style and smoky, sultry eyes. While we can't confirm that they used mineral makeup, we'd like to think that today's flapper-inspired looks would feature a blend of mineral eyeshadows to create that iconic smoky eye like our Midnight Blue, perfect for dancing the night away.

Twiggy's Mod Moment: The 1960s were all about breaking the mold and pushing boundaries, and no one did it better than the iconic supermodel, Twiggy. With her bold, graphic eyeliner and doll-like lashes, she captivated the world with her striking look. To put a modern spin on Twiggy's iconic style, try using a mineral-based liner and shadow to create a clean, mod-inspired eye. Here is a tip you may not know – all of our eye colors can be made into liquid liners by simply dipping your brush into a bit of clean water!

The Mineral Makeup Gurus of Today: With countless beauty influencers and makeup artists embracing the power of mineral cosmetics, there's no shortage of inspiration for your mineral makeup looks. From the everyday "no makeup" makeup look achieved with a light dusting of mineral foundation and a touch of blush, to the more dramatic, bold eyes shadow looks created using richly pigmented mineral shadows, there's truly something for everyone.

As we stand on the shoulders of the mineral makeup giants who came before us, let's embrace our unique sense of style and artistry. Whether you're channeling Cleopatra's electric blue lids, a Victorian-inspired kohl-rimmed gaze, or a Twiggy-esque mod moment, remember that it's not just about looking fabulous—it's also about celebrating the rich history of mineral cosmetics.

After all, our love for these earth-derived treasures is written in the stars (or, you know, the rocks). By using mineral makeup in our beauty routines, we're not only paying homage to the women who came before us but also paving the way for future generations of mineral makeup mavens. So, rock on, ladies, and let the art of mineral cosmetics continue to dazzle and delight for centuries to come!

It’s also important to understand the science behind these natural beauty wonders. It's the unique properties of these earth-derived treasures that make them so beneficial for our skin and our overall well-being. So, let's take a little detour down Science Lane and explore the magic of mineral makeup from a more scientific perspective.

The Science Behind Mineral Makeup

The Power of Pigments: The vibrant colors found in mineral cosmetics can be attributed to the natural pigments present in various minerals. Iron oxides are responsible for the rich hues that can be found in eye shadows, blushes, and lipsticks. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide minerals offer a brightening effect in mineral foundations and concealers. These pigments not only provide us with the stunning shades we crave but also offer a safer alternative to synthetic dyes and colorants.

Skin-Loving Minerals: Many mineral cosmetics contain ingredients that boast skin-soothing properties that make them the ideal choice for those with sensitive skin. Mica is often used to add a shimmering effect to cosmetics. This mineral can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by diffusing light!

No Nasty Additives: One of the key benefits of mineral makeup is the absence of harmful chemicals and additives that can be found in many conventional cosmetics. Mineral makeup offers a more natural and skin-friendly alternative for those looking to minimize their exposure to potentially harmful ingredients. But not all mineral makeups are the same – so look at your ingredients and avoid talc and other chemical fillers.

Breathable Beauty: Many people love mineral makeup for its lightweight, non-clogging properties. It contains fewer ingredients than traditional cosmetics, and it allows your skin to breathe more easily, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Long-Lasting and Water-Resistant: Thanks to their unique molecular structure, many mineral cosmetics are inherently water-resistant and long-lasting.  Meaning that not only will your mineral makeup stay put throughout the day, but it can also withstand a bit of sweat or an unexpected drizzle, keeping you looking fabulous come rain or shine.

So, there you have it—a little dose of science to help you understand why we've fallen so hard for mineral cosmetics. It's not just about the stunning shades. The rich history of eco-friendly ethos; it's also about the undeniable benefits these earth-derived ingredients offer to our skin and our overall well-being.

Now, armed with this newfound knowledge, we can approach our love affair with mineral makeup from a more informed perspective, appreciating not only its aesthetic appeal but also the scientific magic that makes it such a beloved beauty staple. Experimenting and exploring the world of mineral cosmetics can allow us to build our confidence, knowing that we're treating our skin to the very best that Mother Nature has to offer.

As mineral cosmetics have evolved over time, so has our understanding of their role in our lives and the broader world. Ever wonder what philosophy surrounds the use of mineral cosmetics and what they can teach us about ourselves, our environment, and our connection to the natural world?

Philosophy of Minerals From the Earth

Embracing Natural Beauty: At the heart of the mineral cosmetics movement is a celebration of natural beauty—both in the ingredients used and the looks they help us create. By using mineral cosmetics, we're making a statement about our commitment to embracing a more authentic, unadulterated approach to beauty, one that highlights our unique features without relying on synthetic ingredients or heavy, mask-like makeup. This encourages us to recognize and appreciate the innate beauty in ourselves, fostering a sense of gratitude and self-acceptance.

Environmental Consciousness: As we've seen throughout the history of mineral cosmetics, these beauty products have always been intrinsically linked to the natural world. In choosing mineral makeup, we're not only opting for ingredients that are kinder to our skin but also supporting a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to beauty. This philosophy underscores the importance of considering the environmental impact of our choices and striving to live in harmony with the planet.

Mindfulness and Intentional: The act of applying mineral cosmetics can be a meditative and mindful practice, as we carefully select and blend the pigments to create our desired look. This process invites us to slow down, focus on the present moment, and truly engage with the art of makeup application. By treating our beauty rituals as intentional, mindful acts, we can deepen our connection to ourselves and cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness and presence.

The philosophy of mineral cosmetics is a rich and multifaceted tapestry, encompassing themes of natural beauty, environmental consciousness, mindfulness, holistic wellness, and personal choice. Incorporating mineral makeup into our beauty routines, we're not only treating ourselves to a healthier, more sustainable alternative but also connecting to a deeper, more meaningful understanding of beauty and our place in the natural world.

Let's continue to celebrate the art, history, science, and philosophy of mineral cosmetics, and may our love for these earth-derived treasures guide us toward a more mindful, intentional, and beautiful way of living.


1 Lapis Lazuli Considered Godlike.

2 Malachite: Healing, Benefits and Uses.

3 Venetian Ceruse.

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