It seems that
everyone is talking about "Mineral Cosmetics" today. This is what
your company, Monave, specializes in. Please tell us about them
and how they compare to the usual cosmetics out there.
Cosmetics originated as Loose Mineral Cosmetics. It was
discovered in the late seventies that the pigments that were added
to cosmetics to create color, were actually able to perform on
their own as a cosmetic. The majority of cosmetic pigments
are mineral based and are inorganic and inert, which means that
they cause almost no allergic reactions. In sum, loose
mineral makeup is literally "pure color".
The whole point of mineral cosmetics is that there are
no oils, waxes, fillers, gums, etc, to affect the skin, and
because the cosmetics are loose and dry, there are no
preservatives. This all makes for a very healthy cosmetic, but the
best part about it is that the minerals make one's face look
absolutely divine. After all, makeup is about beauty.
There is an instant transformation, a youthful "glow", so to
speak, that traditional cosmetics just don't provide.
What's troubling for the "all natural" customer, as
opposed to the salon customers who have been the exclusive
consumers of mineral makeup until recently, is that not all
mineral makeup is "natural". Many lines carry bismuth
oxychloride, which is an irritant, and carmine, which is an insect
extract. Some of the pressed mineral cosmetics even have
preservatives, yet they are touted as natural. The word
natural gets thrown about quite a bit, as we all know!
Despite this, mineral makeup is a great improvement over
So for those who avoid makeup because of questionable
ingredients, or for women who are just dissatisfied with the
performance or look of their makeup, mineral makeup is a more
comfortable place to call home.
sell many different shades and types of bulk pigments. Who buys
these from you, and for what purpose?
I think people are born teachers. Perhaps
there is a gene. I was a teacher for many years, and I guess
I can't shake it, because somehow I've built this whole subsection
within my company that teaches others how to use pigments to make
mineral cosmetics. Every new arm of Monave has grown because
someone has asked for it, so out of the blue a few years ago, a
woman e-mailed me and said that she had been trying to formulate
mineral foundation for two years and couldn't quite figure it out.
Of course I couldn't resist helping her. Now I sell all of
the base oxides, fillers, and micas on my website for those trying
to make their own cosmetics as well as handcrafters looking for
What makes my pigments different from the ones found on
other sites is that I'm very picky about what I'll sell. I
don't sell any micas coated with carmine or dyes. Most sites
that sell mica and oxides sell products because of how they look ,
and how they perform in a soap process, but I'm also concerned
with the overall effect of the ingredients. I want my
customers to feel that I'm a supplier that they can trust.
so many handcrafters at all levels today that are seeking out
natural ingredients to make their products with. You even
sell different kits for them on your web site. Please tell
us more about them.
The kits are fun.
Really, really fun. I can't tell you how many women call me
and tell me stories about how the kits have helped them through a
lonely period, or that their daughters had cosmetic-making parties
with their friends. Lots of customers are trading and
swapping their wonderful creations on the internet, and making new
friends through their shared interest.
The kits bring out our natural creativity that often doesn't have
an outlet. It's akin to cooking, but you wear the finished
The most popular kit is the color cosmetics kit, which
features pure mica pigments. The manual has formulas and
suggestions for blending colors together to create wearable
cosmetics like blush and eye shadow. Because the finished
products are pure mica, they can be used as liquid liners, nail
polish, you name it! Mica pigments are so beautiful. They
have a similar effect to aromatherapy in that they have mood
altering effects. We have small, affordable hobbyist
kits, and larger kits that can be used to launch a new line. The mineral foundation kits are more challenging,
because it's hard to match skin tone. But women that find
themselves mixing all kinds of cosmetics together to create the
right shade for their skin (especially ethnic women) jump at the
chance to try to customize their own shades. Most
professional handcrafters end up buying bulk foundation from Monave after trying to make their own. The lip kits are new, and are really about having a bit
of fun, and playing with color.
really a one-stop-shopping experience for anyone interested in
mineral cosmetics. Your customers are lucky enough to be able to
buy everything from empty jars and labels, to the raw pigment
powders themselves, and many beautiful shades of pre-mixed and
packaged products in between. What was your inspiration for
putting together this complete mineral cosmetic concept?
inspiration for everything on my site comes from my customers.
When I was first starting out, with one kiosk, I was catapulted
into manufacturing by the gaps in the mineral cosmetics that were
available for wholesale at the time. What my customers
wanted didn't exist, so I had to create it myself. Monave is
still creating, searching, and growing in response to customer
demand. At times, I have to draw the line, for example, I
don't sell luxury packaging, but I guess it's just good business
sense that I don't want my customers to have to shop elsewhere if
I can make something available to them on my site. But
again, the vision is for the products and formulas to be as
natural as possible.
isn't enough, you also sell a complete line of skincare products.
Please tell us about your products and the guidelines you adhere
to when manufacturing them.
two years ago, I tried to find skincare products that fit my
definition of "natural", to sell at my store, but couldn't.
I was especially interested in facial care that was made
completely without synthetics, but because I couldn't find any to
purchase, I ended up having to make it myself! I was on light duty
at my store because of the birth of my second child, and during
that time did hours and hours of research and formulating. I
had to carve out a day a week to cook up my lotions, creams,
toners, and body butters. Then one day I discovered through
the internet, an aromatherapist and soapmaker in my neighborhood
(talk about fate!), who had the same philosophy that I did.
Sharon Kinnier and I have been partners ever since, and she now
manufactures all of my creams and lotions (phew).
She uses only cold-pressed oils and butters, organic
hydrosols, naturally bleached waxes, and essential oils.
THAT'S IT! The concept is that the ingredients should be
chemically "whole", as opposed to "derivatives of". We are
both deeply dedicated to and awed by the healing and energizing
properties of plants, and try to create products that don't tamper
with these qualities. Sharon is an amazingly intelligent
woman, and she doesn't take essential oils lightly. She
knows the proper percentages of oils to add to products, and
formulates based on hours of research and a good dose of caution.
I can honestly say that I've seen women come into our store whom I
literally didn't recognize because of the tremendous healing that
had occurred after using some of Sharon's products. I can
only feel blessed to be associated with her.
you get interested in the field of 'all natural' beauty?
I believe that my interest in the field of "all-natural beauty"
grew out of an innate love for beauty, color, and form, combined
with a keen awareness imbued in me by my father, of the rapid and
frightening effects of the technological and scientific "advances"
of the twentieth century. I think that there are those of us
who feel somehow "connected" to things that have grown out of the
earth, things that occur apart from the hand of humankind.
We turn off the TV to listen to the sound of rain, and we can't
resist smelling every blossom that hangs over a wall.
We cry inside when we hear children cry, and we feel helpless when
we read about the devastation of the rainforest, or yet another
FDA approved chemical that is now discovered to cause sickness or
We know who we are, and we form communities with others
like ourselves. My life is being directed, and I am being
led. My interest in all-natural beauty is a reflection of my
you see for the future of 'all natural' beauty?
can't really answer that question. The future is a bit scary to
me. I would like to think that "all-natural" beauty could someday
be more accessible, more affordable. There are many women that
need to spend $3.00 on a bottle of shampoo. It's a trend in
today's market, but that often means that "natural" gets diluted
and manipulated. We can only hope for the best, and stay true to