Monday, May 21, 2007

PRODUCT REVIEW: Physician's Formula Mineral Wear® Talc-Free Mineral Loose Powder

Mineral make-up has been the latest shout in the world of cosmetics for the past few years. This seems kind of strange, considering that mineral make-up has been around for thousands of years, employed with greater or lesser success by women wishing to enhance their physical beauty. The "lesser success" was measured by those who used lead mixed into a paste with water in order to whiten their complexions during the European Renaissance. This lead paste was also used by the geishas of Japan. The men and women of ancient Egypt used kohl, a lead-based substance, as an eyeliner to make their eyes beautiful. II Kings 9:30 refers to wicked Jezebel painting her eyes with kohl, not that it did her any good.

Lead-based kohl eyeliner on the ancient Egyptians
caused irritability, respiratory failure, memory
loss, hypertension and...*gulp*...death.

Thinking about this, I can only wince. The list of symptoms of lead poisoning is about as long as my arm and includes such things as "irritability," which I am thinking is not a good thing in a queen such as Elizabeth I of England who occasionally relieved her shattered nerves by cutting off a few heads.

Nowadays, we worry about old houses or baby cribs with paint containing lead that might chip or flake around children, but imagine rubbing lead paste directly onto your skin, day after day after day.

But anyway, Physician's Formula Mineral Wear® Talc-Free Mineral Loose Powder contains absolutely no lead, none at all. The primary mineral employed by the technicians at Physician's Formula is mica, which will not leach into your skin and cause you to cut off the head of Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex. Other minerals included in this powder are bismuth oxychloride, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and silica, which is another name for quartz.

My quarrel with this make up, which is supposed to give my face a polished and air-brushed appearance, is that perhaps they didn't mill that quartz quite finely enough. The result is...okay. But the texture of the powder is extremely gritty and unpleasant feeling on my face. Remember, I was spoiled in the days of my youth by that remarkable translucent powdered elixir from Elizabeth Arden, a face powder so finely milled, it was softer and lighter than a gosling's feather.

Of course, the translucent face powder from Elizabeth Arden is made from talc and the Physician's Formula face powder is made from minerals, so maybe I'm being unfair. Also, it might be a touch unreasonable to buy makeup from the usual suspects (Meijer, Target, Walgreen's, CVS) and expect it to perform like a high-end preparation available at cosmetics counters in posh department stores, but I can't help it.

Does it have to feel like it's made of gravel? Hate!

The powder I bought also comes with a cute little brush for application and I knew before I even used it that it was going to be horrible. I love the quality make-up brushes I've bought over the years and there's something really icky about cheap brushes that shed long, synthetic boar's hairs all over the face. They need to get rid of the cheap brush, so matter how adorable it looks under the little domed lid. I'm just saying.

On the other hand, my husband and I bought Meelyn some Physician's Formula Mineral Wear® loose powder, blusher and bronzer for her birthday and she says she really likes it. So what do I know?

Physician's Formula Mineral Wear® Makeup is good for sensitive (mine) or breakout-prone (Meelyn's) skin. The translucent powder I bought is available for around $11, give or take some change, at all your local discount department stores and pharmacies.

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