Friday, July 29, 2011

Bellaphoria & Signature Minerals - Cosmetics Review

When going corn-free as a woman, one of the biggest hurdles is our personal look or style. Nothing really has more affect than being denied our facepaint.

Over the last few years, more and more new companies are starting to make good corn-free cosmetics thus making it easier for women with a corn allergy to move to corn-free cosmetics and still feel in "fashion".  Unfortunately most of these products are only sold online, so I thought a review of the products might help you make a decision on which is the best product for you.

I'll be covering two companies in this post.  Bellaphoria & Signature Minerals.

Both companies make pure mineral cosmetics. I managed to finagle some samples of both company's products… Signature Minerals will send you some samples for a small shipping fee. Bellaphoria no longer does samples, I just was lucky they had a few left from a trade show (I think that's what they said).  It is also lucky for them that they gave me the samples. I'm a hands-on type of customer especially with beauty products, so I like to know what I'm getting when I'm buying. Without their sample, I would not have given them a second look and would just have gone with Signature Minerals. (Yes, I am that kinda shopper.)

So you know, I'm a pale-skinned (unless I tan) white girl with dark hair and dark brown eyes. I'll try to be as accurate in my descriptions as possible, but I thought I'd let you know my "base" palette I was working with.

My former cosmetics are Zuzu Luxe - Gabriel sold at Health Food Stores and Whole Foods, which many now contain corn, thus my search for a new makeup. I may make color comparisons for those of you who have Zuzu Luxe sold near you if you wanted to "see" what these two companies colors might be close to.

Also keep in mind, if you're moving from mainstream cosmetics to these mineral makeups you'll have quite a transition period. These mineral makeups do not require as much makeup to make an impact. Start out using 1/3 of what you'd think you'll need on your brush, as these colors can be very intense.

Signature Minerals (SM): 0 Porcelain  ($14.95)
Bellaphoria: Platinum, Light, Medium ($24.95 each)

Coverage or application of both of these were good. Unfortunately the only shade I had from SM was way too light for my skin so I wasn't able to accurately judge how well it works as a foundation. Bellaphoria won me over with theirs though, as their light foundation matches my skin perfectly, and went on like a breeze.

SM's 0 is nearly exactly the same color as my Gabriel "Bone" eyeshadow. It's an off-white color, and pretty much looks like white eyeshadow on my skin. Bellaphoria's Platinum is essentially the same color, but has just a touch more beige/pink to it. If you're really really white, one of these shades may work for you.

Bellaphoria's Light foundation, I'd describe it as a Neutral Light Beige or Creamy Natural. It is almost exactly the same color as my Zuzu Luxe Dual Powder foundation in D-7 (which now contains corn derivatives). The Bellaphoria has just a touch more pink to it than the Zuzu Luxe, but that didn't show when I applied it.

Bellaphoria's Medium is a little darker, and would work perfectly for me if I had a good tan. It's still "light" though, and should work for those with medium complexions.

Signature Minerals: Gleeful  (10g size: $6.95)
Bellaphoria: (Mineral blushes) Citrus Glow, Pink Coral, Rustic Rose, Antique Rose, Luxberry, Mauviene  (10g sizes: $16.95 each)

I have to say I wasn't a big fan of any of Bellaphoria's blush colors, though I am wearing Rustic Rose today. It's possible I was just applying them wrong.  I did however like SM's Gleeful, and if you like shimmer in your blush you may want to look into using SM's Bordeaux eye shadow very lightly as a blush.

SM's Gleeful - This is a very nice med-dark mauve blush (it looks nothing like their website picture). I like my blush to "show" for a relatively dramatic but remotely natural look so it was perfect for me.  SM's Gleeful comparison to Bellaphoria - if Rustic Rose and Luxberry had a child, it'd be SM's Gleeful.

Bellaphoria - (none of these except possibly Rustic Rose looked right on my skin, most looked surreal, but your mileage may vary. These are very strong/bright pigments.)

Citrus Glow - This is an orange based brown. On the website it looks a little bit like a creamy orange/beige or almost like a foundation color. It is not. Trust me. It actually reminds me a bit of a med-light terra-cotta clay. 

Pink Coral - This is a very bright light baby pink. When I put it on, I thought it might look good on very light skinned blondes. I however tried it out as an eye shadow and liked it much better as it added just an extra spunk to my normal use of just lavender eye shadow.

Mauviene - This is a very bright pinkish/purple mauve. By itself, it looks rather pink, but compared to the Pink Coral, this is purple. I also preferred this one as an eye shadow.

Rustic Rose - This is pretty much spot on with it's name. It's a rose + rust color, and one that I may use when doing my face in a neutral brown palette. It looks a little odd when used on my cheeks with lavender or pink eye shadows. (If you use greens or blues as eye shadows this shade may work)

Luxberry - This is a purple mauve color and very dark. I just noticed that it looks similar to my Zuzu Luxe Haze blush but with just a touch more purple.  I also tried this out as an eyeshadow and liked it.

Antique Rose - Also well named, it looks like antiqued rose paint though maybe a little more brown based. It's a very earthy color of pink or rose.

I did not have any Bellaphoria eyeshadows, but from my experiences with their other products, I am relatively certain their eye shows are highly pigmented probably more so than the Signature Minerals.

Signature Minerals: Eyeshadow $5-$8  (Bellaphoria eyeshadows $11.95)

Bordeaux - This is a very shimmery rose pink. It's bright and beautiful. I actually loved it as a blush, but it works great on the eyes too. It is not a shade for the faint of heart as a eye shadow though. (I really wish I had this shade as a lipstick too.)

Eggplant Dk - This is a dirty purple and looks exactly like it does on their website. I'm not sure why it's called Eggplant because it looks nothing like eggplant. It is almost brown/grey though it's clearly a purple. It's a little hard to describe, but it's not a real purple.

Terre Dark - This is a dark warm brown color. It looks almost like milk chocolate. This is a great basic color brown if you're wanting to do a look with neutral shades.

Black Liner - This is black. Just basic black black.

I played around with these nearly all day and didn't have any reaction. I will most likely be using a little of both of these companies, and will be trying out a couple different shades of Signature Minerals foundation to see if I can find one to suit me (the price of SM is much less for foundations).

Link to Bellaphoria's Website
Link to Signature Minerals' Website

If you have experience with either of these companies, please use the comments to tell us what you've ordered, your experience with it, and a description of what the color really looks like to help others. Thank you.

Bellaphoria has offered our readers a 20% off coupon!
Coupon Code: CORN-FREE
Value: 20% OFF (excluding 7 piece set)
Expires: Unknown


Stacey said...

Can you provide more info as to what your experience is with GC and Zuzuluxe makeup not being corn free now? Just recently started using these the past year after a very long period make up free, and so need to know whether I need to scrap buying any replacements from them when I start running low. (Their faq page still doesn't list any of the makeups, but I know it took a good long while for them to update when the GC moisturizer changed formulation).


Von said...

They recently added Tocopherols to most of their products. And the last inquiry into corn-free the company admitted to having corn derivatives. Tocopherols are often corn-derived (and soy) or use corn carriers.

I'm not that skin sensitive so I wasn't really noticing a reaction personally.. well until I tried these yesterday. There was definitely a difference in the feel of it as I normally only wear the Zuzu Luxe for a few hours and then have to take it off. I figured it was just due to being out or airborne allergies, but the SM and Bellaphoria I kept on for a good 14-16 hours straight and barely remembered I had it on to wash it off before bed.

Due to cost issues, I'll probably use up what I have left of my Zuzu Luxe foundation, but if I need to wear makeup for any length of time I'll be using these new brands instead.

I'd recommend getting some samples from SM, especially the foundation, and trying it out to see for yourself to see if you can feel the difference.

Von said...

From Megan on FB: I use Bellaphoria, and I have the rare luxury of going to a local store to see the colours. I love their products. I agree the blushes are tricky, the colours are intense and an extremely light hand is needed. I tend to go back over the blush with what is left on my foundation brush and it tones it down to be just right and helps blend it all nicely. The eyeshadows are beautiful. You don't need quite as light a touch as with the blush but if you want intense colour you can definitely make it happen. I love the cream concealer, it covers but doesn't make the mineral foundation cake on top. I only have samples of the lipsticks, none in full size, but they are nice, rich and velvety in feel and the colours I've tried have been great. In fact, this is the first ever lipstick that doesn't turn coral or orangish on me - and I have used some very expensive lipsticks trying to avoid that problem! They don't have a mascara, sadly, so that search continues, but just about everything else I use lately is Bellaphoria. I wore it to an outdoor wedding and a BBQ in record-breaking heat and it didn't budge. That is the great advantage to mineral make-up, it doesn't matter if you sweat!

To see the FB conversation go here:

Stacey said...

Hmm, that explains a lot. I just figured the uncomfortableness that I feel after having it on for 6+ hours was me not being used to wearing makeup at all since finally swearing it off around 2003 when i figured out it was making my acne worse. The zuzu doesn't break me out, but it is a relief to finally get it off, and my eyes start to feel itchy after a while, which I thought was just grease buildup since I don't wear any eye makeup.

I'll try to check those out.

Glenda said...

Von, what have you found that works well for removing makeup, especially eye makeup?

And what for a daily facial cleanser and facial moisturizer?

Von said...

I've always used soap and water to remove makeup. I use Savonierre foamer bottle soap to wash my face, and then I make my own "lotion" using shea butter and jojoba oil, plus essential oil for a little scent.

The rest of my anti-aging and beauty secrets are all just "not eating my allergens". It all works together pretty well. :)

Glenda said...

===The rest of my anti-aging and beauty secrets are all just "not eating my allergens". It all works together pretty well. :)===

Love that :).

Anonymous said...

Our home is gluten-free and largely corn-free.

I have been using Signature Minerals for a few years. I love the variety of their colors. Their makeup does fade a bit during the day, but that's a bonus for me. They do have a mascara, and in the heat of Texas, it doesn't run...and I'm no stranger to sweat!

I had one of those 'commercial' moments one of my first days wearing the whole kit and kaboodle (concealer and color corrector to foundation thru blush and eyes to veil)...a woman actually came up to me and said, "Wow, you have such beautiful skin!"

I can recommend it wholeheartedly!

Anonymous said...

Ilove this blog

Kathleen said...

On the coupon code:
The post says "CORN-FREE" but that doesn't work: "corn-free" does however.

Kathleen said...

Also, the Zuzu Luxe and Gabriel Cosmetics tocopherols is now sunflower-derived. Bummer for those of us with sunflower-allergies though...