There's a lot of buzz about using pure mineral pigments as eye shadow. Some of the buzz is positive, some negative. Most of it confusing and misinformed.
On one side of camp is hoorahs for extreme pigmentation and color. Raves about purity and intensity. On the other side of the camp, boos and thumbs down. Videos of ultra marine blue 'dissolving' in water as if they are paints. Horrified responses, totally buying into the demos.
Both sides of the camp need some education!
1. Ultramarines are approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics, except for lips.
2. Ultras that are approved for cosmetic use are lab created in order to be safe and free from naturally occurring toxins. (ultras for paints are not for use in cosmetics for obvious reasons)
3. Ultras, although bright and intense, do not make the best eye shadow. Why? Because they are draggy, chalky, and lack good adhesion. They are a COLORANT, and when used with other ingredients are a PART of a finished product.
4. The FDA Specifically states "(c) Uses and restrictions. The ultramarine pigments may be safely used for coloring externally applied cosmetics, including cosmetics intended for use in the area of the eye, in amounts consistent with good manufacturing practice."
Note that last part.."amounts consistent with GMP". At L.A. MInerals we practice all of the FDA Good Manufacturing Practices.
5. Ultramarines dissolving in water? Well it may look like it, when it's stirred into a beaker or bowl of water, it actually DISPERSES in the water. Let it sit overnight, and you'll find it sitting at the bottom, like sand in the ocean!
Colorants for cosmetics obviously need to disperse or mix with the other ingredients, be it an eye shadow, mineral makeup, soap, lotion or shampoo. If it didn't "disperse" we wouldn't have any colored bath and body products or makeup!
However, dispersing and dissolving are two different things. Recent youtube videos displaying ultras dissolving in water are just fear mongering demos, performed by uneducated or misinformed folks.
6. Neon Eyeshadow? There are NO neon colorants approved for use in the eye area. If something is marketed as Neon and glow in the dark, do not apply it to your eyes! Bright colors that "appear" neon are normally created with syntethtically made Lake colorants, approved for use in the eye area. It's important not to confuse the term "neon" with "bright".
Please note that the FDA rulings on colorants and what is lip safe and what is eye safe can be very confusing for the buyer and formulators. I contacted a HUGE cosmetic corporation about their use of ultramarines in their lip tars, and they replied that ultramarines are lip safe, when in fact they are not. After quoting the parts of the FDA rules to them and explaining that lips are consider a subcutaneous tissue, the manufacturer removed ultramarines from their formulations!
Take peace in knowing that I understand what to include and not include in our makeup, even better than some of the well marketed names.