What are the ingredients in iridescent makeup?

Iridescent makeup can give you a natural sheen and make your skin glow.

Navigating the makeup counter is like walking through a library (picture endless rows of makeup pots, blushes and brushes). Makeup is created for every skin type and tone, for any season and for a wide range of prices. Finding the right makeup for your skin can be overwhelming, time consuming and expensive! Yet, women everywhere still go through the process of testing the latest makeup trends, hoping to find the look that will carry them beautifully through their days.

One relative newcomer in this library of products, however, is iridescent makeup, a type that's gained in popularity in the last few years is. Also known as luminescent makeup, it's filled with minerals and highly pigmented, something that can bring a luminous glow to skin for both day and nighttime looks. Minerals are ground down, processed and incorporated together to form highly pigmented makeup colors that sit well on skin and can offer many unique looks.


Mineral makeup like iridescent makeup is composed of a more limited number of ingredients, which can be better for your skin in the long run. There are three basic ingredients in any iridescent makeup: mica, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Now, we'll break them down.

  • Mica, the main ingredient of iridescent makeup, is a group of crystallized minerals, ground into a silky powder and used within foundations, powder shadows and any other pigmented makeup. This mineral is what gives iridescents color, pop and shine. The mineral comes in various luminosities that range from total matte to highly shimmery. Mica is used also as a texturizer in makeup for a better feel, helps with slip, aids in adhesion to the skin and prevents makeup clumping.
  • Titanium dioxide naturally occurs as a white, chalky substance. After purifying and processing the mineral, titanium dioxide provides natural sunscreen properties within makeup. However, this doesn't replace an actual SPF, so be sure to find makeup with added protection from the sun. The light-reflecting and refracting properties of titanium dioxide allow makeup to stay matte on the skin for an extended period of time.
  • Zinc oxide carries virtually no risk of skin irritation, making it great for people with sensitive skin. It's insoluble in water, giving makeup made from it the ability to stay put even while you swim and sweat. And since it sits on top of the skin, scattering and absorbing harmful UVA and UVB rays, it offers additional protection from the sun.


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Related Articles

  • Levitt, Shelley. "The Lowdown on Mineral Makeup." WebMD. (Sept. 8, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/features/the-lowdown-on-mineral-makeup