I love mineral makeup. I also love supporting small businesses. And after realizing that Philosophy The Supernatural may not be the be-all-and-end-all for me when it comes to foundation, I’ve been searching for a new mineral foundation. I first mentioned that in my In Defense of Diana post, and as luck would have it, I’ve since been so fortunate as to try two fabulous makeup lines that are working overtime to produce makeup for bellas all shades of beautiful. Get ready to add something special for yourself to your holiday shopping list, gorgeous!

I’ve been hearing great things about Valana Minerals for a minute now – my beauty blog buddy Andrea The Organic Beauty Expert, teaches a Create Your Organic/Natural Beauty Business workshop at The Learning Annex. Valana Minerals creator Valerie took her first class. I know Andrea holds a very high standard for her products, and not just any and everything gets the OK from her. So when I read her glowing review of Valana, I started getting excited!

As a woman of color, Valerie has experienced the difficulty of finding her perfect shade amongst the mainstream brands. “I have traveled extensively and in my travels I’ve shared my experiences and discovered that people of color around the world have the same frustrations I’ve experienced with skin care and color cosmetic products. Most people around the world have yellow/gold, red or olive undertones with various combinations of red and blue. Many major market cosmetics companies don’t provide color selections that address the wide range of skin tones and undertones among those with various shades of brown skin. One size does not fit all. In the area of natural organic skin care, product availability has been scarce…UNTIL NOW.” Yes indeed.

In case you were scared that Valana didn’t offer your shade, looky here, scroll down, and be amazed at the range. I was intimidated by the variety — after becoming used to “brown skin” coming in three or four shades (if so many), choosing between 18 different shades is alot to process. Thankfully, Valana offers the sample purchase program — when you purchase six sample compacts you will receive a $10 discount on your next purchase of $50 or more. You choose the collection or colors you wish to sample. So if you’re not sure if you’re an “earth passion,” a “golden queen,” or an “amber blaze,” that’s the first way to figure things out. If you’re a super skilled makeup artist who knows the ins and outs of contouring, Valana is perfect for you – you can use the multiple shades to bring out different undertones. Valana also makes fabulous blushes, stunning eyeshadows — LOVING the Tropical Butterfly collection — and great vegan Sparkie Lips Color Sticks. They come in a long time with a brush attached on one end, and I am absolutely in love with the Velvet Pomegranate shade. These colors really enhance the natural color of my lips while adding sparkle and shine, and the formula isn’t sticky at all. It makes a great layering gloss for the lipstains I use daily.

For the bella who has everything, I’d recommend the Velvet Plush Synthetic Cosmetic Brushes. I have tried quite a few brushes, bellas – and these are among the softest I’ve ever used. Plus they’re totally vegan – no animal fur in sight! The seven-piece set is $65 and would make a great holiday gift – Mama Bella would just LOVE the $25 Kabuki brush! And speaking of great gifts, Valana also features the Girlfriends and Coffee set, a seven-piece set for $30 that comes with two eye colors, brushes, a vegan lip gloss and a cute little bag that makes a brilliant change purse. Order now if this is what you need to jazz up your Christmas stocking.

Valana is made by a woman of color for women of color — not just black women, mind you, there are gorgeous shades for Asian, Latin, Native American, and Middle Eastern shades, and every ethnicity in between.

Another similar company is run by a self-described “white chick,” but Ferro Cosmetics also aims to make products for bellas of all skin tones. You can shop by look, skin tone, or category — founder and president Krissy Ferro is serious about offering her handcrafted cosmetics for women of all skin tones. She’s tested her darker colors on a variety of bellas, and she also offers custom formulations for clients. She’s also very interested in customer feedback, so if you’d like to see more of a specific shade or product, leave a comment for Krissy! I love supporting companies like Valana and Ferro – the owners both care about the opinions of their consumers, and feedback is genuinely appreciated. Both ladies are incredibly dedicated, sweet, and responsive.

Ferro goes the route of some of the bigger mineral brands by offering not just regular foundation, but “radiance foundation,” mineral veils, and blemish control concealers. I fall between tan and dark, and there’s a ton of colors that really compliment my shade. I fell head over heels for Ferro’s eye shadows, which come in matte, pearl, or (my fave) shimmer.

If you were wondering, “do I need that Buy Me Emeralds shade in my life?” The answer is yes, yes you do. It’s ultra glamorous and just $12.50. But you know me, I love eye drama. If you’re less decisive about color, check out the chameleon, which is a color-shifting shadow with a brown base that shifts from green to gold on your lids. The 3-N-1 eye candy is an eyeliner, brow definer and eyeshadow — used with a wet brush, it makes for an excellent, soft-looking alternative for those of you who fear liquid liner.

Both Valana and Ferro are excellent brands, perfect for bellas who are concerned about what goes into the products you put on your face. Both companies get what women want — variety and range. My only complaint (if you can even call it that), is there’s so much to choose from with these brands, it can be positively mindboggling to choose your exact shade. But hey, it’s better to have too many items to choose from than too few, right? It’s a complaint that I wish I could make more often. “waah, these companies make too many colors for my skin shade! Whatever do I choose!” There’s a lot to check out, so if you’re looking for that ideal new makeup for your own personal holiday stocking, get clicking! Happy shopping, bellas!

Have you tried Valana or Ferro? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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Staynatural says:
December 10, 2007, 1:39 pm
Hi Bella, it's Staynatural. I have been trying via e-mail to contact you. Drop me a e-mail. Thanks.
sunsail says:
December 10, 2007, 1:47 pm
Holy cow, i don't think i've ever seen so many shades of brown. ever. now, figuring out what undertone i am has never been an issue, cuz, well, te options were either light, medium, or dark. *scratches head* how does one figure out what undertone one is? Maybe i shuold just order the slew of samples and spend some time experimenting... thanks for the tip!!! you're always on teh cutting edge, bella!
afrobella says:
December 10, 2007, 2:32 pm
Yikes! Staynatural, I got your address and passed it along to my peeps at Miss Jessie's already. Just forgot to respond to your e mail, is all. Apologies. Your Rapid Recovery should be en route!
Megan says:
December 10, 2007, 4:16 pm
I just started using mineral makeup and I looooove it! I assumed because it's a powder that it wouldn't provide coverage that I need, but it's does and gives such a natural look and glow! I use another brand but I will definitely check this Valana out.
MoniMoni says:
December 10, 2007, 6:21 pm
Never heard of it, but willing to give it a try....
katchin says:
December 10, 2007, 11:15 pm
Thank you ma'am! I know what I want for Christmas!
DivaM says:
December 10, 2007, 11:31 pm
That Buy Me Emeralds green is so gorgeous!! Reminds me of the intense colors they have at MAC- which as you all know looks divine on dark skin. Bella, thanks! Can't say my hubby will feel the same way, though because I just can't seem to get enough beauty booty : ).
KeShaJo says:
December 11, 2007, 1:25 am
Hello, Love your writing style....check me out...just started you know how that it is! From, Nobody
Marleaux says:
December 11, 2007, 11:44 am
I like the Buy Me Emerald. Those colors always makes my eyes pop, in a good way...
Imla says:
December 11, 2007, 12:42 pm
I'm not a makeup person, but love lip glosses. I like ALL the colors of the Sparkie Lips Color Sticks. Can't wait to try them out!
Ms Stella says:
December 11, 2007, 7:22 pm
I ordered some Valana Minerals yesterday after reading your post and I can't wait to try them! I like the fact that I can get tester sizes and mix them to create the perfect shade if I need to. I think the minerals could be a great Winter option since I tend to have oily skin which gets oiler in the warmer seasons.
Jazzy. says:
December 12, 2007, 3:32 pm
OMG, so many shades, so little time! I love those brushes, VEGAN!!! I cant wait to order a set.
bonifant says:
December 12, 2007, 8:36 pm
Bella have you ever done a post comparing a few of the mineral makeups on the market? Between this one Sheer Cover (that Alyssa Milano endorses) and Bare Ecsensuals (that I see on QVC) I'd like a roundup to decide which on I should invest in.
QUEEN says:
December 13, 2007, 5:38 pm
Hi Bella-I raved about Valana Minerals regarding your In The Defense of Diana post also. I'm glad to see more of us taking a proactive role in buying makeup that is good for the skin, but looks great also. You can kiss the ash tone away with this product.
Key from the City says:
December 13, 2007, 10:48 pm
Greetings all: I am a lurker but I wanted to comment. I am always happy to hear that folks are making makeup for WOC. I don't wear makeup often but when I do, I have to 'doctor' up the foundation do I don't look like I am a black Kabuki performer. I will try out Valana. FYI, there is a sista here in NYC that produces makeup for all colors. Its called Crushed Groove. Her stuff works well too.
Fridale! says:
December 14, 2007, 3:04 pm
Hello Bella! Wow, I'm trilled to read that you've discovered Valana. I' started using the line about 5 months ago and since have noticed a simple yet great transformation in the way I feel about my face and using makeup. Before Valana I'd shop around for products with the idea in mind of hiding and covering imperfections. Mostly I bought and thought of makeup as a band aid to cover up what I thought were major problems with my oily acne prone skin. The experiences with bad reactions and jaw lines were saddening. Valana Minerals however is an experience in Authenticity all around. Valana has two perfect matches for my olive to dark skin, Earth Diva and Earth Sable, which I use in winter and summer respectively. The most amazing experience with the makeup is that it mixes with my natural oils and feels totally light! I cannot say enough about the lip glosses, but my all time favorite are Porto Rosa and Velvet Guava, which I use together. All in all, I love, love Valana Minerals and highly recommend it.
liz says:
December 17, 2007, 7:26 pm
As good of a mineral line this is, You all should also check out Milan Minerals. The prices are incredible, it's created by a black women and has all of our varying shades in wonderful foundations.
Chelle says:
December 30, 2007, 1:55 pm
Hi AfroBella, I'm so into your Blog. Alot of questions have been answered for me. Thank You and to the other peolpe on this site sharing ideas and advice. I'm also very thankful for the sites you plcae here of make-up for darker skin tones. I'm placing orders soon. Can you also tell me what a good cream to fade dark spots. I have small hair bumps on my face and yes I do tweeze and sometime it breaks the skin and leave dark spots. I'm afraid to do tha laser hair removal because of my dark skin. Maybe in when you get a chance can you talk female and facial hair and maybe give advice on what to do or what to use or both ? Thank you...I really love your blog.
Mr Orange King says:
April 29, 2008, 6:57 am
Mr Orange (CEO) Tionya Cosmetics Factory. Tel: +86 731 5853158 Mob: +86 13055160759 Web: www.tionya.com
Mr Orange King says:
April 29, 2008, 7:04 am
I'm cosmetic brush factory in China ,pls contact us if you need! thanks! You can have a look our website: www.tionya.com
katrina says:
May 29, 2008, 9:43 pm
Hey Everyone, I tend to enjoy mineral makeup. However, it is very mess. Does anyone have any tips about how to keep it relatively clean.
Michelle says:
July 15, 2009, 3:22 pm
I have to second Milan Minerals!!! Extremely affordable in comparison to other mineral makeup companies
Leola says:
October 2, 2010, 9:23 am
Of *course* you already new about this. I just discovered this company (2010) and sent you an email. Of course you were 3 years ahead of me. That's why I read your blog. Sigh...one day I will find a new discovery to share.
Leola says:
October 2, 2010, 9:23 am
*knew*. Not new. lol.
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January 16, 2013, 4:19 pm
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