Mineral Makeup Made in the U.S.A. by Chryso D'Angelo, January 22 2014, 1 Comment
“When I learned about all the chemicals in the products I was using, products I used on my own babies…I got really angry,” says Krissy Ferro of Ferro Cosmetics.
“Certain companies make an entirely different formula for their European market, keeping the toxic formulation for their own American consumer…why? No wonder half my clients couldn’t wear makeup, or certain colors on their eyes,” says Ferro, a professionally-trained hairstylist and makeup artist.
Ferro became obsessed with finding brands that were pure so that her client base could use makeup without the hassle of irritation, allergies or breakouts. She turned to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which lists ingredients and their level of toxicity, and began her research.
“Something inside me took over and I studied for thousands of hours. I certainly had no intention of studying how to create my own product, but I (came) across a few ‘do-it-yourself’ mineral-makeup recipes,” she recalls. That's when she ordered ingredients and began experimenting.
“I turned my garage into a lab and immersed myself for about eight months of trial and error. I knew we had a hit with our first foundation when my cousins and sister tried it,” says Ferro. The women were good candidates because they had sensitive skin, acne, and constant makeup issues, according to the pro.
The results were exactly what Ferro was hoping for—“great natural coverage and clear skin.”
She called her product Ultimate Foundation and, ultimately, it helped launch her business! Ferro Cosmetics went live in 2007. Today, the brand offers dozens of products for eyes, cheeks, lips and more!
Ferro’s personal faves include Champagne Eye Candy (“it’s pearly and soft for a natural eye”) and Dirt Eye Candy (“amazing in the crease, as a liner, and a brown definer”).
Before long, the company earned ‘Champion’ status from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the criteria for this accomplishment includes, “complying with the European Union’s Cosmetics Directive, widely considered the global gold standard of cosmetics safety regulation.”
Adds Ferro, “We use no parabens (hormone-changing preservatives that disrupt the endocrine system), Bismuth Oxichloride (an odd-shaped chemical that can stretch the pore and cause acne), fragrance, artificial dyes, or urea (animal urine).”
The products are cruelty-free and 99 percent vegan (Ferro uses silk powder produced by worms in the Ultimate Foundation).
Of coarse, running a business does not come without its challenges. Ferro is very concerned about the origin of her ingredients and strives to make her brand eco-friendly.
“We always sourced from U.S. vendors, but when we started chasing their supply, we found out these vendors were getting their goods from China,” she says. So, more hard work was necessary to track down vendors that bought locally.
“It’s easy to be tempted to cut corners,” says the mother-of-two. “You can get a makeup jar from China for 15 cents while we pay one dollar in the states. But there’s no way of knowing what something is made from because there’s no regulation.”
Chain of supply is important to the 10-person staff at Ferro Cosmetics. “We feel better because our supplier is in New Jersey, not overseas, so less fossil fuel is used to get things to us.”
While many companies source their brushes from China, Ferro Cosmetics' are custom-made in Indiana. “Brushes are very important because powder can fly all over your skin if they aren’t just right,” Ferro notes.
The company also donates a portion of its profits to Fashion Hope, which partners with Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) to help rescue and rehabilitate survivors of human trafficking. Here, Krissy Ferro is pictured with High School Musical actress KayCee Stroh, raising awareness for the charity.
Ferro admits that running the business has been a learning experience all the way, but the hard work she puts into creating safe cosmetics that are also environmentally friendly helps her sleep at night.
“When we began printing labels, we ordered a large volume for the best price, but then we found out the printing and delivery used a ton of energy and materials that weren’t necessary so we started printing labels in house on an as-needed basis, which has been a great eco operation for us. We literally have zero waste now."
“We’ve removed one major worry for women by bringing to the market a-one-of-a -kind makeup line that’s totally safe, long wearing, and of course, totally glam,” says Ferro.