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Jane Iredale on Creating Skin-Friendly Cosmetics

Jane Iredale

For more than two decades, mineral makeup pioneer Jane Iredale has been delivering skin-friendly cosmetics to discerning consumers.

Afer years spent working as a New York–based casting director and producer, Jane Iredale came down with a wicked case of showbiz burnout. Contemplating a career change, Iredale’s thoughts naturally turned to beauty and skin care. “I’d always wanted to be involved with something that would enhance the lives of women and have some healing aspect to it,” says Iredale. “I’d spent so many years working with women whose careers depended on having a flawless complexion, and the heavy makeup they were using to cover up skin problems was actually aggravating their skin concerns instead of improving them. I started thinking about a solution—a makeup with true skincare benefits.”

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In 1994, Iredale’s eponymous makeup line was born with the launch of its flagship product, Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder. Since that time, the brand has expanded into 35 countries and developed more than 400 products, including Jane Iredale BeautyPrep, a trio of cleansing, toning and moisturizing products. The company is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of Skin Accumax, a line of nutritional supplements designed for acne sufferers.

“Everything we do is based on making the skin as healthy as possible,” says Iredale. “We use a lot of plant extracts—most of them are certified organic. Their benefits, taste and smell are in my blood because I’m an avid gardener. Many of them, like pomegranate extract, have active antioxidant properties and help to reverse sun damage.”

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Mineral makeup is one of the fastest growing cosmetic categories, and almost every major player has some sort of mineral offering, notes Iredale. “And while I love what some brands have done, some of the other lines have talc, chemical sunscreen additives, synthetic preservatives, etc. It’s important to read the label to see if the brand you’re about to buy fits with what you want from a product.”

Success Secret

Listening to beauty professionals and consumers has played a huge part in the company’s success, Iredale says. “I’ve always been open to suggestions and ideas and then followed through when I thought it was right for the brand. Doing what you say you’re going to do is a huge part of the DNA of this company.”

Primo Products

One of the line’s most popular items, PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation, was recently updated with a sleek refillable rose gold compact and eight new shades. “It’s a foundation, powder, sunscreen and concealer all in one, and it nurtures the skin at the same time,” says Iredale. “I also love our PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner. A single coat of this conditioner before applying mascara will help strengthen, lengthen and thicken your lashes, making the mascara twice as effective.”

—Elizabeth Turner