Ep 40 - The Good, the Bad, and the Pretty! Makeup Ingredients with Michael Moore

Michael Moore

Eyeliner, blush, and lipstick! No one plans to eat their makeup, but are the ingredients in makeup safe enough to ingest? What if the medium we use to look and feel pretty is really creating ugly effects in our skin? Let’s explore good and bad ingredients found in our everyday ritual staple, makeup!

Author Bio: 

About Michael Moore

Michael Moore, owner of Moore For Life in Denver, Colorado, has been in the cosmetic and skin care industry for 32 years. His career has taken him down many different paths, but on all those paths, he has kept the same mission: to make people feel better about themselves. Moore’s career quickly escalated working with many industry leaders, such as Bobbi Brown, Borghese, Chanel, Lancôme, and Nars. In this time, Moore could be seen on the Today ShowOprahEntertainment Tonight, and InStyle magazine on a regular basis. His work has graced the covers of many different magazines worldwide, including Australian Vogue and Australian Glamour. Moore’s client roster includes many top actresses, vocal recording artists, and athletes, as well as royal and political figures. Moore can be seen weekly on the Emmy award-winning TV show the Everyday Show, and he is a regular contributor on the Day Break Show and the Good Day Show. In addition, Moore is a regular contributor to Colorado Expression magazine and Cherry Creek Now magazine.

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0:00:39.6 EC: You are listening to ASCP Esty Talk, where we share insider tips, industry resources and education for estheticians at every stage of the journey. Let's talk, 'cause ASCP knows, it's all about you. 


0:00:54.9 EC: Hi, welcome back to ASCP Esty Talk. This is the ingredient decked-out series where we explore the fascinating world of ingredients and how they work with the skin. I am Ella Cressman, I'm a licensed esthetician, owner of the HHP Collective and total and complete ingredient junky. So today, we are joined by one of my favorite people in the industry, Michael Moore, who is a celebrity makeup artist and owner of Moore for Life, in Denver. Michael has been in the cosmetic industry for, what people say, my perceived age is. Just kidding. For over 32 years [chuckle], his career has taken him down many, many different paths, but on all of those paths he has kept the same mission, and that is to make people feel better about themselves. Michael has worked with many industry leaders such as Bobbi Brown, Borghese, Chanel, Lancome, and NARS, and myself. [chuckle] He has been featured on the Today Show, The Oprah Show, Entertainment Tonight, as well as InStyle magazine on a regular basis. Moore's client roster includes many top actresses, vocal recording artists and athletes, as well as royal and political figures. Welcome Michael, how are you?  


0:02:06.3 Michael Moore: I am well. How are you?  


0:02:07.5 EC: I'm great, thank you so much. I'm very excited to have you on because we're gonna talk about something that we need to... We need to refocus and talk about pretty things. Often pretty could mean ugly, [chuckle] depending on the ingredients, as we know. With that being said, what are some of the most common questions you get about makeup ingredients?  


0:02:30.4 MM: To be honest, my clients don't really ask me a lot about makeup ingredients. I think what they do, is they come to me because they know my stand on it is, you shouldn't put it on your face if it's gonna kill you. 


0:02:42.1 EC: It's a great stand. I think that's where I stand too. 


0:02:43.9 MM: [chuckle] Right. 


0:02:46.4 EC: So with that being said, what ingredients do you look for, both harmful and skin-friendly? Which ones... What are the ones that'll kill you?  


0:02:53.9 MM: Well, let's just start off with talking about... There's a lot of misconceived notions out there. There's clean makeup, and then there's really clean makeup, or there's kind of clean makeup. So there's a lot of brands out there that really talk about ingredients, and for instance, there's a brand that we all know about that says that she doesn't use 1674 ingredients, I believe the number is, that is outlawed in the UK, but we can actually use a lot of those ingredients here in the United States. And I think what you have to look for is really what do you ultimately want out of your makeup routine, because a lot of those ingredients... Let's say for instance, color pigmentation, that could actually be endocrine inhibitors or things like that. Those are things that you have to guess what you want out of that product. So for instance, carmine, which is a color tone, it's... There's a toxicity to it, but if you want a red lipstick, you're not gonna get a red lipstick without having carmine in it. So it's like, you have to have certain ingredients and know how they're put together with other ingredients. 


0:04:03.1 MM: So if you think about how much of that ingredient is going into that product, how deadly is that product? But it's kind of like years ago, 'cause I have been in the cosmetic industry since Hector was a pup. I remember when talc came out and talc is a bad product, you really don't wanna keep a lot of... You want talc-free products. But back years ago, back in like '87-'89, they were saying that talc was a very big contributor to breast cancer. It might be a big contributor to breast cancer, but almost the only way you're gonna get breast cancer from talc is by sniffing it every single day, or doing a cocaine with it in a way, that it's gonna get into your system that badly that it's gonna cause breast cancer. Now, everything I do is talc-free, I don't like talc because to me talc does other things, it doesn't make the skin look pretty. So it also is connected to breast cancer in some ways, so if you're a person who has breast cancer in your family, stay away from talc. If you're a person who's never had breast cancer, or linked to breast cancer anywhere in your body, I think you're gonna have to have a lot of breast cancer to be able to say, "My talc powder caused breast cancer." 


0:05:16.7 EC: And with so many opportunities for other products, it's not necessary. I think, like you, I don't like the way it looks on the skin or the association it has, but it is a mineral, so it does qualify as mineral makeup. So be careful if it's something that you are concerned about, that you check for the talc on your ingredient deck if it is a concern, for sure. 


0:05:42.9 MM: I agree with that 100%. So things that I really look for... Stay away from the parabens, you just do not need parabens. There's so many great preservatives out there on the market now that are non chemical-based preservatives that you can actually find. You don't need parabens. Parabens are linked to breast cancer. You go out here to Anschutz Medical Center, and they'll tell you the number one ingredient that they find when they dissect a tumor in a woman's breast is... They actually find parabens in it. And parabens are actually found in your body but they're also... You don't need to add them to your body to add more parabens into your skin, into your mouth, into your eyes, whatever. Those are things that you could really stay away from. 


0:06:27.3 EC: And I think parabens are also very plentiful in a lot of products, so you don't need to add to it in your makeup or your body wash or your lotion if... Anywhere you can avoid them that's great so that's an excellent point. 


0:06:39.9 MM: Agreed, agreed. And another big one for me is bismuth oxychloride. Bismuth is found in a lot of mineral makeup. But first of all, the look of it, you're gonna look like something from the fifth dimension or whatever... [chuckle] From the total silver, and you're gonna have such a silvery look to the face, but it also causes a horrible red rash on the face too. 


0:07:01.1 EC: Yes. 


0:07:01.2 MM: Which is interesting, 'cause it's in powders often, and we're using powders around open orifices and the open orifices tend to get red rashes around them like around your mouth, your nose and your eyes. 


0:07:12.9 EC: Definitely something to consider when you're... As a professional when you're doing your intake that's why it's important to ask, "What kind of makeup do you wear?" Because so often it's... There's a rash or there's a reaction and it's pointed to... I see a lot of people say, "It's perioral dermatitis, so it must be your toothpaste." But it could be... Or, "It's around my eyes, it must be something else," but it very well could be this cheap filler ingredient, bismuth oxychloride. 


0:07:39.3 MM: And that's a very big point that you just made there because I don't think we look at every single thing when we do intakes, even myself... I was just dealing with a client, I was doing a custom-blended foundation for her and I said... Her name happens to be Porter, and I said, "Porter you've got some brown spots in your face. And years ago when I made your foundation, we didn't put a lightning agent in here, now we can actually put a lightning agent." She looked at me, she goes, "Well, yeah, why wouldn't I want a lightning agent in it?" 


0:08:08.1 EC: Duh. 


0:08:08.2 MM: Because you do, you have to know what's in your products and you have to know, and I think that's a very, very smart comment that you just made there, Ellen, because we don't look at that sometimes. You get a rash around the eyes, oh, it's automatically the new eye cream. Well, maybe it's not the new eye cream, maybe it's the way the new eye cream is working with the old concealer. 


0:08:24.6 EC: Sure, yeah. 


0:08:24.7 MM: Not that you're getting irritation from the eye cream. 


0:08:29.7 EC: I think it's cool that you actually make custom-blended makeup. I think that's one of the most appealing things is 'cause it's, "This is just-for-me foundation." 


0:08:39.8 MM: Exactly, it's made for you. Your skin type, skin tone and skin texture, which I think is so important. I had a young girl in here yesterday, and she was 16 and her mother happens to be an esthetician. And so she brings all of her children in to me for their foundations and stuff. And I looked at this girl, and she took off her face mask so we could really see her skin. And she had this flawless face, except for two little spots and a little bit of darkness underneath her eyes. And I'm like, I said, "I'm gonna make you a foundation that will go all of your whole face but I don't want you to use it all over your whole face. Use it where you need it and that's it because God gave you this flawless complexion, and it's not always gonna be flawless, we know that, right? Everything ebbs and flows, right?" 


0:09:24.2 EC: Enjoy it, honey. [laughter] 


0:09:27.5 MM: 'Cause when you're 55, it ain't pretty, okay. 


0:09:32.2 EC: Nice, my whole... Far from flawless... Especially with masks, is there something that... Have you noticed with the increased mask use?  


0:09:42.3 MM: The big thing that we've been seeing is longer-lasting lipstick. People want something, so that they are not transferring into their face mask all the time. Because I can imagine, I do put a lip balm on my lips at all times, and I can imagine what it would feel like if all of a sudden you have a lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss all over the inside of your mask. And I like my mask to be tight on my face, I don't like one that's loose and airy, like some things that you might see, but I do like it to be tighter on my face, so I can only imagine what it's like when you've got all that other kind of stuff on there. So, a big thing for us is we've been selling a lot of our long-lasting lip liners and our long-lasting lip stains, because they don't come off. You just have to put them on enough, and so when a woman doesn't want to put something on her lips, she can just put that on and she can take off her mask and all of a sudden be on a Zoom call with you and looking fabulous. 


0:10:35.2 EC: Are there any lip ingredients or ingredients, and let's just say like you mentioned carmine, but that you should be aware of?  


0:10:39.5 MM: Yes, first of all, I think, formaldehyde. You find formaldehyde a lot in lipsticks. And formaldehyde is... It's a colorless gas, which you can't see it, and it can cause cancer, which is not great. Another one is petrolatum. Petrolatum is something that you don't need in the lips which is also an oil and it's a paraben, and those are things that you just don't need in a lipstick because there's so many wonderful clean ingredients that you can put out there. And a lot of times petrolatum can be very drying to the lip as well, as you know. So those are the two big things that I always look for. 


0:11:15.7 EC: Is that... Speaking of one where... There was this like MLM-style lipstick a couple years ago, it was super popular. And they're like, "Oh, it's gonna last for days. Look at me now," and I gotta tell you I got it because of course, I gotta try everything. So I got some, I got five colors which were about, I don't know, I think it was like $150 worth of lipstick. And this post gloss, of course, me also not reading the directions slaps this on and then press my lips, so like. 




0:11:49.5 EC: Like that. Well, I say. 




0:11:52.2 EC: But really it was like. 




0:11:53.0 EC: And that was it, because my lips stuck together and I had to like peel them apart and it was like paint. And then I was like, "Oh, I see you have to put the gloss on before you touch." So I reapplied the next time, wiped it all off. And I like stuck my lips, so they absolutely would not touch. And then I put the gloss on, but that stuff wore, not very well on me, it still somehow showed all these lip creases that was not... But I imagine those, that kind of long last it's gotta have some creepy stuff in it. 


0:12:19.3 MM: It's horrible, and this is the other thing too is, clients believe what you say to them, even if you're lying to them. And because years ago I had been listening at a trade show, listening to somebody talk about ingredients and yes, they were talking about that lip product, and I'm not... I don't mean to correct you, but those lipsticks are $55 each. 


0:12:42.3 EC: I had a deal or something. 


0:12:43.7 MM: Okay. You... 


0:12:46.2 EC: It was an absurd amount of money on something that I used twice. 


0:12:48.3 MM: Exactly, yes, exactly. 


0:12:48.8 EC: I used three of them or something, three for 100 plus this other thing. 


0:12:53.2 MM: Yeah. It was... I mean, they are expensive lipsticks, but I was listening to this person sell this to a client, and she was just talking about how clean and natural it is. First of all, when you put that lipstick on your lips, you almost knock over because it smells just like alcohol. 


0:13:08.4 EC: Oh, yeah, terrible. 


0:13:08.5 MM: It's just like, woah. And I'm like, "She's lying to you," but yes, if you need... And I recommend those lipsticks often to my brides and mothers of brides, if you need something for the day of the wedding that's gonna be that long-lasting, go for that brand of lipstick, and we won't mention it today, 'cause we don't wanna do an advertisement for them. But it is a great thing for that, because if you tell me you want something to last, I'm gonna find you something that lasts. If you're gonna tell me it's gonna be healthy, that's not gonna be one of the things you wanna put on your lips. 


0:13:40.2 EC: One day is fine, but continued use, concern. 


0:13:43.0 EC: Exactly. And I also love that they tell you, you gotta go through the peel stage with this lipstick. 


0:13:49.4 EC: I did the first time. 






0:13:55.3 MM: Then your lips truly just peel off, and it's just so... 


0:13:55.4 EC: So uncomfortable. 


0:13:55.5 MM: How can that be healthy people? How can it be?  


0:13:55.6 EC: No. And then you look like you had your lips injected, but really, it's just super irritated. 


0:14:06.4 MM: I know. And your lip injector, whoever does your lips, oh, it's really perfect. 


0:14:10.5 EC: Oh, thanks, they are my natural ones. [chuckle] Smart Alec, [chuckle] thanks, that was... Mother nature does my lip injections. [laughter] I like to... Speaking of mother nature, to accent my eyes, I love to put eyeliner on the water line. What are your thoughts on that?  


0:14:28.9 MM: A lot of optometrists and ophthalmologists will tell you not to do that. I like to put it at the root of the eyelashes, but if it's a special night out, every once in a while, why not just do it. You're not gonna die from it. And also, no ophthalmologist has ever told me what is the bad news, because it can build up in the back of the eye supposedly, so I don't know what is really that bad about it, but if you go blind one day, you'll now know, right?  


0:14:54.9 EC: But I'll look good so I'm gonna trust you to tell me. [chuckle] I'll have to keep that in mind. 


0:14:58.5 MM: That was a purple eye shadow... Or eyeliner you just kept putting around... 


0:15:01.9 EC: But do I look pretty?  




0:15:05.3 MM: I'm a big believer in taking your eyeliner from the bottom of the top and putting it at the root of those eyelashes, 'cause that just gives you the thickness and the firmness of the eyelash, so you don't have to be putting all these false eyelashes on your eyes. Now, let's talk about something that I personally think is not gonna be very good in the long run. 


0:15:23.3 EC: Oh, let's talk about it. 


0:15:24.8 MM: A lot of lash extensions, and I'm sorry, and I know a lot of the people listening to this right now are probably big lash extension people, but I truly wanna know what the long-term effect of all that glue with those eyelashes are gonna do for you. 


0:15:41.2 EC: Sure. Well, I'll tell you a story, a very quick story, is during the shutdown, of course, you couldn't get in for appointments. I was a very reluctant lash client because I didn't want the every two week, every three week maintenance. And I'm also extremely particular, so I knew that it was gonna be every two weeks and I'm fussy and so... Anyways, for about eight months, I was getting them, I loved them, I loved waking up with them, so I can see the allure of them, but during the shutdown last... In early 2020, 2000... Yeah, 2020. Of course, we couldn't get it done, so I had, I gotta tell you, whatever glue my person used was so effective that I had three of those MF-ers hanging on for dear life for like six to eight weeks. I tried everything, I tried oil, I tried coconut oil, I tried all these things, but that... And in the most awkward place like, right in the middle on one eye and then one on the very outside and one on the very inside, on the left eye, and so it took me a long time... I don't know if it was my attempt at forced removal or what, but it did take me a good two growth cycles before my own... I have naturally long lashes, and so it took a long time before that came back. [chuckle] 


0:16:58.3 EC: So I have since taken a break, but I'm curious too. I know that they're changing the weight of the lashes, I know there's a lot of talk on changing the glue, there's been some really amazing innovations with glue and ingredients, so I guess we will see, but I'm hoping that they're taking that into consideration for the long-term health, short-term pretty for long-term discomfort or maybe it's job security. 


0:17:23.1 MM: Exactly, it is job security for a lot of estheticians on the market, and I think it's amazing in some ways, but on the other hand though too, is I wonder with people with extended use of those, how much quicker you're gonna need to get an eye lift. There's a lot more weight than naturally you're supposed to have on your eyelashes. When you are going through that grow-out stage or that fall-out stage, like you... It looks like, this is the boy from the farm telling you, "Okay, the molting chicken," [laughter] it's just like, "She's got three hairs left on her head, it's time for slaughter," right?  


0:17:57.8 EC: Geez, ugh. You're funny, that is the far... You can take the man out of the farm or the boy out of the farm, but never the farm out of the boy, right?  


0:18:06.9 MM: Exactly. 


0:18:07.0 EC: So speaking of farms and being outside, one of the other ingredients that we talk about often because they're combined, whether it's a BB cream or a mineral tinted moisturizer, but sunscreen. So screen or SPF or block, or all those things. What are your thoughts about chemical SPF, especially in makeup. 


0:18:30.4 MM: I hate it. I absolutely hate it, and I won't put it on my clients, I just won't. Because it's not worth me dying from it. And I'm a person who's had skin cancer, so far, six times in my life, and thank God, none of them have been melanoma, I have had mole surgery a couple of times. But you don't need to die to protect yourself, and there's such a big dexterity in the way that products look on the face, but so many... To talk about the evolution of ingredients, zinc oxide has just really developed into such a beautiful lightweight product that doesn't change the color of a lot of skin. Yes, I do believe that we still need something for a darker skin tone, like a Fitzpatrick V. 


0:19:15.8 MM: So when they're getting into a Fitzpatrick V that you're really noticing something that can actually not reflect or make somebody a dark skin woman look like she's gray, because we need to work on that a little bit more, but I think a lot of companies are coming out with better and better and better products, and I do love a good BB cream. One of my favorite BB creams is the Lira BB creams, they're unbelievable, and I was very thankful that they brought me in in the production aspect of that product line, and it's just... It's a beautiful, beautiful line, what they've done, and it really doesn't tend to alter the color of skins at all, which I love, and they've got some great colors for darker-skinned women or men too. 


0:19:58.4 EC: Absolutely. I don't like chemical... I don't like the controversy around that, and it's also so self... I guess this is the back end of the industry that I'm privy to or that I understand now, is the marketing side where they... This one company I was actually a rep for and they for years stood behind, "Oh, we'd only use physical SPF." And then one year they came out with this new SPF line that had chemicals in it, and this is actually shortly before I quit, and it had chemicals in it, and they were like, "Oh, actually the chemicals help the adherence," and the true story was they were trying to lock down the formula but it was curdling and it was curdling because to suspend zinc or titanium in a formula is arduous. And so they were adding other ingredients to have it meld or mesh-emulsified and it just wasn't working. It was good for a month and then it would separate, so rather than fix the problem, rather than adjust the ingredients with quality ingredients, they added chemicals because it was cheaper. That's the true story of what happened. 


0:21:02.8 EC: But I watched their marketing efforts say, "Oh no, just a little chemical is fine," and I'm like, "Bulloney, bulloney." And you could see it. And having known that in the background, and like I said, I quit shortly thereafter, then I started being hyper-aware of other companies that were doing it, "Oh, we have it here, we have it there," especially some MD-only lines, these MD lines that have like a tinted moisturizer, but somehow have higher clout because they're only available to MDs, but also on dermstore.com and anywhere. [chuckle] They have this implied exclusivity that's not really true. But they have chemicals, but somehow they're held in a higher regard because they have medical backing, and so anyways I... A huge, passionate argument from this side about checking out your SPF and if it goes on chalky, if it has a blue hue, keep trying, 'cause you'll find something that'll work, right?  


0:21:57.0 MM: I agree with you 100%. And the other thing too, I always say to every one of my clients is I want you to have a physical SPF on your face before you put your makeup on, even if your makeup does have a physical SPF in it, because you put your make up on, just like I was just telling that young 16-year-old girl the other day, you only put your foundation where it's really needed. If you're doing makeup the way I believe makeup needs to be done, you only... You're not gonna be putting it on in the same intensity, so you could be getting more SPF in your nose area then you're getting on your cheeks or your forehead. And if you're using that one product as your total SPF, well, guess what? You're gonna be screwed up again, okay. 




0:22:37.0 MM: So use a physical SPF, that's why I love like a makeup primer that will have the physical SPF in it and yeah. And just to back you up with what you just said there about suspension of zinc oxide, I'm in the process right now of trying to come up with a physical SPF that we can actually put into our liquid foundations. 


0:22:55.9 EC: How nice. 


0:22:57.0 MM: We have been trying, trying, trying, trying, and it's not pudding. We turned some people's foundations into bricks and reformulated them. [chuckle] 


0:23:04.7 EC: Oh, geez. 


0:23:06.4 MM: And same way with lipsticks, it's like they... People go, "Why is my lipstick now drying up my lip?" Well, it's got a physical SPF in it, which is drying. It's a little bit more drying. That's why I love physical SPF for acneic people. 


0:23:17.1 EC: Oh yeah, well zinc and it's also very healing. 


0:23:20.7 MM: Exactly. Incredibly healing. Diaper balm has zinc oxide in it. I know an esthetician one time when I was doing peels on my body so badly or so much, and I had... It looked like I was having the bubonic plague all over my body, and she went to the store with me and we got a physical butt balm that actually had zinc oxide, and I was using that all over, and it healed my body so quickly. It was unbelievable, so thank you, Ella Cressman. 


0:23:45.6 EC: You're welcome. [laughter] I know what you need, butt balm everywhere, head to toe. [laughter] Well, thank you so much, I'm sure we could keep talking forever, but as we close out, is there anything else that you want to convey to the listeners regarding make-up ingredients? I'm sure we'll have you back for another one. 


0:24:03.7 MM: Yeah, ingredients, we can go on and on and on about ingredients, but first of all, you gotta think about where the person's level is with this. Does she have a compromised immune system? All that kind of stuff. You wanna look into that and also where their passion is behind it too, and there's so many great cosmetic lines out there on the market that are truly wonderful chemical-free products, then there's the level of where there's a little bit of chemical, but there's a lot of chemical-free, then you go to the other ones that are just like a toxic waste dump, that you just really wanna stay away from. And so somebody with a really bad compromised system, if they are dealing with cancers or whatever, like a long-term lymphoma or whatever, they need to make sure that they're going for really clean products. And there are some amazing, amazing clean products on the market now, like you said, dermstore.com, there's actually some really great ones there, but yeah pick and choose your battles too. 


0:24:58.4 EC: Well, Michael, thank you so much, this was insightful. I'd love to have you back to talk about where makeup comes from, that's gonna be a fun one. 


0:25:04.3 MM: Yes, I'd love that okay. 


0:25:08.2 EC: Okay. Well, thank you so much, Michael, we really appreciate you tuning in to ASCP Esty Talk, I am Ella Cressman and we look forward to talking to you very soon. 




0:25:16.1 EC: Thanks for joining us today. If you like what you hear and you want more, subscribe. If you wanna belong to the only all-inclusive association for estheticians, that includes professional liability insurance, education, industry insights and an opportunity to spotlight your sick skills, join at ascpskincare.com, only 259 per year for all this goodness. ASCP knows it's all about you.

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