Daily Camera write up!

The alchemy of style

Some beauty comes naturally; some is forced
Aimee Heckel Camera Fashion Writer
Posted: 06/04/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT

Various products from Boulder's Alchemy Mineral Blends. ( Alchemy Mineral Blends.)
This is one of those stories it will be hard to explain to the grandchitterlings, as well as Saint Peter at the golden gates of heaven.

I believe that all humans are innately good, including me and my little brother on the night that we duct-taped our babysitter to the kitchen chair.

We just wanted to do her hair and make-up. And the girl needed it.

She was our neighbor in a mountain dust-hole of, oh, a dozen houses. Our nearest "big city" was Masonville, whose current population -- about 700 people -- has more than quadrupled since I was a kidnapping kid. And little miss Babysitter's Club didn't even have electricity. In the '80s. Think about that.


Luckily/unluckily for her, we did.

She thought we were playing a game, until the third roll of duct tape and the realization that she couldn't, in fact, get out of the chair. It was easier to reach her bangs after she rocked the chair onto the floor. We broke her throne and cut her hair, and from her lips we drew a "I'm gonna tell your mom!"

As a talented and, ahem, highly motivated 7-year-old, assisted by my 4-year-old brother, we transformed Laura Ingalls Wilder to Cyndi Awesome Lauper.

Needless to say, the babysitter swore she'd never return, and my parents had to leave her a major tip. That is, after my mom casually remarked, "Your hair looks great. The elephant ears were a risky but good choice," followed by, "Only duct-tape, eh? You got off easy."

This time, I was in thechair,at the Side Door Salon in Boulder. But no bondage was needed to keep me there (sorry, Rihanna). And this time, I was the hokey ol' lady needing some fashion advice.

Sally Walker, originally of Ireland and now of Boulder, and Breanna Ortola, previously of Boulder but now of Denver, were hovering over my face, rubbing delicious-tasting glosses on my lips and dusting Boulder-made mineral make-up on my cheeks.

The line, Alchemy Mineral Blends, began four years ago, but recently took off, now with tables in the Side Door Salon and the new Alfalfas, 1651 Broadway St., in Boulder.

As a gal with an intrinsic and rather aggressive obsession with make-up, I was twitching in delight. The products were local, natural and healthy, sophisticated, reasonably priced and made with the highest quality, FDA-approved ingredients. Unlike other mineral blends, which often use too much mica because it's a cheap filler when you're mass producing, Alchemy's line is less silvery and more matte and natural. It is sweat-proof and contains SPF 26.

"It feels good. It doesn't feel like make-up," Walker says.

Walker and Ortola pack the products in Walker's house in the Boulder foothills, and they also hold regular make-up lessons. They're known as some of Boulder's original eco make-up artists, are also backed by major cred -- including training at the Cinema Makeup School in Hollywood, taught by Cher's make-up artist.

Which is a slightly better resume than "forced babysitter to accept lipstick at all but gunpoint."

Check outalchemymineralblends.comor the table at Alfalfas.

My favorite pick: the paraben-free lipgloss, infused with nourishing jojoba oil, vitamin E, peppermint and lavender, $22. As Ortola puts it, "It's not just a pretty color, but it's also a lip treatment."

Read more:The alchemy of style - Boulder Daily Camerahttp://www.dailycamera.com/features/ci_18180346#ixzz1PyEXmeil

1 comment

  • I absolutely love these slmboys! I was SO hoping that they meant something because I actually made a design for my next back tattoo using your awesome arcane runes slmboys and it looked so sexy and cool!! I’ll have to design my own in a way to make them look like letters, then use them to spell my name and have it tattooed! Thanks for the inspiration, I’ve been thinking of what to get as my next tattoo, now I know!! Keep up the good work! (Btw I added you on DA)-Jenn

    Alberto on

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