Why crystals are charging up your makeup and skincare


Unless you’ve been living under a rock—and not one made of rose quartz—you may have noticed the rise of crystals. From hippie outlier, crystal therapy has floated into the mainstream in the #selfcare era. On Instagram, everyone from your favourite yogi to your beloved aunt is flaunting a crystal collection, and fashion has embraced the mood too, with rock-encrusted earrings, slingbacks and jackets. Celebrities including Adele, Katy Perry and the Kardashian-Jenners swear by their healing powers, while Victoria Beckham carts crystals in her handbag. Now it’s beauty’s turn to explore good vibrations.

Semi-precious stones and gemstones are routinely incorporated in makeup and skincare products for their remedial benefits. The thinking goes that high-frequency minerals can help you nix negative energy, boost your mood and perk up your complexion. Turns out there’s a crystal for every issue under the citrine-coloured sun. Amethyst can supposedly help with stress. Clear quartz is touted to improve memory. Bloodstone may assist with circulation. Turquoise is said to benefit mind, body and soul. The list goes on.

How did we get here? Crystals sit prettily at the juncture of style, beauty and holistic thinking. They simultaneously tap into the wellness obsession, the embrace of alternative medicines, and the mainstreaming of mystical beliefs, including astrology, Tarot cards and smudging. Their popularity also reflects an element of escapism. When you can’t control aspects of your life, and you find the news headlines utterly depressing, at least you can create a cocoon of serenity at home.

Even if you regard such claims as pseudo-science, it’s hard to deny the aesthetic appeal of the trend. Crystal-laced beauty products and occult-inspired clothing represent the ultimate internet trend. They’re colourful, mystical, desirable and light up on social media. As well as looking like jewels, some crystals have price tags to match. Crystal-fuelled beauty is an accesible way to dip into the look.

Leading the supernatural way this season is Smashbox. The brand has curated an entire “crystalised” collection with Seattle-based bruja and modern mystic Bri Luna. Luna is known for her witchy website, The Hoodwitch, and her Instagram account where she dispenses advice using tarot cards, smoke scrying and crystal cleansing. Luna, who left no crystal unturned when designing the Smashbox collection, says that the stones “offer us a unique form of healing that is subtle to our energetic body. It’s just the right spark that may help us ignite change.”

Certainly, even crystal sceptics will be inspired to change up their look. There are liquid shadow sticks with bejewelled applicators and sparkling shades such as rhodonite (mauve), aura amethyst (lilac) and fire opal (copper). There are liquid lipsticks in colours like blue black, gem-charged lip glosses, and an embellished shadow palette with matte, molten and metallic options. There are scented primer waters to “refresh your complexion and aura”, and a moonstone-inspired shimmer potion that can be used as a highlighter. Each product comes with a mantra to say on application. Example: “I am luminous like the full moon.”

Rarer stones are also being synthesised with luxe skincare for a haute holistic twist. Knesko makes gemstone- and mineral-infused collagen masks that leave skin with an otherworldly glow. “Gemstones have long been known to possess great healing powers, balance specific chakras, and enhance the skin’s natural ability to revitalise itself,” says founder Lejla Cas. Knesko masks use a proprietary technology dubbed “gemclinical” to deliver tiny particles of gems deep into the skin. The ancient Egyptians ingested gold for mental, body and spiritual purification, and you do feel a little like King Tut when wearing the gold Knesko masks.

If you dig a little deeper, you start seeing crystals, gemstones and minerals everywhere. Hourglass uses diamond particles in its Ambient powders, bronzers and strobers to imbue your complexion with a million dollar glow. Darphin, maker of sensual skincare, is a fan of detoxifying malachite, which occurs in its Hydraskin Hydrating Stick. La Mer sprinkles malachite in its famous lip balm, lip volumiser and finishing powder. Radiance-boosting tourmaline features in By Terry’s Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow and the shades have gem-style names like Frozen Quartz and Blond Opal. Meanwhile, Rituel de Fille favours “radiant mica crystal pigment” in its mystical makeup says co-founder Michelle Ramos.

Crystal facial massage tools are a way to soothe skin, reduce toxins and release blocked energy according to their exponents. Los Angeles facialist Angela Caglia uses rose quartz in her face roller, eye massagers and a decadent eye mask launching later in the year. “Rose quartz has self-esteem boosting qualities,” she told us. “Not to mention the soothing benefits for muscles that cause wrinkles, puffiness and calming inflammation and acne.” For peak pampering at her spa, Caglia uses an enormous rose quartz face mask composed of over 500 stones. It’s crystal therapy at a higher plane.

Words by George Epaminondas
July 2019


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