By  on June 15, 2012

Jane Iredale describes her modus operandi in one word: improve. It’s an impulse that drove her to formulate a mineral foundation back in 1994 when she was a film producer and noticed that many actresses were having skin issues. In so doing, she not only launched her business, but also a category—mineral makeup—which has since exploded into a key color segment. Improvement has also propelled her to funnel a passion for health and wellness into an estimated $135 million mineral makeup empire, which grew 15 percent over the last two years, according to industry sources. Today, her namesake line includes some 400 products sold in boutiques, salons and spas across more than 50 countries around the globe. The company continues to go it alone, eschewing outside investors, in what Iredale calls “a sea of icebergs.”

There was an explosion of mineral makeup in 2007. Where do you see the category headed now?
It’s had an evolution since 1994, when we brought out our line and Bare Minerals introduced its line the same year. We were considered to be a niche brand. And then we became the trend. With the explosion in 2007, we became a category. Now, we’ve become mainstream. Almost every brand is incorporating mineral makeup into their line. It’s now being used as a marketing term to interest the consumer. Mineral makeup is just part of the makeup [category] in general. It’s confusing for consumers because they don’t really understand what is a true mineral makeup. I wish consumers read ingredients and labels more.

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