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Product Review: Mineral Makeup on a Budget

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What: Angela wades through some of the mineral makeup offerings from the drug store beauty aisle.
The Lowdown: Make-up marketers are savvy folks—and so anyone who makes regular visits to the beauty aisle knows there’s always something new being touted. These days? It’s mineral make-up—and plenty of the major make-up brands are jumping on the mineral bandwagon. What the heck is mineral makeup anyway? Here’s the scoop: mineral makeup is made of natural, finely ground natural minerals, without the requisite chemicals, dyes, etc. The buzz is that it’s better for your skin (natural, and let’s the skin breath) and adds a natural glow. Um, we’ve heard that before. So which one of these new mineral products, if any, is worth parting with your hard-earned money for? I checked out a few, and here’s what I found:
~Sonia Kashuk for Target Mineral Face Palette, $14.99 This product came in a set of three—blush, powder foundation, concealer. Let me just say that I was very leary about power foundation—my skin tends to be uneven and red in places, so I had little hope for good coverage, but I’m now eating my words. It actually goes on evenly, covers surprisingly well, and stuck around. Just about all day. My liquid foundation doesn’t even do that.
The color had me worried too—I have olive skin, and typically struggle to find a good match. I picked “warm tawny” and crossed my fingers, and it was great. Minerals, it seems blend much better with your actual skin tone than traditional liquids (we’ve all seen it—the foundation “mask”—and it isn’t pretty). Loved the blush, too, and I don’t even like blush (it’s a hold-over attitude from the overdone 80s).
Yea or Nay?: Oh Yea. Strangely, this doesn’t seem to be available online, so get to your local Target (Kathryn loves her make-up brushes, too—read more here.)
Neutrogena Mineral Sheers, $11.99 for .18 ounces: Just tried the Powder Foundation here, in “light to neutral,” and had high hopes because I generally love Neutrogena products. The container is genius—powder and brush applicator all in one convenient piece—but the results? Just so-so. The color blended fine, but didn’t cover as completely or stay in place as well as Sonia Kashuk.
Yay or Nay: For the money, a Nay—functioned more as a glorified face powder than a true foundation.
Jane Be Pure Mineral, $6.99 for .18 ounces:: Again, just the powder foundation, this time “colorless.” And again, great container (this time with a puff instead of brush), which gave better coverage than Neutrogena’s. Being that it goes on almost like a pressed powder, I’m actually using it to cover shiny spots—but as a mineral foundation? It’s just okay.
Yea or Nay?: It’s inexpensive, so I’ll give it a Yea for affordability, but I’m on the fence for quality.
A word of caution: While mineral makeup is great in terms of being natural and easier to match for color, we have to note that it can be drying to the skin, which is not particularly good for those of us over 30. The mineral powder does settle into lines a bit more readily, as well. My thoughts? If nothing else, it’s a great option for summer, especially for those of us who live in humid locales where that liquid foundation just seems a bit too heavy.


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Megan Bloom

Tuesday 14th of February 2012

Another great mineral makeup option (as well as affordable) is Erth Minerals @ . They don't have the talc that was mentioned earlier (which I can't use) or bismuth oxychloride. It's also much more affordable than BM- $15.00 for the same size 9 gram foundation. I found them through Safe Cosmetics/Skin Deep database about 4 years ago & have been using them ever since. I agree that mineral makeup can be drying, but if you moisturize well (20-30 minutes before application), I haven't noticed this nearly as much & can wear it all year round. It just can't be an "ultra greasy" moisturizer. MB


Monday 10th of December 2007

Last year I did a lot of research on mineral cosmetics and found this site.

I like it because it’s cheap and convenient (if you’re comfortable with ordering online), and most importantly, it’s cheap to order samples so you can see what color really works on your skin.  Shipping on all orders over $10 is free, so once you find a color that works for you, you can order your foundation and get it shipped for free in the US.

Thursday 6th of December 2007

Hanni, talc isn’t listed in the ingredients of the Sonia Kashuk trio, but I can’t find anything that specifically says the line is talc free. Anyone else?


Thursday 6th of December 2007

I tried mineral makeup when it first came out a couple of years ago and hated it - a beauty consultant friend of mine and I both said it looked like funeral makeup - so I stuck with liquids and powders.  Then about a month ago I was reading about safer cosmetics ( and I decided to try it again.  Something changed over those couple of years because now you’d have to pry it from my cold dead hands.  I LOVE IT!!!  It’s great coverage for my uneven and large pored skin.  I stay oil-free longer and it gives me that porcelain look that I thought could only happen after a chemical peel and a face lift.

Jennifer S. S.

Thursday 6th of December 2007

Have you tried Physicians Formula? It works very well for me.

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