Mineral Foundation Makeup
Why You Should Use It or Not!

Mineral Foundation Makeup has become a strong beauty trend for some very good reasons.

Minerals offer good, build-able coverage that doesn't feel like you're wearing makeup at all; it covers imperfections yet allows the skin to ‘breathe'.

However there is a learning curve; mineral powders are applied to your skin using a buffing technique and this does take a little getting used to. Some women find it too tough and give up trying.

Even though I love playing with the textures and colours of many makeup products, I am aware and concerned about the effects of any potentially harmful ingredients on my skin. That’s why I decided to try the mineral foundation makeup range.

It’s claimed mineral makeup has many marvellous qualities, including improving acne, not clogging pores, moisturising skin and giving it a healthy glow as well as being healthy for your skin - or is it?

The advertising blurb is convincing and sounds logical so how foolish would a woman be to choose other products that have been found to contain lead and many other nasties.

As with any makeup product, you have to know what you are getting so let’s take a closer look at mineral foundation makeup and why you should or should not wear it.

History of Mineral Makeup

Although mineral makeup has been growing in popularity for the last 10 years it is not new. Men and women have been adorning their bodies with earth colours since ancient times.

Aboriginal clans painted their skin before ceremonies and ancient Egyptians underlined their eyes with kohl and used ground pigments like red ochre to colour lips and cheeks.

It is said that Cleopatra used crushed mica as her body shimmer.

According to beauty legend, this recent love affair with mineral makeup began in the mid 1970s. It started out as a boutique item in a small company called Bare Escentuals: a brainchild of Diane Ranger, who coined the term ‘mineral makeup’.

Apparently, after researching the history of makeup and discovering that Egyptians used minerals for sun protection, she was inspired to develop pure minerals for makeup use.

The first mineral foundation makeup contained only a few ingredients.

Whilst there are still many formulas like that there are also many formulas with ingredients that are recognised as being harmful. A leading company calls its makeup "pure" but uses petroleum-based preservatives that have been linked to breast cancer and ingredients that can cause breakouts, such as bismuth oxychloride. Many women prefer bismuth free mineral makeup.

Ingredients That Matter!

Mineral makeup is an attempt to get back to basics using naturally occurring minerals, crushed to a fine powder, as the base.

The most common minerals used as the base are mica, bismuth oxychloride, titanium dioxide (a white pigment) or zinc oxide (used since ancient times as a medical ointment).

The basis of a good mineral foundation makeup should include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Both these ingredients are natural filters of UVA & UVB rays. Zinc oxide is a natural anti-inflammatory and very healing, which is why it is excellent for treating acne.

According to the purists, pure, natural mineral cosmetics should only have 4 or 5 ingredients.

To transform minerals for the mass market, companies began to add more chemicals, fillers and preservatives even though staying true to the term ‘pure minerals’ means there should be no oil, talc, perfume, dyes, alcohol or other pore clogging ingredients.

So if you want to avoid a cocktail of unhealthy but cost effective filler ingredients – read the label and ask questions.

How To Apply

Minerals Are messy.

As I am inclined to be a tad messy anyway, I make sure to place a sheet of paper towelling on the surface BEFORE I open any pots of product.

And there is a full range of products to be messy with: foundations, finishing powders, blush, face colors and highlighters, bronzers, eye shadows, eye liners, mascaras, lip products and even some delightful ‘Fairy Dust’.

Even more delightful are the stunning colours nature provides: pastels, vivids, metallics, earthy tones and a lot more to choose from; my playground.

Find out the 'Rules' on the best eyeshadow color for you

Mineral Foundation

Unlike traditional powders, these powders are ‘buffed’ on. The warmth of your skin causes the minerals to slightly liquefy and form a beautiful, natural finish on your face.

The pigments used are highly concentrated, a little goes a long way, so you will use less than you think you should.

If you are on the lookout for cheap mineral makeup then take note:

A container of mineral foundation lasts a lot longer than traditional foundation making it much cheaper in the long run.

How to Apply Mineral Foundation Makeup

1. Apply your moisturiser and allow it to absorb into your skin.

2. The most useful containers come with a sifter, which means you can easily tap out a small amount of powder into the container lid.

Tip: Some container lids are too small to be effective so use any small container or purchase a container custom made for this.

3. Using your kabuki brush, swirl the minerals around the lid and gently tap off any excess powder with the brush bristles pointing upwards, settling the powder into the bristles.

4. Starting near your jaw and applying some pressure, buff the foundation into your skin in a circular motion. The idea is to gradually build up to the desired level of coverage by applying light layers.

5. For extra coverage under the eyes or on blemishes, additional foundation can be applied with the fingertips or the tip of a small brush then blended in.

6. Some women like to ‘set’ the foundation. Simply put a drop or two of water on the hands, rub together, and press gently into the face.

The liquid mineral foundation makeup on the market is a contradiction in terms. one of the essential benefits of mineral makeup is that the dry, inert materials cannot support the growth of bacteria.

Mineral foundation makeup is ideal for all skin types, all skin tones and women of all ages – or is it?

Although mineral makeup is generally well received, it is not a perfect product for everyone: satisfactory application can take a lot of practise for some women.

Also I have found the red blotches and brown spots on my face are not covered as well as I would like with some brands.

The very best mineral makeup I have tried is from a Danish range called Tromborg Professional Makeup (some say this is the best rated mineral makeup). This range gives you an attractive natural appearance.

The vogue.com.au website has some mineral makeup reviews and their article on Tromborg states the founder says her ingredients are “so pure you could use them on your kids.”

I could not believe how gorgeous I looked after my makeover and kept looking at myself in the windows as I walked by. Wow, I looked so much younger - how did that happen?

My favourite product was the Face and Body Shine – transformational!

By the way, if it is good enough for ‘our’ Princess Mary it is good enough for me.

Mineral makeup has come a long way since ancient times.

Have a look at what some of the 'experts' say.

I do love the feel of mineral foundation makeup and I do believe it is good for my skin. You need to make up your own mind on that score.

If you are someone who wonders just exactly what ingredients go into mineral makeup and other natural cosmetics then click here. (Opens new window)

This site is diligent, active and quite impressive in helping source natural care cosmetics that are really 'natural'. Enjoy!

Return from Mineral Foundation Makeup to Makeup For Women Over 50