OK, forget everything I’ve said about mineral makeup in the past – I’m converted.
This has been a gradual process. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to use up the last dregs of a mineral foundation sample that had been lying around in the bottom of my Sephora box for months. For some reason I decided to just apply it over the top of my regular cream foundation and, you know what? I loved it. It made my skin look flawless, it didn’t budge all day, and… I had just used the last of the sample.
Enter Pretty Minerals, a new UK-based website selling the i.d bareMinerals line. They sent me a sample of bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation in the palest shade it comes in (fair), and all I can say is, "So THAT’S what all the fuss was about!"
For those who’ve never used mineral foundation before, it’s pretty simple, but it does get a little bit of getting used to – both in the sense of learning how to apply it, and in getting over the psychological barrier of applying nothing more than a powder as your foundation.
Now, I like a relatively thick base. My skin, while generally spot free, often shows the signs of too many late nights and mugs of coffee *guilty as charged), and so I tend to expect quite a lot from my foundation so, as I say, it took me a while to get used to the idea that a mere powder would provide the same coverage as a cream. But it does.
The foundation itself is applied with a large, thick brush called a kabuki brush. I have a bareMinerals one, but you can buy these from lots of different brands – Sephora do their own brand kabuki, for instance. These are on the expensive side, but well worth investing in if you’re going to be using a mineral foundation, because they’re by far the best thing to apply it with.
As for the application itself: just dip the brush into the foundation, tap off the excess, and then gently buff it onto your skin, using a circular motion. I tend to start in the centre, with my cheeks and nose, and then move onto the chin and forehead. Start off with just a light dusting of powder – you can then build up to the coverage you need.
Note: you can also buy Mineral Veil, a finishing powder, to go over the top of the foundation. I haven’t been using this, and don’t really see much need for it, but I haven’t tried it yet.
As for the coverage itself, yes, it really does give just as good coverage as a liquid foundation, and without the "powderiness" you might expect, either. I have a couple of moles on my face which are impossible to cover with makeup: bareMinerals doesn’t totally cover them either, but it does by far the best job of it, and makes them much less noticeable than they are with anything else I’ve tried.
The other good thing about the coverage is that it will last ALL DAY. If you’ve ever gone to the bathroom halfway through the working day, looked in the mirror and noticed that hey, your foundation has melted clean away, leaving you basically bare-faced, you’ll know how rare that is. This stuff sits tight: they claim it’s so pure you can even sleep in it if you want to, but I’ve yet to try that particular experiment…
As mentioned above, perhaps the biggest selling point for bareMinerals is that it really does create a pretty flawless looking base. I was relatively happy with the liquid foundation I was using, but I do notice a difference with this, in that my skin looks fresher, smoother and clearer.
Quite apart from that, however, the biggest advantage I’ve found is that it creates the perfect base for things like blusher. I generally have to re-apply my blusher several times per day, and this applies regardless of which brand I use. In fact, I carry a tub of Benetint lip balm with me at all time for emergency touch-ups on the cheeks – I can leave the house with rosy cheeks and by the time I get to where I’m going, I’ll be looking like a vampire. It’s the absolute bane of my life.
With this foundation? No such problem. On Saturday night I used Benetint (the regular version, for the cheeks!) on my cheeks, and it did not budge. At all. I put it on before going out for the evening, and it still looked freshly-applied when I got home. Today I’m wearing Nars Orgasm and it has also remained on my cheeks all day, rather than disappearing within the hour. Result!
The drawback here, mind you, is that other makeup, especially liquids like Benetint, are more difficult to blend on top of the foundation. You have to be much more careful to make sure you’re not left with a Benetint tide mark, which wouldn’t look good AT ALL…
I also don’t like to wear this foundation on the area around my eyes. As regular readers know, the skin around my eyes is a huge problem area for me: it gets very dry and red, especially when I’m stressed (which I have been lately), and I find that the powder tends to cling to these dry bits, making them look worse. To avoid this effect, I don’t use the foundation around my eyes, and stick to my cream-based concealer for that area.
As I said, I’m a convert. I didn’t think I would be, because I generally like a bit of a dewy look with my foundation, but I’m really loving how flawless this stuff makes my skin, and I love the fact that it makes the rest of my makeup actually stay on even more. I will definitely be using it from now on, although I’m not giving up my liquid foundation completely: for those days when you need really good coverage, I find that buffing on bareMinerals over the top of your regular foundation gives the perfect results.
Buy: BareMinerals foundation, £17.25 from Pretty Minerals.