Mineral Makeup was the rage some time in 2008. I remember trying a few different brands but it never quite caught on with me for various reasons. Many mineral makeup companies were small indie companies selling online, and the quality was always a little inconsistent. There are some bigger mineral makeup companies out there but since I didn’t quite feel the trend or hype, I didn’t go round to investigate.
Recently, I was invited to try mineral makeup again by a brand known as Mineral Hygienics. I agreed, because its been so long since I’ve used mineral foundation, I wanted to see if it was better for my skin, as its supposed to be.
Mineral Hygienics mineral foundation claims to have just four ingredients – Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxide and Mica and naturally, the fewer ingredients you have, the less likely you’ll have a product that irritates your skin. Also, with the presence of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, you get sun protection. Mineral makeup is well known to be good for those who have sensitive skin, give good coverage, lasts all day and be better for acne prone skin. It would be interesting to see how this fares in my mineral makeup revisit :)
I received a kit with 3 shades, and 1 finishing powder with 2 natural hair brushes. Colour matching has always been a problem for me, with mineral makeup. I’ve used different shades in different brands and they would be either too yellow or leave a grey cast on my skin. For Mineral Hygienics, I found that the Fair shade was a perfect match for my skin. It was the right shade of neutral. If you share my foundation shades (a sampling here) then you would likely take Fair too.
Light and Medium which are supposed to be more popular shades look much too dark for me. I think they would be more suitable for those who are perhaps 2-3 shades deeper than mine, and the colour selection goes all the way to Dark to cater for various skin tones. That is perhaps much more than most cosmetics brands would provide :)
As for the 2 brushes – XL Kabuki and Flawless Face brushes – I touched them but opted not to use them because they felt scratchy. Mineral Hygienics say that natural hair brushes are better for applying mineral makeup than synthetic brushes but I personally prefer using a synthetic brush because it feels softer, and when you have to buff product into your skin, feels kinder. Natural hair brushes just aren’t as soft nor as kind to the skin if you have to repeatedly buff it and that is a fact.
The powder foundation, which looks just like normal loose powder, for the uninitiated, is very fine. The colour is very pigmented though and you are advised to use only very little to avoid it looking too thick and chalky on your skin. That is a bit of a delicate balance, which if you have never used mineral makeup before, you may not quite get what I’m on about. But this is the classic example of a little going a very long way.
The trick behind using mineral foundation is in the application. I will tell you that I never experienced the real benefits of mineral foundation, because I’m generally impatient and don’t have the time to much about in the mornings. But what you are supposed to do is the Tap, Swirl and Buff method.
You tap some of the powder onto the cap or a plate or bowl, dip your kabuki brush into it so there is some powder on the brush, then you swirl the brush head into the cap or plate or bowl, until you find that there is no powder left on the brush. Then, you put the brush to your skin, and buff it in a circular motion on your skin.
Its been a long time since I messed about with mineral foundation and I was really very surprised that it does give a very natural coverage, covering up redness on the skin and giving an overall natural yet even toned effect. You do not feel any powder on your skin and in fact, you don’t feel anything – just your skin.
Here is the totally unretouched photo to show the before-after effect of mineral foundation with Mineral Hygienics in Fair.
It isn’t 100% perfect, but it generally looks better does it not? Redness is covered and skin looks the same and very natural. My pigmentation can’t be covered. I tried layering but it just looked chalky after a while so I resorted to my usual concealer which led to some problems as I’ll detail below.
I will attest to the longevity. I wore this the whole day, walked about in the sun and sweated buckets and it still looked fairly good. I must say I was impressed. As impressed as I’ve ever been about mineral foundation.
I however think that part of the reason I’m a little more impressed with mineral foundation 4 years after my first experiment lies in the fact that my skin today is much better than it was 4 years ago. 4 years of extra care has paid its dues and it just looks much better so pretty much anything I put on it looks better.
I did have a bit of a small problem with this foundation. It made my skin feel a bit ticklish and itchy. I didn’t notice this at first. I would apply it on in the morning, and by the time I get to the office, I’d feel a slight (very slight) ticklish-itchy feeling around my nose, chin and side of my face. It wasn’t uncomfortable just a bit strange. I thought it was my hair, but I switched foundations to a normal powder foundation mid week and didn’t experience the same thing. Switched back to this, and had the same ticklish feel.
It was only in the morning though, and by the afternoon, I would not feel anything. The longevity of the foundation also impressed me but I also felt that it was a bit drying on my skin. It might be because I have combination-dry skin so those who have oilier skin will definitely benefit from this.
Finally, when I layer my regular creamy concealers over the mineral foundation and then applied blush, I noticed by midday that the area on my cheeks looked patchy and unnatural. I don’t get that when I use my normal liquid or powder foundations, so it might just be that the creamy concealer does not mix too well with the mineral foundation so the base looked uneven.
In a nutshell
Mineral Hygienics is an online based mineral makeup company that is based in the USA and ships worldwide. Their selection of colours for their mineral foundation is very impressive and they claim to contain only 4 ingredients, so it is better for skin. There is a special technique to using mineral foundation and you only need very little for even coverage, and to cover up redness in skin. It stays on all day even through humidity, heat and sweat which is perfect for our tropical weather. I liked that effect and the effect of my skin looking very natural, just better because it was more even toned over all. I however found also that the foundation made my skin itch a little, and was a bit drying as most mineral foundations are. It also did not play well with my regular concealers and blushes. I will use this off and on, since I do have it, but I still prefer my normal powder or liquid foundations.
Pros: Contains only 4 ingredients, Powder in foundation is very fine and pigmented, Only very little is needed for very good coverage of redness on skin, Supposed to be good for those who have sensitive or acne prone skin as the few ingredients mean less irritation, Skin looks natural but better, Sweat and humidity resistant
Cons: Takes a bit of work to achieve the desired natural effect, My skin tickled/itched a little, Felt a bit drying on my combination-dry skin when used too often, Does not cover dark pigmentation, Did not play well with my cream concealers as it looked patchy and unnatural when layered, I did not like the brushes as I prefer synthetic brushes for mineral makeup
I feel that my recent revisit into mineral makeup has been a fruitful one. I find that I like the natural effect on my skin and when used properly, I’m surprised at just how very little I need to achieve this effect. I will and can consider using this for days when I’m out and about and sweating in the heat and humidity, because it lasts longer than any longlasting liquid foundation out there and it does not streak. Its also good for weekends if I plan to go out because I don’t usually use makeup on weekends but its nice to show a face that doesn’t scare the general public :P However, due to the drying effects, and my skin condition, I can’t use this one for the long term as its just too drying and takes too much work to get it perfect.
Update: A friend who has been using this particular brand for a year has this to say!
“Perfect for my very sensitive and reactive skin. My skin reacts to almost everything, heat, pollution, even my own sweat. As I head towards my 40s, liquid foundation just feels too heavy and made-up. Doesn’t help when my skin is acne prone as well. What worked in my 20 & 30s doesn’t work in current age. Mineral Hygienics not only gives me a natural glowing finish but surprisingly, it calms and controls my reactive skin. I love the natural sunscreen properties that come with it”
Have you tried using Mineral Hygienics mineral foundations? Are you still using mineral foundations and do you like them? I know many people tried mineral makeup during the hey day and many people still use mineral makeup today for various reasons. I’m curious to know if you experienced any benefits from it from long term use? I, as you can tell, didn’t.
Mineral Hygienics mineral foundation comes in shades from Fairest to Deep Price: US$25/40g Starter kits are available from US$29.99 Availability: www.mineralhygienics.com Ships worldwide: Yes