I worked for Bare Escentuals (now bareMinerals) back in college, so I’m no stranger to mineral makeup. Mineral makeup was actually my introduction to not only makeup artistry, but to makeup in general.
I still vividly remember my mom and I pulling into a tiny shopping center in my hometown when I was in my early teens to buy my first makeup. There was this tiny hair salon and supply store that had the tiniest little Bare Escentuals counter inside (like – literally one display). Mama had me shade matched and I walked out with my first ever makeup that was truly mine.
And it was all mineral.
What is mineral makeup exactly? Well – it’s just that. Makeup made out of nothing but minerals! In theory, mineral makeup is healthy makeup for skin because mineral powders are natural with few ingredients.
I’d have to ask my mom now why she so specifically took me to get mineral makeup vs driving me to the nearest drugstore. The decision to go all mineral was definitely more expensive than the drugstore brands.
I think the reality is that I had acne and sensitive skin – and my mom didn’t want to start me off with anything that could clog pores. When I say my skin was awful, I’m not exaggerating. I did two rounds of Accutane in high school. I’m lucky to have been in a position where I had a parent with the means to be so specific when it came to my first makeup experience.
I don’t subscribe to the marketing of “clean” beauty – you can listen to my podcast episode on it. There’s a ton of green-washing that happens in the clean beauty space – most of it is marketing and little of it is based on true science.
Like did you know words on your cosmetics packaging like “natural” aren’t regulated by the FDA? The standards for claims made are low, people. Formaldehyde is technically “natural.”
But I digress.
What I can say is that I love when ingredients lists on my food, home products, and personal care products are short. To me personally, fewer ingredients are better.
And that is why I love loose mineral makeup. My bareMinerals Original loose foundation specifically only has only five ingredients (Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide for mineral sun protection, Bismuth Oxychloride and Mica for a smooth texture, and Iron Oxides for color and coverage).
Do what’s right for you. The last thing I am when it comes to personal choices like this is preachy – to each their own. I’m also not trying to fear monger (like many “clean” beauty brands do about non-“clean” competitors). There are plenty of chemicals safe for use on the skin and plenty of long ingredient list products that are both safe and effective.
For me? I love the simplicity of mineral makeup. And I love having it as an everyday option in my makeup bag. The only real “con” when it comes to mineral makeup is that it takes a little more time than liquid to blend properly. I just tell myself it’s a little extra ME time.
This post is 100% not sponsored by bareMinerals – but they are hands down my favorite mineral makeup brand. All my mineral makeup is bareMinerals. I grew up on it, I worked for the brand – it’s just what I know.
I am a longtime wearer of the bareMinerals Original loose foundation – it’s the exact formula my mom purchased for me way back in my early teen years. And it hasn’t really changed.
I love this formula because it’s buildable, lightweight, has very few ingredients, and leaves what I’d call a “natural” finish on the skin. The bareMinerals Original formula is the best mineral makeup for dry skin because of its natural finish. bareMinerals does make a matte version of their loose foundation, so if you have oily skin that may be more your taste. As a woman with fairly dry skin, I personally love the finish on the Original.
The long story short – the bareMinerals foundations are makeup that is good for your skin. When my mom did take me to a doctor to treat my acne, even my dermatologist recommended mineral makeup.
Prices for this foundation have gone up. Back in my day (lol) a jar of this stuff was well under $30 (as of today, it’s priced at $32). The product amount is 0.28 oz which sounds like not a lot – but please trust me as a former bareMinerals artist a little goes a long way.
bareMinerals also makes mineral liquid foundation, I just personally prefer the powder formula.
Mineral based makeup is great for the skin because it is natural, has fewer ingredients (is free of any of the “nasty” stuff), and provides gentle (but full!) coverage to acne prone skin or sensitive skin. Whether your skin is sensitive or not, mineral foundations are great for all skin types – the formula is versatile.
I also love that my foundation acts as a physical sunscreen, too. Mineral makeup sunscreen is considered “physical” meaning it sits on top of the skin, physically blocking the sun rays.
Fun fact? Mineral makeup sunscreen is gentler on our coral reefs (should you decide to take a dip in the ocean!). Sun damage isn’t fun – wear your SPF!
It’s on my to do list to make a video showing how to properly apply bareMinerals loose foundation – but the classic method is “swirl, tap, buff.” And then buff some more.
Simply put the tiniest amount of the powder into the cap, swirl your brush into the cap to collect the powder, tap off any access (against the side of the cap), and buff thoroughly into the skin. The more you buff, the more natural the foundation will look as your natural oils interact with the mineral powder.
I have a whole host of both loose and pressed mineral bronzers and blushes I enjoy. I love the simplicity of the loose formulas (fewer ingredients because of their lack of a need for a binding agent), but also enjoy a few pressed varieties as well.
My favorite blush colors are Golden Gate (loose) and That Peach Tho (pressed). For bronzer I really love the color of Faux Tan (pressed) – it’s on the cooler side. Warmth is bareMinerals OG bronzing face color (loose), but it’s more on the warm side (as its name indicates).
I used to own an entire little train case filled to the brim with bareMinerals loose eyeshadows (when you get an employee discount, you tend to go a little ham). Today my collection is much more pared down to my true favorites, plus a pressed palette I’ve been loving.
Some of my favorite loose eyeshadow shades are neutrals like Cultured Pearl, Queen Tiffany, Bare Skin, and Nude Beach. Loose shadows are definitely trickier to work with (messier), but the colors are beautiful.
From a pressed palette perspective, this palette in the “Neutral” shade is my go to. I’m able to do everything from a very daytime look to a smokey eye with these simple six shades.
I’m not really into wearing lipstick (the idea of having to reapply throughout the day is a little fussy to me), I do love the formula of the bareMinerals Mineralist lipsticks. These lipsticks feel insanely hydrating and almost like a balm. The color payoff is medium/sheer. Will they last all day? Unlikely. But they feel and look great.
What are your mineral makeup faves? Tell me in the comments below!
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