Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mineral Makeup Comparison: Everyday Minerals

A while ago I wrote about my experience with L'Oreal's Bare Naturale, my first foray into the booming mineral makeup industry. While application was easy as pie and my skin looked naturally beautiful and glowing, I had a terrible reaction to an ingredient (readers have suggested that it's probably talc, but I can't know for sure) and had to hand over my case to my "skin of steel" mother. I thought this signaled the end of my relationship with mineral makeup, but so many of you wrote in and suggested other products that were less irritating, and I've spent the last few weeks ordering samples from various companies, which I'll be reviewing in the coming weeks.
The first brand I tried was Everyday Minerals, which was recommended by Emma, Sparkler and Amanda. Everyday Minerals has a great selection of colors, which are divided between cool, neutral and warm tones, and formulas, which vary according to what kind of coverage you want and whether your skin is oily or dry. For my ever-shiny skin, the customer service rep recommended that I try the Intensive formula, which controls oil and provides a near-matte, long-lasting finish, but also included a sample of the Semi-Matte, for days when I need less coverage.

I tried the Semi-Matte first. As I've mentioned before, I am a total klutz when it comes to applying makeup, so one of the factors used in reviewing each of the mineral makeup products is ease of application. I've gotten the "swirl, tap, brush" motion down, but the quality of the product definitely determines how easy it is to blend the product into your skin. The semi-matte went on easily and blended into my skin with little effort (having the exact color match certainly helped, I had Sandy Fair).

While the color was great, the coverage left something to be desired. The Semi-Matte gave a light coverage, which helped even my skin tone a bit, but wasn't enough to cover a few small breakouts, undereye circles and redness. I had to apply concealer and layer my MAC Blot powder over it to even everything out. It also left a nice glowy look, but with my oil-prone skin, glow turned to shine in about a half hour. If your skin is normal to dry and you don't need a lot of coverage, the Semi-Matte would probably be perfect for you, but it didn't cut it for my high-maintenance skin.

The next couple of days I decided to try the Intensive formula, whose name kind of scared me. The coverage was definitely a few steps up from the Semi-Matte, but concealer was still necessary on a couple of spots. I'm probably expecting too much from a foundation (especially a powder one) to want to cut concealer out of my routine, but at least I didn't have to use much. Intensive definitely doesn't give you the glow that Semi-Matte does, which was good for my skin, but I still needed powder within a couple of hours (and I used a mattifyer under it).

One problem I had was that the Intensive seemed to settle around (but not in) my pores, which made them stand out more than usual. I'm not sure if that's because the color was a little light (I used Fair, which is lighter than the Sandy Fair) or I'm applying it wrong or what. Should I be using primer or something? Anyone with suggestions, let me know!

I found that layering the Semi-Matte over the Intensive gave me the best coverage and appearance, matte with a little glow, very natural and pretty (and this nearly eliminated the pore problem I was experiencing before). I haven't had any breakouts yet from using this, it lasts for a long time and the price is fantastic, $12 for 8 grams.

My other issue with Everyday Minerals is that their packaging isn't very good. The plastic isn't very strong and you have to really turn the cap tight to keep it from falling off. When I took it on a recent trip, the top came loose and I had loose powder all over my products and makeup bag. And while it's set up like any other loose powder, it takes a lot of tapping on the back of the container to get the powder out, and you have to do this a few times to get out enough to cover your whole face. This is certainly preferable to having way too much come out at once, but it's a little annoying.

Still, for the quality of the minerals, the affordable price and the confidence of knowing your skin is less likely to freak out when you apply it, Everyday Minerals is a good line that I recommend for certain skin types. It's definitely not for someone who needs a lot of coverage, but if your skin is already pretty clear and even (and on the dry side), I'm sure you'd be pleased. Of course, I still have many other mineral foundations to try, so be sure to check back in the coming weeks when I compare a number of other brands.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I enjoy your posts a lot. However, I really feel like I have to jump in here and put a halt to some of the misconceptions I read about Mineral Makeup (BTW, my source is the highly detailed review of mineral makeup by by Paula Begoun and Bryan Barron, Mineral Makeup 2007). [Note: I am not Paula or Bryan nor affiliated with them in any way.]

Mineral makeup is NOT natural, at least not any more so than all other cosmetics, nor does it offer "the confidence of knowing your skin won't freak out when you apply it."

Instead of talc, it contains bismuth oxychloride, which is "manufactured by combining bismuth, a by-product of lead and copper metal refining...mixed with chloride." [quoting above report]

While these scary-sounding chemicals aren't actually any worse than any other chemicals used in cosmetics, they DO cause skin irritation in some people, as you yourself experienced.

It's true that mineral makeups do not contain talc, but that is not a true selling point as talc is indeed totally natural - and a mineral to boot! Why give talc such a bum rap just because the marketers tell you to?

Meg, love the posts, keep it up, and help bring sanity to the mineral makeup debate! Judy

Meg said...

Judy- Great comment! I really had no idea about that, I've read the report though and I'll write a post in the next few weeks. I'm so glad you were able to correct me. Thanks again!

EthidiumBromide said...

Meg, I can't wait to read the rest of your posts. I had tried the L'Oreal Bare Naturale after you posted about it, and wasn't thrilled with the results (although using a different brush definitely helped). I always feel bad about returning cosmetics so I've been using it ever since but am definitely looking to try a new brand once I use up what I have, so I can't wait for the rest of your posts to figure out what to try next!

Anonymous said...

Only some mineral makeup contains bismuth oxychloride. Bare Minerals contains bismuth oxychloride and it causes some people to react badly.

According to the Everyday Minerals website, "Everyday Minerals contains only 4 inert ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, and Zinc Oxide. This is 100% all natural mineral makeup - Free from oils, preservatives, fragrance, talc, and all other binders that cause skin irritation." So apparently it does not contain talc or bismuth oxychloride.

There are other mineral makeup brands that the report does not consider such as the online only brands: Meow and Aromaleigh. I know there are a few other online brands but I can't quite recall atm but I know they're on I, myself, have yet to try mineral makeup but I am quite interested in what others think of the experience.

Anonymous said...

Everyday Minerals ruined my face for a good few weeks. Alima was less irritating, but cakey and strange looking. I've given up on MMU... MUFE Face & Body is working out pretty well, though.

Emma said...

I use Everyday Minerals and I have to say, I love it. I still use another concealer as well as their own (I use their powder concealer as a setting powder to my cream) but that's because I'm a bit neurotic about my imperfections; I probably don't need the extra concealer at all, but I'm happier when I do. Granted, I do get shiny after a while, but I am yet to find a product that combats this totally so I'm not too fussed. I just blot and carry on :)

sparkler said...

I found that after using Everyday Minerals for a while, I needed a different level of coverage. I have pretty oily skin and started out using the Intensive, but now am able to use semi-matte or Original Glo some days. The Intensive actually got drying and cakey-looking after a while.

As for talc...

sparkler said...

...oops! I never finished my sentence there, did I?

I had read a few years back that talc in powdered form attaches itself to the optic nerve and can cause vision problems, but I'm not able to find a link supporting that, so maybe it was debunked?

Anonymous said...

Okay, not all mineral makeups contain bismuth oxychloride. In fact the better quality ones do not because it is a known irritant. Just check the ingredients list. Also, I'd be wary of commercial mineral makeups because lately every generic makeup company has jumped on the mineral makeup bandwagon labeling their stuff "mineral makeup" when it's basically the same thing as their regular formula. Coverage varies, but a true mineral makeup should give medium to full if you apply it right. Buffing and layering is definitely the key to good application. Buff, buff, buff then buff some more. Another tip is to use a sponge applicator AFTER you've finished buffing to press the powder into your skin. This gives much better longevity. For under-eye circles, dot (less is more) the back of your hand with oil (I use virgin olive oil) and mix a bit of powder in to create a paste. If it's creamy it's too wet and it'll move around on you; when it's sticky it's ready. Dot it under your eyes with your fingers then with a large brush (small brushes give blotchy coverage) sweep under your eyes until the area is no longer tacky to the touch. If you do it right, you will only have to touch it up ONCE after the powder settles (usually 15 minutes; just use a sponge and sweep it under your eyes) and after that it will stay all day. Mineral makeup is definitely for people with drier skin because it's prone to slide when you sweat. I guess if you don't mind the maintenance, you could make it work for oilier skin. You can avoid making the problem worse by leaving out any moisturizers before application. Clean dry skin is the very best canvas.

Anonymous said...

hi, just found your website! did you ever try the Matte formula? I used MAC studio fix before because I'm the kind of the girl that needs maximum coverage, but the MAC stuff was making my skin worse (i have oily skin, acne scars, prone to breakouts). I've found that the Matte formula gives me the same coverage as MAC Studio Fix. The trick is to not pile it all together but to put thin layer after thin layer. With MAC, I had to use concealer to hide my acne scars, but I don't need any concealer with crazy is that?? I do, however, get shiny very quickly, but since the stuff is intended to be a foundation, you need to find a finishing powder to set the makeup.

Another note, I have stopped breaking out since using EM. Maybe I just got lucky. I used Bare Minerals before and that was a nightmare for me.

Anyway, just wanted to share my input. Awesome website, keep up the good work :)

Anonymous said...

to the last poster, i too wear MAC studio fix and love it for the coverage but hate the powder-ie look. looking to go to everyday minerals and wondered what brand you were using? thx!

PurelyCosmetics said...

PurelyCosmetics is another web-only brand that also contains no bismuth or other irritating ingredients. Also only mica, zinc oxide, iron oxides, titanium dioxides, and depending on the shade, ultramarine blue. And although we offer finishing powders, none are necessary, or any mineral veils. The primary purpose of our finishing powders are to had just a "hint" of another shade or for an especially matte coverage.

We offer a product called Oil Absorb that is made only of bentonite clay. Try putting a very light layer under your foundation to absorb the oils. As far as concealers or color correctors go, I find that using a concealer (make sure you use a concealer brush) in a lighter shade under my foundation helps cover my roseacea all day (a feat in itself). Color correctors can also help disguise flaws: a green corrector will hide red marks like capillaries and pimples, and sunburn. A yellow corrector will help the bags under your eyes. So far, I haven't found anything worthwhile for my liver spots without it looking heavy, but the hunt remains.

We also offer our foundations in trial sizes, and package them in sifter jars, not baggies, so you don't find you end up with a good part stuck to the bag and not your brush.

Since you're trying samples of everybody else, I invite you to try our line of Mineral Makeup as well.

PurelyCosmetics said...

Oh - I forgot to add about the travel: buy a couple of empty, small size sifter jars, and pour just what you need for your trip into those (3gm or 5gm should be all you need). Takes up less space, and is more convenient. If you ask, companies may also include a sifter seal (that plastic sticky stuff that goes over the holes) so that you can cover the holes while your stuff is packed. It always seems like your powders end up upside down, and I hate having all the powder on top of the sifter when I go to use it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Meg,

I was doing about the same thing you were. Looking here and looking there, trying this and that.

I needed a matte foundation.

Eventually I found Elegant Minerals . They don't have Bismuth in their foundation & the coverage is better other companies witout being cakey.

I have oily skin too, so I use the mineral rice powders for that.

I like your blog, I'll check back for more info. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

The Everyday Minerals do not contain the bismuth. BE does, and it broke me out.
My skin is not oily, and the thing I love second-most about EM is that the makeup stays on even in 100-degree heat, which we had this summer. What I like #1 most is the weightless feel of minerals makeup.
The balancing powder, applied before the foundation, evens out texture and gives more coverage. I use several light layers of foundation & get good coverage, which I need. I use original glo formula, as my skin isn't oily. The finishing dust controls oil much better, they say.
My only problem is choosing the right shade, they have so many choices.