My mineral makeup experiences have been hit or miss. Initially I was a believer in Philosophy’s The Supernatural, but then I realized how deathly ashy I looked in some of my photographs and it occurred to me, maybe it’s my makeup’s fault!

An interview I had with renowned makeup artist James Vincent confirmed my suspicions: some mineral makeup doesn’t photograph well. And you just might leave your house thinking you look perfect, only to see a snapshot of yourself later that leaves you reeling.

But here’s the thing – I still love mineral makeup. Living in a constantly hot and humid climate here in Miami, I’ve had to learn the hard way which kind of foundation works, and which doesn’t. I recently found myself sans car air conditioning for what turned out to be almost two weeks in and out of the garage at my local Firestone.

Let me tell ya — having no AC in Miami in late summer is an instant lesson in makeup endurance. My beloved Benefit Play Sticks left my face looking like a melting chocolate ice cream cone by the time I got to work. It was not cutting it.

I needed to find a powder foundation that could stand up to the sweltering heat I had to deal with, and it became immediately apparent that mineral powder was the way to go. But which brand to buy? The Mineral Makeup Blog gave me great guidance and some leads on stuff I want to buy and try. well hello there, Prescriptives!

I had already heard great things about Pur Minerals, so I was thrilled when I was offered the opportunity to try their mineral makeup starter kit. At $35, it is more affordable than some of the super popular brands, and Allure Magazine gave it an editors choice award. The starter kit comes with travel sizes of their 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup, Mineral Glow, Universal Marble Powder in Pink, and the Chisel Makeup Brush.

These travel sizes are super generous — another beautiful thing about mineral makeup, it doesn’t run out quickly. And it’s difficult to really overdo it, or wind up wasting makeup. With minerals, in good light it’s pretty obvious when you need to dust some of the excess powder off.

I really like Pur’s foundation — the 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation Split Pan is a solid investment for bellas like me at $25.50 — I blend tan and dark together for my perfect shade. And the Mineral Glow really makes my face look naturally flawless after using it. These products worked great to cover up my blemishes, and most impressive of all, lasted through my workday commute!

Having said that, I prefer my own brush — Valana’s faux brushes are way softer. And unfortunately, pink was not a universal color for me — this blush turned out a little washed out and ashy on my cheeks (I might be more of a Diamond Rose kind of gal).

I wish Pur came in deeper shades for women of color in the split pan foundation packaging — I am guessing that someday they will. But fret not, dark skinned lovelies — Pur’s individual shades of pressed mineral foundations comes in a decent range of shades from porcelain to deepest, and if you need light makeup to stay put and conceal all day, you might want to give them a try!

My bellas on a budget might be raising a questioning eyebrow at the $25 price tag here — so if your economic situation allows more for drugstore than Sephora shopping, let me tell you about the hot new thing from Cover Girl’s Queen Collection — Natural Hue Minerals pressed powder!

You might have realized I kind of stan for the Queen Collection — there are some items I love, love, love and some I’ve kind of drifted into dislike for — the eyeshadow quads being the best example. The pigments just don’t pop on my skin tone.

But the powders and foundations work well for me. They’re oil free (which is muy importante for a shiny bella like myself), hypo-allergenic, super blendable, and come in a range of shades from Rich Sand to True Ebony. If you have especially dark blemishes, you might still need a dab of compact foundation for complete coverage — but for shine control and even toned coverage, this is good stuff! $6.99 for your bottom line!

Have you had any adventures in mineral makeup? What’s your favorite brand so far?

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Ms. Aja B. says:
November 11, 2008, 1:28 pm
Thank you Bella! You just answered a major question I had regarding coverage and mineral make-up! I have several dark blemishes that I wasn't sure would be covered completely by a mineral make-up. But I am going to run out and grab some Queen collection Mineral Pressed Powder. I already have their compact foundation (which I adore!). Yay!!!! :)
Alicia/InstantVintage says:
November 11, 2008, 1:43 pm
I stan for Sheer Cover (yes, the one from the infomercials!). I ended up with a free kit, and I love this makeup. It's light, but still offers great coverage, even without concealer.
southernbella says:
November 11, 2008, 2:00 pm
I've been wearing BareEscentuals, bare minerals for years it's awesome, light smooth.. and it photographs naturally .. warm tan a new color is perfect .. i will never wear anything else!
Starchild says:
November 11, 2008, 2:13 pm
I co-sign with southernbella!
westindiangal says:
November 11, 2008, 2:55 pm
I too wear Bare Escentuals. In addition to the foundation, I love the eye colors particularly the glimmers. I don't like the lip colors though, not enough pop.
Cherisse says:
November 11, 2008, 2:59 pm
I use Mary Kay's mineral makeup and I really like it.
Samantha says:
November 11, 2008, 4:28 pm
Cosign on Bare Essentials. It's a worthwile investment that photographs well it worth the price. Why settle for copycats when you can have the original. My twin sister and I used to wear dark when the line only had a few colors out but now we wear warm tan and it's such a great match!
November 11, 2008, 4:31 pm
I tried Bare Escentuals and I look as if I had rubbed a handful of red clay over my face. I had just about given up on finding a mineral make-up. Then one day at the spa I was introduced to a line of cosmetics call "True". I was hooked. My skin looks flawless. You can wear the foudation alone or mist the mineral spray over it for a more dewy look.
Nineteen69 says:
November 11, 2008, 5:15 pm
Bella....I keep telling folks to try the Bare Escentuals. There is a reason it is number one. It makes you flawless.
Katia says:
November 11, 2008, 5:41 pm
Usually more expensive make-up does well in hot/humid places and its worth investing. I have little makeup but what is there I can always count on and looks good (Estee Lauder). But I dont wear foundation I think in hot climate its best to keep more natural as much as possible Eyeliner/lipstick/some eyeshadow good enough.
regina says:
November 11, 2008, 6:52 pm
Thanks for all the tips Bellas! I have been make-up hopping ever since I moved to TX. I'll try the minerals and hope for the best!
Curlygirly says:
November 11, 2008, 7:23 pm
Bare Escentuals is the only makeup I will wear. Gives flawless coverage and does not look ashy or give that dried out feeling. Try it, you'll like it!
Samantha says:
November 11, 2008, 9:48 pm
Regina, I live in south texas and bare essentials works well in the heat.
cool_caramel says:
November 11, 2008, 9:58 pm
I've used Milan Minerals in the past and have found that to be pretty useful. It's well under $20, and often times she'll have specials. The owner is a member (I think) of nappturality. There are a variety of foundation shades (from very dark to very light), and a rainbow of pigments and colors for eyeshadow and blush. She's very good at giving you extra colors when you order sample foundation shades.
Kristina Brooke aka Mom on the Rise says:
November 11, 2008, 10:22 pm
I am with you on the Queen line of products. I love the foundation and the powder which always makes me look like I glow. I don't wear eye makeup because I have horrible year-round allergies and it always runs.
ayomidejpw says:
November 11, 2008, 10:39 pm
I agree with everyone on Bare Essentials. It stays on all day which is good because my face likes to shine.
indigolovely says:
November 11, 2008, 11:43 pm
off topic... but bella have you seen this? perfect fitting jeans, all the time. and no, Im not pitching for the company, I saw this on sparkpeople and I thought 'great idea' lets pass it on...
indigolovely says:
November 11, 2008, 11:46 pm
oh, on topic :~) for some reason bare essentials just makes me look ashy even though my skin has and inherrant glow to it (im very dark). I use prescriptives custom powder and custom concealor with the base being smashboxes foundation primer. people tell me my skin looks flawless.
Sumatra77 says:
November 12, 2008, 1:05 am
P.S, Did anyone else catch "Blush" on Lifetime tonight? If you haven't heard of it, it's the Project Runway of makeup. Sadly, I wasn't that impressed but then again, it's only the first show. I hope to get some ideas off the show though.
ShayStew says:
November 12, 2008, 3:26 am
I LOVE PUR Minerals starter kit. I bought some for the first time at an Ulta store. I had experienced a nasty fall and was looking for some quick cover up. After the make up artist covered up my scars in 60 seconds I was convinced. It is light, durable, looks great while partying and picture taking. I am not a heavy make up wearing and I plan on buying this as C-Mas gifts this year!
nikki j says:
November 12, 2008, 9:16 am
I've just about given up with finding the perfect mineral make-up. So far I've tried Maybelline's mineral make up, it looks good in the mirror, but it photographs horribly.I've tried MAC's mineral pressed powder and I've had the same problem, it only looks good if I put it on top of the Studio Fix (which is too heavy for daily wear). I'm going to have to give the Queen Collection a try. Bella is the Pur available at Sephora or Ulta?
Brianna says:
November 12, 2008, 1:19 pm
Bare essentials (aka bare minerals) is the best!!! I absolutely love it! For those of you that have tried it and thought it made you look wierd....go to a store that carried it and have them color match you. They sell it at their Bare minerals store or you can find it at Sephora. I love going in and having them do my makeup....they'll do it for free. It's awesome.
Jazzy says:
November 12, 2008, 2:07 pm
I am also cosigning on the Bare Escentuals. I think it photographs beautifully, and the only reason I keep investing in it is because it has been tried and true for me for evening or daytime.
Annie says:
November 12, 2008, 3:08 pm
eh, pur was not for me. it broke me out but it looked so lovely on other ladies that i had to try it.
n.i.a. says:
November 12, 2008, 4:02 pm
Hi AfroBella!! I use Covergirl's TrueBlend Mineral Foundation, but I would love to try the Queen's Collection. Here in Raleigh, I have a hard time finding the Queen's products in drug stores, Target, or Walmart. Hopefully, I will be able to get my hands on some somewhere.
n.i.a. says:
November 12, 2008, 4:16 pm
I tried the bareminerals in Sephora a few weeks ago, and it did cover my old acne scars well, and it stayed all day. When I went out that evening, all I had to apply was eye makeup and lips. I should probably go ahead and purchase that. Or at least get another color match this Saturday before I go out on the town.
saabsista says:
November 12, 2008, 5:05 pm
In the minority on the mineral makeup. I hate it. I am dark skinned and I always looked like death. I live in Miami too. I have used the Mac studiofix for years. It is effective. For light er coverage days I use Supernatural by Philosphy. I admit they are pricey. However, I have found that a little goes a long way.
lita says:
November 12, 2008, 9:19 pm
Thanks for the write up on your mineral make up experience.
Aly says:
November 12, 2008, 11:05 pm
Did you seriously write a whole article on mineral makeup without mentioning BARE ESCENTUALS BAREMINERALS? Are you crazy? They're the ones who made mineral makeup big. Most of all they make quality makeup and stick to their no junk philosophy. They make exceptionally good products too. Shame on you for being more enthusiastic about the copycats than the original makers.
bella says:
November 12, 2008, 11:58 pm
Aly - "shame on me"? Seriously? LOL!! Your comment capped off my day. The point of this was to REVIEW the products I have tried. I haven't yet tried those. And at the end, I asked readers to share their mineral makeup experience and tell me what they like. So glad to hear Bare Escentuals works for you. And thanks for making me laugh at the one of the silliest comments I've gotten in a while.
Nicole says:
November 13, 2008, 3:26 am
MAC has a mineral makeup that gives a nice, sheer coverage for those days when I don't want to be totally makeup-free, but don't want to put on my Studio Fix. I use a brush rather than that sponge thingy it comes with.
Nicole says:
November 13, 2008, 3:27 am
Oh yeah - and it doesn't give me that eerie alien glow that some of them know, where you look all metallic by the middle of the day.
Jessica says:
November 13, 2008, 10:08 am
I have tried Bare Escentuals, but it often looks chalky.. I also dislike the messiness while applying, powder everywhere. I'm now using Jane Iredale's PurePressed Base, and loving it! It feels lighter and more naturally sheer, and matches my skin tones in all seasons. With a smaller brush, I can easily get more coverage on spots where I need it. Plus it travels well in with its beautiful gold compact/mirror and a brush with a case. And SPF 20! Pricey, but I think it's the best.
LeftySass says:
November 13, 2008, 11:04 am
For those who do want to try bare essentials you can get a "make under" at the bare essentials store, sephora, or ulta.
Jackie says:
November 13, 2008, 11:57 am
I recently purchased the Bare Essentials starter kit and I was very disappointed witht the results. I have scars from an accident I was hoping to cover up, this makeup made me look metallic and shiny. I think I will try the Cover Girl.
Jenene says:
November 13, 2008, 12:40 pm
I have been to the Bare Escentuals store and walked out looking a baked chalky mess. It is not for darker skinned hues.
JustThankful says:
November 13, 2008, 1:37 pm
Hi AfroBella! I'm a new poster but a long time reader and have to first say THANKS. Your blog is my go-to resource for all things beautifying (smile). I have to agree with the post about PUR minerals. I love this makeup. I use the Deepest shade, with Philosophy The Present underneath as a primer. The PUR minerals last all day (even though I'm pregnant and my skin is really tripping!). I've tried Bare Minerals and have to concur with Jenene, I looked like an ashy mess, too. Best Regards.
J.adia says:
November 15, 2008, 12:22 am
I am a fan of Prescriptives Minerals. I tried Bare Essentials in the store and hated it. It may have been the moisturizer and spritz she used, but I HATED it! It made my face feel like I had MAC studio fix on it, it felt very heave. I'm glad it works for others. I'm on my second jar of the Prescriptives minerals, my skin hasn't looked this good in forever!
T.G. says:
November 15, 2008, 12:05 pm
I have very oily skin and always stuggle to find makeup that does not make me extra oily as well as being able to cover up my dark blemishes. I started using MAC Pressed Blot Powder, which works great for my oily skin. However, I am still struggling with finding a good foundation. Tried Mineral Power by Maybelline and I really do not like it, so for now I am still shopping around.
Decorative Diva says:
November 15, 2008, 8:27 pm
My favorite brands of mineral makeup are Meow Cosmetics ( and Aromaleigh Cosmetics ( I've been told I'm too pale at the MAC counter and to get a tan (I burn, can't tan), so I have always had a difficult time finding foundation that matches until I found Meow and Aromaleigh. I highly recommend them :)
Anouk S says:
November 17, 2008, 5:16 am
I use Everyday Minerals make up ( The foundations come in all kinds of shades and types of coverage (plus extra shades voor darkskinned bellas coming). I really like their blushes and eyeshadows too and they're very affordable. You can order a free sample kit, really worth a try!
Tee says:
November 23, 2008, 6:58 pm
I have tried the mineral makeup offered Sephora and it did not look natural on my skin but when Mary Kay came out with their mineral makeup I tried it and that is all I use now. I love it!!!
amore says:
November 27, 2008, 7:15 am
I’ve tried Bareminerals and I will agree on all the positive comments other reader has. I also love their kabuki brush. However, it’s very expensive. (I end up returning it to Sephora to get my $60 back) I tried the cheap one from ELF and the quality is so-so. I should say I got the quality for the price I paid. (This one has no return policy, so I end up keeping the products) Now, I have my box of Sheer Cover (yes from infomercial) waiting for me to try. I’m hoping for a good experience.. otherwise another stuff to return and get my $29.95 back.


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