I’ve been getting a lot of reader mail, so I’m starting a new semi-regular feature, Ask Afrobella. Now I am not calling myself an expert by any means. I have never been to cosmetology school (although I always yearned to be a beauty school dropout), I was so frustrated with the painful rigors of relaxing my hair that I went natural, and I am not a model. All that I am is a woman who likes to look pretty, who snaps up the latest cosmetic trends as soon as they come within price range, and who takes pleasure in learning more about beauty in general. Having made that disclaimer, I will proceed in attempting to answer reader’s questions by doing research and interviewing experts where applicable. I will not rest until I have a definitive answer! So ask away, ladies. I will do my best to help.

Naadi wrote: Just wondering what shade you used in the L’oreal mineral powder. i bought 2 shades, 468 & 470. Did you find your shade too red/orange? Because that is a problem I have a lot. Any help is appreciated.

I know any woman of color has experienced this problem. Lucky for us, we’re running things these days. Look at any mainstream commercial these days and you’ll notice: brown skinned, curly haired beauties are shilling for everything from Crystal Light to Progressive Auto Insurance, to Mercedes cars. The difference is instantly noticeable at the cosmetics counter – all of a sudden foundations come in shades darker than beige. L’Oreal Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation is no different. To find the right shade for you, you need to test it on the back of your hand. I spent eons in the cosmetics aisle, rubbing testers on my hand. The shade I have is Sun Beige 468, which seems to be out of stock here. I couldn’t be happier with the color. But yes, some shades seemed too chalky or too pigmented, like the “Classic Tan.” I think L’Oreal should extend their shade list with this product. Still, I am sure the right shade for you is waiting out there somewhere, Naadi. You might have better luck trying another brand. But like I said, you gotta try before you buy.

As much as I like the L’Oreal, I have a feeling that mineral powder is something worth spending more than $15 on. I decided that my next mineral powder purchase will be Philosophy’s Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas. I’ll be going to Sephora to match my shade exactly, but extra rich looks about right to me. I also want to get Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil in Deep. 150,000 Sephora customers can’t be wrong! (And I need that Kabuki Brush, too. Boom! Already I’m getting close to $100, ’cause you know I’ll buy more than just that. I hate myself for loving you, Sephora.)

** An idea also just occurred to me. Since you have two shades, Naadi, have you tried blending them? Dust a light amount into a saucer or shallow bowl, mix, and apply lightly with a big, fluffy powder brush. That might work, too. I hate wasting cosmetics I bought, so I’ve been mixing my Neutrogena Mineral Sheer with the L’Oreal, or even dusting again with regular Almay Nearly Naked Loose Powder. Here are some tips for applying powder.

1. Sit with your face bathed in natural light. I learned this trick from one of Trinidad’s most famous and well-respected makeup artists, Yvonne Popplewell.  She does makeup by a big window, and if it’s dark, she uses a large lamp with a natural light bulb. None of that harsh fluorescent stuff.

2. To set foundation, press powder onto your face with a puff, or dust on with a powder brush. Don’t rub, press lightly. Having a good once-over with a brush helps to make sure you’re not looking cakey afterwards.

The point is to keep the application light and sheer, not heavy. I discovered the dangers of excessive mineral powder use recently – I started sweating (en route from my house to the inside of my car. It is WAY too hot here!) and when I checked my forehead, little stalactites of powder were dripping down my face. Eeeek! It’s good to carry a little compact for touch-ups.

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Aulelia says:
September 9, 2006, 7:48 am
yay for ask afrobella!
BaldBeauty says:
September 9, 2006, 2:44 pm
Afrobella, I am a darked-skinned (about the shade of your website background) young lady. I don't wear make-up often but I'm looking for somthing like a bronzer to make my face glow. Any recomendations? P.S. I really enjoy reading your blog!
BaldBeauty says:
September 9, 2006, 2:47 pm
70ssoulchild says:
September 11, 2006, 12:05 pm
Love the recommendations..thanks for your beauty advice, afrobella.
Julia_Claudine_Deveraux says:
September 12, 2006, 10:11 am
Now I'm going to Sephora to try the Bare Escentuals products...tahnks for making me broke Afrobella (just kidding).
themakeupgirl says:
October 1, 2006, 10:24 am
Hey Bella! Actually you should test any and all makeup on the inside of your wrist as that color is closer to your face. The back of your hand is always darker. I like Bare Escentuals also, I have been wearing that one daily for abour 6 months now!
Cornelia says:
October 3, 2006, 11:14 am
Hey.. I love ur website..Your Verbiage is hilarious! Just a suggestion... You seem to be about outter beauty and I admire that.. How about having an inner beauty segment.. Maybe evry month, week, or so.. it'll kinda connect you to ur readers.. Everytime I come on ur site I think.. What does aunty Bella have for me today.. U could maybe have topics on Abortion, forgiveness, reading signs, dont take it personal! just brain storming.. lemme know what u think. CIAO BELLA! Sisterly love.xxx


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