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All your questions answered about mineral makeup

January 1 | 4 minute read

Guide To Mineral Makeup Hero 16x9

Words by Samantha Brigden

Originally published on | July 9

Lucky for our skin, the world is starting to realise that everything we put on our faces can impact it – and that means our makeup as well as our skincare.

Thankfully, skincare ingredients are showing up more and more in makeup formulas, making it easier to care for our skin and wear a full face. Mineral makeup is one way that you can help nourish your skin whilst wearing makeup, and brands like bareMinerals have been making skin-loving beauty formulas for years.

But what exactly is mineral makeup and why might you want to use it (especially if your skin is sensitive or breakout-prone)? To answer these questions and more, we consulted with Francesca Hyde, MECCA’s education lead for makeup, hair and brows. Scroll down for everything you need to know (and our mineral makeup must-haves!).

Mineral makeup takes it back to basics with a minimalist approach to formulation
Francesca Hyde

What is mineral makeup?

Normally when we define something, we focus on the ingredients that are in it – but for mineral makeup, “it’s more about what isn’t included in their formulation,” explains Hyde. Mineral makeup avoids a myriad of ingredients that can potentially “sensitise, irritate and congest the skin, meaning: avoiding synthetic fragrances, waxes, oil, silicones, or bulking agents.”

Instead, mineral makeup relies on natural – you guessed it! – minerals from the Earth, including zinc, iron and mica oxides. While some mineral ingredients may also be present in other makeup formulas, they are the absolute stars of the show in mineral makeup. And stars they are indeed! These are true multitaskers: “The mineral ingredients that make up the formulations work overtime. For example, zinc oxide provides creamy coverage, but it can also help to soothe irritated skin.”

The benefits of using mineral makeup are endless – it’s a true gamechanger for so many people
Francesca Hyde

What’s the difference between mineral makeup and traditional makeup?

If mineral ingredients are also in other makeup formulas, then what makes them so different? Hyde says it’s the way mineral makeup keeps it simple: “While traditional foundations and makeup are made up of pigment, oils, waxes and silicones, mineral makeup takes it back to basics with a minimalist approach to formulation – mineral pigment is the focus.”

What are the benefits of using mineral makeup?

“The definition of a win-win situation, the benefits of using mineral makeup are endless – it’s a true gamechanger for so many people, and for so many different reasons!” says Hyde. “Weightless and skin-like, mineral powders feel like nothing on the skin, while still providing light-to-full buildable coverage.”

There are other benefits too: “With no unnecessary fillers or bulking agents, mineral makeup provides targeted coverage, so you may find you get more wear out of the product before it runs out (and mineral powders, in particular, can have a long shelf life, too). With so much going for it, it’s still totally fuss-free – most mineral makeup can be buffed on in seconds and reapplied on the go!” Hyde explains.

Mineral makeup can be a great option for those that have struggled to find makeup formulas that won’t break them out or react with their sensitive skin
Guide To Mineral Makeup 11x4 1

Is mineral makeup good for people with sensitive or breakout-prone skin?

“Mineral makeup can be a great option for those that have struggled to find makeup formulas that won’t break them out or react with their sensitive skin ,” Hyde confirms. “For skin prone to breakouts, traditional filler ingredients like silicones, oils and waxes can congest the skin, so they may find that mineral makeup’s pared-back formulas work better.”

When it comes to sensitive skin, “navigating ingredient lists can be overwhelming when you don’t know the exact ingredients your skin doesn’t love, and it can make it scary to try something new,” says Hyde. “Mineral makeup is a great place to start thanks to its minimalist formulas. For instance, the bareMinerals ORIGINAL Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15 contains only five ingredients! By excluding ingredients that might cause reactions in sensitive skin types, mineral makeup can be a great go-to for any easily irritated complexions.”

Unlike traditional powders, mineral makeup’s creamy, skin-loving formulas create a liquid-like finish that melts into the skin.
Francesca Hyde

Do you need to apply mineral makeup differently? what are your tips and tricks?

“Falling in love with the magic of mineral makeup is all in nailing the application, and once you do, it’s easy breezy! Because mineral makeup doesn’t contain the traditional fillers that bind makeup to the skin, the key to a flawless application is the signature ‘swirl, tap, buff’ technique,” Hyde explains.

Developed by bareMinerals, it’s a simple technique to master: “Tap a small amount of powder into the lid, swirl a dense, flat brush (like bareMinerals’ Beautiful Finish Foundation Brush) into the pigment, tap off excess on the edge of the lid, then buff into the skin,” says Hyde.

“Continue to build until you’ve reached your desired coverage. Buffing the powder into the skin not only binds it to the skin and ensures long wear, but it also polishes the mineral pigment, which enhances glow and creates a second-skin finish. If you’ve ever tried mineral makeup before and found it chalky or dusty, try taking a little longer to buff, buff, buff and see the difference!” she adds.

For extra coverage that lasts the test of time, the BAREPRO 16HR Skin-Perfecting Powder Foundation can be used wet or dry to give transfer-resistant full coverage and a natural matte finish. Plus, it comes in an easy-to-carry compact and has the nourishing skincare ingredients (like squalane and a pineapple complex) that mineral makeup is known for.

Is mineral makeup always a powder?

Definitely not! While powders are one of the most popular and well-known types of mineral makeup, there are all sorts of different formulas out there these days. If you prefer a cream base, the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream is a MECCA must-have for effortless, barely-there coverage and a natural, healthy-looking glow.

But even powders can provide creamy-looking coverage given the unique properties of mineral formulations. Hyde explains: “When we think of powder, we often think of dry and matte complexions, but don’t let that deter you from trying mineral makeup. Unlike traditional powders, mineral makeup’s creamy, skin-loving formulas – when combined with the swirl, tap, buff technique – create a liquid-like finish that melts into the skin.”

Another plus? “My favourite thing about mineral makeup in powder form is how easy it is to reapply. Unlike cream or liquid foundations that need to be set with powder and can’t be layered throughout the day, I love to buff bareMinerals’ Original Loose Foundation SPF15 over my makeup at around 3:00pm. It touches everything up and takes down shine without moving my blush and bronzer. And if I have a small brush with me, it can double as a concealer touch-up too – and I can whip it out on the run, without a mirror!”

Or if you want to more thoroughly conceal, bareMinerals has a product for that too. The Original Liquid Mineral Concealer is a classic concealer made mineral, with all the hydrating and brightening properties you could need.

Is mineral makeup only for your complexion?

Not these days – there are mineral formulas for pretty much every step in your routine. Finish off your full face with whatever eye look you choose; there are six nature-inspired, ultra-blendable hues available in the bareMinerals Mineralist Eye Shadow Palette, each enriched with sea buckthorn and rosehip oil. Define your eyes further with the lash-loving formulas of the Mineralist Eye Liner and the Maximist Volumizing Phyto-Fiber Mascara. And, of course, no makeup look is complete without lipstick. The MINERALIST Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick harnesses the power of minerals to hydrate lips and provide a satin, colour-rich payoff. Take your pick from the wide range of shades, and you’re good to go.

Related topics and brand tags

Mineral makeupMakeupSensitive skinEye makeup

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