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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog

Beauty Notes: Pressed Mineral Makeup
Posted by Joy Rothke, Sunday, June 08, 2008 1:46 PM (Eastern)

I got on the mineral makeup train a long time ago, and have no intention of ever getting off. Most of the time, I can deal with the shortcomings of MMU (Mineral Makeup), primarily application time and potential messiness. Sometimes, I wish I could simply pull out a single compact, brush on my foundation and go. Apparently I'm not the only one thinking this way, since MMU companies big and small are releasing pressed mineral compacts. With hot weather here and a more outdoor lifestyle, pressed is a good bet for summer.

I've been testing three brands--two big-name, high-end MMUs; the third a newcomer to the MMU market. All came with sponge applicators, but I used a dense kabuki brush. In my experience, that's the best way to apply MMU.

Cosminology is a dermatologist-developed brand out of Washington, D.C. Dima Ali, MD developed a mineral makeup and skincare line to deal with her own sensitive skin issues, including adult acne and hyperpigmentation. Her "Minicles" foundation makeup (minerals + miracles) line comes in six shades. You Rock My Cosmos Mineral Complexion Compact ($38). comes in a hefty 11g, round mirrored compact with black slipcase, along with a thin (and virtually useless) sponge applicator. Active Ingredients: Micronized Titanium Oxide, Micronized Zinc Oxide. Ingredients: Kaolin, Magnesium Carbonate, Zinc Stearate, Jojoba Esters, Palm Oil Esters, and Tocopherol (Vitamin E). May contain: Mica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Chromium Oxides. UV protection is claimed, but no SPF is given.

The kabuki brush that came with my compact was scratchy and worthless; I applied "AstroDana" with my own soft, synthetic kabuki. Application is essentially the same "swirl/tap/buff" technique I use with loose minerals. Tapping is especially important, since drawing the brush across the compact--even with a light hand--will pick up too much product. It goes on smoothly, but here's the failing with all pressed MMU: it's very difficult to get anything but light coverage, even with multiple applications. If you've got a lot to cover up and camouflage, that's easier to achieve with loose minerals.

Another shortcoming of pressed minerals is the inability to mix colors. With three to five loose minerals, one can mix an virtually endless array of shades to fit the seasons and one's skin condition. With pressed minerals, you've only one, and it can get pricey to invest in multiple compacts.

Jane Iredale is one of the pioneers in mineral makeup, and its pricey and elegant formulations are considered the gold standard by many. Her PurePressed Base ($48) has an SPF of 18 or 20. (The compact says 20; the box 18.) Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide. Other Ingredients: Mica, Boron Nitride, Dimethicone, Hydrated Silica, Stearic Acid, Plankton Extract, Algae Extract, Pine Bark Extract, Pomegranate Extract. May contain: Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Carmine.

The round, mirrored matte gold Iredale compact in a black slipcase is 9.9 g, and includes another useless foam sponge. The inclusion of Dimethicone may be problematic for some users, but it does result in a very smooth application. Again, stick to loose minerals if you're seeking heavy coverage, but for a light "brush-and-go" day, this is an excellent choice. It also comes in a very wide range of shades, and Iredale promotes this product as "concealer, foundation, powder and sunscreen all in one." That's true, but equally true for just about all pressed and loose MMUs.

Youngblood Pressed Mineral Foundation ($41), comes in eight shades, includes Rice Powder (a plus) but also methyl- and propyl- parabens (a big minus for many health-conscious consumers who try to avoid this preservative in their cosmetics and skincare.)

The company was founded by Pauline Youngblood Soli, a medical aesthetician, back in 1996. Her years of cystic acne, combined with her experience treating patients with rosacea, acne and the side-effects of laser treatments, led her to develop a gentle makeup suitable for people with all types of skin, and which would allow skin to heal and "breathe."

The 8g black compact comes with a better quality cosmetic sponge that suitable for touch-ups. For application, I still recommend a kabuki. If you're checking ingredients, Youngblood can be a bit tricky. The list on the compact, its box and the Youngblood web site vary. The site says it may contain Bismuth Oxychloride; the compact says it does; the box doesn't mention it. If you're a person who reacts to Bismuth, as many do, be sure to do a patch test. (Bismuth, a filler, can cause itching, redness and skin sensitivity in some consumers.) Ingredients (per compact): Mica, Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Bismuth Oxychloride, Silica, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Water, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide Iron Oxide , Carmine.

I don't have sensitive skin and have used products with Bismuth Oxychloride for years. Bare Escentuals, the market leader in MMU, includes it in almost all if their foundations, blushes and shadows. It can give a shine to the complexion that many user dislike, but I didn't find this to be the case with Youngblood. Using a kabuki, I got a light, smooth and matte finish.

For travel or touchups or minimal coverage in hot weather, pressed minerals are quick and easy. I got the heaviest coverage from Cosminology and the lightest from Jane Iredale, with Youngblood somewhere in the middle.

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
2 comment(s)  
June 8, 2008 6:41 PM, Blogger Dain said...

If you apply a layer, mist your face, and apply a second layer, you could probably build up more coverage.

June 9, 2008 12:13 PM, Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

You're amazingly thorough in your laying forth the minerals. So thanks!

I am a beginner in this field, but have found out Bismuth Oxychloride makes me itch like mad.
I like the very subtle coverage of minerals, though, very much.

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