April 14, 2016

Yay or Nay: Mineral Foundation

mineral makeup

I remember when mineral foundation was as huge as highlighters and matte lipsticks. What do you think, was it early 2000s when Bare Minerals was blowing up the makeup world? I remember infomercials featuring Bare Minerals being applied apparently to women who had unknowingly gone to the Mall of the America that day not realizing they’d come out of that mall with their mind blown courtesy a new mineral foundation.

Holy Mineral Madness Batman! I’m flawless!

Those commercials were really fun.

Needless to say, they also sold me on the fact that I NEEDED mineral foundation in my life like ASAP. Not yesterday, not last week, not two minutes ago, but RIGHT NOW! Obviously I was delusional about the fact that mineral foundation sucks hard on drier skin.

And also…

Bismuth oxychloride. Forged in Hell by Lucifer himself or Tim Curry whichever you like. Instead of “eat, drink…” He’d be standing over you saying, “Buff, Tap…” Bismuth can only be compared to letting loose a bunch of tiny ants under your skin and having them crawl around rather rapidly.

For me, mineral foundation is a total nay! No matter how I apply it, I end up looking like a cake face, and also it clings to all my drier areas. Even in the Summer when I really would like to use it still doesn’t work for me!

Not only that but most mineral foundations make me itch! I hate it with a passion.

What about you?

Yay or nay on mineral foundation?

By the way, I really like mineral blushes and eyeshadows just keep the foundation far away from me.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Christina D.

    Holy crapola…this brought back memories of an infomercial from at least 30 years ago…Victoria Jackson, I think? Do you remember? I wasn’t a full-blown make-up junkie then, but I did buy some of her stuff and it was godawful IMO.

    • Isabella Muse

      If my friend Dusty heard you say such things about Victoria Jackson he would hate you! LOL! But yeah, because of him I remember those commercials 😀

  • Missy

    I could never get mineral foundation to work for me either… Didn’t counter my oilies and just melted off.

    PS – I have an unholy fear of Tim Curry… He was amazing in Legend. And Rocky Horror of course! If I saw him in person, I’d probably faint LOL

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m always fascinated when someone says it didn’t work on their oily skin! You’d think it would be ideal for such a skin type. I def hate it too. Haha he’s amazing! Don’t forget IT!!!!! That was some scary stuff right there 😀

      • Missy

        I will never forget IT :::shudders::: He is a wildly talented, very scary man LOL So is Al Pacino, but I digress xD

        Nope, nothing so far has stood up to my oilies except for Estee Lauder DW Light. I’m testing out the Revlon ColorStay for oily/combo skin at the moment to see if that will work. Why is it that even if you find something that works, the curiosity is still there to keep looking?? LOL

        • Isabella Muse

          LOL! 😀 He made IT come alive for me 😀 Agreed on Pacino!!!!!!!!!!! Girl, embrace your shine, it’ll keep you younger, longer 🙂 ha…yeah, story of my life! I have one concealer I love and used everyday and it is my HG yet I still cheat and buy new ones! We like the chase I think!

          • Missy

            That must be it, the chase… Plus they make everything new coming out so pretty! I cannot resist a new eyeshadow palette! The possibilities! The untouched perfection! That lasts maybe thirty seconds.. Ten, if my dog is around xD She just put a tooth mark in my brand new TF Sweet Peach palette.

          • Isabella Muse

            OH NO! haha what kind of dog? I have a puppy (well she’s a year as of yesterday) and she is just constantly nomming everything!

          • Missy

            She’s an American Bulldog/Boxer mix, turning two years old this month 🙂 She’s so darn cute, I can’t stay mad at her lol And she noms everything in sight, too. Her favorite is chapstick which I have stashed everywhere. She’s eaten all of my favorite LipSmackers xD

          • Isabella Muse

            on the upside, chapstick fragranced poop! LOL! I have all wood floors thankfully so no carpet but mine does love eating scatter rugs lol! She’s a pain but like you I can’t stay mad at her. She’s just too sweet!

      • Christina

        IT…just hearing that name gives me the shudders. LOL! I have not watched it since I was a little girl, and I refuse to watch it now, even though I know it probably will seem more silly to me than scary.

        • Isabella Muse

          haha right? me too! I own it! Watch it every Halloween! lol!

  • Heidi

    I wasn’t that impressed with it when it first came out. I had a BareMinerals sample and I bought one from L’Oreal and it was OK. Nothing mind-blowing. I loved the mousse foundations more since I got a velvety finish from those. Now, though, they’ve grown on me some. My skin is more on the normal side now (used to be oilier), and some work well on me. But they have to be finely milled and blend well. And my skin has to be in good shape. Otherwise, no.

  • pamela

    Hehe this post made me laugh xD. I had no luck with mineral foundation either. Well, I haven’t tried that many to be fair. I tried Bareminerals, Bellapierre and one from Artdeco that I don’t even remember the name. hahaha. None of them worked out for me. They didn’t make my skin break out but I just didn’t feel attached to them.
    I prefer my foundation to be liquid or cream and mineral or not mineral doesn’t really bother me to be honest.

    • Isabella Muse

      ;-D glad to hear that! Likewise! Or fluid! I’m addicted to fluids!

  • Agona

    It’s the only thing I can use. My skin breaks out easily and I have to be super careful with anything absorbs into the skin rather than sit ontop. My primer even comes from my skincare line and I only use it if it’s going to be a long day. My big problen is I have combo/dry skin so I have to make sure I’m well moisturized. I use AmorePacific’s cushion compact on days when I’m not–which doesn’t break me out but will purge my skin if I haven’t been keeping my super tiny pores clean. I alternate between Bare Escentuals loose matte foundation and Jane Iredale’s pressed formula, mostly depending on whether I have any redness if my face that day (JI’s formula leans yellow on me) or if I have time to build up BE’s in super thin layers (which is the only way for me to get it smooth and not cakey).

  • blee

    Yes, I have many of them and I see IT as a pressed one. ( its my fave) I love the ones without Bismuth because it made me itch too. Yuck! 🙂

  • LS

    I used Bare Minerals for over a decade with great success. Now that my skin is drier and getting fine lines, it no longer looks good. It accentuates my dry spots and settles into the lines in my forehead. Just this year, I made the switch back to liquid foundations. I miss the ease of the powder, but I’ve had to move on 🙁

    • LisaO

      I was just going to say the same thing! Wore it for quite a while until my skin began to change then I had to say good bye!

  • Kimmwc03

    I guess I’m in the minority because mineral foundations worked wonders for me (helped to clear up my bad, cystic acne) and never made me itch. I prefer liquid now, though, as it covers the flaws better than any mineral foundations I’ve tried.

  • Jenn

    Wow! I hate Bare Minerals because every one of their products makes me break out. However, Neutrogena Mineral Sheers has become my go-to light coverage foundation, and I also use it to set my BB cream, when I want a bit more coverage. It’s silky, smooth, works great with dry skin, and covers nicely. I learned that it’s all about the brand/ingredients.

  • Christina

    No mineral foundation for me! I totally jumped on the bandwagon like 15 years ago. It didn’t work for my textured, oily, teenage skin, and it still doesn’t work. I look old in it! Oddly enough, I don’t like mineral eyeshadows either, even though I have a ton of them left from my B.E. days. I’m okay with indie brands, but the mainstream brands just make them a lot sheerer than I’d like; the colors just seem to dust away after I blend. 🙁

    • Jen

      OMG, you hit the nail on the head — I don’t understand why mineral makeup has a tendency to AGE younger users like crazy. Bare Minerals was especially notorious. I will say some of their pressed shadows and blushes are nice, but otherwise I avoid their products like the plague. The itch with the foundations was insane, though I think it’s in part due to the bristle density of the brushes.

  • Carissa

    Like you I felt as though I NEEDED mineral makeup in my life! And as I have really oily skin I thought, “oh wonderful, something that will work for me!!” Yeah…nope nope nopity nope. Just slid right off my oily face leaving me more greasy looking that ever. Major nay for me.

    • Isabella Muse

      I am always so surprised when oily skin users tell me this, It seems like such an idea pick for oily skin! OK BURN ALL DA MINERALS NOW!

  • Gillie

    I’m so glad people have mentioned the itch. I mean, not glad because you all were itchy, but because I thought I was crazy! Every time I used mineral foundation, I was so aware of it on my face, and wanted to just rake it all off with my fingernails. The itch factor was unreal.

    I never found a good mix between mineral foundation and my skin, either. If my skin was too dry, the foundation would just clump on the dry spots. If my skin was oily, it made thick mud when the foundation hit it.

    Kudos to anyone who manages to get it to work! I just never got it to look like I hadn’t been tied down and made up by a band of makeup wielding 5 year olds. 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      UGH IT IS HORRIBLE! Tiny ants running under your skin itchy!

  • Dee

    Boy can I relate to it being like ants making your skin itch! Hate the stuff!

    Also remember Victoria Jackson and ordering her products and then wondering if my face was supposed to look orange like that…..

    • LisaO

      I remember ordering her products! I remember how there were cards on how to apply & which items coordinated with which. It was like paint by numbers!

  • Lorraine

    Bare minerals foundation is a big nay for me but I’m thankful for it because it led me to indie mineral companies and their foundations. None of the itchy stuff just all of the good beneficial ingredients and so, so many colors and formulations to choose from.
    That reminds me I should order up some samples and find a good one for summer. BB cream plus mineral powder foundation saves me in the summer BC liquid foundation on my oily skin in the heat is a no go!

    • Kitten

      Same here! What’s your favorite indie brand for it? And BB creme? I need to do some testing haha.

  • heather

    Victoria Jackson infomercials??? Wasn’t she the one who did Pamela Andersons makeup and used her face heavily in the promotion for her stuff??? Or am I crazy?? That’s the only reason I thought about buying her stuff back then…..Pam had that dark smoky eye down, and I wished I could do my eyes like that… never did buy it tho! !

    • Chris

      Hi Heather! That was Alexis Vogel. Very much a come hither makeup style!

  • Rachel R.

    Big “YES” for me. For years, bareMinerals powder foundation was the only thing I could wear because my skin was so oily. No primers back in the day, either. I still wear it often.

    I’m not sensitive to bismuth oxychloride, but for those who are, their Matte Foundation does not have it. Everyday Minerals powder foundation is also good and doesn’t have bismuth oxychloride.

  • Darijo

    Omg yes when bare minerals came out, I bought the kit with all the brushes and the primer and the bronzer and…anyway. First week of spring I looked fabulous, then the summer hit -_-. As soon as I broke out in my first sweat, oh boy was my skin on fire. I was so stoked when they made the matte version w/o the bismuth oxychloride because, like you, I tried the aromaleigh foundation which was BAD. Turned out the bismuth oxychloride was the only think keeping my face looking like crepe paper with the mineral makeups.

  • Sara

    Wait…I was big into the Bare Minerals stuff…worked great for me (dryer “regular” skin type), but I can’t, for the life of me, remember why I stopped using it? I still have it all in my drawer…but I use IT Cosmetics CC cream now, and Bye Bye (which is perfect for me…don’t think I’ve ever worn better makeup)…but I don’t know why I switched? LOL.

  • Thiel

    I’m with you, Muse. I have skin that swings wildly between oily and dry, with frequent stopovers in combo territory. No matter what, mineral makeup just doesn’t work for me. When my skin is dry, the buffing required to apply it picks up my flakes and the powder just emphasizes the problem. When I’m oily, it slides right off my face! And no matter my grease levels, it always irritates my skin, particularly formulations with bismuth oxychloride. That stuff turns me bright red and puffy! To be fair, even formulations with out it cause some itchiness but it’s so much worse when there’s bismuth in it. I just can’t deal with the stuff.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m like this lately Thiel! Either I’m dehydrated or my skin suddenly does a combo thing where I’m shiny on my forehead dry on my cheeks! The weirdness!

  • Carolyn2

    I used bare minerals for nearly 7 years or so. Then I noticed it started getting more patchy around the chin and nose so I stopped. I miss it. So easy to apply and didn’t feel like anything on the skin….

  • michelle

    No no no. I tried the bare minerals when I was at Mall of America several years ago. Made my pores look HUGE and magnified every little line. I looked 10 to 15 years older. My husband even said something nd he is oblivious to make up.

  • dry under eyes

    Wow.. let me tell you that bare mineral foundation powder gave me the worse break out of my life. It was so bad that I get scare and I didn’t want to test any other mineral powder in this brand or any brand in the whole world because I’m clear from acne now and just to think about it make me sad 🙁

  • Claire L

    I like BareMinerals’ mineral powder foundation but it’s better for me to use it in the summer when my skin’s less dry. I am currently using the Complexion Rescue which I like.

  • vanilla

    It was one of my early trips to Sephora and I totally bought into the hype and bought a starter kit. It was also my first luxury foundation and I thought mineral foundation was supposed to feel that way but it’s better for my skin. It made me itch like hell but I still ignored it and continued to use it. Nowaday because I don’t want to throw it away, it sitting in some corner of my makeup drawers

    • Sara

      Yeah…why do we still have it? I must have 5 or 6 containers in there somewhere? lol…

  • Jane

    I tried two or three kinds and it just never worked. Now I rock the amazingess of CG Aquasmoothers.

    The Loreal mineral concealer was so perfect for me; I’m still disappointed it got the DQ axe.

  • Nat

    I LOVED Urban Decay Surreal Skin makeup, but just like you Muse my poor skin is too dry. I switched to BB cream years ago, and it looks like Surreal makeup was discontinued at some point anyway! :O

    • Isabella Muse

      likewise! I really enjoyed Surreal Skin too! It’s nice still for the Summer 😀

  • Natalie

    Tim Curry, haha…maybe a young shaggy haired Tom Cruise would save us from bismuth if it followed the movie script from Legend. I can’t use Bare Minerals either because it was the most physically painful foundation experience I ever had and it is too shiny, like the Tin Man shiny.

    • Isabella Muse

      that would be ideal for me Natalie. TC before the crazy set in 😀

  • Wingadings

    Have to use mineral foundation- super sensitive skin (usually combo but dry in the non T-zone areas). I started with Bare Minerals much like a bunch of other folks- but someone (and I want to say it was on HERE in the comments) mentioned Alima Pure. I love their foundation as I’ve never had a single hive or breakout because of it. And sure even though the foundation can cling to my dry patches- it’s not like I have those all the time. And since I’ve been getting burned by EVERYTHING I put on my face since I got pregnant I haven’t really wore much make-up.

  • Michelle Flamingo

    I bought two different brand mineral foundations – Bare Minerals and Jane Iredale. The Bare Minerals is the one I bought first but it is a little too light even though it was selected for my skin tone by the sales rep. Perhaps the right color for my skin didn’t exist so she chose the closest match which turns out was not good enough. Then I bought the Jane Iredale to offset the too light Bare Minerals. Anyway, I mix them to get the right shade. They are 10 years old….I need to use them up and I will not re-buy them.

    I prefer liquid or cream foundation. I think the Minerals foundation makes my under eyes look crepey. As far as the rest of my face, it doesn’t give as good as coverage or finish as liquid does.

  • kamikity

    Still till this day I still believe I need mineral foundation in my life and I will then become the flawless skin person you see on TV…… but the truth is I tried most of the hyped mineral foundations, like bareMinerals, ELF, Everyday Mineral, Physician’s Formula, and some random Mall booth brands…. none of them work. My oily face always ends melting the powder into almost a liquid foundation type that if I touch it with my finger I can smear it right off…..eww…..

    Now I just use them as OK face setting powder…..

  • Karen

    Hi – don’t laugh, but I think mineral foundation gave me a touch of roseaca (not sure about the spelling ) – once I stopped using the mineral powder, the roseacia actually disappeared and has not come back. A little scary that applying make up of any kind could give you a medical condition.

  • Lee-Anne

    I wear the original BM foundation most days and just to shock you further I wear it over other foundation (usually a liquid or cream foundation) as a sort of setting powder.

    I used to love Clinique Dewy Smooth foundation and BM on top. I had such a lovely, healthy glow and then Clinique went and discontinued it 🙁 x a billion

    However I hate their matt and pressed foundations. They make my skin look horrid and dry as a desert. Equally i hate any mineral veil as that just spoils everything. I can’t abide a really matt finish.

    Also their brushes are terrible but it looks like these are changing. The flawless face brush they expect you to apply the original foundation with is utterly terrible. I use a Bobbi BrownFull Coverage face brush instead.

    I imagine you are thinking I have really heavy caked foundation but I don’t really!!

    Did I mention the tinted moisturiser underneath the foundation lol??

    I got a QVCUK kit recently to stock on the original foundation and it came with their new Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara with Petite Precision Brush – absolutely love that.

  • minda

    LOVED Bare Mineral loose and veil. They gave the best natural glow on my combo / oily skin.
    Only stopped using because of budget. Used it from the beginning to last year and miss it so.
    The color “warmth” gave the most natural beautiful contrasting type color and it all worked seamlessly… never looked like makeup, just perfect skin….those were the days….
    happy weekend all

  • Zombie

    Hello! I have dry skin and for me mineral foundation was quite the pain to use. Although I love the idea of it I never could get it to work until a few months ago. I changed my skincare regimen for the better and with a physical sunscreen (that never fully dries down) on top I have no more problems :). I love Lily Lolo’s mineral foundation which isn’t matte at all but for example Bare Minerals Ready Foundation still looks super cakey I me. I also want to try Uoga Uoga but I’m afraid it won’t be light enough for my skin tone.

  • Pattykate

    I used to love Bare Minerals. I remember seeing Leslie Blodgett on QVC and was very curious about the mineral foundation when it dawned on my that they had a boutique at my local mall. I was there in flash and used the product for years and years. I was really pleased with the color choices as they had a fair that really wasn’t yellow!! However, now that I am, shall we say, a bit older, the foundation still works on 80% of my face but the under eyes is a problem. I do notice a drier feeling overall. I really hate liquid foundation and the cushions are okay. My biggest problem is with the color. I am fair and hate, hate, hate, yellow tones in my makeup–I look jaundiced! Will keep looking for an alternative but haven’t found one yet!!

  • Penny

    Bare Minerals has been around since 1976, of course then it was known as Bare Escentuals. It was the very first “prestige” brand of makeup that I tried 🙂 I love a lot of their foundations, but the Bismuth is unkind to me as well. If I wear their Original Foundation (with the Bismuth) it has to be during the winter…lol. I do like their Matte version, without the Bismuth, and can wear that any time. I only wore Bare Minerals products when I first discovered their brand, but since then I have also found other brands that I enjoy just as much, so I am not brand loyal any more…sure would be a lot easier on my budget if I was though! LOL Bottom line for me is that I do enjoy mineral makeup, but it’s not the only makeup I wear. ♥

    • TrailerTrashPrincess

      i’m so glad i’m not the only one who remembers it as Bare Escentuals!

      the bismuth makes me itch, but i like mineral foundation. like another poster i often use it on top of regular (liquid) foundation – and then a setting powder on top of that. if done right, it isn’t cake-y, promise!

      my main problem with mineral foundation is the same one i have with regular foundation – i’ve got Marilyn Monroe-esque peachfuzz on my face and foundation sticks to it more than to my face. which is fine from a distance, as it gives a built-in soft-focus effect. but up close? gah, no.

  • Deb (MrsTheDoll)

    Yes, the itch my God! Tell me, does MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural make you itch? Must have the Bismuth in it too because it not only made me itch but I got cystic acne from that whereas with the Bare minerals it was just itchy and yet I love the other MAC face products such as Studio Fix Fluid and/or powder, no problems there.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m not sure if MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural has it or not but it doesn’t make me itch. Maybe because I only do a little dusting with it?! I feel bare Minerals I spend more time buffing it int and stuff thus more itchiness! Does that makes any sense!? LOL!

  • Kathy Agel

    I didn’t try wearing foundation until I was in my late 40s (full disclosure — I’ll be 61 in July). I used Cover Girl liquid, Avon liquid, Smashbox liquid, Signature Club A cream-to-powder, and another brand sold by HSN (I can’t remember the name now) that I absolutely detested. I’d seen bareEscentuals on QVC, but thought it was very expensive for what you appeared to get. But, feeling dissatisfied with the different foundations I’d tried, I decided to give it a shot in early 2004 (I’d been using their brow powder, blush and eye shadows for about a year at that point). I ordered the Medium — wrong choice for my skintone, so back it went. A month or so later, I decided to try again, but I ordered the infomercial kit because of the added value. Since I’d already started tanning, I ordered the Tan kit (which included Tan and Medium Tan) — and I was instantly hooked. I can’t tell you the compliments I’ve received on my skin (an architect came into work to speak to one of my bosses one day and said “I’ve been meaning to tell you — you have exquisite skin.” I nearly fell off my chair) — and the dry patches I get alongside my nose every winter were lessened considerably (they completely disappear when I spend time in the sun). Because I tan naturally, I have a range of colors – Fairly Light, Medium Beige, Golden Tan, Medium Tan, Warm Tan, and Golden Dark, which I wear alone or mix to get the perfect shade.
    I get minor itching when I’m very hot (thank you, menopause), but it goes away pretty quickly. I conquer the shinies with the mineral veil sandwich — MV over my moisturizer, heaviest in the T-zone, a layer of foundation, then my blush, highlighter, and contour (if I use any), another layer of foundation to blend it all in, then a final layer of MV.
    I tried the BareSkin and Complexion Rescue foundations, but they do awful things to my face — both made me look like an oil slick and highlighted every single smile line I have, and the BareSkin made me break out. So I’ll be a Bare Minerals original loose devotee forever.

  • Hanna

    I like the way mineral makeup looks when I’m not dry and flakey.

    Which is about 5 days a year. Approximately.

    I want to love it but I need my makeup to be more moist than that or I look like the crypt keeper.

  • Jean

    I never really like mineral makeup UNTIL I met Youngblood Cosmetics mineral powder foundation! I am very dry and it is radiant and GORGEOUS. light to full coverage and just beautiful. A little pricey but definitely worth the splurge for a light weight feel without cake face and sensitivity! It is AMAZING!!