What happened to the rage in mineral makeup?

Mineral makeup was all the rage about two to three years ago. Almost every other week, a new indie brand was launched, touting the benefits of the natural makeup. Even the big boys came out with their own versions. But the rage seems to have died down quite a bit isn’t it? Apart from the established brands, I no longer see that many mineral foundation or mineral eyeshadows being introduced. And that prompted me to ask, what’s with mineral makeup these days and are women still using it? Well, I am sure there is still a market for the product but I have no idea if that many women are still using mineral makeup. Perhaps let me tell you about my status since I was using mineral makeup consistently for around two years since 2007.

Not all are that great
I started using mineral makeup when my skin condition was considered “fairly good”, aside from the pigmentation that I’ve always had. I was struggling with the compact powdered foundation, which were heavy and cakey. Mineral makeup answered my desire for a more natural look, without all that. Depending on the brand used, most of the coverage turned out pretty sheer but they had worked for me by evening out my skin tone as a whole. In terms of formulation, mineral makeup was said to be better because of all the natural ingredients. However, that’s not really true. I had a major allergy while using one of them and that made me re-thinked if mineral makeup was actually good for my skin; I also subsequently wrote an entry featuring a list of skin irritants in mineral makeup. I became more discerning with the ingredients and was less willing to try out new brands.  And my interest in mineral makeup took a further nosedive when I later realized that some mineral makeup are drying for my skin.

Not good for a blemished face
I really stopped using mineral makeup sometime this year when I noticed the foundation cannot cover up the blemishes from my acne breakouts. I needed a heavier coverage and so I returned to using compact powdered foundation. My mineral foundation has become a loose powder to me now and I only use it if I just wanted some powder to attain a matt feel. So my take with mineral makeup is that, it’s great for those with fairly good skin of normal conditions. The sheer coverage would give such skin type a nice finishing. In addition, mineral makeup is also good if you just want something to even out your skin tone or reduce redness.

The best spin off from mineral makeup
Personally, I feel the best thing to spin off from mineral makeup is the brushes. I believe kabuki brushes were around for awhile but they didn’t gain that much popularity till mineral makeup was introduced. I love my kabuki brushes and they work well with my compact powdered foundation. In fact, with the kabuki brush, the coverage is a lot lighter and it works just perfectly for me. So while I’m no longer hot about mineral makeup, I’m still raging about the kabuki brushes.

What about you? Are any of you still loving mineral makeup and using it consistently?


  1. AtelierGal says:

    Personally, the word “mineral” doesn’t make me excited. I don’t go gaga just because it is “natural.” If a product suits me, I will get it, mineral or not.

    I’m loving the one by EA, but unfortunately it doesn’t sit well with a friend.
    Review: http://ateliergal.pixnet.net/blog/post/26570504

    One thing I recently noticed is that the powder cakes up easily, when it get in contact with water. For example getting caught in the rain. Not sure if it’s just the case with mineral makeup, because I have not tried it with other powder foundations.

  2. Wana says:

    Hey, TGIF!
    Yea, i’m still using my mineral makeup but occasionally. I don’t wear makeup daily, except for brows and liners only, due to the nature of my work. I’ve tried two way powder and conclude that it tends to look quite thick on me, and sometimes feel like i’m “trying” to hard to wear makeup. Hehehh..i tried my first mineral makeup from Everyday Minerals two yrs ago and love the light and glowy finish. I have no intention to try other products yet, just keeping it natural ?

  3. Jasmin says:

    Hi! I’ve been using it for about 3 years now. I get them from indie sellers and I like that the products contain only about 4-5 ingredients. My skin is combination and blemish-prone but I haven’t had any allergic reactions as I get the ones that contain only mica, titanium dioxide, the oxide pigments, and maybe kaolin. In my opinion the bigger the brand name, the more unnecessary ingredients they add. Mineral powder is great for me in this muggy climate. If it’s too drying maybe you could spritz a glycerin-based mist on after application. For spot concealing, I think it’s just a matter of finding the right shade in the right formula. The pigments can be so dense that they do a great job. And yes, I love my kabuki brushes too!

  4. sesame says:

    The EA one has a long list of ingredients, almost like those we use in compact foundation. So I don’t put it on the same level as the indie brands. But yes, I read Mag’s review and she had good things to say about it too.

    Actually I never had issues with most of the compact powder…at least they never broke me up. So I was so surprised I developed a major allergy with one of the mineral makeup. So much for natural.

  5. sesame says:

    TGIF! ?

    I did like the EM ones for awhile but it didn’t work so well when the weather turned hot. My last brand tried was LA Splash and I do like them still. Just that the coverage isn’t so good now that my face has got all the acne blemishes.

  6. sesame says:

    That was the same reason I liked MM, little ingredients. I agree with you about the big luxury brands – too many stuff in their formulation that they don’t seem like MM to me.

    I think I was hesitant about using concealers cos I didn’t want so many stuff on my acne prone skin. Well, I’m taking a break from MM for the time being, May eventually come back to using it again later when my skin condition improve.

  7. Jyoan says:

    haha,to me, there was no rage at all, because at the point when mineral came out, I just wasn’t so into makeup, and didn’t buy anything.

    Even now, I have a couple of mineral loose powders, an eyeshadow, a kabuki brush, and that’s it.

    But yes, I do like the kabuki brush from EcoTools! I always use it to smooth out the blusher lines, but I still use the sponge pad to apply loose powder though.

  8. AtelierGal says:

    I’m actually wary when the companies advertised their products as “organic.” If you look at some of the ingredients listed, they are mostly the same.

  9. stella says:

    i would really love to like using them since they’re ‘all natural’ and all i want is basic sheer coverage; but it was not to be. i tried a mineral foundation from an indie brand, which didn’t irritate my skin, but which i found difficult to apply even with a good kabuki brush–it turned out cakey and too matt. now i use it as a loose powder for a few days after laser procedures when i don’t want anything excessive on my face

  10. Nikki says:

    I am still using a local Mineral brand and I actually finished up a full size jar just today! ?

  11. Eveline says:

    The mixed reactions to MM shows up the myth of “natural ingredients”. Natural doesn’t necessarily mean good; “chemical” doesn’t necessarily mean bad. I have to laugh at the hysteria over “chemicals” in our make-up or skin care. Come on, everything on this earth can be broken down into a chemical formula. Our entire body is made up of chemicals. So what’s this thing with chemicals?

    What we should be concerned with, instead, is the formulation, whether it is formulated to be safe for use. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe or good for you. Nobody thinks it’s safe to apply chili to your face, even though chilies are natural, right? Likewise, when selecting make-up, choose the formulation that is safe and works for you and forget about the hang-up of “natural” or “chemical” or what-not.

    I’ve never bought into the “natural” aspect about MM. I use MM because it gives my face a nice finish. I still use liquid foundation for the sun protection factor but will finish with MM from Silk Naturals. So far Silk Naturals and Lumiere work for me. EM doesn’t. Never tried BE because it’s so expensive.

  12. Jyoan says:

    Eveline, I agree with you on the formulation part. It’s not so much about buying into the naturals or not label. But it is well to note that while people who do not have sensitive skin really have no problems with most things, people who have sensitive skin and/or prone to clogged pores, really do want to avoid certain ingredients!

    For example, I personally break out with many standard blushers and almost all foundations of any sort.

    Hence the idea of mineral had post a real real solution of tonnes of girls like me the world over. 2 years down the road… I am not so sure… haha. Reason being, I skip foundation altogether and my skin is absolutely fine with the cheapest of loose powder from Silkygirl.

    I am actually fine with loose powders from all the brands I’ve tried. LOL. Don’t know what is wrong with foundations…

  13. Audris says:

    I’m still using my Silk Naturals medium coverage foundation, alternating that with Lumiere’s Luminesse or Veena Velvet, depending on the coverage and tone I want ?
    I’ve also been using MMU for about 2 years. My acne has greatly reduced, although I do still get clogged pores (which my aesthetician deals with each month). I really like Silk Naturals’ foundation as there’s light, medium and heavy coverage. But heavy coverage tends to be very cakey. I’m actually using a blend of light and medium now as my skin has improved. While it does work in evening out my skintone, if I have any very big obvious red lumps or bum, I do need a heavier concealer for that spot.

    All in all, I’m really glad I found MMU and I absolutely love the price-point and how it really has improved my skin.

    I also love Silk Naturals’ lipglosses and eyeshadow shades.

    Except for mascara and eyeliner, I’ve actually not touched any other conventional cosmetics the last 2 years.

  14. sesame says:

    I must buy the EcoTools kabuki online soon. Have been wanting to get it but always got sidelined.

  15. sesame says:

    I can understand why; many of them are “fakes”. Some just have a few organic ingredients and a whole load of chemicals!

  16. sesame says:

    It really depends on the brand. If you want to try a good one, try LA Splash. They’re available at some Guardian stores now. The coverage is not bad and the formulation is quite good. No caking and no oxidizing.

  17. sesame says:

    Oh you just did? It takes me quite awhile to finish a full size jar.

  18. sesame says:

    Yeah, you’re right. Some MM actually contain major irritants and that’s a big problem for many sensitive skin even. BE is one example actually.

    Personally, I go for natural because I want to avoid certain ingredients as I find they’re not beneficial for the skin. I think whatever it is, we just have to learn to read the ingredient list if we want the product to work well for us. It’s a bit troublesome but it’s well worth the effort.

  19. sesame says:

    Do you find the coverage good for acne blemishes? I don’t know…maybe I haven’t tried one that offers heavy coverage. But I wouldn’t like it if it’s too cakey. I haven’t tried Silk Naturals though even though I have read some nice reviews on the range.

  20. heather says:

    i’m still using EM. i agree it can’t cover scars and blemishes but i think they work better for me compared to those counter brand makeup. EM melts under the hot sun for me and worse situation i get clogged pores from it. My skin is probably not suited for makeup but no choice need to use them to cover up my scars :/

  21. flym says:

    I’m still using MMU and still loving it. I find that it gives a natural coverage and most importantly, wears better than compact powder foundation. After a few hours, MMU still looks natural (and may even look better on the skin) whereas with compact foundation, the powder tends to separate or get cakey.

  22. rinaz says:

    I still use mineral makeup, mostly the face powder and blushes. It looks more natural for me compared to regular compacts.

  23. Kira says:

    I use mostly organic and natural skin care products on my face. I tried MMU (mineral makeup) for a while but found difficulty touching up makeup in public on in the car because it’s almost always in loose powder form. I do have some friends who swear by them, especially those who have acne or pimples. In the Philippines, the most popular brand is Ellana (ellanaminerals.com) which is a local brand, 100% mineral and the most affordable.

  24. sesame says:

    Yup, I felt the same. EM doesn’t work when the weather is hotter. There’s an issue with oxidization for some of the colors too.

  25. sesame says:

    It’s true…I do like how natural it feels and most important, it doesn’t cake up at the end of the day. But it’s too sheer for me now and I can’t get adequate coverage for my blemishes. So it’s back to compact. Not so bad when I use a flat kabuki brush to apply as it’s light handed.

  26. sesame says:

    Yes, it does but I have to wait till my skin is nicer before I can get back to using it again.

  27. sesame says:

    MMU seems really popular in the Philippines cos I read more reviews from the bloggers there.

  28. Audris says:

    Well, I do have pock marks and acne blemishes, although I don’t really have active acne now, just small pimples now and then that I can’t resist popping and the scars take sometime to fade. I find that their medium coverage works good enough to skip concealer if I’m in a rush – except for the rare large red angry bump which nothing can conceal. It doesn’t cover totally, but close to 80% for me. The foundie is also very photogenic, my skin looks pretty good in photos and there’s no white cast. Lauress is another brand that has lovely MM foundation, but the shades (yellow) are only suitable for the fair to light medium Chinese skintones, so I don’t use that beyond samples now and then when I turn pale from lack of sun.
    If you’re really keen, you can get the sample kit from SN and the sample sizes of the different coverage.

  29. sesame says:

    Thanks Audris for sharing the info. I believe the LA Splash gave me medium coverage too, I guess I was not used to it cos before I had acne, the coverage was quite good for me. Then when I started having those acne marks all concentrated at one spot (both sides of the lower cheeks), I was dismayed how the marks were still visible after using the powder. It’s all in the mind!

    I might try SN later. I think I stopped experimenting too much after my skin broke into an allergy using another brand of MMU.

  30. Michelle says:

    I found the ultimate liquid mineral makeup that gives nice, thick coverage. I apply primer first, then my makeup glides on. If i want to set it, I then take the same brand of mineral makeup that is in a compact and brush some on. Then I spritz a little toner for the “dewey” look. I hate the loose powder and I’m always afraid of inhaling it anyways.
    You would have to pry my liquid mineral makeup from my dying hands to take it away from me. It took me 40 years to find this stuff!

  31. mandy says:

    i was done with my MAC mineralized loose foundation and didn’t want to repurchase it. I liked the airbrushed finish but then i couldnt be patient enough to take 5 minutes just to build up the coverage to satisfaction, not to mention the mess of flying powder and the few accidents of dropping it on the floor and altogether probably spilling half of it (oh my moolah) away. In this case, the price put me off too.

    I bought an EM intensive foundation before. While the coverage was high, the oil control was a failure and the colour match was totally off. Anyway with mineral makeup, touching up is a hassle. Now I’m just using ZA. Cheap and convenient and reasonable oil control.

  32. mi says:

    I am not a fan of mineral powder foundation. It actually accentuates the fine lines around my eyes. I also feel like I am wearing something on my face, and I don’t like that feeling. It’s better for younger skin with very few lines.

  33. sesame says:

    Ah…liquid makeup. I’ve not tried any liquid mineral makeup. The weather here is hot and liquid doesn’t work well on some days. But you’re right, inhaling all the powder maybe not to be good. In fact, there was a bit of a health hazards for some formulations at one point.

  34. sesame says:

    Now that you’ve mentioned it, yes, touching up is a hassle. Maybe that’s why I don’t touch up my makeup at all even now that I’m back to using powdered compact. It has become a habit!

  35. sesame says:

    It might have to do with the formulations. I’ve tried some that made my eye area looked dry and full of lines. Others were okay…some lines but nothing too bad.

  36. Jyoan says:

    The roundish eye brush (I think it’s for crease) is very useful for me too! I use it to blend the eyeshadow colours, because EcoTools does not stick the powders at all.

    It’s a very easy maintain kind of hair. When I fluff it to spot clean, always almost no colours. So I find it good for blending the shadows, as this way, I can use frequently without worry so much about colour mix up or hygiene.

  37. Jyoan says:

    I actually see a new minerals brand called Prestige in Sasa Malaysia… They have the loose powder + foundation version and the loose powder only version.

    SA tested it on the back of my hand, and I do find the foundation one having not bad coverage… haha, but still, I am really scared of foundations, really refuse to buy…

  38. sesame says:

    It’s always better to be careful cos the wrong foundation can cause more problems to the skin. I’m quite hesitant to try new mineral foundation.

  39. lisa says:

    hi there

    where can i get affordable kabuki brushes? thinking of changing mine soon.

  40. kaye says:

    Im a fan of mineral make ups. i am using them ?

  41. sesame says:

    That’s good to know. ?

  42. Fi says:

    First of all, I really enjoy reading your blog, and I found some very useful ideas and knowledge ? Thank you for that.

    Regarding mineral makeup, I haven’t been happy with the ones I used in the past. I agree, it dries out the skin. It wasn’t until I learned more about ingredients and have taken the greener path that I pay attention to what’s actually in those makeup. So after a lot of thinking, researching and try outs, now I moved to another brand that I hope to be suitable for my skin. I’ve only used it once though (when I tried it out), so I don’t know what to think of it just yet (for regular use) – my new brush is still drying after being cleaned.

  43. Vicki S says:

    For me, however, I always come back to mineral makeup (but only one brand I like–Joppa Minerals). It has few ingredients + kaolin. I don’t like all the parabens and unnatural/unnecessary fillers in other makeup that I tried. Anyhow, my breakouts actually decrease and I like the natural glow that I get, also after exercising, it manages to look even better? So I’m still hooked. Also I loooove this flat-topped brush, it is extremely soft, dense, and cheap! The elf studio powder blush = http://www.eyeslipsface.com/studio/brushes/brushes_and_applicators/powder_brush

  44. Vicki S says:

    It’s not kabuki but gives great coverage and is dense and soft–and cheap! I currently use with my minerals and I simply love it —


  45. Melissa says:

    I found that Bare Escentuals cleared up acne that I hadnt been able to get rid of. Their blemish powder helps too. When I went there they told me they were completely natural, yet I went to Sephora because I was wanting to know if their Buxom line was also natural and they said that Bare Escentials is not totally natural. They said it had mica and others stuff. I didn’t know that mica was a issues but I have done some online research on mica and they said there is natural mica and synthetically reproduced mica. I haven’t figured out of the synthetic mica is made out of un-natural ingredients or just produced synthetically in a lab with naturally ingredient. Natural mica grows in mines. (This is what I have read.) Ingredients in make-up seem to be changing all the time so it’s kinda hard to keep up on what really is safe, healthy and nourishing for skin and what isn’t.

  46. sesame says:

    Great that Bare Escentuals worked for you and cleared your acne. It really depends on the skin types. Some of us are more sensitive to some ingredients but the same formulation will work perfectly on others.

  47. Melissa says:

    I remember the first time or two it made my face itch but I was eating a much more pure diet back then. I understand what you are saying.

    Here is some interesting info on cosmetic mica. It’s not natural. I wonder if they use this in the organic stuff. This really disappoints me because I fell in love w/ BE.


Leave a Reply