Random Sunday: Mineral Makeup, Face Powder


Today we turn to you – the experts for help and recommendations relating to powdered mineral foundation, as well as face powders to use over regular (liquid or cream) foundation.   The topic came up in the comments recently in another post, and several people were interested.

Some of you probably remember my search for a HG foundation, which I found – Make Up For Ever’s Face and Body liquid foundation, which I still love.  However, it can be a bit much in summer, and in my humid climate the concept of a mineral powder foundation (with the added benefit of sunscreen) has always appealed to me.  My dry skin isn’t so dry in summer, and what’s not to love about powder?  But finding the right one and applying it correctly is tricky.

Before we begin, I’m typing it right here – unless you go from your apartment to your underground garage to your office building, or work at night, you shouldn’t be relying on your foundation SPF as your sunscreen.  My minimum is an SPF30 for the face, chest and hands (don’t forget those hands!  You’ll thank me in 20 years!)  Trying to find one that doesn’t break you out, sting, or turn you white is a whole separate topic, but you ought to be wearing one.  I have been sun-avoidant most of my life and, while my skin looks good for a 40-something gal, I am already having precancerous lesions removed from my face, arms and back.  Consider yourselves warned.  Guys – yes, I know you are hot and lovely and probably not wearing foundation, assuming you even read this far.  Please wear sunscreen.  Don’t forget the tops of your ears and your scalp if you are balding.

Second, according to what I’ve read sunscreen SPF is not cumulative.  If you’re wearing an SPF15 sunblock and SPF20 foundation, you are not miraculously at SPF35.  Please.  Buy some SPF30 or 45 or 70 and wear it.  In the long run it is cheaper than biopsies, Mohs surgery and cryogenic removal of suspicious nasties.  Hats are also good.

Okay, gruesome sunscreen screed over!!!  On to the topic at hand!!

I tried the Laura Mercier mineral powder foundation, which gets very high reviews – if you can find a color that works for you among her relatively limited number of shades.  I had them applied by a Mercier SA.  The lightest is too white, the second is too pink, the next is too dark.  So I think I struck out there.

I’ve tried the Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals twice, once at Nordstrom and once at Sephora.  Both times it wasn’t love.  I get a pore-magnifying sheen, a matte sheen, if you can believe it, and my face itched.  So I’m thinking: no.  However, I think BE was first, and many people love them.

Finally, How This Post Came to Be.  I was wandering past the Lancome counter looking for something (I’ve already forgotten what) and out of pure boredom picked up a brush, selected one of their lighter, newish (?) Ageless Minerale Foundation powder shades, and slapped it on because I knew it would be sucktastic.  Makeup masochism.

It wasn’t.  It looked … kind of fabulous, actually.  Huh.  They have three shades of Ivory (the palest) and three shades of Beige (their next color) so there’s some nuance there for lighter skin tones.  Also, I really liked their brush.  And they have a great intro set right now with two shades, a brush, and their mineral finishing powder for, I think, $65.

Anyway, I’m struggling with the Lancome shade selection.  Their Ivory 20 is a hair too pale indoors, but their Beige 10 (which looks great indoors) is a little sallow on me in bright natural outdoor light, where the Ivory looks right.   Also, in my experience as a paleface – pale skin freaks SAs out.  They will almost invariably pick a too-dark yellow or beige as the right color for me rather than err in the direction of too light, and what is up with that?  Did they not get the pale-skin-is-okay memo?  Can I mention my delight at opening various fashion rags these days and finding fewer women airbrushed into a deep tan, replaced by pale women, not all of them Scarlett Johansson?

I’m going to keep trying with the Lancome, because the finish was gorgeous even with my amateurish efforts – smooth, luminous but not shiny, pore-free.  Is it ridiculous to consider mixing colors?  Also, what’s everybody’s favorite brush? The Lancome was so soft.  I spilled a little in the cap, dipped, tapped and swirled, or whatever it’s called, per instructions.  But do you have further instructions?

Also, how do you feel about the mineral setting powders on top?  In general, not just for mineral powder makeup? I’d like to set my MUFE liquid foundation, for instance.  Over several hours MUFE can get really shiny, although it doesn’t go anywhere.  But I’ve decided the Bobbi Brown pale yellow powder is too yellow on me.  I know, it’s heresy, no white powder blah blah blah but there you have it.  How do you feel about the Laura Mercier translucent setting powder?  How about her specific setting technique (pressing with a velour puff rather than a brush)?

Has anyone tried the new Clinique anti-yellow powder?  Can that be used as a finishing powder, or should that go on the bare face?

Anything else I should try?  Does anyone actually powder over their mineral powder foundation, or only over liquid?  I just did it once testing the Lancome (powdered one side of my face) and it was beautifully milled but I didn’t notice any difference in terms of longevity or shine.

Your turn.  Thoughts on mineral powder makeup, technique, and finishing powders (plus brush vs. puff) on top of liquid foundation, or anything else you think I should know or want to ask about.

image – I found this in my saved images, I think it’s an Armani ad.  I generally find David Beckham a little scrawny but he certainly looks large in this photo.   The first thing I thought of upon viewing it was, I wonder which suncreen he uses? Cheers!

  • Kyra says:

    Have you tried the Caron powders?

  • Sara K says:

    I generally use the Neutrogena Dry Touch for sunscreen also. I am not as pale as March, so I can usually use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and a little bit of BE on top to cut shine…it’s also good when you need a little sunscreen boost and don’t want to do your makeup again. I also have a portable powder sunscreen (I think it’s by Peter Roth, does that sound right?). When I lived in WA state (the land without sun), I used Shiseido products since they have a larger range of pale shades.

    Re SAs: I carefully went to a very pale SA and still ended up with a foundation shade yellower, and about 3 shades darker, than my skin!

  • Wynn says:

    I’ve had some great luck with the Prescriptives mineral foundation–great shades and no breakouts (all others have wreaked havoc on my skin). I also use the Peter Thomas Roth mineral sunscreen powder (the one with its own brush). Really great for touch ups over makeup! You do hace to swirl in on pretty carefully, though…

  • Tania says:

    Oh, there’s a subject in this post? Sorry, I was totally mesmerised by David Beckham and that dinner roll he has stuffed down his pants…. 😉

    I’m very pale, too. I don’t wear foundation, just Touche Eclat under my eyes and on the occasional blemish, and a Clinique pore minimiser on my nose.
    I’ve tried various foundations, and even found one or two that looked ok, but I really can’t be @rsed with putting all that stuff on! They end up languishing away in my makeup bag, unworn. Also I’m a face-toucher (bad habit, I know), so it doesn’t last long anyway. I haven’t tried one for ages, but I have noticed these mineral foundations and wondered if they’d be easier to use/longer-lasting.

    I do use sunscreen moisturiser, body lotion and hand creams. I’m in the UK, so it’s not so much of an issue. I’m 52 and my skin is unlined and not sun-damaged at all. A wet climate can be a blessing!

  • Renee says:

    Oh, P.S. If mineral makeup makes you itch, it’s often not the makeup, it’s the brush. No lie.

  • Renee says:

    I use Avon Magix face perfector, a primer, with an SPF of 20, because I really do go from house to car to underground garage to office and maybe get 30 seconds of natural light per day.

    I’m fair and pink, too, and I’m seconding Aromaleigh (I’m not affiliated). They are the best because:
    They have the most color choices even of very pale shades.
    You can buy samples.
    You can mix colors.
    It is matte, not shiny, so there’s no pore magnification.
    If you want it shiny, she sells products to mix in or layer over so you get the amount of shine you want.
    She sells finishing powders if you like them, but you do not need them like you need them with BE, to keep the wacko shine of the product itself down.
    It’s incredibly reasonably priced.
    It’s extremely easy to apply. I use a flocked sponge. It gives incredible coverage and looks completely natural. (Swirl, tap, fiddlesticks, who has the time?? But if you like a brush, she has excellent brushes.)

    Only drawback: It’s mail order. But the shipping is fast.

    Blotting papers work wonders for cutting down oily shine without putting more stuff on your face, but I do use my Clinique translucent powder compact at mid-day.

  • DJ says:

    hi…I use MAC’s mineralize skinfinish natural powder (in Light) over my liquid foundation. It is not crazy expensive and it gives a wonderful finish with a brush or a puff. I can’t use any other MAC foundation/powders but this one is really good.

    I would also check out Nars powders, as the line has some very pale colour choices.

    good luck!

  • Keren says:

    I love that you have this much patience. I nearly had a fit at the Georgetown Sephora. It was the second time I had gone in specifically for concealer, and the second time that they were out of all the perfect shades (very pale, slightly but not too pink) in every line. So I just bought the one that I could make work…

    As for mineral makeup, it was very convenient for traveling for business, but I did find it always made my pores more visible. Good luck on your search!

  • Jenny the Red says:

    If you’re having a hard time finding a color match for pale skin, try Alima (online). They have a good range of very light colors and a great sampling program. My skin is often paler and less pink than the palest foundation available, and I found a perfect match (Neutral 0). I apply with a flocked sponge and then spritz with water. Alima foundation is my favorite, except when I’m flaky at all, then I either go with just concealer or Armani Face Fabric (the lightest shade is a bit too pink, but it really looks great when my skin is dry).

  • Bev says:

    I really like Prescriptives all skins mineral makeup. I’m 59 with fine, fair skin. Prescriptives is fine in the summer but in winter I get too dry for a mineral foundation. I’m amazed at the coverage from this product but that could be my application. The color choice is extensive and subtle.
    I’m not wild about the full size brush, the travel size might be better.
    Regarding powder over, I don’t think it’s necessary. But then again, as I’ve “matured” I find a dewier look is more flattering.
    I hope this info was helpful.

  • Koki says:

    I love Ti-silc too, and it’s a great makeup prep for Jane Iredale powders 😉

  • JeReviens says:

    I’m fairly pale and cool-toned, and my favorite sunblock is Ti-SILC 45 (they also make a 60+). It’s available at dermadoctor. It’s tinted a scary-looking peach, but it goes on sheer. It’s UVA/UVB, with octinoxate and titanium dioxide. It does have dimethicone– I don’t know what it’d be like in humid climates. I bet demadoctor could give you a sample.

    Over this I wear either LM or Lavera loose transparent powder.

    • March says:

      Ti-Silc!!! I totally forgot about that one! I used my tester up, I should get some more. I thought it worked great, and it’s easier to remove than the MelaShade. And then I could powder over it.

  • Koki says:

    I just posted over on PST, I have been a Jane Iredale fan and user for quite a few years. It’s the only makeup that makes me look better, rather than just made-up.

  • karin says:

    OK, this is way too funny. I haven’t even read your post yet, March, but when the site loaded, that darned Wal-Mart ad came up and covered David Beckham’s…well, you know what. Ha ha ha! Too funny…

  • Aparatchick says:

    Another pale-as-a-ghost one here. And yes, we were all oblivious to sun damage in the 70s. We spent the summers at the beach from the time I was 9 until I was 17, and I rarely used sunscreen. (Insert Oh No! emoticon) Since I was so very pale and freckled, I tended to stay out of the sun and I’ve become very careful since moving to Florida in the 90s. But I’ve never found a good sunscreen for the face that didn’t irritate my skin. Sigh.

    Our Florida humidity wreaks havoc on my makeup in the summer, so for the last few summers my routine has been, moisturizer, primer, mineral makeup. I use Aromaleigh http://www.aromaleigh.com/arminmakfaq.html which has worked well for me – not as well as liquid foundation, but since that will literally slide down my face in August and September, the mineral stuff is the best alternative. Aromaleigh has 30 or so shades, and I combine two (1P and 1C). I also use the Silk Powder primer.

  • sweetlife says:

    P.S. I’m wearing Sally Hansen’s Jumpin’ Jade nailpolish today. A completely gorgeous deep green that leans toward teal. Its in that weird “Insta-Dri” formula with the crazy brush, but totally worth it. And I was never one for green or blue before now…

  • sweetlife says:

    Please, please do a sunscreen post! Then you can explain to me why the spf in tinted moisturizer is not enough, and help me find something that sits nicely underneath tinted moisturizer. Maybe I should head over to MUA…I know I should, but I feel a little scared and overwhelmed over there. Heck, I can barely get through the comments on this post. Something about the intricacies of skincare and foundation/powder etc. is just so SERIOUS that it gives me hives. Sometimes literally.

    Frankly, I just want someone to come to my house with a basket of product and say, “Here you are darling, this will keep your skin in excellent shape with no weird bumpy breakouts, no allergies, and no weird smells.” To which I will reply, “Thank you so much. Here is my firstborn child.” And consider it a bargain.

    • March says:

      Well, if you reread the threads at this point there are several recommendations for sunscreen. My personal feeling is that the SPF coverage listed on most makeup could only be achieved if you shellacked it on the way you slather sunscreen on your arm. I’m going to order up some Ti-Silc online, which someone reminded me about, and try that under a mineral foundation, so I can focus on light coverage. And I’m going to look into Laura Mercier again.

  • Melissa says:

    I have yet to find a mineral powder foundation that I like, but I also lost patience after trying, oh, maybe two of them. On the topic of foundation and sunscreen, I recently tried Josie Maran Tinted Moisturizer which is described as “a lightweight tinted moisturizer, sheer foundation, and sunscreen, all in one”, with an SPF of 30 that supposedly blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Too good to be true? Well, it’s neither lightweight, nor sheer, which is fine with me, since I like a bit of coverage. It is definitely moisturizing, again, perfect for me. And the color that I tried (called Butter) is perfect for light, yellow-based skin tones. The lightest shade, (Creme) may still be a little too dark for you gorgeous alabaster types.

    • March says:

      Giggling about wearing something called “butter.” I’m thinking, yeah, probably a little too yellow-toned for me. I think all this should be less work, don’t you?

  • Nava says:

    Foundation and sunscreen have been my nemesises (?) for a long, long time. I’ve been staunchly loyal to BE for close to a decade, but recently have grown weary of the whole “swirl, tap, buff” routine. Although I must say, I think BE has kept my skin in better shape over the years than it would have been had I not used it. I never had irritation problems; I’m getting lazy in my old age.

    I’ve always been into powder foundations for most of my life since my skin was always oily. There are a couple of pictures of me as a teen with a horrible foundation mask (loved that oil control Cover Girl makeup with those “Clean Noxzema Ingredients”), and I cringe every time I see them.

    My latest discovery is Smashbox Halo Hydrating Powder. I like it because you don’t need a setting powder – at least I don’t, and it has a nice bit of sheen to it without looking greasy. Unfortunately, in my zeal to possess it, I bought the wrong shade; I should be wearing Light instead of Fair. Fair leaves me looking somewhat chalky.

    Sunscreen is an even bigger conundrum; I’ll try anything because I am looking for the ultimate moisturizer/sunscreen that doesn’t feel like a slick of lard on my face. I still haven’t found it. The search goes on…

    • March says:

      Further complicating the sunscreen issue is the amount we are supposed to be putting on — not tiny dabs, but a decent slather. That’s one thing on your arms and legs, but doing so on your face is something else. I suppose I’m hoping to find a combo of regular sunscreen plus powder foundation that looks light and natural. Because of the kids I spend a LOT of time outdoors in the summer, and I’m always looking to improve my coverage.

    • carter says:

      Nava–Is the Smashbox actually hydrating?

  • Connie says:

    Hey March:

    I agree with the whole oblivious to sunscreen in years past. We certainly were.

    Every time I decide to really wear a separate-from-foundation sunscreen before heading out … said determination only lasts for a week or so. (Hanging head in shame … especially since I live on Miami Beach ..EGADS!) However, let me add that as a young lass that whole baking on the beach bit was not my thing. I was too pale (then) and I figured what is the point of burning, peeling and then acquiring new freckles? I did have a few really bad sunburns (think Lucy in the famous modeling scene after falling asleep in the sun). Oh my … the 70’s were cruel to curly-haired-non-tanned girls. So while my skin is far from flawless … it certainly doesn’t look like a handbag either….

    I’ve always used a setting powder after foundation. Always. I currently use LM but there are other good ones to try like HR Illumination, etc. I’ve not had much experience with mineral makeup. I got one of those 10 day BE kits and was annoyed with that tiny jar/brush/etc … so I have never really given mineral makeup a fair shake.

    Gosh … I am NO HELP AT ALL!!!

    Thank you for the eye candy … not really into him but this is quite a nice shot.. 😉

    • Connie says:

      PS. I have only tried pressing in setting powder a few times in my life and on me it gets a little cakey but maybe I was pressing too hard or something. Anyway, since I’m old and cranky I prefer setting my foundation the way I’ve always done it … with a big fluffy brush (mine is MAC but any good one will do).

    • March says:

      No, you ARE help. I want setting powder info too. You like the LM? I don’t mind the cost, I figure stuff like that (foundation, etc.) I’m willing to spend the bux on if it looks good, because it’s hard to find the right match. Things like lipstick I’m less choosy about. So you’re a fluffy brush fan 🙂 which MAC brush do you use? I think I need a better brush.

      • Connie says:

        I just went to get the MAC brush to see the number. The one I have says 101 but it is about 12 years old. I don’t know if they even sell that one anymore, perhaps they now sell a better one. I agree about spending the bucks for foundation/powder and being less choosy about lipstick, etc. I’m liking the LM but I also liked what I was just using prior to that. The HR Illumination, I don’t know if they sell that in the States but it was available online … though I have not checked for it in a while. It lasted a very long time as it is very finely milled. Hope this helps 🙂 Happy Sunday.

        • Connie says:

          Oh … and another PS. The trick to using a brush for setting is to dip brush lightly in the powder, tap off excess and ONLY use downward strokes when applying, no circular or horizontal strokes. Something to do with the very fine hair on our faces growing downward and it keeps the foundation looking smoother. Don’t know if that is true or not since this was the instruction given to me more than 30 years ago by makeup artists but I’ve always done it this way and, in theory, it makes sense.

  • Gail S says:

    I’m no help with mineral makeup either, but just chiming in about the photo at the top also…….daaaaayyyyummmmm (needs an emoticon w/ tongue hanging out 🙂 )

    I would however second (or maybe third) Musette’s recommendation up there for a tinted moisturizer. I received a freebie tube of Olay’s Definity Color Recapture, which is moisturizer, spf15 and color with light-diffusing stuff in it. It wasn’t right for me because my skin is super-oily but I gave it to my mother who has normal oil levels and she actually likes it and is using it regularly now even though she dislikes most Olay products. The reviews on MUA are very mixed so YMMV, but I think I would have really liked it if I weren’t so doggone oily.

    • March says:

      Well, my skin is NOT super oily, so that sounds like a nice foundation. And I am glad to provide a day-brightening image.

  • sara says:

    Well first, you have beautiful skin and then second, I bet I am the palest creature posting today AND I know what it’s like to try and attempt a flawless face here in Capital Swampland. I tried Clinique’s Almost Makeup powder–liked it a lot but finding a shade match might be tough. I would suggest trying Jane Iredale and also J. Lynne Cosmetics–both have a huge variety of shades and to answer your ? most people I know who use MM do mix shades to get it right. Good luck and now you’ve got me wanting to try the Lancome!

    • March says:

      Hmmmm. My recollection with the regular clinique foundations is I couldn’t get a color match, maybe I’ll have the same problem with the powder. The Lancome’s texture and finish were, I thought, leagues above the BE stuff. But I am no expert. It simply seemed to work on me, and no itchies.

  • memechose says:

    perfect mineral makeup; belladonna. also cover fx but the applicator is wonky. i toss the applicator and pour into jar. The new freeze 24 is flawless but not good for ethic or even pale golden skin. but they said they are working on it.

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    I have worn Jane Iredale in both loose powder and base powder forms. The shade selection is excellent and it doesn’t look or feel heavy. I wore BE in the past, but was halfway between the lightest and the second lightest shade. It is possible to mix, but hard to get consistency. Also, the texture of BE is not nearly as nice as JI. It is, however,much easier to find. Have you considered Clinique’s Almost Makeup powder?

    • March says:

      Another recommendation for Jane Iredale, I will definitely try that. And I have not tried the Clinique. I will do so.

  • rosarita says:

    I’m no help. I wore BE 12 yrs ago and it worked well for a while, but eventually my skin started breaking out. I searched for mmu for years but I’ve given up. My skin is just too dry.

    Lots of etailers like Everyday Minerals have excellent sample programs but I gotta say, those little bitty jars got on my last nerve. I’m no help with powder either, as I’m looking for one, too.

    On a positive note, I agree w/Musette’s assessment of DB. Yum. 😉

    • March says:

      It seems as though people have had pretty mixed experiences on here with the minerals. I’ll keep playing, I haven’t tried several of these recommendations.

  • Louise says:

    Hi Sweets-

    I’m not a fan of MM, even with my slightly oily skin-I had the major itch problem with BE and found it looked chalky. I have tried Jane Iredale at the derms, and it’s been fine for coverage; I just don’t love it on me, again too heavy/chalky. I may give the Lancome a spin, however, since I can usually find a good color match there.

    What works for me best in summer is Lorac tinted moisturizer (Hi, Musette) with another BE product over-I love their Mineral Veil-a sheer, non-drying powder with slight coverage. Probably the best BE product (‘cept some of their plumping glosses) IMHO. The Mineral Veil makes a dandy year-round powder, too, with or without foundation.

    I am a sunscreen devotee, usually wearing at least a 40. My favorite brand, My Blend, is d/c and I dole out small bits of the magic stuff-all physical block, I believe, and miraculous. Still looking for alternative…any suggestions?

    Happy Sunday to all 😉

    • Louise says:

      Oh, yeah-it’s not ridic to blend foundations at all, especially if you find a consistency you like. Figure this: you get twice the product, for just twice the price! Seriously now, I’ve done it with both same stuff in different colors, and with different products. I sometimes mix my tinted moisturizer with a dab of luminizing or other liquid for a different finish. And my palest foundations are a bit light for summer, so I’ll add a dab of something else. Works fine.

  • Lee says:

    All I can say is I love your version of scrawny.

    • March says:

      Ah. Yes. DB is not usually my cup of tea, but something in that image caught my eye… if you google there’s a couple others as well, including one where his arms appear restrained … and changing topics now, how IS your garden doing?

      • Lee says:

        He’s not really my cuppa either, but I like a lean mayun, dayum. And you know how the focus is working in that photo (though there’s not shape there are such – just a giant GI Joe mound).

        Garden’s growing good, sweetums.

        • Tammy says:

          I must respectfully disagree, Lee. I get a bit of shape towards the left and low. Not as much as one would like, certainly, but more than just a G.I. Joe Mound. Or is it wishful thinking on my part?

          • March says:

            Okay, now y’all have me scrutinizing his man-junk and pondering whether this was really the right illustration for the post. Srsly, can you imagine posing for that? Do you think he has a … a snake-wrangler or something?

          • Tammy says:

            Could be, or perhaps one of those people who can make balloon animals?

          • Lee says:

            There is a photo out there on the interwebs that sorta shows his wanger/ johnson / old fella. Let’s just say this image is a load of balls….

          • Louise says:

            I trust your information on this.

  • Nancy says:

    I attended a custom blend clinic last Friday and the SA suggested keeping sunscreen and foundation as two separate entities. Foundation products are good as foundation products, and sunscreen is better just as sunscreen. That way you can balance the weight of each product across the other. Living in Australia, skin cancer capital of the world, there is a good selection of sunscreen products here, no use recommending any as I doubt they would be readily available in the US. I didn’t have mineral makeup custom blended, just foundation and powder, but I’m surprised that no one is offering yet custom blending of mineral makeup in the US. That’s what you want, perhaps. I also use Iredale mineral makeup and am happy with that.

    • March says:

      Funny, I had two women over here last week for dinner, they are my age, both grew up in Australia. Both are very athletic/outdoorsy. Their skin is *flawless.* I mean, it’s ridiculous. They should both look like handbags. So I asked, and of course they grew up in families very serious about sun screen. I still wonder, did we not *have* that stuff when I was young, or was my mother oblivious? Every summer we went to the beach and vacation was over when I had sun poisoning. 🙁 Nobody took the sun seriously here.

  • Lavanya says:

    I am not a makeup expert as I don’t usually wear any, but did try out (almost obsessively) some mineral makeup to wear to my sister’s wedding and here is my input:

    I’ve heard that BE is itchy because of the bismuth oxychloride in it (which is also what causes the sheen I think).
    I have tried some etailer mmu (mineral makeup): Everyday minerals and Silk naturals(both of which are free of bismuth oxychloride)..People with drier skin seem to prefer the latter as it has silk powder in it..I liked both but again since I don’t use makeup often, I am not sure how reliable my feedback is..They both did look like my skin but better- giving my skin a sort of glow (NOT sheen) which was nice.Silk Naturals has a ‘perfecting powder’ (sort of like BE’s mineral veil) that goes over the foundation (or directly over skin)..I also liked the mineral blush I tried from them and love some of their glosses..The owner also carries pore blurring powders etc, which seem to get a lot of raves on the board attached to the website

    I’ve heard good things about meow cosmetics too but have never tried them..:)

    • March says:

      Hey, thanks, that’s good feedback! I’ll check out their website. I did look on MUA after my unfortunate BE experience and it seems to be a love/hate relationship with BE, and other people complained about the itch. So I figured, it can’t just be me. And honestly my skin is not *that* sensitive, other than the occasional eyeshadow I can’t think of the last cosmetic I used that irritated me (knocks wood.)

      • Lavanya says:

        Glad that helped, March.. The usual route for many people using mineral makeup is: BE, then Everyday Minerals and then Silk Naturals..Everyday minerals has a free sample program (where you just pay shipping)..I found my shade almost immediately as I’d done a lot of research before I got my samples.
        The Silk naturals foundation is interesting because it is essentially a ‘build your own’ completely customizable foundation..The ladies on the forum are very helpful with suggestions on what your best match would be (based on what you currently use)..They have different coverages..The original coverage is a very light coverage and doesn’t look like you have any makeup on..The key to mmu is to not use too much at once, but build up slowly….Also, spritzing a hydrosol on your face helps set the powder foundation.

  • Trish/Pikake says:

    The first thing I thought is why is that eff-ing Walmart ad blocking my view of David Beckham?!

    OK, now that I’ve got that off my chest..My favorite pressed mineral powder is Jane Iredale’s. It goes on smoothly, has a natural finish, it’s not itchy, or drying or overly “dewy”. I love it. I think it’s SPF 20. And it’s not loaded with chemically crap.

    • March says:

      I will look into the Jane Iredale, thanks! As I said to Musette, I’m actually looking for something I can wear over my sunscreen.

  • Musette says:

    SO not pale….but I still need pretty serious sun protection. I use LaRoche/Posay Anthelios with Mexoryl XL purported to not degrade in the sun. I’ve been using it for about 6 years, with great results. I never go out without it in the spring and summer and def wear it if I’m doing any winter sports (yeah, like that’s gonna happenLOL!)

    Mineral makeup…hmmm….I’m not much on mineral makeup, though I do use a bit of it on my eyelids every now and again. I love liquid and use MUF’s Hi-Def (one shade for winter, another for summer). I got some silica powder and a kabuki brush from Coastal Scents for about 1/10th the cost of MUF’s Hi-Def powder and brush (exact same stuff) – thank you MUA. They can snark but they do know their stuff.

    I can’t imagine powdering over mineral powder – my skin would itch for days! March, have you considered a tinted moisturizer for summer? On those scorching days I use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with a quick whisk of the silica powder to give a slightly finished look. Heck, who are we kidding? Depending upon how much of a rush I’m in, that LM carries a lot of the weight of a lot of rushed days. Moisturizer/powder/lipstick. Done. I carry a vintage compact around with a bit of silica in there for touchup – but if I’m thinking ahead to evening I will carry the vintage compact that has a Prescriptives tinted powder. Powder, done lightly, can really just smooth out a hot face.

    xo>-) (damn shame it doesn’t come in blue:-D

    • March says:

      Maybe this is the summer I figure out which LM shade I am in their moisturizer. The issue I have starting … well, now is that as soon as it’s warm and sunny, my face is already a greasepit of sunblock, so I was looking for a light dusting of something to tone that down. Of course a powder foundation on top of that might be a disaster anyway, I guess I will find out! 😉

  • Tammy says:

    Didn’t even recognize it as Beckham (I am not a fan) and I am not going to tell you about my first thought, marvelous though it was.

    I’d also appreciate suggestions for a good sunscreen, as my skin has been referred to as “cadaver white” by more than one SA.

    Bryan, where have you been all my life, and I hope THAT didn’t sound stalkerish!

    • Musette says:

      Tammy, see my recommendation above – I use the SPF60, I believe. I have a light-olive skin that tans easily and the LaRoche Posay keeps it from burning, even with a full day of motorcycling into the sun. El O, who is very pale (pink tones) now uses it, as he was heading towards some serious sun damage.

      I don’t know anything about David Beckham except that he is married to a woman with far too many Birkin bags – but he sure can fill out a pair of socks, can’t he?


    • March says:

      Tammy, see my post above for a sunscreen list — also let me add Bullfrog, which I think is chemical in lower concentrations and titanium/zinc in higher. I know a lot of lifeguards use it and think it’s great.

    • March says:

      PS I would KILL for cadaver white. Whenever I see super-pale girls at the mall I compliment them on their skin (I’m old enough to get away with this and not sound creepy, I think.)

      That Beckham photo. Heh. Brighten your day?

      • carter says:

        I am blonde and blue, and as a young person had great skin that rarely burned and tanned easily. Unlike March, I baked myself at the beach and pool all summer as a teen in the ’70s and well beyond. Now I have pale, very dry, heat-sensitive skin that is the freaking bane of my existence. With age spots, including one on my lower eyelid of all places. I totally destroyed the moisture barrier and spent years trying to repair it, and I have now gotten to the point I am today which is probably as good as it’s going to get.

        I can’t go near mineral foundations. I use Vincent Longo’s water based powder because it isn’t really a powder and is very sheer and has a lovely luminous finish, and is buildable despite it’s sheerness. I use a yellow shade in the pinker areas of my face, and then top it with a more porcelain shade all over. Still, the VL is borderline too dry, and I’m dying to try the Serge Lutens base and foundation reviewed by Patty a couple of weeks ago and as soon as I can steel myself for a Barney’s encounter I’m planning to give it a trial run.

        I do use LM’s Secret Brightening Powder under my eyes and it’s really lovely stuff.

      • carter says:

        Crap! This was supposed to be a new post at the bottom, not a reply.

      • carter says:

        Also just want to add a recommendation for The Skin Type Solution by Leslie Baumann, M.D. for those of you who were as stupid as I was or simply want or need skin help. Using her questionnaire and methods I was able to significantly improve the health of my skin. She does not take money from any of the companies that make the various products she recommends (she gives many options depending on your budget for each type of product) and having the specific product suggestions is extremely helpful. There may be a revised version out by now, but I’m sure it is available on Amazon and B&N, or even ebay and Half.com.

        • carter says:

          Sorry, guys — there are 20 other things going on here at the moment and I’m not paying sufficient attention to any one thing — I misrepresented Dr. Baumann above. I pulled out the book to double-check, and it appears that she actually consults and/or is on the boards of many skin-care companies. Having said that, she cites so many different brands (she gives you prescription and non-prescription plans for each skin type) and having followed the recommendations for my own skin issues with great success, I really have no hesitation in giving the book a rave review.

          Okay, I promise I’ll shut up now. 🙂

  • Natalie says:

    I’m still searching for the perfect mineral makeup myself (so far I’ve tried Jane Iredale, which made me break out horribly at a very inopportune moment, and cheapo L’Oreal, which actually isn’t bad and which has a color that’s a perfect match for my super-pale, pink-toned — NOT yellow, dammit! — skin). I do have a great tip, however: Use blotting papers on your face before brushing on the minerals. If I don’t do that, the stuff inevitably cakes.

    Any good sunscreen suggestions? As a fellow moon-face, I too have had nasty bits removed, and I’m always on the hunt for a better sunscreen, particularly as I’m starting a business that involves working outdoors. The titanium dioxide ones are always Kabuki-like — even when they promise otherwise — and my Neutrogena standbys are no longer thrilling me (Age Defense blobs up, and Dry Touch, well, isn’t).

    • March says:

      Sunscreen is such a personal thing. Many people are fans of the La Roche Anthelios. At least initially I couldn’t get it in the SPF I wanted (too low; I think this has changed.) So I looked elsewhere.

      My most “serious” sunscreens, for extended outdoor time (e.g., sailing, the pool), are Fallene Total Block SPF for my face/chest and Blue Lizard for the rest of me. These are both titanium/zinc block products. Unfortunately my skin is sensitive to the chemical blocks and tends to really sting. The Fallene has a beige tint that helps with the whiteness, and the Blue Lizard does in fact soak in eventually. You can find them online and in some pharmacies. I also use the Blue Lizard on my twins.

      One that’s harder to find but AMAZING (a makeup-y block) is called MelaShade, I got it from my dermatologist. It’s got a silicone base like the Smashbox fillers, and it’s totally tinted (I think there are two shades.) It goes on like a creamy foundation. I wear it when I want to look good outdoors, but it’s expensive and a total PITA to remove. Even my MAC wipes have to work at it. Also it’s like applying foundation, you just don’t slap it on.

      The girls tend to use the Neutrogena only because it’s cheap and easy to find, and it doesn’t break them out (the dry touch.) Of course they are tired of listening to me nag them, but Diva gets nevi which present their own risks, and she doesn’t like the way they look, so she’s gotten more careful. They really tan, though (courtesy of my husband) and it’s hard to discourage them.

      • Natalie says:

        Thank you so much for all that info! I keep reading about the Anthelios and have been meaning to try it, but the Fallene sounds great too. I don’t care too much what I slather on my bod, but my face is another story.

    • Disteza says:

      As for sunscreen, MAC makes a makeup prep cream that is SPF 50 and goes on like a midweight lotion. Being off the pale scale, I thought it immensely funny when the MAC girl tried to convince me that the level 20 foundation she smeared on my cheek was “just right”. Yeah, if I was looking for a blush!

  • bryan says:

    This is a random observation from a guy who is obsessed with fashion, fashion photography, etc. I think pale/alabaster/porcelain skin is strikingly beautiful. It is so hard to hide flaws on fair skin, so my hats off to all the women (and guys) who rock their pale selves out.
    All shades are beautiful….duh….but I have noticed fair gets slammed pretty often.
    I’ve seen pictures, March, and you have gorgeous skin. It was the first thing I noticed long ago from the posted pics. I am obsessed with skincare and I can honestly say I am loving your complexion.

    OK, I hope that didn’t sound stalkerish. Love you.

    • bryan says:

      I have fair/medium skin which I treat to self-tanner. I have been using spf daily for about 15 years. I wish I had started earlier, but that’s when I found Paula Begoun. Her spf products rock. No white cast and non greasy. I also like Chanel’s self tanner/daily spf but I think it builds too fast because of daily use.

      • March says:

        Until a few years ago I used self-tanner on my legs to reduce the blinding whiteness…. but I’ve always had to be careful. They never look “tanned.” Just less white. Too much product and I am immediately orange/yellow, not beige.

      • aelily says:

        I second Paula Begoun’s SPF products. I wear her essential non-greasy sunscreen EVERYDAY. My sister, who is six years younger, is still sun tanning and fake baking, and I’ve recently had two people tell me they thought I was the younger sister based on photos! I keep trying to tell her to cut it out, but she won’t listen…

    • March says:

      Bryan, how sweet! Not stalkerish at all. I am proud of my skin. I do not tan even a little, only burn, and to live through the 70s as a teenager, when deep tans were all that, was rough on the old self-esteem. I have always been a teeny bit pink; that dead white skin is my aesthetic ideal. Now, of course, I’m rewarded for my patience. My skin looks younger and better than many of my friends the same age, who still mock my giant hat and my SPF shirt. 🙂

    • carter says:

      I heartily agree with you about March’s lurvlay complexion. I saw Lauren Ambrose (Claire from Six Feet Under) last summer (or the summer before? wow, this is scary) doing Juliet in a Shakespeare in the Park production of R&J, and she had the most gorgeous, luminescent pale skin I’ve ever seen. March has the same.