Mineral Makeup vs Regular Makeup: For the wedding day and every day!


There is a lot of talk about mineral makeup vs "regular" liquid makeup.  I want to discuss each makeup type, talk about its benefits and disadvantages, who can wear it and who should stay away from it.

First of all when I use the term "makeup" – I am talking about the makeup foundation that should be applied on your entire face, under your chin and sparingly on the upper part of your neck.  The purpose of this makeup foundation is to create a clean, even-toned "canvass" of your entire face.  On top of this "canvass" we will apply eye makeup, blush and lip color.  Good foundation ensures that your eye/cheek/lip makeup glides on more smoothly, easily and adheres to your face more evenly and stays on much longer.

Let's begin by tackling the terms:

Mineral Makeup foundation

Mineral makeup: Mineral makeup can be used as a powder makeup foundation.  The powder contains metals such as zinc, mica and so on.  Mineral makeup is NOT a healthier alternative to liquid makeup.  The word 'mineral" does not make it a "health food". This powder makeup is found in a loose powder * version and a pressed powder ** version.  Mineral makeup comes in many shades from very light to quite dark. When applied, the face usually has a bit of healthy shine and has a bit of softness to the touch.

Usually pressed mineral powder cannot be mixed with water to create a paste that can be used as a cover-up cream/concealer, as opposed to non-mineral pressed face powders that can be used this way.  You can read more about this technique below.

*Loose powder means just that: The powder is loose and soft, will fly everywhere if the container is opened carelessly.  The loose powder container is usually somewhat deeper and larger than a pressed powder compact.  You usually apply loose powder with a large bristled makeup brush or a powder buff. 

** Pressed powder means just that: The powder is pressed into a compact.  It will not fly everywhere when the compact is open, but if you drop the compact – you will have powder everywhere.  This powder can be applied with a makeup brush or a powder buff.

Mineral shimmers: These shimmers are also mineral-based powders that are used as a blusher or highlighter on specific areas of the face.  As its name suggests, the powder is shiny.  You can apply this shimmer with a large bristled makeup brush.  Once all your makeup (foundation, eyes, cheeks and lips) is applied, you can lightly and sparingly apply this shimmer to areas that would normally shimmer in full lighting.

This shimmer is usually used as one of the final steps in the bride's makeup application to give her an over-all, healthy glow; it is usually applied to the tops of the apples of the cheeks, the chest area in a lower cut gown, a touch on the ridge of the nose.  Keep in mind: as the shimmer reflects light in pictures, it must be used sparingly, otherwise the facial shots of the bride may come out with white spots where too much shimmer reflected off the camera flashes.

Non-Mineral Powder Foundation

Non-Mineral Powder Foundation: There are also non-mineral pressed powder makeup foundations.  These powders usually have a drier ingredient such as talc or another alternative.  As with mineral choices, this powder also comes in loose and pressed powder versions. The same rules of caution apply to opening powder containers.   It is also available in several shades. 

However when non-mineral powder is applied to the skin, it tends to impart a dry look and feel to the face.  It can used to take unwanted shine away from skin, but should be used very sparingly with older, more wrinkled skin, as it dries the skin even more and tends to settle into the wrinkles and makes them even more visible.

Non-mineral powders CAN be mixed with a drop or two of water to create a paste that can be used as a cover-up cream/concealer to conceal unwanted dark areas under eyes, redness anywhere on the face or uneven skin tone. 

Liquid foundation choices

I've talked about these in the past.  There are completely liquid (cream) foundations and ones that come in a more solid cream consistency.  These foundations are found in a variety of shades. They can be applied with your fingers, a makeup bush or a sponge.

You can use liquid foundation as a cover-up cream/concealer to conceal unwanted dark areas under eyes, redness anywhere on the face or uneven skin tone.  There are also specific concealer products that you can buy. 

Mineral vs Non-Mineral Powder Options

Mineral makeup imparts a soft glow to the skin, but is for young ladies ONLY.  Facial skin must be PERFECT in order to use mineral powder makeup; skin without a whisper of a wrinkle and without skin problems such as acne.

Mineral makeup is perfect for young - under 23-25 year old - brides on their wedding day.  Having said this, I would not use mineral powder makeup on a bride for a summer wedding.  The mineral makeup will not hold up to the heat and demands of an outside photo shoot, as well as the sweating, crying, kissing and dancing involved in the eight to ten hours of the pre-wedding and wedding experience.  Liquid cream foundation is a much more reliable choice.

I would not use non-mineral powder foundation options on ANYONE.  These powders are drying and do not impart a soft look to the skin.

Liquid cream foundation is perfect for any skin.  The amount used depends on the preferences of the bride, her facial skin needs and the time of year of the event.

How to apply makeup foundation:

·        Clean the skin completely.

·        Apply a thin layer of a very good facial cream to the skin and let it absorb into the skin for a few seconds.

·        Next, apply a very thin layer of foundation primer.  I love smashbox's  (http://www.smashbox.com/products/6038/Face/Primer/index.tmpl) primer.  This product makes the skin feel like silk!

·       Now apply a concealer to all the "problem" areas on the face: these can include pimples, red areas usually around the nostrils, and the chin, dark areas under the eyes and/or on the eye lids.  This concealer shade should be the same shade or a bit lighter than the natural skin tone. Cover the area plus a bit more on every side. You can use a non-mineral powder and water mixture, a liquid foundation or a concealer for this purpose.  Gently pat (never rub) to apply this with a sponge, makeup brush or your fingers.


·        Finally you can apply the makeup foundation.  I apply foundation on the complete face, up to the hairline (blending to make sure there is no demarcation line between the face and the hairline – this is NOT a mask), on the eyelids and under the bottom lash line and under the chin and a bit down the neck.



·        Now apply eye makeup, blusher and lip treatment.


One last note: as with all makeup, make sure you test the makeup products on your skin before the wedding to ensure that you have no allergic reaction to any of the makeup product choices.

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