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This review is especially for those readers who might be in the market for a mineral foundation and want to weigh the pros and cons of all the available offerings before throwing their hard earned cash. So this review combined with Mrunmayee’s review of Maxfactor Natural Minerals foundation should give you a better idea of the mineral foundations out there. (Now someone please do a review of Revlon Colorstay Mineral foundation!)
I have been looking for a lightweight foundation, preferably powder based for some time now. But powders have not sat well with me. With my makeup application skills they end up looking, well, powdery. I prefer a medium to full coverage product, but I don’t want to smear liquid goop on my face just for getting through an uneventful day. I would rather set aside my liquid foundation for when it is unavoidable and rely on a lightweight powder for everyday use. Having heard all the hype about how good mineral makeup is for the skin, I tried the Body Shop minerals foundation at a The Body Shop store, but didn’t notice any coverage whatsoever. So I decided to check out drugstore brands. L’Oreal mineral foundation is my first such buy. This SPF15, non-comedogenic, oil-free, perfume-free, preservative-free product is 95% minerals. It claims to provide a foundation-like coverage and can be used as a concealer, a foundation and a finishing powder.
My shade is W4 Golden Beige which is meant for wheatish skin. It was not a Herculean task to pick it out since they had only 3 shades available – fair, wheatish and dusky. This is my all-time peeve with International brands that want to make a mark in ‘developing markets’ like India – they only ever release a limited range of their caboodle. Probably they want to cut their losses if the product doesn’t fly. The L’Oreal mineral foundation version available in the U.S. comes under the Bare Naturale line which contains 10 shades! They are also preservative-free, fragrance-free and contain an SPF of 19 as opposed to an SPF of 15 of True Match minerals.
I shall now step down from my soap box and move on to describing the product. I paid about 1000 Indian rupees for it. The foundation comes in a stout plastic jar with a transparent lid. There are 3 parts to the packaging – a receptacle that contains the powder and has fine holes through which the product can be sifted out, a screw-on lid with an applicator brush attached to it and a top lid that covers the brush and snaps to the middle lid. I quite like look of the jar. I like it that unlike opaque bottles, this jar gives me an idea of how much of the product is still remaining. I also like the look of it more as compared to Revlon Colorstay and Maxfactor mineral foundations.
The brush seems fatter and the bristles more closely packed than both Maxfactor and Revlon Colorstay brushes. So it picks up more of the product and provides denser application, thereby providing greater coverage than the other two brushes. Some users have found the brush to be scratchy. The brush is not the best brush money can buy, but it’s not entirely worthless. The trick lies in using the brush with a feather-light touch. Probably because of fear of powder not sticking well enough, people try to rub it into their pores and that’s what gives that abrasive feeling. I must admit that while tapping and buffing, I can’t shake off the feeling that it is actually a lid I’m using as a brush. 🙁 Though if you are just checking out if mineral foundations are for you and do not want to purchase the whole shebang (a separate kabuki brush could set you back by another 1000 rupees), then you could make do with this lid-cum-brush.
The coverage is light, but buildable to a medium. The final effect is matte. If the moisturizer underneath gives you a little bit of shine, the shine+matte effect translates into a nice dewy finish, which I like. The staying power of this foundation depends heavily on the moisturizer you use underneath it. The foundation sticks on longer if I use my Fabindia Vitamin e SPF 15 moisturizer instead of my Kaya Daily Use SPF 15 Moisturizer. The Fabindia moisturizer takes about 30 seconds to absorb into the skin and it is during this time that I apply my mineral foundation. During these seconds, the skin is still sticky enough for the powder to take root. With this, the powder stays on pretty much all day. The Kaya sunscreen absorbs faster, leaving no residue, which is a good thing, except in this case. The minerals powder should not be used under a whirling ceiling fan. The particles fly all over the place and provide coverage to more than your face. Ask me how I know ;).
Some users have reported itching from the application of this foundation. That could be attributed to Bismuth Oxychloride, a filler that is used to provide a glow finish to the skin. But this reaction looks like a relatively uncommon one. My skin is acne-prone but not too oily or too dry. It is not sensitive in the rashes-redness-sudden-reaction sort of way. This foundation has not caused me to break out at all. The product is indeed very lightweight and breathable. I’ve been wearing this makeup everyday for a couple of weeks now. I haven’t noticed any skin dryness so far.
So is this my true match? I would have to say no. It is a no match. And I don’t mean it in a good way. The powder gives me a pinkish white effect, however light the application, which gives some of the darker areas on my face a grayish tinge. The good thing is, the product turns to a better matching yellowish tone after about 15-20 minutes of application. But I want my foundation to disappear into my skin the moment I apply it, not after it has been dissolved in my sweat, moisturizer, rose water and rain.
Overall, my first ‘brush’ with mineral foundations has been more of a success than a failure. So whether or not mineral foundations stick to my face, I’m sticking to them for their ease-of-use, do-less-evil approach and the look-ma-no-makeup finish. Oh, and I get a certain satisfaction out of buffing my face with a foundation brush. 🙂
Rating: :-* :-* :-*