How to Choose the Right Shade of Mineral Foundation

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation MakeupChoosing the right color makeup is always challenging, so in today’s post I’m going to give you some tips on how to choose the right shade of mineral foundation. Mineral makeup is an extremely popular makeup for acne prone skin, but picking the correct shade is more difficult because of the powdery consistency. Oily skin can make it look darker after it has sat on your skin for a little while. At the same time, the type of lighting in stores or at home can give a deceptively lighter or darker look.

Here are a few tips for making sure you get the perfect, natural look you want with your mineral powder foundation:

1. Pick at least 2 or 3 shades to test out, so that you can compare them.

2. Put the three colors next to each other against your jaw line. That where you will want to make sure that your makeup “disappears”, so that you avoid the dreaded mask look.

3. Use whatever moisturizer you normally apply underneath makeup and let it set first.

4. If you have sensitive skin and tend to get a little red, let it calm down after wiping off your existing makeup.

5. If your skin is oily, try picking a slightly lighter shade than your natural color. It can get darker as your skin gets oily.

6. If your skin is dry, pick a color that matches exactly. If you go too light, you will look chalky.

7. Don’t just listen to the salesperson’s opinion. Bring a friend to give honest advice on color.

8. Check the color in different parts of the store under different lighting. Take a mirror and look at it in natural daylight as well.

9. Whether you buy your foundation in a store or online, ask for a sample or two to bring home and try out. Online stores will often provide them as well.

10. If worse comes to worse, you can mix two shades of foundation to get one that  matches your skin exactly.

A couple of final notes:

  • Always try to let your foundation sit on your skin for an hour or so before you make a decision. Just go off and do some shopping or something else. Then come back and look again.
  • Remember to blend the foundation over your jaw line, otherwise you might still look like you’re wearing a mask – even if the shade matches exactly!

Even if you follow my tips on how to choose the right shade of mineral foundation, it’s possible that you won’t get it perfect the first time. So, make sure you keep all your receipts. I’ve never had a time where a store or website wouldn’t take back makeup that didn’t suit me.

Bare Escentuals Matte Mineral MakeupP.S. Here’s a few of my absolute favorite brands of mineral makeup for sensitive, acne prone skin:

Bare Minerals SPF 15 Matte Foundation – for oily skin

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation – for more sensitive skin

Good luck and feel beautiful!

Organic Mineral Makeup for Darker Complexions

Organic Mineral Makeup for Women of ColorFinding the right color foundation for very fair or darker complexions can be difficult since most companies have a relatively limited range of choices, especially when it comes to natural makeup. For women of color, I just came across the organic mineral makeup brand Valana Minerals. I’ve often heard complaints that the colors available from major mineral makeup brands can look ashy as it gets darker, just as it can look a little chalky on very light skin. Valana seems to have solved that problem with a “natural mineral makeup for women of color”.

According to the company, these are the main features of the Valana Minerals makeup line:

  • 100% Natural and Vegan
  • Formulated for sensitive skin
  • Large range of colors
  • Exceptional quality
  • Radiant glow – no “ashy” look

There are numerous testimonials on their website of customers raving about how much they love the Valana makeup. Also, the company says that even though the product line was created for ethnic skin tones, the large range of colors works on many shades of skin.

Mineral Makeup for Women of ColorIf you’ve had problems finding a good color match in mineral makeup for your skin tone, take a look at Valana. They are available in some Whole Foods stores (this is an organic line) or you can go directly to their website: Valana Minerals.

Have any experience with Valana?  Tell us about it!

Jane Iredale Cosmetics Now Available

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Pressed Mineral Powder SPF 20  Light BeigeI just found out that SkinStore.com is now selling Jane Iredale cosmetics. This is a popular brand that I’ve been meaning to try out for quite awhile, so now is a great time. I’ll post a review once I have some experience with it. I love the fact that it is made with natural ingredients, no parabens, oils, etc. It is supposed to be great for sensitive skin and those with eczema or rosacea.

My plan is to try the Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Pressed Mineral Powder SPF 20 Light Beige and probably a concealer. Meanwhile, if you want to head over and check it out for yourself, use my link below:

Shop Jane Iredale Skin Care and Cosmetics

They are also doing a Free Gift with Every $100 Skinstore Purchase! This is just for one week, through May 9th, and it can be on any products. I love free gifts!!


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What Makeup is Good for Oily Acne Skin?

One of the most common questions I get asked has to do with what makeup is good for oily acne skin. This is probably because oily skin is the most prone to acne.  Teens, in particular, tend to have oily skin due to the hormonal changes they are dealing with during puberty.

The most important thing to look for in a makeup for oily skin is staying power. Most foundations and concealers seem to melt off as the day goes on, leaving all those blemishes out there for the world to see. The trick is to find a foundation and concealer that are relatively long lasting, then combine them with a good primer, such as Tarte’s Clean Slate, and a setting powder. The final, essential item is a good blotting powder or blotting sheets to carry with you throughout the day.

bareMinerals MATTE SPF 15 FoundationMineral makeup is one great solution for oily skin since it doesn’t have most of the additives that liquids and creams have. My favorite mineral makeup brand for skin that is oily and acne prone is Bare Mineral Matte foundation. It doesn’t have the irritating and shimmery bismuth oxychloride of other formulations, and it helps absorb oil during the day. You will need to use the bareMineral multi-tasking concealer before and after applying the foundation if you have a lot of acne to cover. Finish everything off with some of their Mineral Veil.

Make Up Forever Foundation for Oily SkinAs a liquid foundation for oily acne skin, the overwhelming consensus among reviewers is Make Up Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation. It gives full coverage, controls shine, is both oil free and water resistant, and has a wide range of colors. Sound too good to be true? Well, I haven’t tried it myself yet, but it received an average 4 1/2 star out of 5 star rating from over 2,000 user reviews. It is definitely at the top of my list of foundations to try once the summer and hot weather comes around.

If you like a creamy foundation and have a lot of difficulty concealing redness and acne on your oily skin, consider Cover FX makeup as your ultimate concealer and long lasting makeup. Cover FX has a cult following of its own, since it has the widest range of skin tone shades I’ve ever seen. If you can’t find a shade to match your skin from this makeup line, you never will. Their Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation tops the charts with its reviews and there is a great starter kit. It does have sunscreen in it, so if you are sensitive to chemical sunscreen this product is not right for you. However, it also contains calming ingredients to combat redness.

The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 piece)Cover FX has their own line of setting powders to go with your foundation that will make it last all day. You can get a complete kit, The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 piece), to get you started with the whole shebang. The main thing to remember with this foundation is that you must use a primer with it. Otherwise it will be difficult to blend since it is so thick. With such a great range of colors, you could just use it as a concealer on its own.

As a quick recap, here are the top makeup foundations for oily acne skin, based on our own tests and hundreds and hundreds of user reviews:

Mineral Makeup: Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals MATTE SPF 15 Foundation

Liquid Foundation: Make Up Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation

Cream Foundation: Cover FX The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 pieces)

MAC Blotting Powder for Oil Control

MAC Blot Powder for Oily Skin

Don’t forget to use a primer to protect your skin and to allow the makeup to go on smoothly and last all day. For extra coverage, you can use the concealers that go with each brand, or mix and match. Just remember that you can’t mix a powdery mineral makeup with a creamy concealer. The result would be a cakey mess.

P.S. I almost forgot the best part! Carry blotting sheets with you during the day to absorb excess oil. Or try the MAC Blot Powder, which we recently reviewed and fell in love with.


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The Best Makeup and Cleansers for Dry Acne Prone Skin

Finding good makeup and cleansers for dry acne prone skin seems to be nearly impossible at times. Products that treat acne tend to be drying, while those for dry skin can easily make you break out further. And yet there are plenty of us who suffer from both dry skin and acne at the same time. Whether it is due to using too much acne cream or just the sun, wind, weather or age wreaking havoc on our skin, we still need a solution. I’ve found a few that have been working well for me this winter, along with some tips to help prevent the dry skin and acne at the same time.

Cleansers that help prevent dryness

Boscia Makeup Break Up Cool Cleansing Oil

Often during the winter we are inside air conditioned or heated rooms, and then we go out into the cold and hope that our skin can cope with the environment. Our lips get chapped, skin becomes raw, and many people get red and itchy. The dryness itself can cause flakiness that blocks our already acne prone pores, causing more breakouts.

To help prevent dryness in the first place, it’s important to use gentle cleansers and moisturizers every day. Stay away from all the strong acne face washes in the winter if you are prone to any dryness.

My favorite cleansers are two that I alternate, depending on how my skin is feeling. To thoroughly remove makeup and calm my skin, I use Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil. Although it’s an oil, it washes off totally without any oily residue. In fact, I use it all year long. When my skin is a little oily I will sometimes follow it with another face wash or Boscia’s herbal tonic to make sure everything is cleaned off.

Non-foaming cleanser for dry acne prone skin

The other cleanser I love is Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. It is gentle and non-foaming, but gets rid of all makeup and dirt, including eye makeup. What I love about this cleanser is that it actually delivers on the promise of cleaning your skin, but it doesn’t leave the film that most non-foaming face washes do. The only downside, for some, is the fragrance. Since it is for sensitive skin, the soy cleanser doesn’t have a perfume smell. It has a scent that is a little reminiscent of cucumbers. It took a little getting used to at first, but now I actually like it.

Moisturizers that help prevent and treat dryness

The experts always tell people with acne to still use moisturizers. If your skin is oily, you really don’t need much moisturizer at all. If anything, I always stayed away from them. However, when your skin is dry it is a tremendous challenge to find a moisturizer that provides enough hydration without producing more pimples.

Clinique Moisturizer for Dry Acne Prone SkinMy current favorite is a basic drugstore brand called Cerave. It was recommended by my dermatologist and is effective and cheap at the same time, so you can’t go wrong. When I need a little more moisture, I top it off with some of my favorite Clinique Moisture Surge gel, which always feel calm and soothing on my skin.

Foundation makeup for dry skin with acne

My rule of thumb with dry skin and acne is to stay away from any makeup that promises to ‘hydrate’ your skin. Those products have always made me break out. Instead, get your moisture from your moisturizer and use makeup to even out and conceal. That’s not to say that you should use a foundation for acne prone skin. Those tend to be drying. I always aim to find something neutral that won’t stick to any dry flakes.

Clean Slate Natural Face PrimerBefore any foundation, however, always use a primer. This helps keep the makeup go on smoothly and last longer, which is especially important if your skin and a little dry and flaky. My favorite primer for acne prone skin is Tarte’s Clean Slate Natural Face Primer. I’ve written a review of Clean Slate in the past since it is the only primer I have ever used which didn’t make me break out.

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Powder Foundation for Dry Acne Prone SkinFor foundation, there are two that I’ve been using this winter that I love. For a mineral powder foundation, I have fallen in love with the new Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation. It is the only one I have found which doesn’t bunch up in my crease lines or look powdery on my skin. I don’t think I would recommend it for oily skin, but it has been a godsend this winter. I actually use the sponge that it comes with, but some people prefer to use a mineral makeup brush.

I have a new liquid foundation that I have started using recently when I want fuller coverage and a more polished look. It is the new one from Lancome – Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra. When you put it on, this foundation leaves a very smooth finish along with excellent coverage. I haven’t even been using concealer with it since the coverage is so good. The only downside with this foundation is the fragrance. Like all Lancome products, it has a distinctive smell that ultra sensitive people may not like. Luckily, I havent’ had a problem. Great Liquid Foundation for Dry Acne Prone Skin

Last tips for treatment and prevention of dry skin and acne

Getting rid of the dry skin and acne is the biggest challenge. This is where patience is crucial. Many people will tell you to exfoliate to get rid of the flakiness. For my own sensitive acne prone skin, I’ve found that even gentle scrubbing will only make matters worse. It may get rid of some of the dry flakes at first, but the exfoliation itself irritates my pores, which then causes me to break out more. Treat the breakouts and what happens? More dry skin and acne. Just stick with a regimen of gentle cleansing, moisturizer, and protection through primer and foundation. Your skin will eventually balance out. Of course, then the season changes and we have to adjust again!

Have a favorite product or treatment process for your dry skin and acne? Please comment and let us know!

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