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Mineral powder makeup is a relatively new type of cosmetic meant to be easier to use and more natural looking than traditional liquid or pressed-powder formulas. Typically found as a foundation, concealer, or finishing powder, mineral makeup comes as a loose powder that is applied to the face with a soft makeup brush. Some experts claim this type of makeup is better for many skin types, as it contains fewer irritants than other varieties and is easy to remove.
Most mineral makeup is made of a base material of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These substances, in addition to offering natural protection from the sun, are also less likely to inflame the skin. The finely crushed particles make the makeup easy to remove, and are less likely to produce a chalky or overly done look, as long as the makeup is correctly blended into the skin.
A wide variety of cosmetic companies offer mineral powder makeup, tending to advertise it for its natural-appearing coverage. It is available in dozens of colors to match any skin tone, so take care to find a shade that matches facial skin exactly. For those who tan frequently, two slightly different shades may be used to create darker or lighter bases as skin tone changes. Look for trial sizes or samples to make sure the makeup fits skin tone accurately under different light settings. Ensuring that the makeup matches skin will help create a natural, flawless look.
Most kinds of this type of makeup requires application with a brush that may take practice to master. Some users recommend placing a small amount of powder in the lid of the makeup container, to avoid uneven coverage. After coating the brush in powder, hit it against a harder surface to knock off excess powder, and apply to small areas of the face. Using smaller and finer brushes, mineral powder makeup can make an excellent concealer for under-eye circles, blemishes, and acne scars. Many companies also offer a finishing powder to be applied over the foundation and concealer, in order to keep the makeup from wiping off easily.
Although mineral powder makeup can be a great alternative to heavy or greasy liquids, it does have some downsides. Brushes should be washed weekly with an anti-bacterial soap or brush-cleaner to avoid bacteria build-up that can clog the skin and cause breakouts. The powder can also become trapped in eyebrows, eyelashes, and the hairline surrounding the face. A damp piece of tissue or washcloth can easily remove excess powder from these areas, but this may be inconvenient if pressed for time.