Archaeologists have found evidence that even “bronze-age” women used makeup such as a bright green paste of copper minerals. Millennia later, we still love it! One of the things you can’t help but like about mineral makeup is that it is, for the most part, created from colors of nature, and therefore is kind to sensitive skin. The colors will also look natural. There is some sun protection in minerals, but I wouldn’t count on it to truly protect you from the sun’s damaging rays unless it is actually rated to do so. But there is also a a bunch load of antioxidant and other good for your skin benefits.
What is a mineral? It is a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound, mined from the ground. When minerals are crushed, they become a silky powder that can be used on the face to color and enhance it. “mineral makeup” is applied to a variety of products. Some mineral makeup has a pure mineral content, others have minerals as a primary ingredient but include other ingredients as well. It used to be that mineral makeup products were like plus sized clothing. You had to go to a specialty store to get it, and they were depressingly dull. But that’s all changed! Mineral makeup became a hot, hot, hot trend a few years ago, and now it’s everywhere.
If you want to try some amazing mineral makeup yourself, or if you’re trying to find a gift for someone who really doesn’t like to use anything else on her face, you’re in luck because there are so many things to choose from. Not all mineral makeup is equally good (or equally natural), however. Two brands that are exceptionally good, have nicely packaged holiday gift sets, and offer good value, are bareMinerals, and Mineral Fusion. Here are my picks for holiday gifts that will wow at various prices.
During fashion week I attended a lounge that featured bareMinerals by Bare Escentuals, newest and best products and also showcased their dazzling display of holiday gift ideas. Although it was just September, I could already image the looks on the faces of lucky women who would be receiving these gorgeous gifts. bareMinerals products are free of preservatives, fillers, or binders. Their products are healthy for skin, full of antioxidants and other things you want, but also their color cosmetics also enhance and pamper. The products have gentle, non irritating formulas that work for all skin types and ages, but will really appeal to hose with sensitive skin, scars, rosacea, and acne. If I counted correctly, and not including store exclusives, there were at least 36 of them on the bareMinerals web site! The Advice Sisters have picked out a few (they are limited edition so move fast to get yours) that we think are representative of the quality, value and “wow!” factor. Which are your favorites? Please leave comments and tell us!
In the over $50.00 category there are a number of great gifts, and they are also really good values. My favorite, at a very favorable price, is the bareMinerals Light Show $54.00. A gold glitzed outer carton featured a big glossy photo of what’s inside, a shiny, gold face in a case palette with huge interior mirror that is simply glam to gaze at, and a shiny little gold “evening bag” with hidden magnetic clasp into which you can also put the palette for travel. this kit such oozes glamour. The set includes the glittery gold bag, and in the palette there is a quartet of bareMinerals Ready® Eyeshadows in Spotlight Opalescent creamy ivory), Flash (matte pink), Flicker (shimmery antique bronze) and my favorite, super-shimmery, rich, midnight teal. You also get a soft, blendable, Round the Clock™ Waterproof Eyeliner in 10 PM (burnished mocha) that is infused with good for your skin vitamin E, and goes on effortlessly for a sleek, smudge-proof line. A small rectangle of bareMinerals READY® Blush in The Limelight (soft peach) is long lasting and universally flattering. Finally, there is a larger square of bareMinerals READY® Bronzer in The High Dive (tan) The rich golden bronze color is long lasting, and while it might need to be buffed on sheer with a large brush for very pale complexions, it will flatter, most and add a glow to skin that has long lost it’s Summer tan. Nestled into it’s own little well in the moulded plastic insert is Marvelous Moxie™ Lip Gloss in “Super Power.” This lip gloss is a soft peach that in reality, is really sheer. It is super shiny, smells refreshing like mint, and adds a pouty tingle to your lips along with bright, silky shine. It doesn’t look that exciting until you smooth it onto your lips. It is really, well..marvelous! A nice mini blush/bronzer bush and a dual-ended sponge-tipped mini applicator, plus a color chart showing you how to use the products, also have their place in this palette. It is just a drool-worthy gift and a great value.
For the skin care lover, you can’t go wrong with the Renew & Replenish Set $60.00 (A $98 value). Inside a very nice, re-useable, clear plastic travel bag with bold accents and zipper, is a generous., 30-day-sized skin care collection in travel sizes, featuring two different night treatments to truly make you a sleeping beauty the products feature bareMinerals ActiveSoil complex, made from real soil. It’s full of antioxidants and other skin loving benefits to keep skin healthy and youthful. Start your day off with Active Cell Renewal Night Serum (15 mL / 0.5 Fl. Oz.) in a travel-friendly plastic amber dropper bottle, and end your day with a mini sized .07 oz.Pure Transformation Night Treatment in Clear. This unique night skin treatment is a loose mineral powder that you apply with the attached brush in the cap. No more sticky “gunk” on your face at night! The set also includes a mini tube of Purely Nourishing Moisturizer, and a a flip top plastic bottle of Exfoliating Treatment Cleanser (35 g / 1.25 Oz.). The tiny grains, mixed with water in your hand, make an exfoliating cleanser that helps shrink pores and smooths skin and also have the active soil complex. This glamorous set for hydrating and smoothing skin, is full of anti-aging goodies. Your favorite road warrior or hostess would love it. Get it for yourself, for travel, too.
If you’re looking to really wow someone, The Royal Treatment is a 15-piece collection for face, eyes and lips that is $85.00 (not bad, considering it is a whopping $166 value). A cardboard sleeve with photos of the products inside, wraps around a big, silver metallic travel roll with two silver magnetic snaps, that unfolds to reveal four clear, zippered compartments. I’ll list everything inside, but my favorite item is a mini sized bareMinerals Ready SPF
Touch Up Veil SPF 15 in a translucent, in a silvery compact with interior mirror and puff. The lightweight compact is glamorous but mini-sized. so it’s perfect for your purse. The other items in this set include a tiny tube of brightening Prime TimeTM Brightening Eyelid Primer (1.5 mL / 0.05 Fl. Oz.), a travel-friendly Mini Flawless Definition Mascara in Black (size: petite; 10 mL / 0.33 Fl. Oz.), a Marvelous MoxieTM Lip Gloss that is semi-sheer, in Renegade (rose wine) (2.25 mL / 0.07 Fl. Oz.) and a sheer and shimmery 100% Natural Lip Gloss in Papaya Smoothie (soft peach shimmer) (2.5 mL / 0.08 Fl. Oz.). The rest of the gift set includes loose powder eye shadows and blushes. Just be sure to be careful with loose powder minerals because they can spill and be messy. The eye shadows, in tiny pots with shiny silver tops are festive little jewels. The finishes range from matte to pearly, to super-shimmery. I will list them all, but I’m calling out “1990s” as a holiday must-have. There is also a nice Smoked Gray (matte) that is nice for day, and for a smoky eye. The rest of the colors are: Magnolia Eyecolor (iridescent pink pearl) (size: petite; 0.28 g / 0.01 Oz.); Vintage Ruby Eyecolor (rose-tinted fawn) (size: petite; 0.28 g / 0.01 Oz.): Sapphire Eyecolor (indigo sapphire blue) (size: petite; 0.28 g / 0.01, Oz.), Glamorista Eyecolor (gilded oak moss) (size: petite; 0.28 g /0.01 Oz.),; Satin Ruffle Eyecolor (nude satin) (size: petite; 0.28 g /0.01 Oz.) ; Dark Chocolate Eyecolor (moonlit mocha) (size: petite; 0.28 g / 0.01 Oz.).
In this veritable bag of riches, there are also two blushes in silver-topped pots. They’re soft and blend-able: Glee All-Over Face Color (size: small; 0.57 g / 0.02 oz.)is a rusted rose. and Crushed Velvet Blush is a rich cranberry (size: small; 0.57 g / 0.02 Oz.), The only thing missing are some applicators –bring your own or buy some of the bareMinerals brushes–they are truly lovely.
There are also at least 7 gifts listed on the bareMinerals web site that are less than $30.00. These more modestly priced items still have a lot of “comfort & joy” attached to them. One of my favorites, Fab in a Flash, ,is just $18.00. Inside a little cardboard box are three mini sized must-haves for purse: a soft., blend-able, Mini Round the ClockTM Waterproof Eyeliner pencil in Midnight (blackout) (0.02 oz.), a Mini Flawless DefinitionTM Volumizing Mascara in Black (black) (0.16 fl. oz.) and a The soft rose pink, applied with a brush-tipped applicator, Mini 100% Natural Lipgloss in Pink Prosecco (blushing effervescence) (0.08 fl. oz.). The bareMinerals lip products are all really exceptional. this one is mostly shine and silky gloss that you can wear alone or over another lip color. It is barely there, but it makes lips look pouty, sexy–a fountain of youth in a lip gloss tube.
I am also calling out the Balance & Boost beauty Duo for just $32.00 (a $65.00) value because it has my new favorite travel brush. Its a retractable blush/powder brush with a full bristle head, that works with anything solid or loose, including bareMinerals latest and greatest solid foundation (we will be reviewing this in January) along with any other solid blush, bronzer or foundation you may wish to apply. The mini-sized black brush is smaller in size than a standard solid cream blush tube, so it will not take up too much room in your purse or suitcase. The duo also includes a Mineral Veil® finishing powder with a subtle apricot tint to wake up your complexion while balancing skin tone. It is in a loose powder compact, making it less travel friendly, but the jar has a unique push button on the top to keep spillage under control, and the flip-top jar contains a mirror. When you dust a bit of this product on dull skin, it brightens, and gently absorbs oil, while minimizing the look of fine lines and pores
You can get bareMinerals in department stores like Macy’s and online (e.g QVC.com). but if you’re not sure which fabulous gift to choose, purchase a gift card and let your lucky recipient pick what she wants the most. Visit: http://www.bareescentuals.com
Mineral Fusion says that their products are “minerals on a mission” and that their goal is to “beautify with natural products that also help to simplify your beauty routine.” This natural makeup line has user-friendly, flattering cosmetics that are never tested on animals, and are free of Gluten, Parabens, Artificial Colors, Fragrances and Talc. As with a lot of mineral makeup of good quality, Mineral Fusion products will be satisfying even for those with sensitive skin and skin issues. The cosmetics have natural minerals, of course, but also (depending upon the product), good for your skin ingredients such as licorice root extract, cucumber extract, mangosteen, papaya, hyaluronic acid, allantoin, shea butter, greet tea, grape seed, jojoba oil, olive oil, marine clay, meadowfoam, calendulam aloe vera, organic aloe, cocoa butter, white tea, red tea, sea kelp, pomegranate, plus Vitamins C and E.
A personal plus is that Mineral Fusion offers pressed powder makeup, so it’s travel friendly but still good for your skin. Even nails get the mineral treatment. Recently, the company launched a really lovely line of Nail Lacquers with tons of beautiful colors in long lasting formulas including glitter, shimmer, cream and perle. Another thing to like about Mineral Fusion is their charity component. A portion of Mineral Fusion’s profits support the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a nice touch since women are the biggest users of mineral makeup.
Mineral Fusion offers some nice packaged box makeup sets such as the $24.99 Golden Touch Smoky Eye Kit. Inside a cardboard box with a large photo of what’s inside, are three must-have products to create an easy, smoky eye
look that even the makeup neophyte can master. The Golden Touch Smoky Eye Kit gives you glam tones of gold and bronze with a touch (not a cartload) of shimmer to wear day or evening. There is a graphite mascara in inky black, a deep taupe-ish Touch Eye pencil to blend and smudge for a soft, smoky eye, and a very lovely, silky, pressed powder minerals trio called Espresso Gold featuring an all in one circle of shimmery gold and deep greigze, and a peachy nude matte that is used as a base color and a highlight. Press the base color onto your eyelids from lashes to underneath the brow area, then color the lid with the shimmery gold, stopping beneath the brow bone. Then, starting at the outer edge of the eye, work a contour brush back and forth in a windshield wiper motion following the crease, using the deepest color. For more drama, add the liner pencil in the upper and lower lash line staying as close as possible to the eyelashes. Top with lots of mascara. The idea is to make it look naturally beautiful, but still add plenty of glamour.
The Naturally Radiant Box of Beauty includes the tools to create bright eyes, luscious lips and a radiant face oer 10 ways, in five minutes or less. Who wouldn’t want the gift of beauty and a time saver?! Also just $24.99, this box of beauty contains three must-haves to get the easy to do looks in five simple steps: Radiance Illuminating Powder, Polished Liquid Lip Gloss and Coal Eye Pencil. You also get a little bonus, two little pillows of Revitalizing Eye Treatment (2 sample ampoules), The pressed powder compact of the Radiance Illuminating Powder colors to highlight, bronze/contour and blush. You can lightly sweep all four colors at once across your face for a sun-lit glow (use sparingly–a little radiance goes a long way), or simply pick and choose from pearly highlight (for cheeks, eyes and lips), pearly peach or pink for blush, or shimmery soft bronzed mauve (also good for eye shadow) The black eye liner pencil is inky and super soft so you can smudge and blend. When you’re finished with the powder and the eye shadow , you’ll want to add your own mascara. Then dab the pink blushy shade on your lips (it looks just like a very pearly pink lip gloss but amazingly, it lasts for hours). I never would put plain old powder on my lips, but a good quality mineral makeup like Mineral Fusion is not just safe, it’s a great way to multi-task a color. Then slick on some of the clear, shiny, polished Liquid Lip Gloss in a squeeze tube for added shine and to make the look less dry. The clear gloss also deepens the color, slightly. If you travel, these are great companions to take along. Of course, this makes a really, really nice gift. Visit www.mineralfusion.com