Applying Mineral Makeup

It seems that every brand of mineral makeup recommends a different application technique. No need to be worried, though. While each company may have slight differences in their makeup by using our basic guidelines you will be applying any brand of mineral makeup quickly and effortlessly. It's still a good idea to practice with the makeup a few times before settling on a method because each brand will have its own quirks. 

Applying Foundation/ Finishing Powder

Foundation seems the most confusing to apply. Some brands say “swirl, tap, buff” and other brands say “don’t!” Which is the correct method?
The general rule of thumb is if a mineral makeup contains bismuth oxychloride you’ll likely have to buff it in, and buff it in well, for the makeup to look its best. Generally a kabuki brush is used with this technique.


What’s A Kabuki?

Good question! It’s a very densely packed brush. It gives very heavy coverage because so much more makeup is left on the bristles after you tap. It’s a good option for people who want a more opaque look or need heavier coverage. When using a kabuki the buffing method is recommended because it will help evenly disperse the minerals and give a more natural look. Otherwise, without buffing your makeup can look streaky and uneven.

The downside is buffing is known to irritate sensitive skin. The repetitive motion over an extended period of time irritates and inflames the skin. A kabuki made with cheap, coarse hair will also irritate skin. If the "swirl, tap, buff" method is leaving your skin unhappy it's time to try something else.

You can try using a regular fluffy brush (as described below) but be aware it may not be the best application method for your makeup, especially if it is loaded with bismuth oxychloride or if it is very translucent and you need heavier application.

Fluffy Powder Brushes

Using a fluffy powder brush is my favorite way to apply mineral makeup. In many cases, a better quality makeup is more highly pigmented so using a big, soft brush will help apply it a little at a time reducing the likelihood of applying too much. Using a kabuki with this type of makeup will result in a very unnatural "mask" effect.

Since a little of this type of makeup goes a long way, the fluffier the brush the better. This doesn't mean the brush head needs to be huge but the bristles need to be well spread and not compacted tightly together. Both animal hair and synthetic brushes are acceptable. Look for higher quality in both types and you won't be disappointed. This is the type of brush I recommend for Beauty Bliss Cosmetics.

Dip your brush into the minerals and the swirl in your brush lid to evenly coat the bristles. Tap off the excess makeup and apply in a circular motion starting and your forehead and working down to your chin. No need to buff! The circular motion will help give you even, smooth coverage without forcing the makeup into your pores. Typically, 2 applications is plenty but if you like heavier coverage simply repeat the process as necessary.

“Swirl, tap, brush.” Almost the same words, but incredibly different effects.

Applying Foundation Wet

Did you know mineral makeup can become liquid foundation in the blink of an eye? There are some ladies who prefer the finish of makeup applied wet and left to dry. This method will give a heavier coverage and some women find it to be less drying than using minerals dry. You can do this simple trick in the comfort of your own home.

With A Brush- Mix your foundation and some water/moisturizer/lotion, etc. until a creamy consistency. Then use a flat foundation brush to apply it in short, feathery strokes from your forehead to your neck.  It will dry to a soft powder.

With A Puff/Sponge- Mix your foundation and some water/moisturizer/lotion, etc. until a creamy consistency. Then use a puff or sponge to apply it in short, feathery strokes from your forehead to your neck. It will dry to a soft powder.

Why not just wet your brush or sponge, dip in the powder and apply? Because the first few applications will be too dry and as your tool absorbs more liquid your makeup consistency will become looser and looser and your final finish will not be even or smooth.

A twist on this theme is to apply your foundation dry then mist with a hydrosol or purified water and then smooth downward from your forehead to your neck. You can even build coverage by repeating this process several times. Be sure to let your foundation fully dry between applications, though, because it will become more opaque and heavier as it dries. It's easy to feel you don't have enough on when it's wet but then suddenly you have way too much when it dries.

We recommend the downward application technique in order to smooth your makeup seamlessly with your skin's pores and natural hair. 

Other Facial Applications

Here are some other general application rules for facial cosmetics:

Concealor- I only recommend using a taklon (synthetic) concealor brush. These types of bristles help the makeup take on a creamy consistency, ensuring you get good, precise coverage. Second, I recommend using concealor after you have applied your foundation. Mineral makeup is very good at concealing naturally and you'll find you don't need much concealor, if any. If you use concealor first, then apply your foundation, you may wind up with obvious concealor because it's far too much. Blend, blend, blend your concealor very well. I even like to use a sponge and make sure the edges are fully blended. 

Blush- Be sure to tap off the majority of your blush before applying. Mineral blush is typically highly pigmented so to avoid applying too much start light and layer until you have reached your desired color. A nice fluffy blush brush works best.

Eyeshadow/ Eyeliner Application

Many of our clients find this to be the most fun part of makeup. Because mineral makeup can be applied wet or dry the experimentation is endless. When eye makeup is applied wet it is called "foiling". It brings out new dimensions in the color and provides and deepens the color.

Mineral eyeshadow can be applied dry like any eyeshadow. However, because it is a loose powder you will have some fallout from your brush and while you are blending. I recommend applying your eye makeup with a tissue held on your check to catch the particles. Then, when you are finished you throw the tissue away and there is no eye makeup on your cheek!

If you would like to try foiling, it's very simple. Mix some eyeshadow with water, hydrosol, eye primer, etc. until it is a creamy consistency. Many women use the lids of their eyeshadow jars but I prefer to use a different container to mix my foil. Apply the color as you normally would. At this point you may like a pointed or defined eyeshadow brush in order to have really crisp lines. When it's dried you can also buff the shadow with a dry brush to help blend it and soften it. This may cause some fallout so use a tissue on your cheek!

Foiling's most popular use, though, is for lining. It makes a excellent wet liner and lasts all day. It also helps apply bold colors precisely giving you a professional and polished look. Any mineral can be be foiled so try them all!

These basic tips should help you apply mineral make up like a pro. Play around with it, develop your own style and technique, and most of all…have fun!