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Minerals that rock: A buyer's guide to mineral makeups

I pride myself on being hard to please.

After all, testing dozens of products daily requires a discerning eye . . . and complexion.

But I found most of the mineral makeup brands I tested to be exceptionally good. Sure, some were fabulous while others were just great, but only a few were awful.

By definition, mineral makeup is crafted of finely ground minerals. Many mineral makeup brands contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, especially beneficial to those suffering from occasional or regular breakouts, while also boasting the benefit of sun protection. Plus, mineral makeup has earned a reputation for serving up smoother, longer-lasting coverage than traditional makeup, thanks in part to micronized minerals.

Bear in mind that there's no regulation controlling use of the word "mineral," which means checking ingredients is a must for savvy consumers. With so many great brands on the market, you, too, can afford to be discerning.

Love it!

Everyday Minerals

Retailing at just $12, Everyday Minerals Powder Foundation is the real deal, serving up incredible coverage with an impressively short list of ingredients: mica, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and iron oxides. Shop the entire collection at everydayminerals.com.

Youngblood Mineral Foundation

For those in need of serious coverage, this fragrance-free, talc-free product ($38) is available in 16 shades, from the very fair "pearl" to the deep "mahogany." Shop the Youngblood collection online at ybskin.com.

Jane Iredale's PurePressed Base

One of the pricier products on our list at $48 (janeiredaledirect.com), the SPF 20 product offers instant broad-spectrum, chemical-free UV protection and is free of oil, talc, colorants and parabens. Yep, my love affair with Jane continues!

Leave it!

Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation

I loved the time-saving concept behind this product, which promises to serve as concealer, foundation, powder and SPF protection. However, the coverage is much heavier and less natural-looking than other brands I tested. Following just a few uses, I began to break out, probably due to the inclusion of shea butter, a rich emollient, among the product's ingredients. Skip it if you have oily or combination skin.

Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Powder

It's affordable ($12.95) and widely available. But this was among the worst on my list due to poor coverage and the parabens (known skin irritants) in the ingredients, specifically methylparaben and propylparaben.

Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com. E-mail her at carolyn@prettycity.com.

Minerals that rock: A buyer's guide to mineral makeups 03/05/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 11:00am]

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