Question of the week/Review of the week

The issue at hand today: Why are mass market brand mineral makeup dispensers so incredibly jank?

A bit of background: I switched to mineral makeup several years ago because liquid foundation is the devil. No, sorry, that's not totally accurate. It's just that liquid foundation was a terrible, terrible thing for me. How many did I try over the years? A dozen? Probably more. And they were all terrible, they would just sit there on my skin and slide around all day, and then they would give me zits. To be perfectly frank, I find liquid foundation disgusting. But I understand this puts me in a minority. I switched to powder foundation and tried both NARS and MAC (WTF, CAPS LOCK LOL), both terrible and NARS being the worst. Eventually I realized that I don't like or need that much maquillage slathered over my face and I tried Jane Iredale makeup at the recommendation of a salon owner. Later I switched to Bare Escentuals on the advice of a friend.

Not long ago I ran out of Bare Escentuals foundation and Mineral Veil. (Let's not even talk about Mineral Veil...there is literally no replacement for it and I miss it so much I could cry. Really, don't talk about it.) To replace the two of these things costs $44, American, plus tax. Due to I am unemployed, this is not feasible. And seeing as how you can practically buy mineral makeup at the corner gas station anymore, I decided to give cheaper brands a try.

Now I understand "cheaper" is relative. No one has to pay $44 for makeup, but I like to, and I used to have a job that afforded me that pleasure. The two mass market brand mineral foundations I tried cost $11.99 and $12.49, which is also not really "cheap," depending on your perspective, your budget, and the importance of makeup to you personally. But for the purposes of this post let's consider it cheap enough.

The first one I tried was Revlon ColorStay Mineral Foundation, which I purchased at Target for $11.99. It comes in eight shades and has an SPF factor of 10 (Bare Escentuals is SPF 15). It is also sold in the worst dispenser in the world. I won't try to tell you that the Bare Escentuals sifter is foolproof, because I've dropped plenty of them and also they are terrifically inconvenient for travel. But I can fit a makeup brush in there, which is more than I can say for Revlon's crappy dispenser.

Where to begin? The shape of the sifter is odd, practically ensuring you'll leave a third of the product unused because you can't get at it; the brush is stubby and painfully scratchy; the powder reservoir is too narrow to get a real brush into; the brush apparatus is clumsy and droppable. The makeup itself? Fine, if not spectacular. The coverage was decent, although it didn't seem to last as long as Bare Escentuals. (That may just be the Mineral Veil difference...but then again we're not talking about you-know-what.)

I hated the Revlon container so much that I decided to try L'Oreal Bare Naturale Mineral Foundation for my next purchase. I picked up a coupon circular in my apartment building mailroom and, sure enough, there was a coupon for L'Oreal cosmetics, making it only $10.49 at Target. The L'Oreal mineral foundation comes in 10 shades with an SPF of 19.

To be honest, it's a much nicer mass market mineral foundation. The L'Oreal shade works better for me and seems to provide better coverage for a longer time. Also, the container is less stupid, but only slightly. You have to pop the brush out of its dumb little bell jar, leaving you with a clumsy "handle" that's covered with powder, since the bottom of the brush is the lid of the powder reservoir. At least the bottom of the jar resembles a traditional sifter, although somewhat dinkier in size. Though L'Oreal's brush is softer than Revlon's (by a lot), I am still using a regular old Sephora brush with this. It's just not worth it to fool around with the too-cute-by-half arrangement that L'Oreal has chosen.

Anyone use mineral makeup? Have you found anything you like at mass market prices?


jena said...

i use physicians formula and i looove it. use it every dya; ive gone through two tubs. its just as inconvenient as any, but i just tap the powder into the dome lid and use it from there. i love it.

rotarygirl said...

Everyday Minerals is $12 and comes in a flat screw-top plastic jar with a sifter that closes, the try-it kit is free, it contains no bismuth, and they sell an exquisitely soft, dense synthetic brush for $10.

I agree about the liquid being yucky now, I'll never go back to it.