by Lynn Starner, proprietor of Beauty Bliss Cosmetics
It seems that for every type of mineral makeup there is also a different technique to apply it. Now, each company may have slight differences in their makeup that when it is applied a certain way will make it look or adhere better. However, there are some very basic guidelines to applying mineral makeup that will work with almost any brand you buy. Of course, it’s always preferable that you develop your own personal style- your own touch. You know how you like your makeup to look, so practice, practice, practice until you get your application method how you like it. After all, it is your face.
Applying Foundation/ Finishing Powder
Foundation is admittedly the hardest to apply. You see some brands that say “swirl, tap, buff” and other brands that say “don’t!” What are you supposed to do?
The general rule of thumb is that 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. Usually with a kabuki you must buff the minerals into your skin, or else you’ll look streaky, emphasize your pores, etc.
Buffing techniques, usually with a kabuki, are known to irritate sensitive skin. Even women without sensitive skin have problems with irritation. Remember, it’s “swirl, tap, buff.”
Using a fluffy face brush is the other popular way to apply mineral makeup. Better quality makeup is more pigmented, so using a kabuki is out of the question for most women. But a nice fluffy brush is just the ticket since a little makeup goes a long way. Whether you choose synthetic or animal hair brushes is up to you. Both can be equally good, depending on the quality. The same basic rules apply as with the kabuki- swirl your brush in the makeup, tap off the excess and the brush in a downward motion over your face. No need to buff. If you’d like more coverage, just repeat the steps again.
“Swirl, tap, brush.” Almost the same words, but incredibly different effects.
Applying Foundation Wet
Wet? Yup. There are some gals who prefer the finish when mineral makeup is applied wet. There are a couple of ways to do it.
With A Brush – Mix your foundation and some water/moisturizer/lotion, etc. until a creamy consistency. Then dip your brush in it and apply in a downward motion. It will dry to a soft powder.
With A Puff/Sponge – You can either dampen your puff or sponge and dip it into your foundation and apply in a downward motion or mix the foundation with water/moisturizer/lotion and apply with a sponge. It will dry to a soft powder.
Finally, you can apply your foundation dry, then mist with a hydrosol or something similar and either use a brush or a sponge to smooth the moisture into the powder. Be sure to use a downward motion. Some gals even like to layer their makeup this way. Powder, mist, smooth. Powder, mist, smooth.
Why The Downward Motion?
Good question. Your pores and facial fuzz lay that way naturally. When you smooth your makeup that direction it makes a more “natural” look.
Other Facial Applications
For your other color cosmetics applied to face, here are the general outlines.
Concealer – Using a taklon concealor brush or an all-over eyeshadow brush, dip it into the concealer or foundation you’re using, tap off most of the excess and apply directly to the area you want to conceal. Blend very, very well. If you’re using an all over concealor, complexion enhancer, finishing powder, etc. use a fluffy face brush and swirl, tap and brush lightly in a downward motion.
Blush- Swirl, tap, brush in a slight curve from the apple of your cheek to your hairline. A nice fluffy blush brush works best.
Eyeshadow/ Eyeliner Application
This is the really fun stuff. You can apply mineral makeup wet or dry. Applying it wet is called “foiling” and makes the colors more bold and can even change them slightly in some cases.
For regular application, simply dip your brush into the color, tap off the excess and apply like you normally would.
For foiling, mix some minerals with water, hydrosol, eye primer, etc. until a creamy consistency. Then apply as you normally would. When dry you can buff with a dry brush to blend (but this may cause some of the mica to come away).
The foiling method works very well for eye lining. Colors that might be too bold to wear on your eye make great liner colors. Foiling them will help them last longer and show up better.
And that’s it! 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!