Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ask Lydia: Mineral Makeup, Blush and Microbrasion Kits

Hello,

Please enlighten me on the new mineral products. Are there, for instance, mineral powder blushes that provide glow to the skin without the sparkly, luminous effect, which are deadly for lined, wrinkled faces?

I'm a redhead with yellowish undertone skin. Can you recommend any specific powder blush from any skin care line that would provide me with an un-made look, a fresh from the outdoors look? I need specific names of colors as I am not good at choosing colors. I realize cream blush would be best for me, but I do find powder blush easier to apply.

Do you know anything about the Vichy Peel Microbrasion-Rejuvenating Resurfacing Kit? Is it good? Is there something better on the market?

Thanks!

Hi There!

I'm going to break your questions down and deal with each individually. But before I do, here's my disclaimer: I'm no expert--I'm just a makeup fanatic. So, this is my advice. If any of you out there in the blog-o-world have any opinions or ideas to offer, by all means leave a comment! There's no right or wrong in makeup (well, that's not entirely true!), but there sure is a lot to learn, and we need to share what we know!
  1. Mineral Makeup: Mineral-based makeup really isn't new, but it has become more popular lately. Bare Escentuals is probably the best-known manufacturer of mineral-based products--they've been at it for 30 years. Basically, their products (foundation, blush, "mineral veil", eyeshadow, etc.) are in a powdery form. You apply them with a brush, just like you would a powder. But unlike powders, they're creamy. They cover the skin well, and are good for all skin types and ages.

    I recently switched from liquid foundation to Bare Escentuals and I couldn't be happier. Their products are quick and easy to apply--they seem much less fussy to work with than traditional foundation. You only need to use a tiny amount of product to cover your entire face. What's also great is that they don't contain talc, fragrance, preservatives, or oils that may irritate sensitive skin like liquid products.

    Because of their formula, mineral-based products (including blush!) seem to add a pretty lightness or luminescence to the skin...not a glitter-packed sparkle. In my experience, mineral cosmetics provide a very polished finish that can be as natural or made up as you want.

    If you're interested in trying out mineral makeup, I'd suggest the Bare Escentuals starter kit from Sephora. For $60, you get everything you need to look beautiful. The kit also includes a DVD that demonstrates how to use the products.

  2. Natural-looking blush for your coloring: This is a bit of a tougher question to answer, as I don't really know what you look like. But based on your description (red hair, skin with yellow undertones), you probably want to warm things up with colors that are brown, copper, or almond.

    If you go with Bare Escentauls, you'll get their all-over face color in a shade called Warmth in their starter kit. Warmth a brown-toned powder that is applied to the apples of the cheeks, the nose and forehead (basically anywhere the sun would hit your face). Worn as blush, it's not too "made up" looking when you lightly apply it to your cheeks. Instead, it should give you a natural looking kiss of color.

    My advice here would be to go to Sephora and ask for assistance. They have a store full of goodies and should be able to point you in the right direction. If you don't want to spend a fortune on a blush you may or may not like, ask the sales person to go with something from Sephora's own line...it will be a little less expensive than the other "prestige" brands in the store, but it won't lack the quality! Also, click here and here for a few more blush pointers.

  3. Vichy Peel Microbrasion-Rejuvenating Resurfacing Kit: I have never used this kit, but it is supposed to reduce wrinkles and pore size while improving skin's tone, clarity, texture, and smoothness.

    It looks like other peel kits: apply some sort of crystals to the face, then apply a liquid solution over the crystals to activate, rinse, and follow up with a moisturizer. For $55, the Vichy kit is moderately priced. I've used both Philosphy's Microdelivery Peel ($65) and Olay's Microdermabrasion and Peel System(about $25). They both left my skin feeling and looking great. I know some would say I'm crazy, but I couldn't really tell much of a difference between the two brands. I'm not sure how microderm kits are for sensitive skin, so if that's a concern, be sure to go easy. If money is a consideration in trying out such a kit, just go get the Olay. It should work pretty well for you, and if not, you're not out a fortune.
I hope that helps! Let me know how you do out there!

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