When I do my makeup, it’s my eyes that get all the attention. And it’s not only because I consider them my best feature; I’ve also just never given much thought to how to play up other parts of my face. Especially for nights out, I’ll apply mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow and dot concealer right below my lower lashes. Sure, I may swipe a dab of gloss onto my lips if I remember, but the rest of my face normally remains starkly bare. But the tradition of neglect is about to come to an end, as I have recently discovered two products that will call attention to the rest of my face, particularly my cheeks.

The first is a blush that I discovered as I perused the makeup section at Whole Foods. Mineral Fusion is a brand that is sold almost exclusively at the popular health food store (though it can be found on Amazon, as well). While many mineral makeup brands offer products in loose powder form, Mineral Fusion’s products are solids, which is nice in terms of avoiding a mess. I chose their blush in “Trace,” which is a sort of purple-ish pink that isn’t really my style, but I figured it might look nice on my deep, tan skin. And it did! I never knew my cheekbones could look so nice with a little color added to define them. The blush acts as a great highlighter, but be aware that it does have a shimmer to it, which isn’t always right for everyone. I’m a big fan, though, as a little goes a long way (which I’ve found is the key to mineral makeup application in general) and it glides on smoothly without irritating my skin at all. Plus, it is highly pigmented and has good staying power; I only have to touch up on occasion towards the end of my day.

According to the Mineral Fusion website, the company chooses “to list every ingredient even if it’s 0.001%.” That honesty, in addition to their lack of fragrance is another plus in my book. All of Mineral Fusion’s products, including the blush, contain antioxidants like white tea, red tea, pomegranate and a patented formulation called Antileukine 6, which is a “blend of Phosphatidyls, Lipoyl Lysine, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and CO Q10.” The benefits of this blend include everything from improving skin smoothness to preventing free radical damage. At just over $20, for .10 oz of product from Whole Foods (as opposed to a department store), the blush did seem a bit pricey to me. But I felt it was worth the splurge for stellar ingredients (the only blip is the inclusion of phenoxyethanol, though it is listed as the last ingredient) and fine quality.

The second product that I’ve grown fond of over the past couple of weeks is a powder from Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals. My fondness came as quite a shock to me, as I hate powders (they make my dry skin even more parched) and I am definitely not a Bare Escentuals fan.  And I’ve given the company a fair shot; though I haven’t tried their skin care products, I have tried several of their makeup ones. All of them have been drying and even irritating.

So when a friend was doing my makeup and whipped out her Bare Minerals All-Over Face Color in “Faux Tan,” my first thought was, get that stuff away from me. But after my friend insisted on dabbing some on as a bronzer, I was floored by how good it looked. First, I never really thought about using bronzer on my skin, as I already have dark skin. Blush makes sense in my mind, especially a bright one, as it makes for a nice contrast. But bronzer was never on my radar. What confused me even more was the fact that this fairly dark color worked just as well on me as it did on my pale, freckled friend. That’s probably one of the most impressive parts about Faux Tan: it’s versatility.

I decided to compare Faux Tan to a few other bronzers, including Physicians Formula Summer Eclipse Bronzing and Shimmery Face Powder, and NARS Bronzing Powder. None of them matched up to the Bare Escentuals product. The Physicians Formula bronzer had too much shimmer and not enough sun-kissed glow for my taste, while the NARS product needed reapplication more than once throughout the day. Faux Tan is the perfect color, as it is extremely natural looking – even on light skin, as my friend will attest to. There’s no other way to explain it, other than the fact that it gives you a very healthy looking glow. It’s much more appealing than a regular sun tan, in my opinion.

At $18 for .07 oz, it’s not a bad price for bronzer (which you don’t need a lot of unless you’re going for that Jersey Shore look). My only problem with Faux Tan is the fact that it contains bismuth oxychloride, which is an irritant that many people are allergic to. It mostly causes just a bit of itchiness, but I certainly wouldn’t use the product if I had rosacea or sensitive skin of any sort, as I wouldn’t want to exacerbate problems. If you aren’t sensitive, though, and you’re hunting for a new bronzer, head over to Sephora and have one of their makeup artists apply Faux Tan on your cheeks before you buy it to guage whether or not you react to it.


Mineral Fusion Blush in “Trace” - Mica, Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos Red Tea) Leaf Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Laminaria Ochroleuca (Sea Kelp) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Extract, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Lauroyl Lysine, Sambucus Nigra Fruit (Elderberry), Phenoxyethanol. MAY CONTAIN (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarine (CI 77007), Manganese Violet (CI 77742

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals All-Over Face Color in “Faux Tan” – Mica. (+/-): Bismuth Oxycholoride, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Kaolin, and Carmine.