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Makeup for cheeks

Reviewed by SarahK May 1, 2011 4 Comments
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.

Ingredients:

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.
  • January 20, 2012

    by Michelle G.

    I'm like you Sarah... the eyes are my best feature so they get the most "decked out". I have tried Bare Minerals stuff, and their mineral foundation makes me ITCH like crazy... particularly if i perspire even a tiny bit... I can't use it at all! HOWEVER, like you, I love their bronzers! It has made all the difference in making me appear so much less WI Winter Pasty! Now if I can ever find a foundation I really love... *sigh*

  • May 3, 2011

    by SarahK

    Glad you both enjoyed the article!

    Hilary: good news! Not only does the mineral veil have great reviews, but also it seems pretty safe in terms of ingredients. According to the Bare Escentuals website, they are: Zea Mays (Corn Starch), Corn Starch Modified, Zinc Stearate, Magnesium Stearate. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

  • May 1, 2011

    by JustD

    Great article SarahK! I find that a lot of women of color often forego this step, but I love what a good warm color of blush does to my overall appearance.

    Like everything else I'm always on the lookout for the next best suitable color for my current complexion that enhances my salt'npeppa, cuz that can be a real frustration if the makeup is out of date with where I am overall. I've used MAC Mineral blush, which I really like, Bare Escentuals, Princess Borghese, Shisheido, Cargo, DIOR, CLinique, Prescriptives, etc., because just when I find a color, BAM! they've reformulated it or dropped it. Never fails!

    So it's an endless hustle to stay up with what's available and especially with what works, but I wouldn't be caught without it!

  • May 1, 2011

    by Hilary

    Congrats on your beauty overhaul! While I agree that emphasizing one area (your eyes) is a fabulous look, I also believe that a touch of blush gives a fresh, young look, and I'm glad you found a healthy choice (I've been looking for a new blush with antioxidants, and the one at Whole Foods sounds like it is a perfect choice) to round out your look.

    I discovered Bare Minerals about 8 years ago. Prior to that, because of a move to Florida and the fact that I began sweating year round,I had changed from the girl who never left the house without makeup to the girl who wore nothing but mascara and lipgloss and who carried around a nothing but a pack of blotting tissues to control my blinding shine. I tried so many different foundations, but they either felt too oily (even if they were oil free), would literally melt off my face or at the very least transfer off my face (to my hands, my collar, handkerchiefs, my husband's shirt--anything they came in contact with) leaving me with obvious bare spots. However, I finally found Mare Escentuals, and that discovery brought me back to life.

    Like you, I also use Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals foundation and the faux tan bronzer, but unlike you, I also add Bare Escentuals transluscent Mineral Veil, and that was the real game changer. Adding the mineral veil set the makeup so that there was no transfer, but the holy grail of it all was that Mineral Veil gave me the feel of having no make up on when I actually had an entire face full of makeup--this was a dream I had long held, but a dream I believed would never come to fruition!

    That being said, because I'm soooooo in love with this product, I have not looked at the ingredients. I can't bring myself to do it as I'm afraid I'll find something in the product that will be a game changer for an entirely different reason. Honestly, I love Mineral Veil so very much that if I found harmful ingredients, I don't know what I'd do. Therefore, since you love the other 2 products, I suggest that you check into the Mineral Veil ingredients, and if all is okay, I strongly suggest adding this product to your repertoire! Not only will your face feel amazing, but it has a wonderful ability to control shine throughout the day (I haven't bought blotting tissues in years), plus it give you a wonderful, diffused appearance. They have several types of veils now. As for color, I stick to the original transluscent with no shimmer, and I've tried the hydrating blend of veil, but found it to be unworthy of paying more per ounce. However, if it's a healthier alternative to the original veil, go for it, as it works just as well as the original:)

    If you check into the veil and find the ingredients to be unhealthy and report on it here, please add at the top of the post, "Caution Hilary! This post will throw you into a tailspin!"

    Congrats on your new look! I bet you look Fabulous!

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