Makeup Brushes, for beginners

The one thing that I get asked about most, is makeup brushes. It seems that anyone who isn’t a “makeup addict” is overwhelmed by the choices. But really putting together a useful makeup brush kit is easy! Really! You only need a few functional brushes to do your entire face, and they don’t have to cost a fortune either.

Here are my recommendations:

You only need 2 good brushes for your eyes, 1 small to medium fluff brush for eyeshadow, and one angled liner brush for your eyeliner, and blending shadow under your eye.  My faves are:

  • ELF eyeshadow brush (it’s only $1!), it’s soft, dense, large enough to apply your all-over lid colour, and small enough to get in the crease, if you have a small crease go for the Defining eye brush.
  • ELF studio small angled brush, it’s synthetic, so it keeps it’s shape. Great for lining with gel liners, or using eyeshadow to line your lover lash-line.

You need 2 brushes for your face, a foundation brush, and a blush brush.

  • I love my MAC 116 blush brush, it a little pricey at almost $40 but will last you years if you treat it with love.
  • A good reasonably priced foundation brush is the elf studio angled foundation brush.
  • If you want to get fancy you can always get a concealer brush, elf studio concealer is a good inexpensive option.

The only other bushes you need is a lip brush and a brush for grooming you brows.

  • You don’t have to get fancy with these two, you can pretty much use any stiff small brush as a lip brush, check out your dollar store and see if you can find a small makeup brush (sometimes you can find one that would be used as an eyeliner brush, think outside of the box) if you can’t find a good one I like the elf concealer brush (the $1 one, I find their lip brush a little too “floppy”). You can use a soft toothbrush to “brush” your brows, also if you search your Walmart or Target you can usually find a spoolie (looks like a mascara wand without the mascara) for pretty cheap, while you’re there check out the lip brushes as well they’re pretty cheap too!

When you bring home your brushes, the first thing you want to do is wash them. Then you just have to wash them about once a week. You can use baby shampoo, check out youtube, there are tonnes of recommendations on what soap to use, and how to clean them. You don’t want to get any water down the ferrule (the part that holds the bristles to the handle, usually metal) so remember to always keep the bristled pointing down. Here’s a great video to show you how:

Eyeshadow bases, a comparison

When I first started experimenting with mineral eye-shadows I was really excited over all of the colors and finishes available. I loved the natural, subtle look that minerals gave. But lately I’ve been itching to try more daring looks, and was having difficulty getting the most color payout. After discovering eyeshadow bases it was much easier to get brighter more vibrant color out of my eye-shadows. Here is a comparison of the few bases that I’ve tried:

From left to right; Just eyeshadow alone, Wet n’ Wild MegaEyes cream eyeshadow in Cafe au Lait, Urban Decay Primer Potion, and MAC Shadestick in Beiging.


As you can see the eyeshadow alone is very subtle looking, and after rubbing it gently it all but disappeared. The Wet n’ Wild seems to give good color pay-off but after rubbing it a little, the purple mineral eyeshadow rubbed off and all that was left was the Wet n’ Wild base. The UDPP held onto the eyeshadow very well, and brightened the color considerably, it still looks good now, even while writing this (after rubbing it a few times, and doing some light housework). The MAC shade-stick worked well too, it helped achieve good color payoff, although it did darken the colour a bit rather than brighten it, it too looks good while writing this.

Here is my faves, from best to worst:

  1. Urban Decay Primer Potion (bright colors, great staying power)
  2. MAC Shadestick in Beiging (great staying power, although darken color)
  3. Wet n’ Wild MegaEyes (Good initial color payoff, lousy staying power for the minerals, although the base itself has great staying power <just minerals rubbed off>)
  4. Eyeshadow alone


Tips for newbies (or learn from my mistakes)

Welcome to my new blog. It’s about my adventures in trying out Mineral Makeup. I never used to wear makeup, I was never able to find a match, and found putting on makeup way too time consuming. Since discovering Mineral Makeup I have become a total convert. Even to the point of ordering some some ingredients off of TKB to try my hand at formulating!
Here are a few tips that I have picked up:

  • sample your booty off, not all MMU is created equal, and neither is skin, what works for some may not work for you and vice-versa.
  • Don’t buy the first foundation that matches, you will probably end up with a full jar you never use. Try a bunch of different foundations from different companies before commiting (I’ve done this, see below).
  • Sample at least 3 different companies, 3 different colours from each company, and 2 shades from each colour. (read-up on companies on MMU message boards, and blogs to choose the brands you want to try, see the side bar for links) This will save you time and shipping costs, since it is so difficult to tell colours on your computer screen, it’s best to order a tonne of samples.
  • If you are stuck, and If you are comfortable with this, post a picture of your self on Mineral makeup Mania, with a request for foundation color help. Or if you are really stuck you can email the MMU company directly for guidance.
  • When you’ve sampled yourself silly and found what you think is your HG don’t order a full sized right away, try out a travel sized for a few weeks and see if you feel the same way later.

I’ve tried Everyday Minerals, Meow and Lumiere.

The first foundation I tried was EDM and ended up settling on Multitasking, it wasn’t the perfect match, but being used to buying my makeup at the drugstore it seemed great! Well now that I’ve done a lot more research and more sampling I have found that I can get a perfect color match. Now I feel a bit guilty, I ended up getting the Starter kit (which is a great value at $28, if you can find a match) and now I have two full jars of foundation that is a little too pale….oh well I bet that it will make a good winter color, and I got a few other great products in the kit. BTW I really liked the coverage, it was light to medium and glowy looking. I only with that they would group the colours together better, it’s hard to tell which colour would be a slightly darker version of multitasking.

Next I tried Meow Cosmetics. Because of a really good sale (free shipping, who could resist!) I took a risk and after asking just about everyone for advice I bought a full sized version of Frisky Sphynx in Purrr-fect Puss and a few samples in other colours. Sphynx was a perfect colour match I only wish I would have sampled Flawless Feline because I found the coverage of of Purrr-fect Puss a little light (although now that my skin is starting to clear up a bit, thanks to squalane, it looks like it might be a great choice for everyday wear) I am starting to like it more and more. I love the way that thier website is organized, and they have nice explanation of what thier colors are.

I just ordered some foundation from Lumiere. Their ingredient list for Flawless Face looks so nice! I ended up ordering Beige in Medium-Light. I hope it’s a good match!