How to Use Mineral Makeup

Mineral makeup kits make it easy to get started.

If you look in the beauty aisle of your favorite store, throughout the pages of your favorite women’s magazine, and in some of the recent posts of your favorite beauty blogs, you are likely to come up with the same item on everyone’s hotlist – mineral makeup. Women, makeup artists, and dermatologists rave about mineral makeup and its healthy properties. Mineral makeup offers many benefits for those with sensitive skin, mature skin, and problematic skin, as well as those who just want a healthy, beautiful glow.

What Is Mineral Makeup

One of the hottest lines of makeup to grace magazine pages and store shelves and Web site shops in the past five years, mineral makeup is an often-powdery, mineral-based product line that is lightweight and great for long-lasting wear. Natural, true mineral makeup does not contain fillers, and can offer many benefits for all skin types and all ages. Some imitation mineral makeup products contain talc and other fillers, which often clog pores.

Mineral makeup contains natural SPF for sun protection. Mineral makeup products contain real vitamin and mineral ingredients, and they are safe for those with sensitive skin, skin allergies, eczema, rosacea and other skin conditions.

“Mineral makeup has increased in popularity as we become more and more conscious of the effect products have on our skin and bodies,” said makeup artist Terry Akins. “Mineral makeup is free of irritants like perfumes, preservatives such as parabens, alcohols and dyes that many traditional makeup brands use.

“However, many mineral makeup lines contain Bismuth Oxychloride. Bismuth Oxychloride is a chemical that produces shine. Although the FDA has approved this for use in cosmetics, 75 percent of the users (mostly women) are allergic to this chemical. When you use a product containing Bismuth Oxychloride, you are pushing small metallic particles into your skin that will clog your pores. Acne and rosacea sufferers who use these products find that they also irritate and aggravate their conditions.”

Akins explained that itchy skin after makeup application is the typical indicator of being allergic to products containing Bismuth Oxychloride. The chemical also causes a shimmery look that lends itself to a mask-like appearance, which enhances wrinkles and makes skin look older (and drier) than it really is.

Terry Akins recommends Afterglow Cosmetics, a 100 percent vegan product line that contains all pure mineral ingredients. Afterglow Cosmetics do not contain parabens, gluten, Bismuth Oxychloride or other potentially harmful chemicals.

“Afterglow mineral bronzer gives you a natural looking glow without the fake looking shine associated with many bronzers and mineral makeup brands,” Akins said. “I have always avoided using bronzers when I work on model / actor photo and film shoots, and on myself because the shine looks fake and screamed, ‘I’m trying to fake a tan!’

“That is why the bronzer from Afterglow cosmetics is so great. I can have the color that I would want to achieve on my very fair skin (or the skin that I am working with) and it looks natural. I cannot go in the sun because my skin burns so easily.”

Tips for Using Mineral Makeup
Here are some mineral makeup tips on how to use mineral makeup, from Terry Akins:

For dry, flaky skin

1. Add a small amount of powder into the palm of the hand.

2. Add a drop of moisturizer.

3. Blend the two products together until a smooth, creamy consistency is achieved.

4. Use your fingers or make-up wedge to apply.

For young or blemished skin

Apply makeup in very sheer layers, bronzer or foundation, with a vegan kabuki brush or flat top brush all over the face.

NOTE: Loose powder mineral makeup is NOT designed to work with a sponge.

To apply bronzers and blush

1. Apply with a fan brush, blush brush, kabuki brush, or flat top foundation brush.

2. Apply to areas where you want a fresh sun-kissed glow.

To apply eye shadow

1. Dip an eye shadow brush into the desired color.

2. Apply to your eyelids.

For liquid eyeliner

1. Wet your brush with water.

2. Dip into the desired color of mineral powder.

3. Mix water and powder together on the back of your hand or in separate container until well blended.

4. Apply to the lid as desired.

To create your own lip shades

1. Dip your lip brush into your favorite lip balm, lipstick, or gloss and then into the mineral powder of your choice.

2. Blend well and then apply to lips.

“Afterglow Cosmetics has ten shades of organic lipstick and five shades of organic lip gloss with botanicals,” Akins said. “These are premixed for ease of use.”

About the Expert and the Cosmetics:
Terry Akins is a professional makeup artist. Afterglow Cosmetics are 100 percent vegan and contain pure mineral ingredients. Afterglow products are free of gluten, parabens, and bismuth oxychloride. For more information on Afterglow cosmetics, see:

How to Get Sexy, Smoky Eyes

Too Faced GalaxyGlam eye shadow in Deep Space

Seductive, smoky eyes deliver a hot look that sends sexy signals day or night. Applying smoky hues to your eyes gives a dramatic effect that brings you a more daring and mysterious appearance. Stars like Avril Lavigne, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, and Keira Knightley sport the smoky eyes like the pros they are – and you can too. Just follow these simple tips!

For a glamorous, just-stepped-on-the-runway look, get together your favorite dark eyeliner, complementing mascara, and deep, smoky color of eye shadow. Don’t forget to select an eye shadow base to give yourself a nice foundation so your eye shadow stays put.


– One or two shades of eye shadow
– Eyeliner
– Mascara
– Makeup brush
– Q-tips
– Eye shadow base / primer (You can also apply your foundation right to your eyelid and around your eye if you don’t have a base.)

Steps: How to Get Smoky Eyes

The hottest colors for smoky eyes seem to be blacks, browns, grays, golds and earth tones, and greens. For a sultry and seductive look that can’t be beat, practice the following steps to perfect your technique.

Jerrod Blandino, the co-founder of Too Faced, suggests the following steps to get a sexy, smoldering look for your own smoky eyes:

Too Faced Galactic Glam eye shadows (Courtesy of Eyes – Galactic Glam

1. Apply Shadow Insurance all over eye lids as your base to lock down shadow.

  • TIP: You can also apply your standard eye shadow base or primer, or whatever foundation or cream concealer you like to use. This keeps the shadow from smudging and shifting unintentionally.

2. Apply your favorite Galaxy Glam eye shadow shade close to the lash line and blend gently up towards the crease.

  • FYI: Galaxy Glam eye shadows come in four colors at present: Super Nova (black with peach and pink), Deep Space (black with cobalt blue), Moon Beam (black with laser light green), and Shooting Star (black with galactic gold).
  • TIP: For a soft, smoky look, apply a lighter shade such as silver, shimmery pearl, or ivory to the area right beneath your brow line.

3. Use Liquif-eye Liquid Liner to apply Galaxy Glam shadow as a deep intense liner that won’t smudge.

  • TIP: Use a thin eyeliner brush to substitute eye shadow as eyeliner. Simply wet the brush and pick up some of your favorite eye shadow, and then use the brush to draw a straight line at your lash line.

4. Finish your smoky eye with tons of Lash Injection Mascara for a dramatic, out-of-this-world lash look!

Smoky eyes can have a jeweled-tone, too. (Photo courtesy of David Kitchenham, morgueFile.)Feel free to experiment with different looks. To get a jewel-tone style of smoky eyes, opt for more color and sometimes a combination of blues and greens or purples and greens, or shades of topaz. For blending purposes, use a Q-tip to gently sweep the colors into one another.


1. If you’re giving your eyes the sexy, smoky treatment, go easy on your lips so the two don’t compete. You don’t want your lips to overpower your new smoky eye look. Choose a nude or very subtle lipstick or gloss. You might also enjoy a simple, sparkly or shimmery lip balm.

2. Apply the smoky colors most intensely by the lash line and gradually thin it out. This achieves a graduated smoky look rather than an all-over dark appearance.

3. Play with color. Don’t feel confined by the blacks and browns that are oh-so-customary. Test the waters with pretty purples or sparkling greens, as well as smoldering grays. Color coordinate your eyeliner and mascara, too, if you wish.

4. For a more intense smoky eye look, apply a light-colored eyeliner to the lower part of your eye. Next, smudge the liner so that it looks more dramatic. This tip looks especially great when you use complementing colors throughout.

About the expert:
Jerrod Blandino is co-founder of Too Faced® brand cosmetics. He started out as a sitcom actor and sales consultant for Estee Lauder and worked his way up to crafting his own creative, colorful and high quality cosmetic products for celebrities and others.

Visit Too Faced on the Web at

Review: Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil 04 Purple

Color is taking the beauty world by storm these days. I stopped into the local CVS drugstore last night to pick up the newspaper and couldn’t help myself. I left with about $35 worth of new cosmetics. I think my favorite find of the night was the cheapest beauty item I picked up – Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil in 04 Purple.

I normally just buy the $2 or $3 eyeliner pencils in black or brown, or occasionally one of those double-ended ones that has purple or green on one side and black on the other. Often those two-for pencils only show up in black.


This lovely and sleek purple pencil is as stylish in design as it is when it glides across your eyelids. To the eye, the makeup color is a concord grapey hue that actually transfers quite accurately from the pencil to your face. The makeup portion of the product is softer than many eye liners I’ve used, which allows it to glide smoothly onto your eyes, leaving a visible, beautiful streak of color. The Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil itself is smooth and pretty, fading from purple to pink, and the cap is a nifty transparent purple.

Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil in purple looks very nice even without other makeup. I added some shimmery pale pink and sparkly white eye shadows to complete the look, which created a nice, frosty blend of purplish pink. I finished the look with some brownish black waterproof mascara and voila, I had a new look with a splash of color rather than my oh-so-typical neutral and beige tones. I decided to wear a grey sweater and pants ensemble today, which looks quite sharp and sophisticated with the noticeably subtle purple tone on my eyes.

I enjoyed using this Milani eyeliner product so much that I am considering my next color choice whenever I find myself at CVS Pharmacy next. Yes, I know I could buy the products online, too, but after how much I just spent, I need to take a little time off!

Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencils are sold separately, and each pencil is 1.54 g, net wt 0.054 oz. They also come in other colors like black, green, and aqua.

Milani hails from Los Angeles, CA, but the Milani Color Brilliance Eye Pencil was made in Italy. Milani products are sold at various drugstores, supermarkets, discount stores, and beauty supply stores in the United States and worldwide. More information is available at

Have a product you’d like to recommend? I’d love to hear from you.
E-mail me at [email protected]!

Choosing and Applying Dramatic or Subtle Shimmery Eye Shadow Hues

Eye shadow is big on self expression. The colors and hues available are virtually limitless, and eye shadow textures range from light dusts and powders to glitter, cream, or even liquid that turns to powder as it dries. Eye shadow can really dress up your look, whether you opt for dramatic colors that accentuate your eyes and your outfit, or subtle, neutral tones that complement your clothing and skin tone.

The eye shadow colors of the season seem to be bright and bold or smoky and seductive, although glimmery whites and neutrals add a lovely, soft element. Favorite eye shadow colors in many parts of the world seem to be in the purple and aquamarine families – especially amethyst, and purples paired with shimmery whites. The unspoken rule: don’t be afraid to go a little bolder, a little darker!


Bold Shades – Brilliant, Daring, and Dramatic
Makeup gives us an opportunity to enhance our best features, and for many, the eyes are among the top. If you enjoy setting and following trends, the bold and intense eye shadow colors might be perfect for you. Just imagine a lovely purple hue accenting your look, or a sparkling turquoise drawing attention to your eyes. You can pair these deeper shades with pale counterparts or a shimmery white eye shadow for a sexy, come-and-get-me look.

Many brands started offering eye shadow sets boasting three, four, or even five complementing hues. Another popular style of glimmery, shimmery eye shadow is loose shimmer dust. New York Color Sparkle Eye Dust Shimmery Eyeshadow is a spa and salon favorite, but it is available online for only about $3 to $7. The loose powder colors cascade through an icy blue to frosty pinks, all presented in a spill-proof jar with their own makeup brushes.

Beautiful spring organic shades like orange, green, yellow, blue, and brown are making waves in the makeup world. Score some bold and beautiful eye shadows in these shades and experiment to create your own daring look. Mix and match eye shadow colors or stick to a single shade. Enjoy creating a look that works for you!

Neutrals – Soft and Sensuous
If you aren’t quite brave enough for a brilliant teal or turquoise splash of color across your lids, or a pummeling of purple atop your eyes, you may want to stay within the realms of less is more. Don’t be disappointed if you aren’t comfortable with intense shades of eye shadow. With less of a dramatic hue, you can still have a rockin’ look. Just choose a product that offers a subtle sparkle!

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer, Blush & Eye Shadow is a fabulous product for adding just a hint of color to your lids. I chose this type of combination eye shadow, blush, and bronzer makeup to wear on my wedding day. It worked out beautifully and I can’t get enough of it still! The shimmer strips are available in several hues, and each compact features five different shades. The powder packs a punch with built-in sparkle. Turn it up with the darker, bottom color strips or tone it down with the top shimmer strips in lighter shades.

The nice thing about Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer, Blush & Eye Shadow is that you can use it all over your face to add shimmer and a tanner appearance. The highly practical and functional versatility make this makeup product well worth the $10 to $12 it costs. The texture is clean and smooth, and it goes on easily as eye shadow. In my experiences, it’s even stayed put for all day or all night wear!

Wearing eye shadow can change your appearance as a fun and daring draw to your eyes. Express yourself through your eyes – after all, eye shadow can only add to your mystique when paired with powerful eye contact!

Five Yummy Coconut Beauty Products

CoconutCoconut is one of those flavors that you either love or hate. Me, I love it. It reminds me of the Bahamas, where my husband and I got engaged. It reminds me of sipping pina coladas out of a real coconut. It reminds me of the good, expensive sunblock that a lot of people wear to the beach. It reminds me of summer… of carefree days basking in the sun. Coconut brings visions of my favorite Easter candy. If I catch a whiff of coconut anything, I can almost taste a delicious shot of coconut rum in my hot chocolate! Coconut beauty products rate high on my list of favorite beauty items.

If you are another big fan of coconut and coconut flavored or fragranced items, read on.

Here are some top coconut beauty picks that could send you on a daydream vacation!

#1: Alba Naturals – Coconut Cream Lip Balm – .15 oz.
Alba Naturals Coconut Cream Lip Balm just happened to be one of my guilty pleasure purchases at the drugstore. Without a doubt, this lip-smacking product was one of the best impulse buys I’ve ever made! Alba Naturals Coconut Cream Lip Balm is a smooth ChapStick type lip gloss product that satisfies thirsty lips every time. The lip balm contains organic coconut oil that moisturizes lips, in addition to natural plant waxes to protect your lips against drying out. The gloss also boasts Vitamin E to restore your lips to their full kissable potential. This coconut beauty product is well worth the $3 or $4 price tag!

The flavor of Alba Naturals Coconut Cream Lip Balm is sweet and succulent. It is reminiscent of pina coladas and wonderful tropical libations. This yummy lip balm also contains organic jojoba seed oil and aloe, which help to further prevent your lips from drying. Coconut lip balm is a great way to taste the tropics any time of day or night, in the winter or the summer or anytime in-between.

Coconut, courtesy of Roswitha Schacht, morgueFile

#2: Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème with Vitamin E – 4.34oz.
Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème is a truly organic experience for your tootsies. This foot cream is more than just your everyday lotion. It contains generous amounts of coconut oil and other all-natural emollient ingredients and botanical oils that penetrate the skin to repair cracked, dry, and worn skin. Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème also boasts a touch of peppermint, one of the all-time favorites in foot care products. This coconut beauty product can repair your cracked, dry skin easily and effortlessly, so give it a try!

To best pamper your feet, apply this cream generously before you hop in bed. Because of the product’s strong ability to seep through the skin to soften your feet, it can leave your feet feeling a bit slick right after you apply the cream. The product’s instructions suggest putting on a pair of cotton socks. Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Crème is not tested on animals. Some of its key ingredients are: vegetable glycerin, olive oil, oat flour, coconut oil, oat oil, peppermint oil, rosemary leaf oil, and fragrance, to name a few.

#3 and 4: Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner…

How to Choose the Right Mascara

MascaraMascara is a staple for many women. This handy makeup product makes it easy to accentuate our eyes and allows us to take on a more dramatic appearance. Mascara is the perfect makeup to apply for just about any occasion – in fact, some people won’t even leave the house without it!

Consider these tips when selecting a mascara product that is just right for you!

Sometimes simplicity makes all the difference. Getting all dolled up doesn’t have to become a hassle every time you have somewhere to go. A nice dress or outfit can be complemented with a few jewelry items, a fashionable hairstyle (or hair brushed out straight) and a light smattering of makeup.

Whether you are going for all-out glam or girl-next-door gorgeous, a coat or two of mascara will work wonders for bringing out your beautiful eyes and long lashes. If you don’t regularly wear makeup, you may want to consider these questions before selecting mascara from among countless brands and styles.


What type of eyelashes do I have? Are they long, curly, thick, thin, short, just right?
Once you answer this question, you can learn what positives your lashes have going for them and what element could be easily enhanced with the right kind of mascara. Shorter lashes could lash out with a length enhancing type of mascara. Thinner lashes will become fuller with a thickening formula and longer lashes will really benefit from curling mascara.

What will look best with my complexion? What will complement my outfit and wardrobe in general?
Mascaras are available in a wide range of colors and styles, from blackest black and dark brown to lighter shades of both, or even fun colors like blues and greens. Most times black and brown hues are most appropriate and work well with any skin tone, eye color and choice of wardrobe.

Do I plan to go swimming? Is there a chance I might cry, or laugh so hard that I cry? Am I going to take a quick shower at some point and hope to avoid re-doing my makeup entirely?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, waterproof mascara is the way to go! Great for preventing soppy scenes at sad movies or emotional times – weddings, graduations and the like, waterproof mascara can save the day, or at least your face. Available most often in shades of black and brown, this type of mascara can be difficult to remove unless you have a makeup remover that is capable of gently washing away water resistant makeup.


Do you cringe at the thought of that archaic metal eyelash curler getting within a foot of your face?
If so, you will want to keep an eye out for mascara that has a curling element to it. Sometimes these products come with multiple characteristics, like thickening or lengthening aspects as well. First determine your needs and then seek out mascara that will satisfy them.

Do you feel that your eyelashes are very blonde or not so noticeable? Do you often feel like you have to glob a lot makeup onto them just to make them stand out?
If this problem seems to haunt you, try a lash thickening mascara, or possibly one that lengthens and thickens. A thicker formula will be better for your lashes than a product that cakes on layer after layer. Even if your lashes are still a bit subtle, you can always further accent your eyes with eyeliner and darker eye shadows. If you still seem to have trouble making your eyes more defined, consider checking into fake eyelashes for special occasions.


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No matter which mascara suits you best, remember to pair it with a pretty shadow and eyeliner if you so desire. To prevent smudges on your pillows and bits of makeup irritating your eyes overnight, remember to remove mascara and other makeup with a gentle cleanser before bed.