Saturday, May 1, 2010

Product Review: Everyday Minerals

Everyday Minerals is a make-up line that is popular because it is reasonably priced, is of good quality, and doesn't contain Bismuth (a potentially irritating mineral which is present in other lines, including SOME Bare Escentuals products). My first encounter with EM was in 2008, when I took advantage of their special offer of 5 free samples for the price of shipping*. Their sample sizes were generous, and I was able to find a base shade that suited me perfectly (Olive Medium).

Recently I decided to take a break from my MAC concealer, as I felt it was causing more blemishes, and not really covering up my existing break outs. I started using my sample EM base - and loved how it covered up problem areas without irritating my skin. I went to the website intending to order just the base, but ended up with a LOT more in my shopping cart. Here's what I purchased:
EM
(Clockwise from top left)
1) Pressed Powder in Olive Medium ($12)
2) Loose Concealer in Medium ($8)
3) Pressed Blush in All Smiles ($12)
4) Pressed Bronzer in Summer ($12)
5) Colour Correctors in Mint and Lavender (sample size) ($2.50 each)
6) Flat Top Brush ($10)
7) Loose Blushes in Pink Sheen (free samples)

My order arrived more than a month ago, so I've had a while to use the products and give a fair review.
BASE & CONCEALER:

Pictured (clockwise from top left): EM Olive Medium Pressed, MAC Concealer NC35, EM Concealer, EM sample concealer from 2008, EM sample base from 2008)

Swatches: The Olive Medium is a very close match to my skin tone - better than MAC.
Base: I love this base. It matches my skin tone, provides moderate coverage of my blemishes, and leaves my skin looking glowy. I always re-moisturize my skin to provide a good foundation for the powder, and as long as I do this, there is very little flaking or crusting, even over pimples. I also use it to set the (non-mineral) cream concealer I use under my eyes.
Concealer: I haven't found much use for this product as it is too drying for my under eye area, while for my blemishes - I just apply several layers of the base. I have read that you can mix this with moisturizer to make a paste, but I haven't tried this myself.
BLUSH:

Pictured (left to right): NARS Orgasm, EM All Smiles (2008 sample), EM All Smiles Pressed

Swatches: The Loose All Smiles appears chalky, but applies smoothly.
Blush: The colour of this blush is very flattering - it reminds me of NARS Orgasm, without the gold shimmer. I really liked the loose sample I had, but when I started using this in the pressed form, it didn't seem to last long. When I apply NARS, at the end of the day I can still see a gentle flush on my cheeks, while the pressed All Smiles seems to disappear. I think the loose formula might be longer lasting, but I have yet to test this theory. Despite this, it is nice to have a mineral option to use when I break out, as I don't have to worry about aggravating my skin any further.
BRONZER:

Pictured: No 17 Bronzer on the left, EM Summer Bronzer on the right

Swatches: The EM Bronzer hardly shows up on my skin, even though I swatched the darkest section of the pan.
Bronzer: The bronzer was a COMPLETE disappointment for me. Even though it looks quite dark - it does not show up on my skin. I guess I could always order a darker shade of base to use as a bronzer, but I do like my bronzer to have some shimmer - otherwise it can end up looking muddy.
Colour correctors: The lavender one can be used under blush to prevent the colour from oxidising. I've been using this, but haven't really noticed any difference. The green powder is meant to help conceal redness, but I haven't had an occasion to try this out yet.
BRUSHES:

Pictured: Top - EM Flat Top Brush, Bottom - Bare Escentuals Handy Buki Brush
Flat top brush: I had high hopes for this brush as it had excellent reviews on the EM website AND on MakeUp Alley. I wanted to replace my BE brush, as the bristles are quite stiff (a little painful when you are buffing product onto your skin). The EM Brush feels amazingly soft - BUT it does not do a good job applying the base. The mineral make-up just sits on top of my skin, and appears dry and patchy. I think that firmer bristles are necessary for flawless application.

General Thoughts: Everyday Minerals is a great brand to explore - especially if you have blemish-prone skin. Their foundation sample kits make it cheap and easy to find a shade that suits your skin tone. Experimenting with their products is encouraged, as you can sample most items for $2.50. I personally would repurchase the foundation base and would try more loose blushes and bronzers - as I feel they are a better choice than the pressed options. TIP: To use loose powders without creating a mess - never unpeel the sticker covering the sifter. Instead, use a pin to pierce through one hole and shake out a small amount as needed.

*They have since changed this offer, you now have to place an order to get 1 free sample kit. Details here.

Disclaimer: I purchased these products myself, and was not paid to review them.

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