Loose mineral makeup might be a bit of a mystery to some, but here at bareMinerals it’s one of our specialties. Thanks to clean, mineral-based pigments, these products are not only good for your skin, but they also apply with ease, transforming from powder into a creamy texture, leaving a naturally luminous finish. ORIGINAL Loose Mineral Foundation SPF 15 is the formula that started it all, but we have a range of loose mineral products for both the face and eyes.
My favorite thing about loose mineral makeup is the control and versatility. You can build up coverage, intensify pigment, or mix in All-Over Face Color Loose Highlighter or Bronzer with your foundation for a more radiant look. There are so many different ways to use and customize your mineral makeup.
I also love applying loose minerals to the skin — it’s almost therapeutic to me. It acts like a magic eraser that helps smooth things out without ever being heavy or streaky.
Read on to discover all the reasons I love bareMinerals loose mineral formulas.
Because of the agile format of loose minerals, they can be made with even less ingredients than pressed powders, liquids, creams, and gels. Formulated with minimal amounts of binders and fillers, our loose mineral products maintain a simple and clean ingredient list.
Our iconic ORIGINAL Foundation, in fact, is made with only 5 natural mineral ingredients, including Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, mineral-based sunscreens that provide physical protection from the sun.
The rest of our loose mineral lineup, like all of our products, has good-for-skin properties, too. Our ORIGINAL, MATTE, and BLEMISH RESCUE Loose Foundations have been shown to improve acne. The Encapsulated Water & Rice Lipids in our MINERAL VEIL Hydrating Finishing Power provide hydrating benefits.
You’ve probably heard of our signature SWIRL TAP BUFF application method for our mineral foundations, but did you know All of our loose mineral formulas are designed to be swirled into the cap? This motion allows the minerals to warm up and be applied more seamlessly. Swirl and repeat the motion until all the product is picked up by the bush, then tap away any excess.
Thanks to the mineral pigments, bareMinerals loose mineral formulas all have a creamy, smooth texture. As a makeup artist, I love this because it looks so natural and gives an airbrushed finish. You don’t look powdery or chalky — it’s just like your skin. With loose minerals, you have more ability to achieve a truly effortless look.
Here’s a little test you can do: shake a little of the product into your cap, then take a bit of minerals into your fingers, rub them together and watch how they transform into a creamy, dreamy texture.
You Have More Control
When using loose minerals, you can shake out as much or as little of the product as you want. You’re in control! But remember, it’s always easier to add then to remove, so it’s best to start with a little bit of product and then dispense more if you need to. With loose minerals, I love that you can be your own makeup artist and really have the freedom to play.
You also have control when it comes to customizing colors. If you have two loose eyeshadows but are looking for a shade in between, you can mix them together to achieve your desired look. This also works well with foundations in between seasons. For example, my winter color is Neutral Ivory 06, but my summer color is Neutral Tan 21. Around this time of year, I’m not fully Neutral Ivory but I’m no longer Neural Tan, so I can mix a few shakes of each together to customize a color that is perfectly representative of my skin tone at this particular moment in time.
Loose minerals also mix well with other kinds of foundations. I wouldn’t typically mix different product formats, but you get a little more versatility with loose formulas.
For example, if you wanted your foundation to have added radiance, you can mix a bit of loose highlighter (1-2 shakes) with your loose or liquid foundation. You can also mix your loose blush with a little bit of moisturizer for a hydrating, sheer wash of cheek color. If you want to go mostly makeup -free but have a healthy-looking glow, you can add All-Over Face Color Loose Bronzer to your SKINLONGEVITY Long Life Herb Serum, and apply all over for a sheer, bronze glow. You could also focus only on the high points of the face, where the sun would hit first.
For an all-over body glow, you can also mix your Loose Bronzer or Highlighter with your body lotion and apply on your collar bone, shoulders, etc.
I love that loose minerals allow you to build coverage on certain areas of the face without it looking uneven. For example, if you want to have a more dramatic highlight on the top of your cheekbone, you can shake out more of that product and pick it up with a smaller, denser brush to create a more high-impact look. Our loose eyeshadows are so pretty dry, but if you wet them, it creates a shimmering, intense finish. Simply shake out the minerals into the cap, then swirl around a damp brush (not soaked), and then pick up the pigments and lay it onto the lid.
Finishing Things Up
To finish off your look, you can go back in with ORIGINAL Loose Mineral Foundation SPF 15 and use a smaller brush (like the Shade & Diffuse Eye Brush) to target particular areas. I like to call this the magic eraser. This product is great to apply to targeted areas where you need a little more coverage (such as redness around the nose or to smooth out your skin in a particular spot). MINERAL VEIL Finishing Powder is another cult-favorite product; I think of it as a real-life filter. It gives a beautiful soft-focus finish and it helps control shine, while letting your skin look like skin. If you go a little too strong on bronzer, you can also go in with MINERAL VEIL to soften it.
For loose eye makeup: I recommend the Expert Shadow & Liner Brush. The larger side is great to use for packing products and the liner side is perfect for wetting the loose shadow and applying as an eyeliner.
For loose foundation: The Beautiful Finish Foundation Brush is perfect for a buildable full coverage application. For a more sheer application, I recommend the Supreme Finisher Brush. You can also use this brush if you’re building loose foundation over another formula, like COMPLEXION RESCUE Hydrating Foundation Stick.
For loose bronzer: I love the Seamless Shaping & Finish Brush because it has a tapered shape, allowing for a seamless, soft application. You can also use the tip of the tapered part for a more structured application.
For loose highlighter: The Diffused Highlight Brush is a perfect fit for loose highlighter. The small, tapered shape hugs the top of the cheekbones and temples, allowing for easy application — as well as the ability to control and build.
Carly Giglio (@carlygiglio) is a celebrated celebrity makeup artist and beauty educator with a passion for color, glowing skin and celebrating her client’s unique beauty. With over a decade of industry experience, including red carpet and editorial photoshoots, brand creative campaigns and New York Fashion Week, Carly is all about the details when it comes to creating beauty looks.
“My makeup and artistry philosophy is about enhancing each individual’s natural features, not covering them up,” says Carly. “I love helping people to feel their best and most confident, while exploring the possibilities with makeup.”
A self-taught makeup artist, Carly first discovered her passion for color and artistry at a young age through her love of painting and a background in fine arts. One of her favorite aspects of working in the beauty space is connecting with people and making them feel good about themselves through the power of makeup – transforming a blank canvas into a work of art.
“I love creating beautiful, glowing skin with elements of color and luminosity throughout, and I’m all about seamless builds of color and structure,” Carly says. “But the best payoff is seeing how confident my clients become once they learn some simple makeup tips.”