A Comprehensive Review of Mineral Foundations I've Tried

I've been getting a lot of questions as to what my number 1 favorite mineral foundation is. I definitely have favorites, but I don't have a number 1 ultimate best HG foundation. So the next question would be - why? The answer is because I use different brands of foundations to suit my different everyday needs. Some brands work best under the heat of the summer sun, some work best for me during winter, some work best to conceal my imperfections, some look best at night, and so on. Note that the operative words for this review are "for me". These observations were culled from my own experience with these brands, and what works for me might not work for you, and vice-versa. I will also not include brands I only tried once or twice and didn't like. For reference, I have combination skin - oily t-zone but normal to dry cheeks. Also, although I am covering a lot of brands in this review, this is by no means an in-depth review. Over the months I have put up many posts featuring reviews on these brands. You can access them under the Labels tab to the right-side of your screen, or you can do a site search for these brands. So let's start.

1. Monave (Full-coverage)

Pros: Amazing creamy finish, the ultimate KING of staying power (outlasts any mineral makeup I've tried when it comes to staying put). It lasts a whopping 12-16 hours on my face without any need for touch ups, coverage is amazing and covers all imperfections. Beautiful for night/evening looks; great for fall and winter.

Cons: Heavy feel especially for summer; a little more expensive than other brands, hard to apply if you don't know the technique (I apply it with a dry fluffy brush and I set it with hydrating mist afterwards). It also gives a whitish cast in photos if you use a slightly lighter-toned shade.

2. Lauress (Light, Medium-Full coverage, depending on the formula)

Pros: Beautiful, flawless finish, light feeling on the face, very photogenic in pictures, gives a radiant finish, has the most velvety slip out of all the mineral foundations I've tried.

Cons: I can't find an exact match (I always have to mix shades), and because of that, the finished product is a hit-or-miss for me (sometimes I look good, sometimes not). But when it hits, it really does look good, that's why I can't let go of Lauress.

3. DreamWorld(Light, Medium and Full Coverage, depending on the formula)

Pros: Provides a gorgeous, radiant complexion because it is not entirely matte, but not shimmery either, just gives a radiance that is perfect for me. Good staying power, very smooth-looking. Has a lot of shades in three formulas to choose from. DreamWorld also has amazing finishing powders that provide light-diffusing properties in a variety of formulas to cap off your look.

Cons: I also can't find an exact match, although it's not as hit-and-miss as LaurEss.

4. Meow (Light to Medium-Full - but not heavy - coverage, depending on the formula)

Pros: Very smooth, even finish; I use Meow during hot summer days because it doesn't make me look like a grease bomb, and it feels SO light it seems like I'm not wearing makeup at all. Has over 70 shades of foundations to choose from, in 3 formulas.

Cons: Staying power is not that good, too drying during winter.

5. Joppa (Soft and Full Coverage)

Pros: Another one with amazingly smooth, even finish, I use their soft and full coverage foundations because I have combination skin. This might be too drying if you have parched skin, so they have another formula that is perfect for dry skin. Good staying power. Conceals blemishes naturally.

Cons: Has a pinkish cast that is not noticeable in pics but obvious in real life especially under direct sunlight. This pinkish cast can be seen even in their yellow-toned foundations. It doesn't bother me much, though.

6. Buff'd (Full coverage)

Pros: Conceals amazingly well but doesn't look caked on, very smooth, even, flawless finish, good staying power, gives a matte but not flat finish, very reasonably-priced.

Cons: Might not be for you if you don't like matte foundations.

7. J.Lynne (Medium to Full Coverage)

Pros: One of those matte, smooth, even finishes; very good for oily and acne-prone skin; a little goes a long way.

Cons: May be too matte for dry skin. I also get taxed for my purchases because the main office is located in the city where I live in.

8. Lumiere in Cashmere Formula (Light-Medium Coverage)

Pros: Very creamy, dewy finish, perfect for normal to dry skin, flawless-looking.

Cons: Staying power is not very good, doesn't conceal well, very sheer.

9. Silk Naturals (I tried the Light-Medium coverage)

Pros: Innovator of the mix-it-yourself mineral foundation; no need to get several shades as you can tweak your own foundation to adjust to your changing skintones via the mineral foundation kit included in your order, smooth-looking and even finish.
Cons: I know they have the Full Coverage formula now, but the Original formula was too light/sheer for me. Staying power was also not good enough for me. I use it as a touch-up powder, though, and it works great. It would be interesting to try out the Full Coverage formula.

10. Dayna's Minerals (Medium to Full Coverage)

Pros: I love Dayna's Minerals because I saw this line take flight. I was a mere recipient of Dayna's foundations in samples to try out and I was amazed that it looked and felt better than some of the brands I've tried. Now she's turning minerals into a business and I can't be happy enough for her. Aside from her foundations, her bestsellers are her Glows - amazing illuminizers that create a soft-focus, lit-from-within effect. Applied the right way, it can also take years off your face.

Cons: I haven't found my exact summer shade, but I'm doing something about it!

11. Adorned With Grace Minerals (Medium to Full Coverage)

Pros: I love the buildable coverage, and it effectively conceals blemishes but still makes your finish natural and smooth, not caked-on. The matte finish is also perfect for my combination skin. I loved the fact that the owner, Franchesca, was very patient with any shade concerns, and she worked with me until I found my perfect shade.

Cons: Matte finish will probably not be loved by those with very dry skin.

12. Everyday Minerals (Medium to Full Coverage)

Pros: Affordable, easily available, has a variety of shades and formulas to choose from.

Cons: I never found a perfect match; didn't like the finish on me.

13. Bare Escentuals (Medium to Full Coverage)

Pros: Will always hold a special place in my heart for providing my first foray into mineral foundation; smooth, flawless finish, never broke me out.

Cons: Staying power is not that good, turns dark after 8-10 hours on me.

14. Blusche (I tried the Full Coverage formula)

Pros: Offers the same matte, even, silky finish as Adorned With Grace Minerals; great coverage, good staying power.

Cons: Not for people with very dry skin; I also haven't found my exact shade (I need to mix two shades together).

15. Milan Minerals (Full Coverage)

Pros: Same creamy, full-coverage finish as Monave, very photogenic. Good staying power.

Cons: Like Monave, there is a technique in applying Milan; I never found my exact match.

16. Pure Anada (Medium to Full Coverage)

Pros: Beautiful finish, amazing coverage, very light and soothing on the skin, looks creamy and very flawless, good staying power.

Cons: I am still finding my summer shade (EDIT: Candace of Pure Anada created it for me and other ladies of my skintone: the reformulated Golden Sunrise). Maybe a bit expensive compared to other mineral foundations.

17. Cory (Mica-free mineral foundation, Full Coverage)

Pros: Creamy, non-matte finish, amazing coverage of blemishes; I use this when my skin is acting up or I just want a creamy, full coverage foundation. A little goes a looooong way. Very affordable. So pure it only has 3 or 4 ingredients; mica-free, so this is perfect for mica-sensitive skin.

: May be too heavy for some people especially in the summer, high amount of titanium dioxide may irritate sensitive skin.

18. Earthen Glow Minerals (Light to Full coverage, has 3 different formulas)

Pros: creamy, non-matte finish even with the full coverage formula, very smooth feel, amazing coverage, flawless finish, I have exact matches using this brand, basically an excellent product.

Cons- The names of the shades in one foundation formula don't correspond with a shade of the same name in the other foundation formula, so it might be a bit confusing to cross-try formulas.

There you have it, my reviews on all 18 mineral foundation brands! For more in-depth reviews, check my Labels!


katiztic (GT) said...

(oh my god)

I must not break my NO-BUY mode!

(this is a great post, it really makes me want to buy)


mel said...

I’m surprised…you never tried Ocean Mist?

Anyway, Monave is still tops for me. I stopped buying mineral foundations now because truly, I have no problems with Monave Saturnina. It matches my skin perfectly.

Based on your comments, I want to try Joppa and Buffd.

shades of hue said...

katiztic- you're very welcome!

mel - I'm not surprised you stuck with Monave. It is a great brand. :) I do prefer trying out different brands because my skin differs from season to season, so I need other foundations that match my needs. As to OM, I have tried it, but as I said in my caveat, not all brands I've tried will be included in this review, especially those that I've only tried once or twice. Thanks a lot for your comment!

Askmewhats said...

oh my goodness! you are the queen of MMU foundation!!! thanks for this, very helpful!!! the only MMU foundation I've tried is BE and it darken on me too!

yda said...

excellent review sis!! I've only tried few MMU foundies but my fave would be from Lauress, Lumiere, Valerie and Monave.

What's your take on MAC MMU foundie? I'm planning to purchase one soon.. TIA!

grashabelle said...

from your pics, I would have to say the Oscar goes to both Monave and Buff'd :)

the brevity of the review is amazingly helpful for peeps like me still on the hunt for my HG foundation... many thanks!


i linked you! hope that okay :) http://vansmakeupride.blogspot.com/

Yellow Fever said...

This is an amazing post with great information! Also, you look so gorgeous and classy in every picture! I have been really wanting to venture out more into mineral foundations. I noticed my skin is a lot clearer with minerals, but I haven't found one with a nice finish yet. I think I'll try Lauress next!

Cheri Tracy said...

Great post! I know you are a huge MAC fan, but I'd love to send you some samples of my mineral maeup line, Urban Apothecary. My Mineral Sheer Tint rocks, especiall on combo skin! Please email me if you are interested.

Anonymous said...

You look good most of them :)

You might like AromaLeigh's mineral foundation.

I swear it took me forever to find the right match in Meow's, but I really like their Purrfect puss (It turns out I can wear Siamese or Sphynx but prefer Siamese), and I have their pampered puss too. But when I want more coverage, I go for AromaLeigh's 1YL Glissade.

I could never get Everyday Minerals to look right on me :(

So glad to read your review! Some of these brands I've not heard of.

Fabu-less Beauty said...

I'm a huge mineral makeup fan and thanks for this review! It makes me want to check out more MMU. I still haven't found my HG yet.

Aida said...

Thanks for the comprehensive comparison. Regarding Lauress match, I sent Lauren a swatch of the foundation color that matched my skin tone exactly, and she sent me two suggested blends for Lauress. You might try that, too.
Just wondering - have you tried mixing 50-50 Soft Gold and Pure Gold? Did you not find the Yellows too yellow?

Anonymous said...

Wow this was really helpful~
It's nice to see a comparitive all together in one post :)

iamsutil said...

thanks annielise for the review. very useful and informative. :)

Betsy said...

Wow, what a great post!
I haven't tried mineral makeup yet because I usually don't use foundation and I have combinatin skin that becomes an oil tank in summer...so your review of Meow and Buff'd defintively have me interested!

Thank you for this incredibly useful and comprehensive post!

Amy said...

I haven't tried any mineral make up yet... trying these for the first time I guess is the hardest part since I really don't know where to start.
Thanks for a great review.. I think I need to browse more here to learn more about mineral make up.

Crystal Gale said...

hi sis!

i really love reading this review hehe..this made me try Dayna's foundation and I'm loving it! thank you for very honest reviews on products :)

I hope you could make a comprehensive review on MMU eyeshadows and finishing powders too!


pls said...


Thankyou so much for this review - it saved a lot of time, effort and $$$. I'm in Australia and a lot of the brands of MMU are so much more expensive here. For example a pot of Youngblood loose mineral foundation set me back $65 - about $55 USD - and it ended up just showing off my larger pores like crazy and making me itch! Tried Buff'd and Lauress - think I will go with Lauress for the finish it gives. Have you tried Glo Minerals and what do you think?



sucrerose@gmail.com said...

Hi dear!

Thank you for the amazing reviews! I have combination skin; oily t-zone and normal cheeks with sun spots and hereditary dark circles. I live in a tropical asian country (no winter) and my biggest problem is makeup always oxidizes and won't stay on my especially oily t-zone.

I love me COVERAGE & STAYING POWER and I'm most interested in Monave/Buff'd/Cory/Meow & would love to ask how would you rate them (in order) based on your personal recommendations for me?

Thank you SO MUCH!

momofchloe said...

O my gosh! What a great review!! This is truly helpful! I loved your look most especially with Monave, plus others also. I'll be taking a lot of your advice and comments to heart. Hope that when I finally try MMU, my skin gets to welcome it..More power ..you're definitely the queen when it comes to MMU.

A'nnie.H said...

which brand suits combination skin huh? lol sooo many brand to choose from. btw great post there!

Cheryl Anne said...


You forgot to add a review for MAD Minerals foundation! You've tried more than you think, hehe!

I saw you bought Olive Light and Medium Golden (why didn't you buy Olive Medium for summer?)

Can you add this to your "Comprehensive Review"? I'd like to get your take on this line!


custom joomla developmetn said...

Thanks for the comprehensive review. It was very helpful. Now I understand the world of mineral make-up.hehe.

Josephine said...

OMG thank you SO much for doing this. You have no idea how much I've been researching on the internet for people who had reviewed both Silk Naturals and Lumiere. It's been impossible, let me tell you, especially from people who are also Asian. And then to have you review all the other ones is just so great. I think this is the first comment I've ever left on someone's blog, but seriously, AWESOME post. Super pictures too!

Kiara said...

I'm a mineral makeup addict too. Thanks for your comprehensive review. Now I know which other brands to try. Love your blog

Kushie said...

Really nice review! I wish Ellana mineral makeup was on the list though :(

Anonymous said...

I like EGM best at the moment. I wish you had tried Alima, that's what I'm going to sample next :)

DANA said...

Wow! That's a lot! But a great brief review no doubt! I've only started to get into minerals and only tried everyday minerals so far, and been wondering whether to try earthen glow... this review might just made me wanna try it, including your review on earthen glow other products.

Great blog!!


jehan said...

wow! thank you very much for this comprehensive review. i'm also still in the lookout for a good mineral make up foundation, still a newbie with make up. they are either a hit or miss... sometimes they look good, sometimes they don't so i still have a lot to discover and learn about application...

Diana said...

Thank you so much for this absolutely amazing review! You've put in so much of your time into this, but saved a lot of other people's time!! xxxxxxxxxx

website design India said...

It is really good.