How To Use Mineral Eyeshadows

Mineral makeup was all a rage some time ago.  I personally don’t quite get the whole drift about it being ‘good’ for your skin.  Makeup is makeup and it is comedogenic if you don’t cleanse your skin well.   I’m just going to write about mineral makeup as a makeup in a different ‘form’ (loose medium).

I first experimented with mineral makeup a year or two ago but gave up shortly after that because they were just too tricky to work with. I don’t like having lots of loose-flying powders – they make application hard to control and they make a mess on my dressing table.  That is also why I prefer pressed powders / cake foundation powder over loose powder to set my foundation!

However, I got re-interested in mineral makeup (eyeshadows to be exact) after watching a couple of videos by Petrilude (an excellent excellent makeup guru!).  So I dug out those powders and got out my mineral eyeshadow sealant to give them a second life.

Sample jars of mineral eyeshadow by Lovingminerals

For those unfamiliar with mineral eyeshadows, just a little intro here about what they are.  They are finely milled loose makeup powders in a variety of colours, much like pigments.   The plus points of these powders are their versatility and excellent adherence to the skin.

1.  Versatility:  They can pretty much be used as any sort of makeup item  (foundation, blusher, lipstick etc) depending on what medium you mix them with.  So, let’s say you mix a green mineral powder with a clear lipgloss, you get green lipgloss whose colour intensity can be adjusted according to the amount of powder you add.

2.  Excellent adherence:  These powders are finely milled and ‘grabs’ the skin well.


However, be warned, these powders are difficult to work with for the novice. 

Being ‘loose’ powders, they fall from your brush and spread everywhere if you’re not careful.  You easily get fallouts under your eyes. And such fallouts are difficult to remove because they adhere so well to the skin. So, you must always make sure that you have a generous layer of loose powder under your eyes to ‘catch’ any fallouts.  (This is a good practice and one which many artists use to ensure their makeup is clean.)

That ONE DIFFICULTY alone can discourage anyone from using it on a regular basis.  So, to counter that, some manufacturers also sell a ‘sealant’ or ‘mixing medium’ to make it easier to use these powder products.

This is how you use the liquid sealant or a liquid mixing medium.

  1. Scoop out some mineral powders onto a makeup palette.
  2. Wet your brush with the sealant or any mixing medium and mix it with the powders till it becomes a paste.
  3. Apply the product straightaway.
  4. ****Note:  I’d advise that you only use lipglosses as a mixing medium for lip applications.

You will find it a lot easier to apply the product (no fallouts) and the mineral powders show up brighter and more intense.  This is called ‘foiling’.

L: Dry, R: With sealant

(L): Dry (R): With sealant

L: Dry, R: with sealant

You can see that no matter what the lighting conditions are, the colours look more intense and brighter with sealant.   Bear this in mind when you’re doing your makeup.  Mineral shadows come in matt, semi-matt, shimmer and pearl finishing.  If your mineral shadow is shimmery and glittery, you may want to avoid using it with the sealant for day makeup.

Mineral shadow sealants (like the one I have) are available in some stores. MAC, Makeup Forever sell them.  Without them, you could try mixing them with water (for eyeshadows) but its result isn’t very good.

To use mineral powders as lipstick / lipgloss colours, simply add them to clear lipglosses.


What about the brushes for application of mineral shadows?

While mineral foundation requires a different type of brush (usually synthetic and very densely packed brush hairs), I find that as long as your shadow brushes are firmly packed, they do the job well.  There isn’t really a need for special mineral eyeshadow brushes.  However, if you’re looking for some brushes, those sold by mineral makeup companies are excellent buys – for their softness and density.


To find some good bargains, try out ‘Loving Minerals’ which ship out free with minimum of RM100 purchase and they also sell powders in sample jars making it fun and economical to try out new colours.

Screen capture of lovingminerals' eyeshadow categories


2 thoughts on “How To Use Mineral Eyeshadows

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