This pressed-powder foundation is the cornerstone of Pürminerals. Although it would be easy to characterize this as another “me, too!” mineral makeup, it was on the scene before many other cosmetics companies jumped on the mineral makeup bandwagon. Does that mean this one is the best option? That depends on your expectations and preferences, but as you’ll see, there is much to compliment.
Before commenting further, let me explain the 4-in-1 claim. The company claims this product functions as sunscreen, foundation, powder, and concealer, all in one. It certainly qualifies as a powder and, when layered, provides coverage that approximates what most traditional (liquid) foundations provide. However, its use as a concealer is bound to disappoint because it doesn’t provide as much coverage as today’s best concealers, plus the formula contains ingredients that are too occlusive for use on acne and too absorbent for use in dry areas, including under the eyes.
The sunscreen element is applicable only if you apply this liberally, something most women won’t do because it tends to create a heavy, powdered look. Although the sole active ingredient is titanium dioxide, this works best as an adjunct to your regular sunscreen, not as a replacement. Therefore, this isn’t a foundation to consider if you’re hoping to toss your concealer and sunscreen.
However, it does have a beautiful smooth, dry texture that applies evenly and looks natural as it provides light to medium coverage. The finish is matte but laced with sparkles, which can make oily areas look oilier, although the sparkles aren’t nearly as prevalent as they are in several other mineral foundations. The sparkles do, however, add a soft glow that keeps skin from looking flat and one-dimensional. The fragrance-free, mica-based formula is best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin.
Those with dry skin all over will find this too absorbent; those with oily skin will find it isn’t absorbent enough. By the way, almost all of the mineral ingredients in this powder foundation are present in other pressed and loose powders that make no mention of minerals, and the bismuth oxychloride and boron nitride are about as natural as polyester. As for the shades, most are neutral and there are options for fair to dark, but not very dark, skin tones. Consider Blush Medium carefully because it is slightly peach and can turn color when used over oily areas. Deeper is slightly orange, but workable, while Deepest is a dark shade that doesn’t have an ashen finish.
Note: This foundation’s rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use foundation as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 30 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 30, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you’re ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.
Active: Titanium Dioxide 8%; Other: Mica, Boron Nitride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bismuth Oxychloride, Zinc Stearate, Magnesium Silicate, Magnesium Carbonate, Silica, Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), Tocopheryl Acetate, Iron Oxides May contain: Ultramarines
Strengths: Company provides complete ingredient lists on its Web site; a very good makeup remover; pH-correct AHA product with lactic acid; well-formulated self-tanner; the pressed mineral foundation with sunscreen; superb powder blush and eyeshadow; great lip gloss; none of the eye or lip pencils require sharpening; most of the makeup products are fragrance-free.
Weaknesses: Many skin-care products contain fragrant irritants; mostly problematic cleansers, toner, and scrub; only one skin-care product with sunscreen; no products to address acne or skin discolorations; jar packaging; average to poor mascaras; mostly average brushes and brush sets.
Pürminerals was founded by former long-term Clinique employee Joli Baker, a woman who rose through the ranks at Lauder and one day decided she wanted to start her own business. Nothing new with that idea, or with what she believed was a breakthrough concept, namely mineral makeup. Of course, Baker was hardly the first cosmetics entrepreneur to promote this type of makeup, but since when did that ever stop anyone?
Pürminerals has been on the beauty scene since 2003 when they launched their first product, a pressed mineral makeup with sunscreen. This pressed-powder foundation is still sold today and represents one of the few strong points of a line that, overall, is a mixed bag with far more negatives than positives.
In terms of success, a coup for the company was introducing their products on Canada's The Shopping Channel, which led to the brand being picked up by Ulta, which now stocks Pürminerals in most of its 250 locations. The brand also is sold in select Dillard's department stores in the United States and is available in Australia and Japan too.
Despite the company's impressive track record for sales, let me say (actually we want to climb up on my roof and scream it) that the concept of mineral makeup is marketing hype, nothing more. It is absolutely astounding to me how many consumers have been hoodwinked by this "new" category of makeup. The ingredients in almost all mineral makeups have been standard to the cosmetics industry for years. In the case of Pürminerals, the main minerals are mica, titanium dioxide, and bismuth oxychloride. We discuss each of these ingredients in detail in our online Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary. Suffice it to say, none of these ingredients are unique: mica just makes powder shiny, titanium dioxide is known for its ability as a sunscreen along with adding color and opacity to makeup, and bismuth oxychloride is about as natural as polyester—none of that is revolutionary, better for skin, or in this case, a beauty breakthrough.
Of course, as Pürminerals enjoyed continued success the line's selection of products expanded. What began as five items has grown into a full-fledged collection of skin-care and makeup products. The expansion was likely a no-brainer for Baker, and we're all for offering women choices as long as what you're offering is actually good. That's where Pürminerals falls short, and in some cases, drastically so.
Pürminerals chose the pure and natural angle, and as a result, most of the skin-care products ignore what is important for skin, throwing in just about everything that grows in the ground whether or not the research says it is helpful for skin. Pürminerals makes significant use of irritating fragrant oils and problematic plant extracts. Bottom line: Not every natural ingredient is good for your skin. This line could have launched some brilliant skin-care products by including only helpful plant ingredients along with beneficial synthetic ingredients (after all, their products contain plenty of synthetic ingredients), but they opted to go the fragrant route, which is to your skin's detriment.
Makeup is the most exciting aspect of this line, but even then only a handful of products are extraordinary enough to deserve a look. The original pressed-powder foundation with sunscreen is a high point, as are the powder blushes, eyeshadows, and lip gloss. If you have very oily or dry skin or you simply don't care for powder foundations, you're out of luck, because that's all Pürminerals offers. Without question, it isn't the perfect foundation for all skin types or all ages as the company claims, but it certainly has its appeal and is among the better mineral foundations available.
For more information about Pürminerals, call (866) 787-0022 or visit www.purminerals.com.
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