Bleh! I'm overwhelmed by MMU. I need help.

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In the past, my face routine was simple: wash, tone, moisturize, tinted moisturizer, pressed powder, highlight on cheeks, blush. Yay. Plain and simple--and old fashioned.

I really want to get into MMU because of the skin benefits involved, but I'm really at a loss for WHERE to start. I've read the reviews, but I still don't know what brand to choose. I don't really know HOW to apply MMU, and I really don't know all of the materials involved. Thus far, I have managed to absorb this amount of information from reading threads:

  • Kabuki brush = lighter coverage if the bristles are less dense.
  • People generally use flat top brushes (ie: MAC 187) for foundation application
  • Moisturize, then apply a fixer, conceal, foundation, blush, finishing powder/veil (in that order).
I just don't know what brand will work best for me. Here is a little about me and what my goal is with MMU, and hopefully some of you lovely ladies can point me in some sort of direction. I'm tired of reading reviews and still not being able to make a decision!
Me:

  • 20 y/o
  • Red hair
  • Rosy ivory complexion, very fair
  • Freckles
  • No real acne problems, though I do have breakouts during those days of the month
  • Skin tends to be dry and flaky, yet I do have oily skin as well. Does this make sense?
  • I'm looking for something higher than an 'average' coverage with foundation, though I don't need the heaviest formula. I'm just a fan of a flawless face.
Using that information, here is where I stand:
  • What face primer should I use? I've read that many people use Smashbox Photo Finish, or MAC Prep + Prime. Any opinions? Other brands? Does the primer actually make your MMU last throughout the day?
  • Based on what I'm looking for, what brand do you think I should start with? I have the free sample of EDM, but when I applied it (without a primer and without having moisturizer for a few hours) the MMU was gone from my skin within two hours. It didn't have much lasting power.
    Of course, without the primer and without the proper moisturization, I'm sure that I affected the staying power a decent amount myself (or lack thereof).
  • I would really love a natural glow to my skin, so something that isn't matte won't be a problem for me. I just don't want to look oily at the same time.
  • What is the application difference between a kabuki vs. flat top brush? I've read that many people use the flat top for foundation, and the kabuki for finishing powder/mineral veil.
  • Any place/advice for MMU application techniques? I hear of people using certain brushes for certain things, changing the order they apply various stages in MMU, using MMU wet (how?), etc. Any place I can learn of the various possibilities/anyone willing to share?
Overall goals:
  • Good coverage
  • Good staying power
  • Natural glow
  • Airbrushed finish (who doesn't?)
HELP.
(Sorry for the abundance of information/ranting. I'm just SO overwhelmed with all the companies)
 
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Hi mandilly!

I completely understand about the dry and oily. My chin area and the far sides of my face tend to be dry during the colder months, but my forehead, nose, and cheeks get oily by afternoon time, no matter what season it is.


I don't have a complicated routine, either. This is what I do: Wash, tone, moisturize only the dry areas, powder primer all over the face, foundation, concealer, finishing powder. Whether I put blush or eye makeup or both depends on where I'm going that day.

Primer (gel/liquid): Bare Escentuals has a primer, Prime Time. Signature Minerals, Milan Minerals, and Aubrey Nicole have bottled primers too. Personally I would use a primer from an MMU company, because maybe their primers are more suited to mineral makeup. But that's just me... I'm sure there are ladies out there who use a "traditional makeup" primer with mineral makeup and the results are just as good.


Primer (powder): This is what I use, because I feel oilier if I put too much damp stuff on my face. Most MMU companies have primer powders. Since you're fair, I would suggest a light or translucent powder if you do decide to use a powder primer.

Brushes: I use a flat top for foundation because it covers more surface area at a time, and I find that it picks up more powder. The edges can reach hard-to-reach areas like under my nostrils and the sides of my nose near the eyes. I find it hard to reach those areas with the very round and wide head of a full-sized kabuki. I use the kabuki only for a general brush-over of NoNeedToCoverEveryInch products like finishers/veils/bronzers/glows.

Application: Shake some powder onto the lid of your jar, swirl the head of the brush around the lid, tap the base of the handle on your dresser table (bristles up of course, so the powder can settle into the bristles), then brush on the powder. Some people buff in circular motions, some in up-and-down motions, it's really up to you and what you're comfortable with, as long as you cover all areas. After everthing's covered by foundation, I buff some more with the softest flat top I have so the powder could settle some more into my skin. Don't use rough brushes with because it might cause tiny abrasions.

Recommendations for higher than average coverage with airbrushed, pore-minimizing finish: Monave (major staying power; the longer you wear it, the creamier your skin looks), Laura Mercier (they have a mineral line; silky and creamy finish with a little glow), Meow (wide range of color choices and they have 3 formulations to choose from - light, medium, heavy), and LaurEss (feels light, looks natural, the shades are very forgiving, reduces the appearance of pores).

Hope this helps!


 
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Have you tried looking into the Customs Beauty Forum? That may be a great place to start.


 
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mandilly, I totally understand how you feel; I have been in your situation not-so-long ago myself. The only difference in you/me is that I only knew of Bare Escentuals from their infomercials/QVC etc and that's what got me interested in trying mmu, but I thought their prices were too high, so I started browsing online for cheaper alternatives. At that time I had NO IDEA of the amount of "other" mmu companies out there!!!! I ended up stumbling across Everyday Minerals and ordered a sample kit from them, and that's how I started. Once I started reading forums and etc, I realized the amount of "other" companies that are really out there (it's overwhelming!!)

I hate to say this, but you probably just need to sample a few companies to get an idea of what you like/don't like and go from there. Some companies have cheap or free sample kits where you only pay shipping - a few I can think of there are everydayminerals.com; signatureminerals.com; elegantminerals.com; oceanmistcosmetics.com (I think these all have free or very cheap sample kits where you just pay a shipping cost - there may be more companies that have this - these are just a few I can think of off the top of my head) - lumierecosmetics.com has a try-me kit which is I think going to be going up to $9.00 soon but in turn you get a $5.00 coupon to use on Lumiere products. Most or all companies have samples though - so if they don't have a sample kit they probably have small samples of products you can buy individually - these range from 35 cents per sample (corycosmetics.com) to $2 - $3 per sample (mineralboutique.com; barefacedminerals.com).

MMU companies formulate their products differently, so this is why I am saying you probably need to try a few to get an idea of what you like. I *used* to think they were all basically the same (laughable, I know...) until I tried a few and got to looking at the ingredients and realized they are actually very different.

I've determined that I prefer a heavier coverage, so I like a flat top brush to apply my foundation, as it puts down a heavier layer of powder than a kabuki does. I don't use a primer (yet) - but I have picky skin that tends to break out/react to ingredients easily so sometimes the primers have "extra" ingredients that I am leery of using. But this is just me. I think a good primer does of course increase the staying power of your foundation. Monistat anti-chafing powder relief gel is a drugstore alternative that some girls I know have used as a primer - apparently it has many of the same ingredients as the "expensive" primers like MAC and etc but it is cheaper. (It has "non natural" ingredients in it though like silicones and such so if you want "all natural" this is not the way to go.)

OK, well, anyway - hope this gives you some ideas of where to start. I know it can be overwhelming - I am kind of in the "overwhelmed" stage yet myself. I don't really want to pay dept store makeup prices again though, so I tend to stick to more of the reasonably priced companies, so that's another thing that helps me decide as well. Good Luck!!

Edited to add - I meant to say also that many companies have makeup application photos and tips on their websites. I know Signature Minerals has one.

 
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I hate to say this, but you probably just need to sample a few companies to get an idea of what you like/don't like and go from there. Some companies have cheap or free sample kits where you only pay shipping - a few I can think of there are everydayminerals.com; signatureminerals.com; elegantminerals.com; oceanmistcosmetics.com (I think these all have free or very cheap sample kits where you just pay a shipping cost - there may be more companies that have this - these are just a few I can think of off the top of my head) - lumierecosmetics.com has a try-me kit which is I think going to be going up to $9.00 soon but in turn you get a $5.00 coupon to use on Lumiere products. Most or all companies have samples though - so if they don't have a sample kit they probably have small samples of products you can buy individually - these range from 35 cents per sample (corycosmetics.com) to $2 - $3 per sample (mineralboutique.com; barefacedminerals.com). quote

I agree that sampling is really the only way to find a foundation. If you look at the subforum - Deals, Codes, etc you will find a separate thread for free samples. Keep in mind that most of these are free/you pay shipping. But these companies do offer great deals for trial.

Keep track of what you have tried and like and dislike. Also I read about different companies and HOW the look was described (matt, full coverage, sheer, etc.) and that would help on which companies to buy from and try next. It is a lot of trial and error but once you find that foundation that is just right for you...it is wonderful and so much better than a liquid IMO.

 
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Finding a foundation that suits is the most difficult part. Application techniques come down to personal preference, but you probably want a flat-top and a kabuki both to compare - flat-tops do give more coverage, and kabukis are useful for powder and blending, and the small ones can be used for blush too so they are handy to have around.

I don't use a primer, but sometimes I dust a bit of SN's Silk Perfection Powder over my face after I do the moisturising thing and before I put on foundation.

The trickiest part is that you really need to moisturise and exfoliate (gently!), because MMU will bring out fine lines from dryness, etc. Try sarafina.biz for skincare samples - they have loads of wonderful stuff (I don't think Bill makes any bad products), and you can get 5 generous samples for $4, or 10 samples for $8. Prices for full-size won't break the bank, either. A hydrosol (the water left over from distilling essential oils) also helps set your make-up and keeps your skin hydrated - all that takes is a spritz.

It's up to you, but it really isn't that much of a pain - just a bit of a learning curve to apply it (then again, if I find a liquid foundation again, I'm sure I'll have a learning curve, too!). Play with it and find the techniques that work best for you. For some reason, minerals are a lot of fun to play with - moreso than regular makeup, I've found.

 
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Mandilly, I'm new here too and I just wanted to tell you that I feel your pain as far as being overwhelmed! There are SO many choices, not only with the MMU companies, but as far as the actual products as well. I keep thinking I need to find a local MMU gal pal to shop, sample and compare notes with! LOL

I think the advice here is good - just pick something and order samples. I'm sure I'll become a MMU junkie before long. I can't seem to do anything in moderation.
LOL

 
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Thanks for all the wonderful advice, ladies!

I wish I had a local friend that was as in to MU as I am, vitaeZ! However, I guess I'm left with myself and quite a few companies to sample.


I'm finding that I like EDM slightly more now--I just need to try a wet application to see if I can tone down the chalky appearance if one gets too close! It's that, or try Monave as suggested above since it's a heavier coverage meaning less layering and therefore, hopefully, a drop in the 'chalky' appearance of over-layering!

 
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Hi Mandilly, its great you gave so much info,this way we can all help and jump right in.

I used Bare Minerals and Sheer Cover and had reactions to both,my dermatologist explained to me that mineral makeup products such as these contain BISMUTH,this is a natural lead form and arsenic,the company can get away with saying its all natural because it occurs within minerals but is extremely bad for your skin it causes irritations and breakouts in many people and or itchiness. It does in fact build up and clog pores.

I also tried a few other brands with no real amazing results. I did however try the brand advertised right here on MUT bee luscious cosmetics. I started with their retexturizing primer and liquid powder mineral foundation which has been truly amazing. My skin has maintained hydrated as well as a flawless look and the coverage is medium with a great feel and even. I have been trying more and more products and the quality is really there. I really recommend you looking into this name brand, it made me feel reassured when seeing it on this board and the results well were AWESOME!

The mineral powders also seem to be cakey and dry out your skin yet the recommendation is always add lotion for that I rather stick to a liquid since they are openly saying make this into a liquid.

 
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A good moisturiser under, and a hydrosol AFTER you've put your makeup on is usually the cure to cakey. Also, make sure you're not using too much product (a little goes a long way), and that you've got the right shade - too light and it can make you look cakey too, but generally it's not using hydrosol or thermal water to set everything that does it.

If you're on a budget, just put some distilled water in a sprizer bottle and spritz your face after all your makeup's done (save the mascara, as that might run). The minerals will stay put, but the dusty-cakey will disappear. Repeat if needed later on in the day.

 
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Originally Posted by Gavriela /img/forum/go_quote.gif If you're on a budget, just put some distilled water in a sprizer bottle and spritz your face after all your makeup's done (save the mascara, as that might run). The minerals will stay put, but the dusty-cakey will disappear. Repeat if needed later on in the day. It's amazing you mentioned distilled water, since I just purchased a gallon jug to help heal my latest piercing. Many people have been suggesting spraying something like Fix+ on my face, or onto my application brush to apply the makeup more dampened. I'm hoping, though, that distilled water will have the same effect instead of having to purchase something pricey like Fix+, rose water, etc.
Any idea if distilled water used to dampen the application brush will work just as well as the pricier alternatives?

 
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Most definitely it will. If I'm applying wet (I don't usually because I don't need that much coverage) I always use water. Works perfectly, and less gunk to muck up your brush!

 
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That's wonderful to hear!

I'm resorting to wet application since my EDM seems to look chalky, and therefore I think it's a result of me applying too many layers because I'm not satisfied with the coverage of just a few layers. I'm hoping that applying EDM wet, or spritzing some distilled water on my face after application will solve this, since EDM seems to be matching my skin tone wonderfully!

If the wet application doesn't help solve the 'chalky' problem, I'm going to try a heavier formula of MMU, so that I can use less layers to get the coverage that satisfies me.

If /that/ doesn't work, I don't know what else to attempt.

 
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I am not a pro at application and I have found that to be a downside to MMU. However, once I got it figured out, I love, love, love the airbrushed look! I started with a kabuki brush and the Youngblood MMU line, when that ran out I tried the Laura Mercier MMU, but now I use Philosophy MMU. I totally wish I had found this first! It comes in a great little applicator included package! It is a sponge applicator and I use their flat brush for wet or dry concealor purposes. Philosophy doesn't have (or need) a veil, they do have a primer. I got a sample of it with my MMU purchase, but have been so happy with the foundation alone, I have not tried it.

I know you're getting plenty of input, so I hope you don't get too overwhelmed from sampling. IT'S WORTH IT!

 
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I'm glad to hear you found what works best for you, cablegiirl!

Does Philosophy apply with less of a chalky appearance than your previous samples?

 
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I think the chalky appearance, at least for me, had more to do with getting better at application. I actually didn't use the Youngblood MMU for MONTHS because I couldn't get it to look how the consultant did when I bought it. However, with this Philosophy MMU, it goes on so easily and effortlessly! There wasn't a "learning curve" at all! I just turn it upside down, apply it with the sponge applicator on the container and smooth it out a little with my hand and done!

 
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Originally Posted by mandilly /img/forum/go_quote.gif Thanks for all the wonderful advice, ladies!
I wish I had a local friend that was as in to MU as I am, vitaeZ! However, I guess I'm left with myself and quite a few companies to sample.


I'm finding that I like EDM slightly more now--I just need to try a wet application to see if I can tone down the chalky appearance if one gets too close! It's that, or try Monave as suggested above since it's a heavier coverage meaning less layering and therefore, hopefully, a drop in the 'chalky' appearance of over-layering!

hi there.. I hope the gals will help you.. all the gals that write here have a big knowladge about MMU.

I not new in MMU and I love it! in the past I have a skin problem and with the mmu I dont have any.

I recommended on CORYCOSMETICS.COM.

WONDERFULL FOUNDATIONS !!! AND i LOVE A FULL COVERAGE TOO!!!

 
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Originally Posted by simisimi100 /img/forum/go_quote.gif hi there.. I hope the gals will help you.. all the gals that write here have a big knowladge about MMU.

I not new in MMU and I love it! in the past I have a skin problem and with the mmu I dont have any.

I recommended on CORYCOSMETICS.COM.

WONDERFULL FOUNDATIONS !!! AND i LOVE A FULL COVERAGE TOO!!!

All the girls have been sooo helpful, especially with all of the the silly questions that I've been asking! I'll definitely have to take a look at Cory Cosmetics for samples! Thanks for the info--I'm sure I'll love it if it's a full coverage foundation.
 
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Originally Posted by mandilly /img/forum/go_quote.gif All the girls have been sooo helpful, especially with all of the the silly questions that I've been asking! I'll definitely have to take a look at Cory Cosmetics for samples! Thanks for the info--I'm sure I'll love it if it's a full coverage foundation. this is not silly question at all!!I still asking here question becosue here everybody help with MMU.

I recommended all the time about cory. becouse this foundation stick to your skin and dont remove until you will do that.. its so flawless, so coverage and so unpricey!!!

great products!!

but remember that the colors in the monitor very dark than the real.

take 2 shades darker than you think you need.

I hope you will understand my point..

have a great day!

sim

 
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the other already gave great advices. i have found my HG with Lily Lolo. it covers well my red cheeks and does a good job too for the little pimples. for the biggest, you will need a concealer. it also stays on my face 8 hours, and then i just need a swipe of translucent powder and it looks as good as new.

they also have a "translucent silk powder" that will give you a semi matte finish, i love it. it's a british brand.

i don't suggest you try Bare Minerals, some of us are allergic to bismuth, and since you're looking for coverage and long lasting power, and those were my main problems with that brand, i don't recommend it.

a water spritz is a very good idea, it really reduces the chalky face. i have a thermal water spray that i use the days i look too powdery for my liking.

another thing you could do (once you've found your foundation) is use it as a tinted moisturizer. you just mix your foundation with your moisturizer in your hand and apply it on your face. i've been using it for a while and it works great.

 
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