Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Mineral Makeup Learning Curve: Practicing with Ellana Minerals

I've only had one previous experience with mineral powder, and it wasn't good. It quickly oxidized and turned two shades darker than the shade I chose. I also had a hard time blending it despite vigorous buffing with a dense kabuki brush.

Basically, it looked like I had a BROWN, VELVET MASK.

That was about three years ago. I set it down and forgot about it. Sometimes, I'd break it out on days when I knew I'd be oily (less than five times since,) but I'd be too disappointed with the thick and unnatural finish that I simply left it to wither in the deep recesses of my makeup reject pile.

Clearly, all those "second skin" claims were pure delusion. In fact, I was pretty sure someone of interest merely planted that sentiment and everyone else just latched on to it.

Took a second look wtih Ellana's Mineral Foundation in French Vanilla Latte, Php 460

I got a sample of Ellana Minerals' Mineral Foundation in French Vanilla Latte last year and I felt a renewed interest in what I thought was a settled matter. I couldn't understand how everyone else could love their samples while I was so indifferent. I thought they were fawning because it was free, then I saw a picture of Liz wearing it:

photo grabbed from Liz's post

I started doubting myself. I didn't know what was real anymore. Why does Liz look so glowy gorgeous and I look like a huge frump in mineral makeup? Came across more reviews raves and I thought it must be me.

Since changing my game plan mid-January, I've been enjoying Poreless Perfection. I thought I'd share my journey, a.k.a. learning curve so skeptics (as I formerly once was) could give mineral makeup a proper chance.

FINISH: The Velveteen Rabbit

The first problem I encountered was the finish. I prefer light to medium coverage with minimal shine. Basically: natural-looking and dewy. Ellana reminded me of my first, botched mineral experience because they look nearly identical when worn. I still looked like I had a velvet mask, albeit in a tone-matched shade this time around.

Microscopic particles latched on to microscopic hair, white heads and flakies. In fact when I look closely, it looks like I have visible fuzz on my nose.

My Major Obstacle: Velveteen Rabbit Syndrome

From afar, it didn't look that bad. It could pass of as hurried basework but it did seem a little "dusty-looking" and rough to me.

Dull-looking Mineral Makeup. How to improve?

I wore it on and off for about a month or so but each application progressively got worse. The air was getting colder and my face was getting drier.

FORK IN THE ROAD: Kabuki or Fluffy Brush?

Which one would you choose?

I had been using a big fluffy brush, intending to gently swish the overly pigmented and high-coverage product all over my face. Overhearing my qualms, some of the bloggers mentioned that I should use a kabuki brush to carefully buff the product in small circles instead of trying to swish it in huge strokes across my face using a fluffy brush. I just hmm-ed, not really thinking it would make a huge difference. I used a kabuki with my first mineral makeup, and it went on so thickly, I was adamant that a fluffy brush was the correct tool.

I picked up my kabuki brush the next day just for kicks when suddenly, I achieved an everyday-acceptable layer of makeup on my face. Goodbye, Velveteen Rabbit!

But how? I noticed that mineral makeup was highly "staining." It easily latched on to anything within a one-foot radius be it skin, clothes or even my hair. As for the face, it went in a heap wherever I pat it down first and stayed there. The fluffy bristles had too much room to yield so it just ended up ghosting over the mineral makeup that has velcro-ed onto my skin.

That's why I needed a relatively stiff and unyielding brush, i.e. a dense kabuki brush, to force the powder to spread.

Mineral Makeup Brush Guide: Choose a Dense Brush

Brush Guide: Choose a dense brush, with a brushing surface as wide as the ferrule. My two brushes have identical ferrule radii but the fluffy brush's brushing surface is almost thrice of the kabukis. 


I could have ended my trial thinking that Ellana wasn't remarkable and that maybe a different mineral makeup was for me; but a certain happy coincidence pushed me in the right direction of poreless perfection. The sudden cold weather wreaked havoc on my skin and I was forced to start wearing moisturizer twice a day.

Whereas I used to put it on at night, I find myself needing two doses now: one in the morning, one in the evening. With my skin hydrated, mineral makeup sets perfectly. My skin tone is evened out under a really dewy glow. It didn't look velvetty at all.

"Correct" Mineral Makeup Application: Moisturized Skin and Kabuki Brush

Mineral makeup just CAN'T with dry skin. I guess that's why it looked so much better on Liz, who has oily skin.


I've never felt like needing primer, especially since this doesn't oxidize on me and it does last longer than my previous powder foundation (Majolica Majorca Pore Cover powder in BO10.However, the mineral foundation tends to exaggerate any extreme skin conditions such as very dry or very oily skin and my skin is sometimes so dry that there are still visible flakes even after moisturizing.

Ellana Let's Make It Last Primer: The Perfect Pair for your Mineral Makeup

The last step in my learning curve is testing this primer. I'm still not satisfied with my moisturizer + kabuki combo. I see some bumps on my face and while my regular base products don't hide them either, I wonder if mineral makeup + primer can live up to the task? And instead of overthinking this glow issue, I can also explore the use of a shimmery finishing powder such as my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light.

I'm just making up excuses because what I really want to know is: will primer be enough for me to skip on moisturizer?


One of my better shots: Ellana Mineral Foundation in French Vanilla Latte

  1. Use a dense brush to blend mineral makeup.
  2. Mineral makeup exaggerates imperfections. Fix this up using moisturizer on flakes and primer on pores and lines.
  3. Ready-to-use for people with oily skin!

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