Thursday, January 17, 2008

How do I Choose the Right Color?

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive about mineral makeup is, "How do I choose the right products and colors?"

First of all, I would encourage you to read product descriptions. Tara at AMM has done a wonderful job of giving very accurate descriptions of products and detailed suggestions about skin colorings each of our product colors are designed to compliment.

My next suggestion is to always start with samples. Our samples are under $3 each and you can order several for the price of just one product elsewhere, so this is a great way to "test drive" several different products and color selections.

As an example of what colors you might want to consider for different skin types, here are a few self-descriptions submitted by real customers and the product suggestions they have been given:

Customer #1

"I am medium fair skinned, warm or neutral. I am mostly looking for foundation, to cover reddish tones, maybe to cover eye circles. I also think it may be nice to have some kind of highlighter instead of blush, to add some color, warmth. What shades do you recommend I start with?"

Foundation: try samples of #3, #7, Light Beige and Medium Beige - If
none of these shades seems "perfect" on first try, mix various combinations until you find just the right shade you are looking for.

For extra coverage for problem areas (as well as aid in oil absorption if this is an issue for you), you might want to try a Concealer applied directly to trouble spots, under your foundation.
Our Light Green corrects redness without looking green and is great for blotches, acne, rosacea, sunburn or any redness. Bisque hides blemishes, red areas, dark circles or any other problem area of your face.

Highlighter options would include our Illuminizers (Reflection might be just the kind of shade you are looking for), Bronzers (try Grand) or some of our Exclusive Multipurpose Mineral shades such as Cotton Candy Brown, Fall, Lust, Sequoia, Snow Storm or Wish - Just remember to use a very light hand. A little goes a LONG way and it is always better to go back for a second light application than to try to "undo" too much!

Also consider Opaque Veil for a beautiful finish.

Customer #2

"I have light olive skin. I don't get a lot of sun, so it isn't as dark as it used to be. It still has what I call that "green" tint to it. I usually end up using a medium to light shade of makeup. Any suggestions would be great. I need a foundation, mineral veil, and blush. I know I can trust you to be honest with me, and not try to sell me something I don't need."

For foundation I would think your be our Medium Beige, though you might consider samples of both #3 and #7 and possibly even #5. Each one has a pretty valid description posted with it (follow the "Shop Now" link half way down my page at so you can read a bit more and see what you think of these specifically.

Blush is really up to your personal preference. Again the descriptions seem spot on as for how the colors act. You can also look at the Multipurpose shades as many of these make great blushes as well. If you can let me know if you prefer more pink or netral or brownish tones, I can give a couple of specific suggestions. :)

For Veil, even though it looks so strange, almost white, in the picture and even in person before you put it on, for ever single skin color I've tried it with, my actual favorite veil shade is opaque. I wouldn't have believed it until I tried it myself, but this one looks so much better even than a "matching" shade with everyone I've watched apply it! Since I haven't tried it on your skin, if you want to try a more matching shade as well, descriptions are posted by clicking on the "Mineral Veil Finishers" link to the left of my page.

Customer #3

"Very pale skin color, red pink - ugh! Makes me look ruddy! I burn like crazy in sun, big freckles... light tan, sick looking, need sand, bronze, kind of a wine color. Mauve is the color I used to use for blush and lipstick. Pinks and yellows make me look funny. I need concealer, foundation and a veil but i'm not sure where to start."

Start with the light green concealer to address redness. If you also want to cover the freckles, also try bisque.

For foundation, try our Light Beige or Medium Beigh next.

You could try either the tan or opaque veil (I tend to prefer opaque as a general rule).

Blush shades you might enjoy are Rose (it is a "wine" shade) or our Sweet Multipurpose. These can be used on both cheeks and lips. If you prefer a mauve, try Warm Mauve blush (can also be used for lips).

Customer #4
"I have alabaster ivory skin. Most foundations are either too yellow or too pink. I've purchased a lot of foundations that are the wrong color and am very hesitant to purchase products based on website pictures alone. I don't want to spend money trying a bunch of samples, I just want to order your $6.99 size and get started with the right color."

I am sorry you have had such a struggle finding a good shade of foundation. While I can appreciate your desire to jump right in and run with a full-sized product in the right shade, I am afraid you would simply run into the same frustrating wrong-shade issues once again. There are just too many shade variables from skin tone to skin tone to be able to make "blind" recommendations. You would never plan a wedding with the color "red" and expect to be able to order "red" items, sight-unseen, and have your bridesmaids dresses match your pew bows and candles wedding favors. "Red" is just to variable! Likewise, "ababaster ivory" is probably a great description for your skin shade, but it doesn't tell me everything I need to know to be able to make a perfect shade recomendation for you.

You know how it feels to find the wrong color over and over. I want you to love our products from the start by finding the shade that works perfectly for you, but I'm afraid this won't happen if you only give us one try. If you feel you absolutely must purchase a 5g sifter size from the start, I would encourage you to add a couple of other sample shades to your order as well. There are no hard and fast rules that say that you can only use products within one catagory for each purpose either. That way you have the best chance of finding out if there is a better match of if mixing shades together would work best for you! If you are willing to work with me long enough to find a shade that truly works for you, I would think you will be thrilled with the final outcome!

While I still stand by all I have already shared about the importance of sampling shades, you need a starting point to even begin sampling. Emma, one of our consultants who also describes herself as having alabaster skin, has found the following combination to work best for her coloring needs. Notice that her "foundation" comes from our "veil" line rather than from our foundations! "I use the Pink Veil as my foundation with my almost transparent skin tone. I have a pink undertone as opposed to a yellow undertone, but if I try to tan I turn yellow. It is such a soft, petal-like amount of pink that it blends my skin imperfections perfectly. Where I occasionally get a brighter pink blemish, I use the light green concealer to cover it, and it blends very nicely. I also love the Wish Exclusive Multimineral color as my "bronzer". Many people find this too pale, but it works great for me!"

Customer #5
"I am 62 years old and I have always loved wearing makeup, but am now concerned about the chemicals especially since I am allergic to many medications that are chemicals. I was a redhead (auburn) when I was young, but am rapidly turning gray. My mother was French, my dad German-Irish, so I had his red Irish hair mixed with the dark brown of my mother. My complexion is also a mixture of her olive complexion & his fair complexion so I am not totally olive skinned, but lean more towards those colors than the light ones. I also have some age spots that need to be concealed. A lot of makeups turn orange on me. I usually do well with beige & I like the pinkish brown blushes & lip colors. I look good in most colors except royal blue which makes me look ashen. I have bright green eyes. I usually don't wear eye shadow, but would if I could find something that doesn't make my eyes swell. What samples would you recommend that I try?"

Try medium or medium dark beige foundations as a starting place. Color/skin tone
description on the website are really good, so you might want to read a few other descriptions and see if there is another foundation color or two you want to try as well, to be sure you get the very best for your skin. I usually try matching color on the inside of my wrist and when I rub it into the skin and when I find a shade that does not show in the fine lines, that's my color! Sometimes you need to mix a couple of different shade together to get just the right combination.

For concealing, either our apricot or bisque consealer would probably work
best. Apricot works especially well with olive tones, but given that you aren't
"totally olive" you may want to sample the bisque as well. Again, it may be a
matter of mixing a couple of products to find your custom shade. If you have
any redness to hide, I would also encourage you to try the green - sounds crazy
but works really well on redness without giving your skin a green tint!

For a "pinkish brown" try our "Cotton Candy Brown" under "Exclusive
Multipurpose Minerals". I have lighter skin (wear our light beige) and also
like our Exclusive "Rosewood" shade but it isn't as brown and has maybe a deeper
shade to its pinkness. Between our blush line and our Exclusives line, we have
over 50 colors you can choose from, so have fun playing through the product
descriptions and photos and see what catches your fancy! I've also heard from others with skin tones close to your description that they like True and Warm Mauve Blushes. Our minerals are safe to use on lips as well. I either dip a wet lip brush in the powder and paint on, or put on a clear lip balm like our Moonlite Lip Glossy first and then apply a little powder with my finger.

I always finish my makeup application (or on a day I don't want to do anything
else I at least do this) with a Mineral Veil Finisher. While we do have a few
shades for you to try, my favorite on myself as well as every skin tone I have
worked with in person, has been our Opaque Veil. It's a little scary when you
first see it because it looks almost white and I was afraid it would be
clown-like, but using a very light hand, it just "melts" into your face and
gives you a soft glow without washing out color at all. For any of the full
face powders like the foundations and veils, application using a Kabuki style
brush gives the absolute best results, so if you are using a differnt kind of
brush, please know that you are not getting the most out of your makeup!

For your green eyes we offer several fantastic eyeliner pencils - would think
Gold or Cent would be especially pretty with your eyes, and possibly Amethyst as
well. If your eyes have any hazel/brown tones to their green, Chameleon from our Exclusive Multipurpose line across your eyelid and Intrigue (may be mixed with some Ebony if you desire) applied as eyeliner, should make your eyes pop beautifully! I don't wear much eye makeup myself (just a quick dusting of blush or bronzer across my lids usually), but to show you a few options I am borrowing an article about green eyes that was written by a fellow AMM consultant, Cherl. You may be especially interested in the "natural looking" tips half way down:

Using Amethyst (a bold purple shade) and a liner brush, line both the top and
bottom portions of the eye. To make the eye appear larger line only from the
center out on both portions. Leave the line thick and bold and dust with 14
Karat Gold or 24 Karat (Shimmering Minerals) on the upper lid.

Using Teal Shimmer (Shimmering Minerals) or Emerald (Exclusive Multipurpose
Minerals) and a liner brush, line the top and bottom lids with a very thin line.
Blend into a slightly thicker line with Charcoal Grey or Intrigue (both Multi
Purpose & Eye shadows) for a smoky effect, and use Pink Gem, Pink Shimmer, or
any peach/pink combination for eye shadow.

Using Harvest, Cinnamon Brown, or Cacao create a bold sweep of color on the top
lid. Smudge a much lighter, but complementary shadow under the eye and use as
the contour shade for the upper lid. Finish with a light, neutral shadow all
over (I suggest Bare or Cheers).

For Natural-Looking Beautiful Green Eyes
Subtle shadow and mascara draw attention to gorgeous green eyes. You don't
always have to go bold for green eyes to look incredible. You can also use eye
makeup to achieve a very natural look that makes your eyes stand out. Light
colors are typically more natural looking, so depending on your skin, hair, and
specific shade of green eyes, you may want to try peaches, pinks, tawny colors,
taupe’s, light coppers, matte golds, and subdued greens and lilacs for a
softer, sweeter, and more natural look.

A few other ways to get pretty green eyes without the made-up look:

Using your fingertip or q-tip, blend Bare or Cheers along the upper and lower
lash line. Curl lashes and finish with two coats of mascara one to two shades
darker than your natural lashes. This will give a lovely, very natural look that
still draws attention to your green eyes.

Dot a Penny (Shimmering Minerals) line along the upper eyelid and smudge gently
with your fingertip or eyeliner tool. Add a contour with a hint of green shadow,
highlight gently sweep a lighter, but complementary copper shade below the brow
bone. Use White ~ Matte on the inner part of the lower lid and teal shimmer or
Amethyst for brighter green eyes.

Wondering what colors you should try? If still in doubt, please feel free to ask! I hope to continue building this list with many more skin descriptions, so please feel free to reply with your coloring and help me build this resource! You may comment here or email me at innerbeauty AT affordablemineralmakeup DOT com (remove the spaces and repace AT with @ and DOT with .). If you have any trouble with that address (as a few have reported their emails bouncing) please try me at jennifer AT Saake DOT biz. I look forward to helping find just the right products to let YOUR inner beauty shine!

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