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Everyone Knows You Can’t Photograph Mineral Makeup. Well, Everyone is WRONG

Mineral Makeup Professional Photo Shoot

Look created with mineral makeup

Mineral Makeup Flash Photography

Look Created Using Mineral Makeup


There are, unfortunately, many opinions that mineral makeup does not perform well for professional photography. Many professional makeup artists & photographers avoid using minerals, particularly foundations, because they don’t feel that they are capable of achieving a natural, realistic skin appearance. I agree that, in many instances, mineral foundations may not be the best choice, but usually this has more to do with the properties inherent in many common mineral ingredients, rather than just mineral makeup itself.

Most minerals contain light reflective properties, these are what give minerals the amazing ability to reflect light away from lines, pores, & other skin imperfections. The problem arises when certain ingredients that have a surface shimmer or sheen are used. Ingredients such as Bismuth Oxychloride & Boron Nitride are two of the main culprits, but even Silk Mica, Gold Fine or Oriental Beige, which add a satin sheen to many mineral foundations, can cause this effect when photographed. Basically, a purely matte foundation is optimal for photographic use.

Another aspect to be aware of is skin tone & undertone matching, which any makeup artist will tell you is the basic starting point for any makeup application. Once again, not all mineral lines offer enough colors, or colors that are close to actual skin tones, so look for a line with multiple color options, and include true-to life- sallow & olive tones, as well as women of color lines.

The pigmentation level of these must also be high enough to disperse true tones and avoid an ashy look that comes from the base whites showing through, this is particularly important for women of color, as even more pigment to base is necessary for realistic skin tones.

Because minerals allow the skin texture to show through, while blurring imperfections, yet still offering coverage, it is an ideal medium for the newest HD film and digital photography.

Now, this being said, these guidelines are intended for professional photographic usage, not personal makeup. The more satin or shimmery based ingredients may truly appeal to the average makeup wearer, so you would look for a line that includes these ingredients. Because naked skin absorbs light and all makeup, including & especially minerals, reflect light away from you, be aware when you are being photographed to either switch to a matte foundation (like on your wedding day) or apply a light dusting of a mineral foundation or powder to any exposed skin so that your tone reflects evenly throughout any picture. Also be aware that the reflective properties can wash you out in photos as well so judicious application of bronzer or cheek color for photographs is also something to consider.

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