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Notice Anything Different? Avon Smooth Minerals Makeup



For me, the word "foundation" conjures up an image from my teenage years: a vision of thick, sticky fluid applied with a sponge. Girls who used foundation always seemed to have an orange line right at their jaw bone where the makeup ended and their real skin tone began. I steered clear of foundation for a long time.

Years passed. Now I no longer have the arrogance, or skin, of a teenager, and I wouldn't mind a little help evening out my blotchiness -- especially since I'm seen almost exclusively under fluorescent light every day. Help me, Avon Pure Minerals.

The product: This time around, I'm trying out a few things from a product line. Avon Pure Minerals is a suite of cosmetics made with (duh) minerals, all in clean, chic, low-key packaging. I tried the foundation in Light Beige, the blush in Perfect Plum, and the eyeshadow in Golden Moss. (The collection includes lipstick and eyeliner, but I didn't try those.)

The process: All the products I tried were loose powders packed in pots with little sifter trays at the top. You shake a teeny bit of powder into the tray, swirl it around with the appropriate brush, and then tap off excess powder before applying to your face.

I started with the foundation, which I swirled onto my brush, and then onto my face. (There's a lot of swirling in the world of mineral makeup, which is actually pretty fun.) The foundation color was subtle and when I was done, there wasn't even a hint of that orange foundation line I remember from teenagehood. Just a smooth, matte face ready for whatever I was going to do to it. Which happened to be applying my mineral blush in Perfect Plum, which I also swirled on, but with a lighter hand. Not light enough, though. The trick with mineral makeup, I find, is that you have to tap really vigorously once you've loaded your brush, or else you're going to end up with more color than you bargained for. Applying the eye shadow was pretty much a no-brainer; just load the eye shadow brush and go. Golden Moss, my color of choice, was a pretty, shimmery neutral that I liked as an all-over lid color.

The powders I tried were all smooth and feather-light. And it's not hard to do it right. After that one vivid blush misfire, I had the technique down.

So, notice anything different? A number of colleagues commented: "Matte." "Clean." "Fresh." "Not as dewy as your normal look." (Read:"You look less sweaty than usual today" – not a bad thing.) So, a uniformly positive response.

The verdict: A makeup collection that's easy, clean, comes in real-life shades, looks good, and is actually difficult to screw up? Total keeper. With summer officially here, it'll be nice to be able to control my "dewiness" – when the sun finally re-emerges and the temps go over 75 degrees.