Bionic’s Top Mineral Makeup Tips and Tricks

by Bionic Beauty on 09.Sep.2010 · 9 comments

One of the most frequent topics that fellow Bionic Beauties ask me via email is for mineral makeup application tips. I have some tricks n’ tips scattered in the archives of the Bionic Beauty blog, but I figured it was high-time I posted compiled list of my most useful application techniques.

Using a glazed terracotta pot saucer as a mineral makeup “tray” makes application onto your brush or sponge MUCH easier. I outlined my full technique in this article and added some photographs and further details. You can pick up these glazed pot bottoms at home improvement stores for around $1-2. They are easily sanitized too!

Many women think you can only apply mineral makeup with a brush. Step outside of that thought-box and check out my review of the Beauty Blender sponge. I also included a video from Beauty Blender themselves on how to use the sponge. It took me about a week to get my technique nailed, but now it’s a breeze.

Bionic Beauty blog review - Beauty Blender sponge makeup applicator

If you’re not ready for the price of the Beauty Blender, but want to check out something similar, head to your local Target store. In the makeup aisle, you’ll find Sonia Kashuk’s blue version of this infamous makeup sponge. It usually runs around $8-$10.

In the hopes of helping you skip the awkwardness that I had when I got my first Beauty Blender, here is my step-by-step application technique

  1. Grab your Sonia Kashuk or Beauty Blender sponge and wet it thoroughly until it swells.
  2. Make a fist and squeeze really well (this is great stress relief for me, by the way, ha!).
  3. Then I squeeze mine lightly in a towel, so the sponge is now barely damp.
  4. Dump your mineral makeup (or other powdered or liquid makeup) into your saucer, countertop, palm, wherever.
  5. Lightly tap, tap, tap the large end (i.e. the bottom, wide part of the egg shape) sponge into a bit of the mineral makeup you’ve dumped out. Move over to a bare spot in your saucer and tap the sponge there a few more times. I find this step helps evenly spread the minerals on your sponge’s surface.
  6. Now that your sponge is loaded, bounce the it around your face. It’s more like “pouncing” or “blotting” your face. Keep bouncing focusing on a large section of your face (but not your entire face at once). Start by applying less than you think you need- I have found that my makeup goes on so much more evenly with the Blender sponge that I don’t have to use nearly as much makeup to get the same coverage. Plus it looks like I am wearing a LOT less makeup!
  7. To apply concealer, use the smaller/pointy tip of your sponge for precise application.
  8. If your sponge dries out during your makeup process, just re-wet it and squeeze it out again.

As much as I love my Beauty Blender, I also love my flat-top bronzer brush (from Purely Cosmetics) to apply my mineral makeup. There are more application tips in my Purely Cosmetics review. You can see a photograph of the brush that I use: it’s bristles are about 3/4″ long and very tightly packed so you don’t lose your powder by it wandering up into the brush. You can use the brush damp too if you want!

Bionic Beauty's tips on applying mineral makeup

Tips for mineral makeup application with a brush:

  1. Dump some minerals out into your saucer, plate, etc. Swirl them around to spread them out a bit.
  2. Tap your brush into them lightly. Tap any excess powder off on the side of the saucer (so that your saucer catches the excess).
  3. Then go to a bare-ish spot on the saucer and swirl the brush to work the minerals evenly onto the brush tips. Hint: Don’t use much pressure because you don’t want the makeup pushing INTO the brush bristles, but just staying on the tips.
  4. Go to one section of your face (I do my eyes first), dab the brush on and start blending around your face. Swirl some more. When you finish from your brows to your under-eyes, it’s probably time for a bit more minerals. If you still have plenty on your brush, you picked up too many in the beginning. Be sure to tap more off on the next “loading”.
  5. Move onto the next section of your face.
  6. For damp application with a brush~ You can use a spritzer bottle to mist the brush once. Then follow the steps above. Using a damp application method will get you more coverage, more even distribution, and it tends to look less like “makeup”.

My final tip is to mix your own custom tinted moisturizer using your favorite face lotion and your mineral makeup. This do-it-yourself makeup recipe is my go-to makeup when I am suffering from dry skin, seasonal or hormonal changes, flakes, “airplane” skin. It would also be perfect for after treatments of glycolic peels, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide.

If you’re new to mineral makeup, or had some difficulty with the application process, hopefully these tips can get you on the right path. And for my mineral makeup gurus out there, feel free to weigh in with your secret techniques too!


1 Musetica September 9, 2010 at 10:28 am

This article is awesome 🙂 your advice on mineral make-up application changed me from a sneezing clumsy mess into a big fan of loose mineral foundation. Not to mention that, thanks to you, I started using the best mineral foundation from the beginning, without exposing my skin to nasty cheap fillers. Thank you for sharing with us 🙂 this info is sooo helpful!!!
I still need to get the good brush but I figured I’d do that with my next purely cosmetics order 🙂

2 Tashi September 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Thanks for all of the bajillions of tips and tricks! Much appreciated. I’ll have to check back on the archived articles you mentioned, just to on top of everything.

I’ve used a triangular latex makeup sponge with my loose mineral powder, in the absence of a Beauty Blender or Sonia Kashuk makeup blender sponge. The results are super. And you’re right — you DO use less powder when applying it with a sponge.

3 Tashi September 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Ooops, I goofed again. I meant to say, “…just to STAY on top of everything.”

4 Sophia September 10, 2010 at 11:32 am

Thanks for all of these awesome tips! Very helpful!

5 Bionic Beauty September 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I am SO glad I could offer some tips and advice to help with mineral makeup application. I know it took me some time to get used to things and nail down those “little things” that make life so much easier… and I’d be selfish to keep those to myself!

Have a wonderful rest of your week, ladies! The weekend is almost here. Whew!
All my best,

6 Tashi September 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Yes, THANKS again, Jami, for the tips. I had forgotten about using sponges for application, but restarted doing so after reading this article. Luckily, I still had some makeup sponges on-hand, and didn;t pitch them. The coverage is better, even if brushes do a great job as well.

Rock on with a wonderful week/weekend, Jami and everyone else! 🙂

7 Amy September 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Just got the Beauty Blender based on your review. I’m clueless when it comes to makeup and even I can now apply mineral makeup flawlessly. (The whole “swirl, tap, buff” method never worked well for me.) Now I have to figure out if I can make blush work with the Beauty Blender. I will never go back to brushes! I’ve been loving your blog for awhile, thanks for the tip.

8 Bionic Beauty September 29, 2010 at 12:55 am

Hi Amy, Thank you for the kind compliments on my blog! And thanks for taking the step “out of lurking” to comment. 🙂

I’m glad you are loving the Beauty Blender too! I just bought a double pack and sent one of my old ones back in for recycling. Side note: Doesn’t a mountain of pink egg-shaped sponges waiting for recycling make for a silly mental image? Ha! Anyhow, what types of blushes are you going to use it with? I’ve had great luck with both powdered (loose & pressed) and also cream blushes (my favorite is Three Custom Color’s Wallflower, by the way). I just use one of the edges and dab it right over my cheek bones, then blend it back a bit with a smooshing and swooshing combination type of motion. Does that make any sense? It’s late, so I may just be making things worse.

Anyhow, I’d love to hear what your favorite blush is, and keep me updated on your Blender techniques!
Stay Bionic,

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