A Tiny Guide on MAC Mineralize Products for the Allergic

Hi everyone,

I have this weird unrequited love with MAC Mineralize products: I love them but I can't use them. After trying and owning Northern Lights, my first mineralize skin finish, for 3 days, I realized there was no way this relationship could work. Northern Lights was a LE product that was pigmented enough to be used as a blush. I could illuminate my cheeks like no other. But after a couple of minutes on my skin, I started feeling some tingling sensations.

I didn't know I am allergic to bismuth oxychloride. It turns out to be a somewhat common contact allergy caused by makeup. And for some reasons, some MAC mineralize products contain this ingredient but you have to look very closely in the "May Contain" section to spot it.

Years passed and one day, I went to an event and got 3 MAC Mineralize products as door prize. I scratched my head thinking, "What am I going to do with thee?" And then, I went home, put on a wad lot of primers before I applied the makeup. And voila, almost painless!

1. Mineralize Satinfinish SPF15 Foundation

I have to admit I was crazy not to use a skin primer before applying it. But to my surprise, I didn't feel a thing, which means this product does not contain bismuth oxychloride. The one I got is in NC 25, which is a tad too dark for me.

The Mineralize Satinfinish foundation is definitely not a daytime foundation. The pearlize micro particles gives the skin a nice sheen, which is nice when you do photo shoots or have a romantic candlelit dinner. But for daytime, the particles are very visible. The coverage is good (medium to full and buildable) and if you use a stipple brush, you'll get that dreamy matte finish with a glow.

2. Mineralize Concealer

As you may know, I use this concealer as a highlighter and it does a pretty nice job. When it comes to concealers, if your skin is in the NC range, you should use an NW concealer to counter the darkness. The same thing for NW people. Since mine is an NC20 concealer and my skin is indeed also NC20, it only makes sense to use this concealer to highlight instead.

While the good news is the Mineralize Concealer has a rad wand that can reach into tiny crooks and crevices, the bad news is it also contains bismuth oxychloride. This means whoever is allergic to it (me, me, me!) is going to receive the tingling sensation. I do feel it whenever I skip the whole face primer and foundation thing to go straight to concealer. However, if I spackle my face well with primer, I don't feel it as badly and the tingling sensation does go away after a while.

3. Mineralize Eye Shadow

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in Mineral Mode
MAC has 2 types of mineralize eye shadows: one that looks like Mineral Mode above with only 1 major color and lots of veins and another one that is a duo eye shadow (like Engaging here.) As far as I've known, the formulas of these mineralize eye shadows vary: one can be quite hard and has major fall outs while the other is as smooth as butter. They are almost always packed with pigments and the frosty finish is amazing!

However, the main concern is bismuth oxychloride and The Force is strong in this one. To be honest, the only way I can wear it is to apply a thick layer of eye shadow primer like a shield and make sure I don't apply anything on my lash line as well as avoid fall outs to touch my skin. Crazy, I know. But one touch of it and my eyes will start to water. This is a real shame because I do love mineralize/baked makeup because of aesthetic reason: they do look pretty in the pan.

4. Mineralize Skinfinish

(L-R): Mineralize Skinfinish in Northern Light and Parrot eyeshadow
Vintage LE in 2008!
You think I would blog about MAC mineralize products without mentioning the most famous item, don't you? Now you have it: I did own an MSF for a brief period of time (1 week) before realizing that tingling sensation was not normal. It was a heartfelt bid of adieu on my part to return Northern Light to the counter. It was perfect as a blush with all those gold veins! But for my own skin's sake, I had to do what was best for me.

There are two types of MSF and it's a bit confusing when you go to the store asking for one and receiving another. First of, there is the regular colorful MSF with veins like Northern Light. And then, you have Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, which is a powder for your face. It does give a very pretty glow-from-within look and I've seen a lot of makeup artists using it on people's skins. The MSF Natural does look amazing.

But again, bismuth oxychloride. Sometimes I wonder why pretty things can be so lethal.

To conclude: while Mineralize Satinfinish foundation is something everyone can use, the rest is not for those with bismuth oxychloride sensitivity. The mineralize range is extremely pretty in term of colors and finishes. I do wish MAC to reformulate this range to make it more usable to those who have sensitive skins and allergy to bismuth oxychloride.

My own personal conclusion: while I do love 'em, I can't use most of them. The ones I have are mostly gifts that I keep just for show :) They are too pretty (and expensive) to be in the trash.

That's all for now. How about you? Do you have any other experiences with MAC mineralize products?

With love,
Dao xoxo

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