Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Purely the Basics Kit Review | My first foray into mineral makeup

Just after Chinese New Year I received a package of goodies from my friends at London Drugs Cosmetics containing a variety of new releases and favourites, including the Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Purely the Basics Kit, a mineral makeup start-up kit containing all the essential needs for your face: foundations, setting and finishing powders and a blush. As a mineral and loose powder noob, I was curious, but also anxious - what exactly is mineral makeup? Does it work? Will I just end up looking like a kabuki caricature?

Just J: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Purely the Basics Kit Review

The Product
Youngblood Cosmetics was developed by former medical aesthetician Pauline Youngblood for patients recovering from laser treatments and other surgical procedures. As these patients' skin were often too sensitive to wear normal makeup, Pauline worked with chemists to develop makeup that would provide the coverage her patients desired, while still being light enough to allow their skin to breathe and heal. The results were so popular, that Pauline turned these initial products into a fully fledged line of foundations, blushes, powders, lipsticks and eye shadows.

The Purely the Basics Kit is the starter kit for those new to Youngblood and mineral makeup in general. The kit comes in three varieties based on skin color: light, tan and dark. I received the light version, which contains two foundation shades (ivory, neutral), a mineral rice setting powder and blush (sherbet).

What is mineral makeup?
Mineral makeup is one of those things that is much hyped to the point of being fantasy. I remember mineral makeup being all the rage at some point when I was a teen, but as I didn't even wear foundation then, I never paid much attention to it. The claims about mineral makeup are many: that they offer natural sun protection and are lighter and even healthier for your skin because it is made up of natural minerals, unlike mainstream foundations which are full of synthetic chemicals. Now, what if anything of those claims is true?

True:
  • based on what I read about mineral makeup, it's true that they can be better for those with very sensitive skin as they don't contain as many chemical preservatives as are needed in liquid foundations; however, you have to check the ingredients as some mineral makeup lines contain as many chemicals as normal ones and so this benefit won't apply.
  • mineral makeup can act as sunblock as they commonly contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide; however if the product doesn't come with an SPF rating, it's unlikely that the amount of these ingredients contained in said product is enough to be effective.
False:
  • mineral makeup is unlikely to improve the condition of your skin. There's nothing really in any mineral makeup that's vastly different from any other powder foundation and so nothing that will really offer any effect different from anything else.
  • mineral makeup is NOT made of natural ingredients. Again, the ingredients are pretty similar to regular foundations, which we all know aren't naturally sourced. In fact a common ingredient in mineral makeup called bismuth oxychloride is decidedly artificial. While some articles claim that this ingredient could irritate skin and cause breakouts, other articles dispute that claim, so buyer beware I guess. What it does offer though is the opalescent sheen that mineral makeup is known for.
Want to read more? Here are a couple good articles that aren't too long about mineral makeup:

The Guts
Here is the breakdown for each of the products in the Purely the Basics Kit:

Mineral Rice Setting Powder
  • Mica - a mineral that imparts shine 
  • Corn starch - absorbs oil and gives powders a silky feel
  • Rice starch - absorbs oil
  • Hydrated silica - absorbs oil and prevents caking
Natural Mineral Foundation
  • Titanium dioxide - a natural mineral that has whitening properties and also acts as a natural sunblock. Some studies have shown harmful effects when excessive inhalation of the powder occurs and an increase in free radical production
  • Bismuth oxychloride - a common ingredient in mineral makeup that provides a luminous finish and silky feel. It also prolongs the wear time of powders, but is a known skin irritant.
  • Mica
Crushed Mineral Blush
  • Mica
  • Zinc stearate - provides this product its texture and prevents slippage
  • Rice starch
  • Kaolin - natural mineral that absorbs oil

Price & Packaging
The Purely the Basics Kit contains four 3 g jars of two foundations, one setting powder and a blush, as well as a 0.5 g sample of the Hi-Def Translucent Powder and a goat hair kabuki brush. The packaging also contains a sheet offering application tips, which I found really helpful. The entire kit retails for $52 from London Drugs, but is currently on sale for $27.99!

Comparing each kit product to the size for the individual products:
  • Mineral Rice Setting Powder = 10 g for $24 or $2.40/g
  • Natural Mineral Foundation = 10 g for $44 or $4.40/g
  • Crushed Mineral Blush = 3 g for $22 or $7.33/g
Your are actually paying a premium for the kit compared to what I would calculate as what should be the actual price for the same amount: $42.40! Usually kits will save you money, but as in this case, sometimes you pay more for the convenience of receiving a bunch of items in a set. 

Just J: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Purely the Basics Kit swatches
Clockwise from top left: Mineral Rice Setting Powder, Natural Mineral Foundation in Ivory, Natural Mineral Foundation in Neutral, Crushed Mineral Blush in Sherbet

Effectiveness
I've always avoided loose powders as I found them messy and unwieldy. I also didn't have the right type of brush to apply them. The kabuki brush included in this kit is the perfect size and shape for applying these powders. Simply tap the powder into the lid and swirl your brush into it to pick up product. Tap off excess and apply. Although Youngblood says that this brush is made of goat hairs, I found the bristles to be a little scratchy. I'm not familiar with goat hair though, so I'm not sure if that's expected. The brush hairs weren't scratchy enough to be bothersome and I found that this brush was very effective at evenly distributing product, so this is more of an observation than a complaint.

The first step in this kit is to use the setting powder to prime your skin. The Mineral Rice Setting powder applies silky smooth and gives my skin a velvety finish. It's very lightly tinted so make sure that you purchase the shade that's closest to your natural skin tone.

Next, apply the Natural Mineral foundation. In the light version of the Purely the Basics Kit, are two shades: Ivory and Neutral. Both foundation shades are a good match for my skin, with Ivory being perfect for my winter skin tone and Neutral being just a touch more golden. Unlike the Mineral Rice Setting powder, I noticed that the foundation was more powdery and kicked up a little cloud when first applied. I wouldn't recommend breathing while applying this powder around the nose area, but otherwise this powder applies like a dream. The foundation does an amazing job at smoothing my skin, blurring away imperfection and also offers really great coverage! All my recent acne scars and hyper-pigmentation was buffed away and the coverage lasted for hours. The Natural Mineral Foundation also gave my skin that luminous, fair glow that I'm always coveting.

After 4-6 hours, the powder does cake a bit due to my skin oils, so if you have oilier skin, you may need a heavier layer of the setting powder to try to counteract it, or generous use of blotting papers. Despite the slight cakiness, the coverage appears undisturbed.

The kit also comes with a Hi-Def translucent powder which is designed to set your foundation and prevent shine. I didn't find this powder to be very effective and prefer my Makeup Forever HD Translucent powder over this one.

Just J: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Purely the Basics Kit swatches
Left to right: Natural Mineral Foundation in Neutral, Natural Mineral Foundation in Ivory, Crushed Mineral Blush in Sherbet

Finally, there is the Crushed Mineral Blush. The shade provided in the kit is Sherbet, which is a very pretty strawberry pink. Out of all the products, I found the blush to contain the most shimmer and of course the most pigmentation. When applying, I would not only tap off the excess, but give the brush a gentle tap on some tissues as you really need very little color to give a beautiful rosy tint to cheeks. This blush looks best when applied generously to the apples of cheeks and then swept up to the hairline; when done so, it accentuates your cheekbones and gives a subtle shimmery glow.

Although a little messy, using these powders wasn't as bad as I thought. The sifter does a great job at only depositing small bits of product at a time and you really need only a few taps to get enough to provide full coverage to the face. My skin felt like it was wearing nothing at all and after the recent breakouts I've been having, this kit was just what I needed to allow my skin to breathe and heal itself back to normal.

Final Verdict
Buy - although you pay a premium for the kit, I found the quality of each item within to be perfect. I'm now hooked and want to buy more!

Just J: Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics Purely the Basics Kit Review
Wearing all the products from the kit plus the Annabelle Lipsies in Fruit Punch



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