Mineral makeup may not sound face-friendly, but the powdered minerals actually baby your skin. The cosmetic lines, many of which are new to the market, include elements like zinc, amethyst and gold - and claim to be anti-aging, smoothing and skin-clearing.
But the greatest benefits are for women with sensitive skin, said Kimara Ahnert, who offers her own mineral makeup line at the Kimara Ahnert Studio on New York City's Upper East Side.
Ahnert suggested that those with a particular sensitivity, like to eye shadow or foundation, give that specific type of mineral makeup a try to start.
They're best applied just like regular makeup, although using a brush can help with blending. And just because you don't have problem skin doesn't mean they don't look pretty.
We tried several different mineral makeup products to describe and rank them here. The best get five stars.
Pur 4-in-1 Mineral Makeup/Foundation (4 stars)
$24.50 at www.PurMinerals.com
Pressed powder takes on a creamy consistency with shea butter, providing great coverage.
Urban Decay Surreal Skin Cream-to-Powder Foundation (5 stars)
$34 at Sephora
The stiff brush delivers the perfect amount of moisturizing powder and color as well as a bit of exfoliation.
Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder (5 stars)
$59 at Sephora
A built-in shaver delivers a fresh dose of long-lasting pressed powder each use.
Sukicolor Tinted Active Moisturizer (2 stars)
$50 at www.SukiPure.com
This tinted moisturizer is designed to be combined with a plain moisturizer, an annoying extra expense.
Estee Lauder Vita-Mineral Loose Powder Makeup (2 stars)
$33.50 at department stores
A light dusting warms up skin tone, but somehow morphs into a cakey, cracked covering by midday.
L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Blush (2 stars)
$15 at drug stores
This blush's short, stiff brush delivers a quick dose of color. The applicator's design, although eye-catching, can be a bit cumbersome.
24.7 Minerals Anti-Aging Mineral Highlighting Palette (4 stars)
$17 at CVS
Stripes of color from rose to tan and radiant white can be used in any combination, which develops into a nice, natural color with a slight shimmer.
Pur Sculpting (4 stars)
$22.50 at www.PurMinerals.com
This duo is designed for contouring. The bronzer has a hint of gold-toned glimmer that's great for all-over bronzing, and the radiant powder is light and brightening.
Too Faced Pure Bronze (4 stars)
$28.50 at Sephora
A little goes a long way with this bronzer, which comes in only one rather dark shade. It makes the skin glow, though, thanks to the inclusion of crushed freshwater pearls.
24.7 Minerals Anti-Aging Mineral Bronzer (3 stars)
$16 at CVS
This matte bronzer warms up the skin tone but doesn't bring much in the way of dimension. Still, the loose powder is a snap to apply.
Pur Intensity (4 stars)
$16.50 at www.PurMinerals.com
This crisp, exacting gel eyeliner hangs on all day long. An ultra-fine brush can be used to create any kind of look, although it was difficult to navigate the under-eye area.
e.l.f. Mineral Eye Shadow (4 stars)
$3 at drug stores
These light, somewhat-translucent shades come in fun, flattering colors that boast a little-or a lot of-sparkle.
Avon Smooth Mineral Eyeshadow (2 stars)
$8 from Avon representatives
Dense and easily blendable, the loose shadow pleases if you can get past a minor annoyance - dipping the brush into a tiny well (removed for photo) to reach the powder.
Avon Smooth Minerals Eyeliner (5 stars)
$6 from Avon representatives
A liner that glides on smoothly and doesn't break. The color melts a bit during the course of a day, but still finishes strong.