Sunday, June 13, 2010

Review: Valana Minerals (Update/Edit at the end)

My Valana Minerals (VM) order arrived today.

This is the first post I'm doing that will have lots of pictures....You've been warned.

So, a little about VM:
  • Mineral foundations, shadows, lipsticks, etc.
  • Made specifically for women of color
  • 20+ foundation colors
Erin of MakeUp Fiend suggested I try it out. I want to move away from liquid foundation, MAC SFF specifically, because I know it's contributing to my breakouts. My addiction stems from the outstanding coverage MAC provides. I tried Bare Escentuals (or Bare Minerals) in the past. I didn't appreciate (yes, I was kind of offended) by the ONE "black girl" color option provided by the company (at the time...don't know if they've stepped their game up or not). It was ashy looking and provided very light coverage of my dark spots and problem areas. In other words, it was a "no-go."

I've been wary of mineral make-up since then but was a little impressed by how well VM was demonstrated to cover spots (see the left side of the photo gallery under "concealor"). Honestly, the color selection and this picture sold me on trying it out.

So...let's get to the review. I purchased 3 samples--Gentle Amber, Amber Blaze and Mahogany Fire. I chose my colors by looking at pictures from the photo gallery and by using the foundation descriptions. I suggest doing a combination of both to choose probable matches.

I received the following in the mail:


<------color chart with other information

<--------actual size of the three samples. 5 grams of foundation in 3 stackable jars

Skepticism set in when I swatched my hand...see why below:

I thought I'd missed the mark on the foundation colors by a mile. I picked three different shades to avoid this! *side note* The foundation looks very shimmery in the container but looks less shimmery on the skin.

I love make-up vlogs and blogs. I'm subbed to several. Something I've noticed is that none...and I do mean, NONE of the girls really have "problem" skin and most of the "oily" girls aren't "oily". Most of the women I sub to on Youtube have near perfect skin. I'm not sure why any of them bother with foundation at all.

With that being said, I'm going to go out on a limb and post a picture of myself on the www of my face with no make-up. I'm doing it for all the women like me, who appreciate these women, but just can't relate. Shouts out to the sistas with jacked up complexions! Everyone else proceed at your own risk and #dontjudgeme (Yes, I'm talking to you!!!!).

Below are two before pictures.

As you can see, I have extreme problems with hyperpigmention due to my never ending battle with acne. These pictures are of both sides of my face with absolutely no make-up on. I would put these pictures side by side but Blogger won't let me! GRRRR....moving on.

I washed my face with the Mary Kay face wash I purchased about a month ago. Not because it's so wonderful, but because I spent good money on it. I followed the directions on the sheet to apply moisturizer and allow it to fully absorb into the skin. I then chose the color I thought best matched my face (Gentle Amber) and went to work. I covered my problem areas by using my Posh brush because the "bristles" are soft and compact. It seemed perfect for applying the minerals as a concealor.

Here are the afters:

I'm not going to lie. I am impressed by the coverage. It's better than the Make Up Forever HD Foundation coverage and honestly the same as the MAC SFF coverage I get on a lazy application day. Not bad for mineral make-up. Not bad for make-up at all when you have as much to hide as me. I was a bit nervous about potential shine problems (every oily girls enemy) so I applied a little MAC Blot in Dark over it with the MAC 150 brush.
And the front.
Review wouldn't be complete without outside pictures...
Below is a picture of me outside on a completely different day wearing MAC SFF NC50 so you can see the difference.
Lastly, here is a picture of me at the end of the day with approximately 6 hours of wear. ***sidenote*** I'm sick, so I look tired and...yeah...just look at the make up.
Final thoughts:
Overall, I'd say give it a try. I give it a B-. I like it and plan to use it at least 3 times a week to give my skin a break from MAC SFF. I hope I see some changes in my breakout cycle. Unlike MUFE, my face didn't look like I'd painted it with orange, oily clay after wearing it for 30 minutes. We visited a friend and I expected my face to look like an oil slick by the end of the visit (as it does with MUFE and MAC) and it didn't. I was really impressed by this. I'm not saying it cut down on all the oil, but my skin definitely wasn't as oily.
I need play with the other colors to see if i can get a better match, but the Gentle Amber was pretty close, reiterating the fact that the photos and foundation color descriptions can give you a pretty accurate read of which samples to order. I also need to play around with application because I think I can get slightly better coverage. The thing I loved best about it was it washes off very easily. I had no film or extra make up packed in my pores. Great! Great! Great!
I only had two real issues with my Valana Minerals make up:

  • The slight shimmer of the foundation. It's most noticeable in the sunlight.

  • My face also itched a bit for the first 30 minutes of wear.
Have you used Valana Minerals? What was your take?
Hope this review was helpful.

EDIT (6/15/10)

Okay, I realized the itchiing was coming from one of my brushes, not from Valana...didn't use a brush (made liquid foundation) yesterday and there was no itching.

I might be noticing some skin changes but it's really too early to tell. I can say I haven't had as many new pimples, blackheads or whiteheads (which usually develop daily wearing MAC) since Saturday night. The only difference is that I've worn Valana for the past three days. I can also say that Valana didn't seem to exascerbate the two "issues" I was already dealing with (see the pictures).

Lastly, I woke up with no oiliness this morning, again....I think there is a connection between the fact that VM washes off CLEAN. We'll see....I'll update in about a month. Three days without a breakout is kinda ground breaking though. Hmmmmmm.

UPDATE (11/24/10)

Hey mineral makeup enthusiasts!

Just want to make good on the update I was supposed to do in July. *haha* I've been using Valana for 5 months now. I eventually ordered went with Mahogany Fire instead of Gentle Amber. I've purchased two full sized jars/containers since then. 

Final synopsis:

I was originally very satisfied with the coverage but am growing to dislike the look of it on my face. It could be my switch from Gentle Amber to Mahogany Fire. Additionally, I have to admit that the foundation has the best coverage for my severe hyperpigmentation when mixed with moisturizer (a suggested method of application given in the directions, "tinted moisturizer"). Only problem is that most moisturizers, even Neutrogena's Oil Free with SPF 35, exacerbate my skin issues. Also, the oiliness is back! I wake in the morning to sheets of oil on my much for that change. 

In short, I'm stopping by the MAC counter this weekend. LOL...The purpose is to NOT break out. That was my original quest. I might as well go back to MAC if I'm going to have breakouts. I'll use Valana from time to time to give my skin a rest...

In all fairness, Valerie provides GREAT customer service and there are many who have had lasting results with this product. I say TRY it out...just my own experiences.



  1. Sis, thanks so much for the review!!!

    I must commend you for taking pics of your hyperpigmentation. *hand clap* Seriously, a LOT of people would not do that. But because of what you did, it shows honesty and to see how the product really works. I think it's a good match and makes your skin look glowy. The coverage looks great on you.

    Unfortunately for me, I picked the wrong shade. :-( I'll have to try it again, cuz I need a mineral powder.

  2. Gentle Amber looks great in you and it seems to blend naturally with your skin color. You look great!

    I have used Valana Minerals for over 2 years. I am beyond satisfied with their products. The foundation color that works great for my skin tone is Golden Honey. I also love the different brushes and the fact that they are vegan.

  3. How did the Oasis Oil Powder work? Did you have a chance to try it?

  4. I'm glad to see an honest review of this brand. I had a TERRIBLE experience with Valana Minerals and the Stardust foundation made me break out horribly. I have never had a skin reaction to a cosmetic as I did with Valana, and my skin also felt a bit itchy. Very pleased to see that you gave your honest opinion on this brand, as every review that I have seen of Valana Minerals seems to be some form of fake paid advertisement. I always go on makeuptalk for reviews on makeup, or occassionaly blackhairmedia and every time someone mentions this brand a self described "friend" of Valerie or Valerie herself will come on posting reviews of the brand. It makes it very difficult to find real honest feedback, because had I done a bit more research I wouldn't have invested in this. Very disappointed. If your still looking for a mineral makeup line Ive seen truthful reviews on longhaircareforum that meow is pretty good.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that.

      I believe in reviewing things honestly.

      As stated, I'm back with MAC, but I've changed my skin care regimen. Hope to blog on that in the near future.