Thursday, September 25, 2008

Finding a Foundation Match

Okay, you’re thinking how awesome it is that there is now a makeup company dedicated to those hard-to-match olive/yellow skintones…BUT after seeing the adorned with Grace MineralsTM foundation colors, you are wondering where in the world to even start!

Well, one of the most basic ways is to hold a bright white sheet of paper next to your face as you look at a mirror in a well lit room and note what undertones you think you see:

*If you see a lot of orange you likely have strong peachy undertones and may match the Kindness (Peach) or Grace (Peach, Olive, & Golden) category.

*If you see a lot of yellow, you likely have strong yellow/golden undertones and may match Love (Yellow with slight Peach) or Hope (Yellow/Olive).

*If you see a green tone, you likely have olive undertones and may match Peace (Neutral Olive), Grace (Peach, Olive, & Golden), or Hope (Yellow/Olive)

*If you see mainly a neutral brown, you likely have neutral undertones and may match Faith (Golden Brown) or Peace (Neutral Olive).

*If you think you see several undertones, you may need to choose our “hard to match” color families like Grace (Peach, Olive, & Golden) or Charity (Neutral Olive with strong Yellow and slight Peach undertones)

Then, you'll want to choose a Foundation shade level. Our colors families are arranged in degrees of light to dark. Currently our darkest shades fall in the 4.5 range and the lightest color is in the 2.0 range. So when choosing colors, keep this in mind:

1.0: Ultra Fair (no current colors)
2.0: Very Fair
2.5: Fair
3.0: Fair-Medium
3.5: Medium-Fair
3.8: Medium
4.0: Medium
4.2: Medium
4.5: Medium Tan
Any colors past 4.5 have not been developed…YET!

So, to put it all together if you decide that you do have strong peachy undertones and have darker, tanned skin, you may want to try Kindness and Grace in the range of 4.0-4.2. I hope that makes sense!

For Experience Mineral Makeup Samplers…
I have been using mineral makeup almost four years now and even though there was one particular brand I always bought my full-sized products from, I just always *had* to sample whatever else was out there! (Can I get an “Amen” from anyone out there, LOL!) So in my days as a “sample queen”, I managed to accumulate lots of little jars and baggies of the various olive/yellow toned foundations out there as well as some that were sent to me or requested by testers that I bought during my formulation phase that they wanted matched.
What I have done is compiled a list of my foundation colors and the colors from other MMU companies that have similar (BUT NOT IDENTICAL) tones. Again, let me reiterate that these won’t be exact matches, but a guideline so that you may have a better idea of what suits you. Also, minerals are forgiving so they might be close enough:

Charity: Everyday Mineral’s Light Olive (Charity 4.0); Everyday Minerals Sandy Medium (Charity 4.0 is a few shades lighter)

Grace: Everyday Minerals Buttered Tan (Grace 4.0-4.2); Buff’d Almond (Grace 3.5-4.0); Everyday Minerals Sandy Medium (Grace 4.2-4.5); MAD Minerals Olive; Alima Golden; Bare Escentuals Medium Beige (Grace 3.5-4.0 & has more golden tones); KT Naturals Warm

Faith: Meow Siamese; Lumiere Golden; Joppa Medium #3 (Faith 4.0 and darker); Everyday Minerals Golden Medium (Faith 4.2-4.5); Meow Angora (just the lighter shades, Faith 2.0-2.5); Everyday Minerals Sandy Medium (Faith 4.2-4.5); MAD Minerals Olive; KT Naturals Warm

Kindness: Everyday Minerals Medium Tan (Kindness 4.0); Everyday Minerals Golden-Light/Fairly Light (Kindness 3.0-3.5); Everyday Minerals Soft Butter Peach (Kindness 2.0-2.5); Bare Escentuals Medium Beige (Kindness 4.0-3.5)

Love: Meow Chartreaux (Love has more yellow); Meow Manx (Love has less yellow); Lauress Soft Yellow (Love 2.0-2.5)

Hope: Meow Abyssinian; Meow Manx (Hope has more olive tones); EDM Winged Butter/Buffd Ginger or Moccasin (Hope 3.8-4.2)

Peace: Meow Siamese (Peace seems more neutral); Joppa Medium #3 (Peace 4.0 and darker); Everyday Minerals Olive Fair (Peace 2.5); Everyday Minerals Olive Medium (Peace 1.5-1.0); Everyday Minerals Ivory (Peace 2.5); Everyday Minerals Fair Neutral (Peace 2.5-3.0); Everyday Mineral Fairly-Light Neutral (Peace 3.5-4.0); MAD Minerals Neutral; Alima Olive
I know this process can be somewhat frustrating, but I hope the above at least gives you a place to start. As always, PLEASE email me at
adorned_with_grace@yahoo.com if you have further questions. Also, if you have been sampling my foundation and find some you want to add to my “sample queen” list, please do so and I’ll edit my post to include that.
And of course, sample before you buy a full-size product. We have a specially priced kit, the “15 for $12 Sample Baggie Set” which INCLUDES SHIPPING & HANDLING that will allow you to try a whole slew of foundations without breaking the bank. (If you were to subtract about $2-4 for the S/H many companies charge, it would come out to about 53-67 cents each baggie!) And if you don’t need that many foundations, we have plenty of eyecolors, blushes, and powders that you can also try!

Good luck!


Friday, September 19, 2008

About our brushes

Ingénue Series

When I was first planning this business, I really didn’t think I wanted to add brushes to my line until much later on. However, because loose mineral makeup really needs the best tools for application, I thought that I at least needed to have available some brushes that would help beginners “get their feet wet” to using minerals.

Especially in the case of eye brushes! Up until I started using minerals , I am ashamed to admit I used those awful foam applicators that most drugstore brands come with. Of course, ignorance is bliss, and I didn’t really know what I was missing…until I started experimenting with the eyeshadow brushes that came with my makeup kits. I was amazed at how well it packed on color, how it did not waste as much product, and how I was able to use them again and again with regular washings. I think the most fun thing for me to realize was getting to use different styles of brushes to get the effect I wanted!

So for those of you that have yet to experience this, I hand-picked some very basic brush styles just for you! I made my shopping list using a Poll I did at my test site (T123 Minerals) and looked for those styles that were most popular. I also purposely picked the ones with shorter handles because, if you’re like me, you tend to “hit” the mirror with a longer handled brush and it makes it that much harder to apply colors! (Additional note: I am missing an angle fluff brush since my supplier was “Out of Stock” on these when I initially ordered.)

I can’t tell you that I think these just as good as MAC brushes, as I’ve never owned a MAC brush, but these are better than some of the ones I got at the drugstore and even ones I’ve ordered online. Once you try them out, you may decide to get one with a heftier price tag, but this at least gives you the idea of what styles you like using to get the effect you want.

So far, there was one brush I was worried would sell out this week; luckily I got my second shipment of them in the nick of time! That’s the Petite Dual Fiber Blush Brush. I think that even if you are a MMU expert by now, this brush is still a must-have especially when using the adorned with Grace blushes due to their very high pigmentation. It does shed at first, but is fine after a few washings. I actually threw out my other dual fiber brushes this week because they really just don’t compare to this one in terms of application.

Now one brush that has not gotten quite as much attention is the Ingénue Kabuki. In comparing it with a Long Handled Kabuki from a larger and very popular mineral makeup company, it actually is a bit denser and larger in head, yet every bit as soft! Like the Dual Fiber Blush brush, it does have its initial period of shedding but was no worse than a Bare Escentuals kabuki I got years ago –and I paid over $25 for that one! This one is priced at $9.99 including s/h (so think of it more like $6-7, + s/h) and would probably make a good gift for a teenager or mineral makeup newbie who has only used natural hair bristles. It really is amazing at how soft this economically priced brush is! (Additional note: There is a limited supply of the eye brushes & kabuki but if they go “Out of Stock” we can restock them within 7-10 days.)

But if you are looking for an ULTRA soft and more durable, stylish face brush, keep reading….

Premium series

I still cannot believe I discovered these wonderful brushes! I was really searching for brushes that were super soft, cruelty-free, and would work wonderfully with my medium/heavy-coverage foundation formula. I didn’t want them too dense as it might pack on too many minerals at once during application and make it too thick & cakey, but definitely not too flimsy/floppy that they would seem cheap and not apply the foundation evenly enough. So after looking at brushes from at least five suppliers, I decided on this set for my Premium series.

First of all, I am totally in love with the matte black handles; they go so well with my jars! Second, they have not shed on me at all! And most importantly, they are so velvety and plush, I honestly think I could calm myself down during those stressful moments by buffing this onto my cheek it is that luxurious!

Just a run down on the main differences of the face brushes:

Kabuki: This is perfect if you prefer a smaller size to keep in your purse. This one does have a little, clear plastic (yet durable) pouch it comes in that would keep it from getting “splayed” while in your purse and to prevent makeup from rubbing off of it and onto your purse contents. It is almost as dense as the Jumbo Buffer and about the same in diameter too.

Flat Top: The diameter of the head of this one is not quite as large as the Jumbo Buffer and Kabuki, but the hairs are packed densely also, making it easier to buff without “flopping.” You get more precision with this brush especially if you like to contour as its flat top helps put color right where you want it.

Jumbo Buffer: As mentioned, this is my ultimate favorite due to it’s larger, dense head and the thick, long handles. If you know any ladies that have trouble with grasping, maybe due to arthritis or plain weakness, this would be the ideal brush to get for her! (I’m saying this not just as a makeup person but as an occupational therapist!)

But I do want to reiterate that, at the time of this writing, I am almost sold out of the all the brushes from the Premium line! Once this initial stock is gone and I have to order more, I will increase the price. Just be aware that I may have a period where they will be “Out of Stock” but I do plan on continuing to carry them! ***UPDATED September 26: I am SOLD OUT of the Premium Jumbo Bufffer and I only have two more left of the Premium Flat Top! They should be restocked next Wednesday-Friday (October 1-3).

As far as how much they will go up, I have contacted my supplier to make sure the price I have in mind is okay with them. (I'm just waiting to hear back their response.) FYI, I am actually supposed to price these almost 2x MORE than what they are being sold at now (between $30-50!!!), but I knew that since this was a relatively new set of brushes being sold on the market, I wanted to add a little incentive for you all to try them. From my experience as well as feedback I’ve gotten from others, they are so wonderful, they are worth the suggested price. And this is coming from super-frugal me!

Anyway, I hope that this helped some of you who were in the “valley of decision” on getting one of these brushes! I really am happy with all of them, and of course, you are free to email me at
adorned_with_grace@yahoo.com for any questions or comments regarding them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Top Ten Products...

So to give you all a little idea of what items you might want to purchase, I’ve decided to do a “Top 10 Faves” from the adorned with Grace Minerals line. These are the products that have gotten the most raves and ones that I am afraid would cause a riot if I ever discontinued them!

Let’s countdown backwards and start with….

10. Celestial Silkening Powder: Would you believe this was kind of an “accidental” product? I only have one formula for my foundation which is a high coverage finish and when I was trying this out on my foundation testers, I sent this “just in case” they though it was too heavy and they could lighten it up. The idea was that they would share with me the ratios and I would adjust the final formula with the numbers they gave me. Well, the majority preferred the foundation as I had sent it, but there was a handful that loved the idea of having this powder to help add a dewy finish as well as decrease the coverage (those lucky girls with perfect skin!).

There are also some that like to use it as a vegan version of Silk Powder, and I’ve learned I like to use it in case I need to tone down a highly pigmented blush. Very versatile!

9. Divine Oil-Control Powder: I had at least five to seven different formulas of this before I came up with one that got some raves. This is a base of kaolin but also has “extra oil soakers” such as Calcium Carbonate & Silica, but also some creamier ingredients such as Mica so that it has a smoothing effect on your skin. Those that live in the warm climates say this works wonderfully to keep the shine away!

8. Foundation: This is where the hardest work has been devoted. As some of you know, I am a Filipina-American and I had the worst time finding foundation colors. I think that devoting a line to Yellow/Olive (Asian) skintones is so important as it seems like such a neglected part of the makeup industry. There are more companies out there addressing this, but it’s not just the simple fact of adding more yellow. There’s yellow peachy, yellow olive, peachy yellow olive, golden brown, neutral olive, etc! I’m determined to help hard to match skintones find something that works for them. So look for more colors, especially darker shades in the future!

7. Beloved eyecolor: I did try to discontinue this color once before with my testers but I got such an outpouring of “Please keep this!” that I decided to let it stay. In fact, that is how it got its name, Beloved, because it was such a “beloved” eyeshadow! In fact, it brought out one of my shyest testers to post on the Forum on reasons why to keep this. She and many others love it as an “eye brightener,” a great all over eyeshadow base, and then to help hide broken capillaries around the nose area (for fairer skin tones).
FYI, I pronounce this one “bi--luhvd,” not “bi-luhv-id”

6. Radiant Blush: Peachy pink blushes seem to be such a favorite and this particular color is a huge hit for those that love that shade! This truly does perk your skin up, especially those with warmer skin tones. About 27-30 jars of this were made up for my test store and I had 21 people vote in my Poll that they would buy this one again!

5. Inspiring eyecolor: Bold colors really aren’t my thing, but this is one of those colors I make an exception for! This color reminds me so much of the rich indigo/purples/blues you see in my favorite Van Gogh painting that it’s the reason it has the name it has. For you more conservative ladies, this is awesome as an eyeliner; for you bolder ladies, a gorgeous lid and/or crease color. This also scored really high in the Polls--just 3 less votes than #4 & #3.

4. Extraordinary eyecolor: This color was tied with #3 below but even with its huge raves would you believe I still tweaked it after the testing process? Amazingly, the newer version is much more vibrant and has less of a “charcoal” undertone as the original. Those that got to test the new version said they liked it even more than the old one!

This was called Black Raspberry in its testing stages, but if I had to give it a new temporary name, I would have called it Red Blackberries as the color it is now resembles the blackberries that weren’t quite ripe that I had growing in my backyard this past June. It is amazing as an eyeliner with Trustworthy eyecolor as an all over wash!

3. Romantic eyecolor: I have a feeling people preferred the old name of this color which was Chocolate Roses, but I’d like to think that even with its new name (don’t you all think it is romantic to get chocolates and roses from a loved one?) this is still a winner. It is a slightly sheer milk chocolaty brown with a beautiful rosy pink undertone. Those that love neutrals have come to make this one of their everyday shades to wear!

In fact, only about 30-32 jars (compared with the 40 with Extraordinary) were made of this one and I got a whopping 28 pollsters say they would buy this again!

2. Beautiful Blush: I think if there was one color that seemed to get the rave over and over again among the various skintones, it had to be this blush color! I personally never thought that this shade of cool pink with some very light violet undertones would look good on my golden olive skin but was amazed after I first tried it on. This color was even a last minute addition to my T123 store and no tester had ever even laid eyes on it, yet has become one of my biggest blush favorites!

Another, FYI—the heart and the blush in the jar that you see up there? That is Beautiful blush. I thought it fitting to have a “Beautiful” heart which goes along so well with my theme!

Then last but not least…

1 Ingénue Petite Dual Fiber Blush Brush: If you all notice this item is the #1 “Most Popular” link to click on at my eCrater Store. It’s so hard to find a good dual fiber brush; I had been settling with my Flirt! Skunk brush from Kohl’s and some others that were much larger but they always seemed to add too much blush to my face and the bristles were always so floppy. So when I was testing out brushes to carry for my store, I was floored at how awesome this one worked!
Now the small size may put you off when you first see it, but man does it work wonderfully for that reason! You can apply blush just where you want it and not feel like you are putting on too much. And it is the perfect blend of soft to your cheeks, yet firm enough at the base you don’t feel like its flopping on you.
Let’s just hope I don’t run out of stock on these! I ALREADY had to place another order today from my supplier due to its overwhelming popularity!

Well, there you have it! A little more info on some of my products and some fun trivia about them as well. Keep these in memory as maybe one day, I’ll have a trivia contest and hand out prizes to the ones that can answer them all!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Second Welcome!

I'd like to write a second WELCOME to the rest of you all who have just been invited to see the temporary online store and our blog! This has actually been up for about two weeks but I wanted to test everything out on a handful of people before going public.

For those that are new to adorned with Grace MineralsTM, you can probably skip over some of the posts that deal with the products change of names--it might just confuse you more, lol! But do read the very first post as well as the explanation of the change of names.

But if you did order anything at T123 (my "test store") and want to order a color that was out of stock or one you have used up, then definitely keep reading on down!

I've come to some road blocks with getting the real website up but because I am ready to get these products out to the public, I thought I'd open an Ecrater store to get it started. I've gotten compliments on how nice the site looks but let me say I can't really take any credit for it. Ecrater basically has a template and you just input your photos and pick your color scheme. So even though it has been rather easy to put up, I'm stuck with its features (like it doesn't save a cart/have a wishlist), let me change the buttons around, or do too much reorganization.

Just today, I have added quite a few new brushes. My Ingenue series is targeted specifically to those who are new and just beginning to experiment with loose minerals. Not that you expert MMU users can't order from this line, but you likely already have some that are similar and may not be *quite* as impressed. They are economically priced as I remember how I didn't want to invest a whole lot initially when I started experimenting with MMU "just in case" it didn't work out.

But for those of you who have been around MMU for a while and are looking for some super soft face brushes, the Premium line may be for you. I haven't included any of the other eye or cheek brushes yet; I want to make sure this set goes over well. I have specially priced this first slew I have ordered (the price will go up when I reorder) to entice you all to try them and even though this is a little higher than I wanted to charge, I really think they are worth it! And that is coming from the Frugal Queen herself!

And please let me apologize here to any International customers. Since I have to go down to the Post Office to mail off all non-US orders, it's going to be difficult for me to add this while I am a "one woman show." I could add it via Global Priority (super expensive!)or by doing the feature they have on PayPal which is about $11-12 but I know that is too much too especially if you just order samples. I can't give a date on when I'd start taking International orders. It could be in two months if all goes well OR even up to a year; it all depends on how fast this company can take off! If I can turn a good profit, I'll be able to hire some help that I can send down to the PO for me. We just have such long lines (and they are closed during lunchtime--I've never lived in a city whose PO that did that!) that I end up pulling my hair out before I leave the place.

Anyway, that's all for now...I hope to be back within a week or two with some more fun posts!

Happy shopping! Just remember to read the FAQs, About Us, & Terms as I think that will answer any questions I haven't addressed here.