Brandy and I have been discussing makeup a lot lately and I think it’s time we had a better, more filled out page regarding makeup and how to apply and remove it safely. I’m going to include recommended brands, recommended ways of applying, and things to avoid.

Anything you can think of that you’ve been dying to tell people about? Have you found the perfect makeup brand? The perfect method of applying? Have you noticed that there is one thing that absolutely must be avoided that I might not be thinking about? Let me know.


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  • Chris

    I think it might be nice to include some reviews or information on Menaji skincare products. Heard some nice things about the brand. Or if anyone knows anything about the (has tried it- likes it, dislikes it).

  • Brooke

    I’d hope it would include how to remove makeup with the regimen schedule. Like will washing off your makeup go over the 2x a day you’re supposed to wash your face? As well as more discussion on “non-comedogenic” makeup, because I seem to still break out whenever I wear it, but not as much as regular makeup. I find wearing no face makeup keeps me the most acne-free, so why does non-comedogenic makeup make me break out even if it shouldn’t?

  • Anne

    I use your jojoba oil to remove my makeup, including waterproof mascara and it works great! I put the oil on my face and eyes gently and then use your cleanser on top of it and all my makeup is gone. I use a “home made” mineral make up called Smoky Mountian Minerals. It is extremely gentle(does not contain Bismuth Oxychloride) and recently I started using a different mineral make up and within a week my face was breaking out. Switched back and my face is clear. For me- this is the perfect makeup brand- good prices too!

  • Sharpy

    Looking forward to it!
    I just think it would be good to reiterate: don’t jump to conclusions. People say all types of crazy things on the cosmetic board about so and so breaking them out.

  • Kristen

    Hi, Dan,

    Looking forward to a new and improved makeup page!

    One thing I would suggest including in your article: PLEASE stress how important it is to wash your makeup tools regularly! Whether one uses brushes to apply (my personal preference), sponges, or other applicators, it is so so important to wash them frequently. If you don’t, bacteria, skin oils, product residue (from the makeup and from anything we’ve already applied on our skin), and dead skin cells will build up on them. Then we will just be putting all that crap back onto our skin each time we apply makeup. Even if one is using their fingers to apply makeup — WASH THEM first!

    I personally find that washing any makeup tools that touch my face once a week helps tremendously. Any less frequently than that, and I start breaking out again. (My eye makeup brushes can go longer). I use very warm water and a strong cleanser (like a clarifying shampoo or an acne cleanser that is usually too harsh for facial use). I cleanse thoroughly until nothing more is coming off of the brushes (or sponge), rinse completely, and let them air dry. It’s also important to use something that rinses cleanly (no cream cleansers or anything oily).

  • D

    Dan are you going to be testing the make up on yourself before you recommend them to people?

  • I Love My Puppy

    You need to make sure to add the type of brushes or sponge to use and different options of makeup like mineral, powder, liquid,mouse and etc. And that we all just dont apply foundation but concealer and eye makeup and powders and blushes and more….

  • S117

    Is the moisturizer still coming in early September?

  • Melissa

    – Keep recommending Almay SmartShade! The new SmartBalance kind is amazing – I just started using it, and in conjunction with the concealer, not only does it cover what it needs to cover without looking overdone or cakey, but it actually makes my skin feel really good.

    – A friend of mine who is a professional makeup artist recommended using baby shampoo to wash my makeup brushes. Cheap, gentle, effective, and no harsh ingredients to leave behind residue. I find it works even better than those pricey brush cleaning solutions out there.

    This website has been INVALUABLE to me. Looking forward to the new makeup page!

    • admin

      I’ve used Almay Smart Shade (the original) for a few years now and just love it, however I have been trialing the Smart Shade Smart Balance version this week and I think it’s even better than the original! I agree with Melissa, it’s very good. -Brandy

  • MH

    Look into Bare Essentials (Bare Minerals) works well with my acne-prone skin. Never had any problems.

  • SR

    Revlon colorstay foundation is amazing for acne prone skin, and it’s basically a dupe of Mac’s more pricey studio sculpt, except the plus is that it won’t make you break out (and the wayyy cheaper price tag). To cover any blemish, use a YELLOW-based foundation (pink only makes it worse–bobbi brown tip) on a rounded make up brush (eco tools sells amazing inexpensive makeup brushes at target), dab it on the zit then blend in with your finger (clean!). To ensure it stays puts, use a basic pressed powder on top (im a bit shady on the best kind for acne prone skin but true match by Loreal seems to work for me) I find that many Mac face products tend to break out me and my mother. i have tried the popular Almay smart shade product….and I seriously dislike it. Of course, I’m very picky with my make-up.

  • Sarah

    I was looking for a foundation that wouldn’t break me out and ran across a very interesting page.

    *link edited out*
    It lists a ton of common ingredients along with their comedogenic properties (0-5, 5 meaning “run away! run away!”) and their skin irritant properties. I’ve been struggling with the tiny white bumps on my chin, and so not only gave up on the search for foundation, but ended up throwing out my moisturizer and night cream (BOTH were supposed to be for acneic skin but had ingredients that ranked a 5 for blocking pores!).

    I’d love for everyone to have access to this information, and your new makeup page might be just the place. Everyone, check your makeup! And your skincare products!

  • emt training

    I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  • Rebecca

    Can we have some real science to back up the recommendations? Is it too much to ask for control groups, objective observations, and statistically significant sample sizes? Anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean much.

  • Anonymous

    For the recommendation of the revlon colorstay – the ingredients…of course i only speak of the colorstay foundation for oily/combination skin. Just based on how comedogenic the ingredients are. And even though this isn’t completely statistical, the make up artist on found that this is the best liquid foundation to use on her clients, even those with acne prone skin because she found it never broke any of them out.

  • Amanda

    Here is my contribution to the forum:

    I think some girls are a little confused about how to take off their makeup (especially eye makeup like mascara or eye liner). I do it the easy and safe way: I just use the cleanser! That’s right–after splashing my face with warm water, I rub the cleanser gently on my closed eyes and the eye makeup comes off like a charm. I then of course I wash the rest of my face, and the foundation and blush come off just as easily. The cleanser doesn’t irritate the skin around my eyes at all, and this way I don’t have to deal with using a “makeup remover” that may or may not be non-comedogenic (and chances are that it’s not).

    I have not, however, had any success at all trying to use jojoba oil to take off makeup. I tried it a few nights ago on my mascara, and all it did was mix with my mascara into a black oil slick, which did not come off my eyes even after rinsing. I had to use the cleanser just to get the black oil slick off my face, so using the oil was an unnecessary step. A plus about using the cleanser and not a “makeup remover” to get off mascara is that you don’t have to rub very hard, which helps keep those pretty lashes attached to your eyes and not swirling down the drain. πŸ™‚

    And as far as foundation and blush/bronzer, I only use Physician’s Formula “Mineral Wear” POWDERS (loose or pressed, found in any drug store). I do not wear liquid foundations or blushes/bronzers because I feel that an enclosed liquid is a better breeding ground for bacteria. The powders are non-comedogenic, oil-free, talc-free, hypoallergenic and the foundations come with SPF 16*. Yay! I also feel that powder covers blemishes better, because I just get the tip of my brush covered in powder and lightly tap it on top of the blemish, whereas when I’ve tried to apply a liquid with my fingers, I had to glide my fingertips over top of the blemish, thereby removing a lot of the coverage as I did so.

    *Note: The sunscreen in the powders is Titanium Dioxide. I read your blog entry about Avobenzone being your sunscreen of choice, so I want to be sure to make a note of that.

    Yay for Dan!

  • Sharyn

    It’s funny that you are now doing this page since I started a blog a few months ago focused mainly on this topic since I have never been able to find good advice before. Fyi – it’s called Makeup for Acne.

    Here’s a few tips and advice to help with your page:
    – no matter what anyone says about any product, everyone’s skin reacts differently. I’ve tried just about every drugstore brand (including the Almay and Physician’s formula) and they either make me break out or just don’t provide very good coverage or don’t last. When it comes to foundation and concealer in particular, it’s great if you can find a cheap one that works, but these are the products worth spending money on to get it right. You can listen to what everyone recommends, but you have to do a little trial and error yourself.
    – the right foundation depends on your skin type – oily, combination, dry etc. Mineral powder may work amazingly well for some people, but can look cakey on others.
    – a really good concealer can be used on its own with a little powder or powder foundation on top to avoid using a lot of makeup
    – it’s not just foundation and concealer you have to worry about. Blush, bronzer and hair products can also make you break out. For example, I have to stay away from shampoos with sulfates and certain hair gels.
    – it’s essential to get all your makeup off at the end of the day, but sometimes you need to wash the skin with your favorite face wash afterwards to leave the face feeling balanced.
    – I’ve found that a gentle primer can also help you use less makeup and help it last

    I could go on and on since this has been an ongoing project for me, but here’s my favorites at the moment:
    – Clinique Acne Solutions liquid foundation (for more oily skin)
    – Tarte powder foundation or Benefit Hello Flawless (for normal skin)
    – Tarte’s The Eraser concealer (liquid pen) and L’oreal’s True Match concealer (also liquid)
    – Tarte’s Clean Slate primer
    – Korres Wild Rose liquid foundation (for dry skin)
    – Bare Minerals Matte foundation (the regular one has bismuth oxychloride)
    – Bare Minerals Mineral Veil powder
    – Elta MD sunscreen for oily skin or Solar Tizo2 mineral sunscreen (all chemical ones make me break out)
    – Boscia’s Makeup Breakup cleansing oil
    – Fresh – Soy cleansing gel

    As I’ve said, there are lots of other recommendations out there, so I suggest breaking them into categories by skin type along with pros and cons and tips for application. Also, people often don’t realize that they can return something they’ve tried if it didn’t work. This applies to drugstores as well as department stores and online. There’s no reason to waste money here.

    Hope this helps with your page.


  • Amanda

    I use Dan’s cleanser to clean my makeup brushes. It’s gentle and works great!

  • skybluesky

    I love Laura Mercier’s line of concealers, tinted moisturizers (they have an oil-free one!) and their mineral makeup. I am very acne prone and their stuff does not make me break out! Just keep in mind to always, always clean all of it off!!! I usually use jojoba oil to wipe my make up off, then use clarisonic to wash my face.

  • Mary

    I have oily and acne prone skin and the makeup that I use that does not break me out is EVERYDAY MINERALS. It only have 2 ingredients in it and way more cheaper than bare minerals. They even have samples that only cost $2.50. CHECK IT OUT.

  • makeup

    i 2nd the physicians formula pressed mineral wear powder. i also second the eco tools brushes. i use almay clear complexion foundation as a concealor. i have used the pressed mineral wear powder for 3 years and always come back to it as a “safe” makeup. the eco tools brushes are so soft and gentle. i also 2nd washing them regularly. i too like baby shampoo or just my regular facewash (clean and clear sensitive skin foaming, the one that is just like purpose). for blush i like dream matte mousse blush by maybelline, but cannot comment on if it clogs anything. i haven’t noticed anything but ??? not sure.

    i disagree with dan about mineral makeup–at least when it comes to physican formula mineral wear pressed powder. no itching ever. i’ve heard its bismuth something that causes the itching?

    also, revlon colorstay for oily/combo skin has alcohol in it. i believe that isn’t good for acne prone skin. please correct me if i’m wrong.

    hope this helps πŸ˜€

  • Melisa

    I am 28 years old. I have been suffering from acne since I remember myself. During my teenage years I had mild acne and after my 24th birthday, my face just deteriorated incredibly. The worse it got, the more make-up I used. I tried everything under the sun (excluding Accutane). 2 months ago I started taking sironolactone after my doctor recommended it for “old acne”. I was so hopeful, but it didn’t help much. It significantly dried up my skin so now I had very dry skin with acne (sounds like a contradiction). Well, I was travelling a lot this summer. Some of my travelling included 11 hour flights. Usually when I walk out of the plane my face looks terrible with a few new breakouts. I was so fed up with my skin and how it felt and looked so I decided that I do not care anymore. Before one on the long flights, I washed my face, put my BP lotion and a moisturizer and no make-up. I was amazed when I got of the plane (still looking pretty bad, this is not a miracle story), but with no new break-outs forming. For the first time in my life I considered the possibility that my acne is make-up induced. I have used Clinique since I remember. I always thought that their make-up is one of the best. The salesperson always assured me that their products are non-comedonic and good for your skin.
    I decided to try not puting any make-up on. Well, this didn’t work very well since my face is so scared from my acne. This is when I decided to give Mineral Make-up a try. I remember trying out Physicians Formula at some point in my life and I was not very impressed so I discontinued very fast. This time I did a long search and decided to go with Mineral Hygenics since it contained so few ingredients. I have never heard of them before, but I wasted so much money on products already so I thought that $50-$60 wouldn’t make much of a difference and plus they had a generous return policy. Well, I have been using their make-up for a while now and my skin is clear for the first time since my teenage years. I know that this sounds too good to be true. I have never written reviews before, but after I woke up this morning, I did a little dance in the bathroom because my face was looking great. I wanted to share and maybe help somebody avoid my mistake. I still cannot believe that I didn’t get this earlier.
    Now, this is not an advertisement for Mineral Hygenics. Although I love it, I have not tried many mineral make-ups so I am not really in a position to compare. All I know is that my skin is clear and my make-up looks very natural and stays on the whole day. My message to all acne sufferers is this: be very careful what make-up you use. If you are breaking out, try switching the make-up. Find something with least ingredients possible that would diminish the chance that you react to your make-up.

  • Annonoumous

    DONT EVER USE YOUR HANDS WHEN APPLYING COVERUP ! USE A SPONGE !!! … <Mineral powders look cakey and too noticable. & clinique foundation doesnt feel good on my skin . Use Covergirl ADVANCED RADIANCE

  • Jo

    Hey Dan,
    Thank you for all of the help/work that you do. Almay is my staple everyday and has been a miracle. I have been wondering about the airbrush make-up though. It says it’s good for acne prone skin since you don’t use brushes/hands to apply it, but I don’t know if the foundation itself is non-comedogenic.

  • Reece

    Thank you for all that you have done. Your regimen is the only one that has literally shown me overnight improvement! I have adult acne and have tried practically everything available on the market over the last 30 years. I’m probably old enough to be your mother and I can tell you that it really sucks to still be battling pimples along with the wrinkles and gray hair! I’ve tried so many gimmicks and treatments out there and so far yours is the best. I wish I could have known about it when I was teen, my life may have turned out better. lol.

    As far as make-up is concerned, I’ve tried them all and really like Cover Blend by Exuverance (sp). It’s a bit pricey, but a little dab goes along way and it lasts all day and it claims to be a treatment also. It’s much better than DermaBlend or Colorstay. You can buy it at This is not an advertisement for me, just wanted to pass it along in hopes it could help others.

    And last but certainly not least, I want to add how important it is to drink a lot (as in 8 glasses a day) of water. It’s important to moisturize your skin from the inside also, along with the outside. I promise if you increase your intake (and juices, soft drinks do not count) of water on a regular daily basis, your skin will show improvement in texture and clarity within a week.

    Well, that’s my two cents worth. Thanks again!

  • Rebecca

    Hi! I have just completed accutane (5 month treatment) and have blogged about the makeup I found best for covering scars and acne, as well as what makeup and skincare I recommend and worked for me. If you are interested its *edited* πŸ™‚ I would love comments and feedback! I recommend Revlon Colorstay and Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation for high-coverage, and if you want a good coverage but not a heavy feel I recommend Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser. I love makeup and beauty products so I definitely put a lot of time and effort into what goes onto my face!

    – Bec

  • Bellaflyz

    I use Almay SmartShade SmartBalance. LOVE IT! Thanks for the recommendation in your video!

  • Candice

    I have sensitive skin that is oily and also dry in some areas.

    The best powder foundation I have ever used is made by Micabella Cosmetics. It provides excellent coverage but doesn’t have that shiny look that some mineral powders have. It also never made me break out and didn’t make my skin oily.

    MicaBella also makes a milky cleanser which is very gentle and a rose water toner. Both work very well. They also make beautiful eye shadows that are loose powder – you can mix them with the clear gloss they sell or vaseline and make lip gloss or you can mix the powder with clear nail polish and make colored nail polish! It’s pretty cool πŸ™‚

  • Meaghan

    I am only 12 but i have suffered with acne for almost two years, and trust me IT STINKS!!!!! i use proactiv and it works really well but you need atleast a mounth for it to fully work. I use bare minerials but before i do i use sea breeze and it really opens your pores but wait like ten minutes and then put your makeup on. Bare minerials has a smail brush that you use on all of your blemishes the you use a large brush with the same color all over your face and then you use a bit of bronzer on the cheeks and last you use the mineraial vail that ties it all together!

  • Anonymous

    I’m 34. Started having acne as an adult. Foundations used: Smashbox, clinique (acne solutions, redness solutions, tinted moisturizer, moisture surge), revlon, covergirl, bare minerals (bought the starter kit), almay, bobbi brown to name a few. As a teen I used noxema to cleanse and covergirl makeup and maybe some sea breeze once in awhile. Now with periods of severe almost cystic type acne I wash with neutrogena naturals (clear bottle), I take solodyn daily (prescription from Dermatologist) wipe with erythromycin pads (also from derm) and use oil of olay moisturizer (the new one for acne). Revlon Colorstay is by far the best makeup for acne prone skin. Clinique is horrible and so is bare minerals for me. Also I had a horrible breakout from cetaphil and ceravue. Clogged my pores up and felt gross! The cetaphil bar was so drying I couldn’t stand it and yet the moisturizer with SPF made me greasy!!! Smashbox wasn’t used long enough to know if I break out from it cause I used it after breaking out bad from Clinique and then switched to Bobbi Brown due to a friend recommending. I use a brush to apply everything. I switched from the olay to bobbi brown oil free lotion to see if I get less oily during the day. Smashbox shine control put on before foundation really helps!!! Almay didn’t seem to make my acne worse but just sit on my face and never really blended in. Looked unnatural!!

  • Lena

    I am allergic to both mica and bismuth, the main ingredients in mineral makeups. I know a lot of people that don’t understand why mineral makeup makes their breakouts worse, but when they switch to makeup without these ingredients, their skin clears up. Of course, many people will say that it’s “impossible” to be allergic to these ingredients and that the problem is the type of makeup brush the person in using, or the method of application, or even skin care products that are making the skin extra sensitive. But this isn’t true! People have all different types of skin and different reactions to things, and many people ARE in fact allergic to these ingredients. I certainly am.

    I currently use Ecco Bella Flower Color Natural Liquid Foundation and it has been a miracle for my skin. It is water based and contains great ingredients. It does contain sunflower oil- the only oil in the product- but sunflower oil is similar to jojoba so it shouldn’t cause problems (but again, everyone has different reactions). It is mica free and provides excellent coverage. It doesn’t aggravate my skin and washes off easily since it’s water based. I began using this makeup even before I started the regimen and I saw a huge improvement in my acne which the regimen continued to clear. I used to use 100% Pure Healthy Skin Foundation, but it clogged my pores, made my acne worse, and gave my skin an overall bad appearance (this was my personal skin reaction to it, but others think the makeup i great for them).

    What I do for makeup removal on the regimen is this: at the end of the day, before I wash my face, I gently slather the moisturizer all over my face. The moisturizer works to loosen and absorb the makeup making it easier to wash off. Then I jump in the shower quickly to rinse. I do this because the spray from the shower quickly and easily rinses off the moisturizer/makeup, and it’s more gentle and effective than using my hands at the sink. Then I wash and continue with the regimen. I’m having fantastic results so far.

    But I certainly agree with other comments that everyone has different skin and different reactions to products. I think it’s wonderful that we are all sharing ideas for everyone to try and figure out what works for them.