Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mineral Foundation Unit Prices - more definitive version

Ever wonder how much product you're getting for your mineral-makeup buying buck?

Well, I figured it out for you! Imperfectly, because different brands have different densities even if they fill the same size jar, and also because different brands can require different amounts of product for equivalent coverage.

Keep in mind that most MMU companies pack by volume, not by weight, so the weights are approximate.

If I missed a company - and you know how much their foundation costs and how much (in grams) you get, let me know and I'll add it.

Unit prices on foundation

adorned with Grace

$13.49 for roughly 8 grams – $1.67/gr

Aromaleigh Glissade
$16.75 for roughly 8 grams – $2.09/gr

Aromaleigh Voilé
$15.75 for roughly 8 grams – $1.97/gr

Bare Escentuals/Minerals Original

$25 for 9 grams – $2.78/g


$12 for 5.5 grams – $2.18/g
$9 (with four other items) - $1.63/g
$6.60 (with 11 other items) - $1.20/g

Lucy Minerals
$14 for 10 grams - $1.40/g

Meow Purrfect Puss

$10.95 for 6-8 grams – $1.82-1.37/g
$21.95 for 22-30 grams - $0.98-0.73/g

Meow Pampered Puss
$12.95 for 6-8 grams – $2.16 - 1.61/gr
$23.95 for 22-30 grams – $1.08 - 0.80/gr

Meow Flawless Feline
$14.95 for 6-8 grams – $2.49-1.87/g
$26.95 for 22-30 grams – $1.22-0.90/g

Silk Naturals
Note: Silk Naturals sells unmixed foundation by volume, not by weight, and a tablespoon of their foundation would fit into a 25g jar, which is a pretty standard size. You buy a bag of plain white foundation and mix the appropriate amounts of darker base colors into them, so you get an exact match. Both the white base and the colors you add to it are available in tablespoon bags and half teaspoon sample baggies.

They also use different ingredients that aren't as dense as other companies (silk powder, for example), so a tablespoon ranges from 4-5.8 grams depending on formula, with the lighter coverage being less dense than the heavier ones. The cost per gram is different between formulas, but the cost per volume is the same. For purposes of comparison with other brands, it's more useful to think in terms of volume:

As sold by the tablespoon in plastic baggies, the unit price works out to:
$1.37/g for original formula
$1.10/g for the vegan and medium formulas
$0.95/g for the heavy formula.

Since they come in baggies, you'll have to order your own jar (if you don't do the starter kit), and that'll add up to $1.50 to the cost. Or you could clean an old one out and use that - you're paying for product, not for packaging.

If you get the starter kit, which includes tablespoons of your base color, Ivory, a jar, and a scoop to measure:
Original formula: $1.50/g
Medium and vegan formulas: $1.20/g
Heavy formula: $1.03/g

I am very fair, so I'm going to buy a tablespoon of the original Ivory, a sample baggie of Warm Gold, and a 30-g jar (because I want the bigger one). That'll run me
$7.99 the first time, which is less than any other company charges for enough foundation to fill a 25-g jar. My price-per-gram for the initial investment is $2, but it's the same volume as Everyday Minerals or Meow's Munchkin (6-8 gram size), so the cost-per-gram isn't an accurate reflection of SN's value. Also, I won't have to buy the jar again, and each sample baggie will color two bags of Ivory for me, so next time I need foundation, it'll be even less. For someone who's about an even mix between their color and the white base, the sample kit gets them twice as much volume for the same price as EM. Someone dark enough to only need a tad of white in the base will have an initial cost more like mine.

(Thanks to Karen at SN for explaining the differences between her foundation and other mineral brands so clearly)


  1. Very nice price breakdown. I always knew Meow was a great value and this confirms it!

  2. Very nice breakdown!
    I really like the Large Meow size of Pampered Puss, and have that, but I also have the Aromaleigh Glissade. I really like both of them.

    I need to get brave and try to mix up my own Silk Naturals foundation.

  3. Thanks!

    I'm working on a strictly sample basis right now, so I'm not sure which foundation or two I'll end up with yet (I usually like to keep around one sheerer one for everyday and one more full coverage one for special occasions), but it is good to know that Meow and Silk Naturals are such good buys. I have samples coming of Aromaleigh (both kinds) and adorned with Grace, too.

  4. Thanks! Very helpful. I'd love to know what you think of Lucy Minerals too :)