Dr Feelgood: Mineral make-up: a modern miracle?

Your weekly health and beauty check-up
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The Independent Online

Under the microscope...Susan Posnick Colorflo Foundation (£44.95, refills £21.95, www.skinbrands.co.uk)

In theory: Mineral make-up is the latest hero-product in the beauty cognoscentis' armoury, replacing the traditional foundation-concealer-powder routine with a one-step powder application. Based on natural titanium and zinc oxide, mineral powders offer sun protection and are the only cosmetics endorsed by dermatologists for wear after treatments such as microdermabrasion. Susan Posnick, the make-up artist behind the range, claims her foundation is "the finest milled mineral foundation in a luxurious, self-dispensing brush, providing SPF26 sun protection"

In practice: The packaging is a neat idea, but as a firm believer that top-quality tools are half the battle in make-up application, this doesn't match up to the feather-soft Bobbi Brown brushes. The dosage is also hard to gauge, resulting in the occasional cloud of powder vanishing expensively into the ether

Observations: Excellent coverage with a slight sheen that elicited an impressive total of three compliments on my "good" skin (it isn't) and is infinitely easier than liquid foundation. Use too much, and it looks cakey, so for a natural look gently buff into skin a little at a time

Analysis: The highly pigmented coverage is a strength and weakness. Fantastic for simultaneously disguising blemishes and evening out skintone, but lacking the subtlety you can achieve with concealer and foundation. The natural ingredients mean it won't clog pores,so if you should happen to fall into bed with your make-up on (tut-tut), it's not the end of the world

Prescription: If you have sensitive skin or acne, this will be the answer to your prayers. Otherwise, it's a brush-and-go style make-up routine that gives radiant skin to the chronically lazy

Further experiments: For black and Asian skins, Powder FX has an excellent range of shades (www.harveynichols.com). For lower prices, check out Maybelline and L'Oréal, whose mineral products start at £9.99 (www.boots.com)