I am really liking mineral makeup lately. Although I have used some of the more expensive brands, I recently picked up a couple of other brands, Neutrogena Mineral Sheers and Loreal Bare Naturale. The Loreal product is new and not yet on the Loreal web site. I will update this post with a link when I have one.
As a whole, a good mineral foundation will provide good coverage, yet will not sink into wrinkles or pores. Something to keep in mind with mineral foundations is that they do not always work well on people who have dry skin. I have seen plenty of reviews of various mineral foundations from people with dry skin who really disliked just about any mineral foundation. However, I have been quite dry this winter and still had success using mineral powder foundation after applying moisturizer as long as I had exfoliated and was not flaky. Because I have areas of hyperpigmentation, I also have used mineral makeup over my regular foundation in the areas where I want extra coverage. I then use liquid foundation or the mineral foundation alone on the rest of my face. That helps keep the makeup fairly sheer where I don't need it so much.
The Neutrogena product works for me only as a finishing powder. It is called "sheer" for a reason. This stuff is really light in terms of coverage. I hesitate to call it a mineral foundation at all. There just isn't any real coverage from it. It does, however, work well as a nice overall powder, and I have been quite happy with it in that function. I do have a complaint about the delivery system on it though. The brush is attached to a rectangular tube containing the powder. To dispense it, a plastic piece is slid down and the case must be tapped to get powder onto the brush. I found that I had to tap it hard and often to get a sufficient amount. I would prefer a design that simply allowed me to dip my brush into the powder. 2011 Update: Neutrogena has since revised the product in more standard loose and pressed powder forms that I like much better
I am quite hooked on the new Loreal product. Unlike the Neutrogena powder, Bare Naturale provides good coverage. It also skips the over-creative dispensing system for something more practical - simply unscrew the brush from the cap of the powder and dip it in. Further, the brush that comes with the powder is good enough that I have not felt the need to use my own brush. That is pretty rare for me. I have had no issues with the powder caking up or settling into lines, and when added over a bit of liquid foundation, it covers my ares of discoloration very well. It is cheaper than most of the best rated brands, yet from my experience, it is every bit as good. I highly recommend the product.
Just last night I also saw an ad for Loreal Bare Naturale Mineral Blush. I will have to keep an eye out for that in the store as well.