Until recently, the only time the residents of WhoWhatWearDaily's office thought about minerals was when we ordered Perrier with our lunch. This has all changed though, thanks to the beauty industry's impossible to ignore boom in the mineral makeup department. We'd long heard tales from our semi-hippie friends about the benefits of mineral makeup: it's good for your complexion, provides natural sun protection, and isn't absorbed by your skin (meaning fewer zits). Glowing stars like Jessica Simpson, Gisele, and Lucy Liu are all purported fans, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Unlike most cosmetics, true mineral makeup products do not contain talc, oils, alcohol, dyes, binders, fillers, heavy preservatives, and have little (or no) chemical ingredients. Dermatologists often recommend them for people with sensitive skin and those prone to acne. Most mineral makeup products contain titanium dioxide, which provides a varying degree of sunscreen protection. Much like the phrase "dermatologist approved"-which often means nothing-many products touted as "mineral" are more like mineral hybrids (not that this is a bad thing, just something to be aware of). Yes, these hybrids might have a significant mineral content, but they also contain chemicals so if this is very important to you, check out the label before you buy.

Some of the best true mineral products we found come from Bare Escentuals and Jane Iredale. Bare Escentuals is the biggest name in the mineral makeup game right now-products are widely available at Sephora-and devotees swear by great coverage and staying power. One of the most popular products is the loose powder formula of Bare Escentuals i.d. bareMinerals Foundation with SPF 15 ($25, www.sephora.com).

We also are huge fans of Jane Iredale's PurePressed Base SPF 18 and the Active Light concealer. ($48 and $25, www.janeiredaledirect.com or available at Kate Sommerville 800.984.KATE). Iredale's line has a heavy celebrity following and is a WWWD editor favourite. The PurePressed Base goes on incredibly smoothly and gives the wearer more coverage than straight loose powder, but looks more natural than powder foundations.

WWWD was also recently turned on to ColoreScience's Foundation with Brush, a SPF 20. For Californians like us, the water-resistant powder is a great plus-you can use the handy container to sweep on some complexion coverage before hitting the beach ($60, www.dermstore.com ). [On a Side Note: Diane Ranger, founder of ColoreScience, also started Bare Escentuals in 1977. Guess it's a small mineral world after all!]

For women who want to dip their toes into the mineral makeup pool through brands they're already familiar with, we've found some fantastic mineral hybrid products: Stila's Illuminating Powder Foundation and MAC's limited edition Mineralize Skinfinish and Satinfinish lines. Stila's powder foundation is heavily comprised of raw minerals but contains lower percentage of zinc than "true" mineral makeup. This means the makeup won't turn grey (as "true" sometimes does) as the day wears on. ($28, www.stilacosmetics.com) MAC's products have similar benefits. Their Skinfinish is a mineral and talc based powder ($24.50, www.maccosmetics.com ) while Satinfinish is a foundation with SPF 15 protection-thanks to the zinc! ($26.50, www.maccosmetics.com)

And with that, we leave you for the weekend. We need some recovery time, thank you very much. Why? We haven't thought this much about minerals since we took a "Rocks for Jocks" science class in college!