This fluid, silky foundation primer has a thin texture that blends well and leaves a soft glowing finish that brightens your complexion. The problem? No matter how long you wait, this primer never really sets, so your skin is left feeling slick and almost greasy.
Because this primer never sets, it’s tricky to apply foundation evenly over it without the makeup looking streaky or uneven. One other drawback is that the pump applicator can clog, which causes this primer to spurt if you don’t clean the pump’s opening after each use. When all is said and done this primer isn’t ready for prime time! For best results, prep your skin with one of the well-formulated serums from our Best Serums list. You’ll get all the benefits of a foundation primer along with other beneficial ingredients that all skin types need to look and feel their best.
- Fluid, silky texture slips easily over skin.
- Subtly brightens the complexion without looking sparkly.
- Formula never sets, leaving skin feeling slick to greasy.
- Difficult to blend makeup over this primer without causing a streaky, uneven appearance.
- Pump applicator clogs easily, causing product to spurt unless the pump’s opening is cleaned after each use.
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Tocopherol, Silica, Magnesium Silicate, Panthenol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Carmine. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. The self-proclaimed "healthiest, purest makeup in the world" was founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s, and is now run by Leslie Blodgett, who appears regularly on QVC and the company's own infomercials to support and demonstrate her products. Blodgett is largely credited with turning the line she began into a $150 million business—no small feat. The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skin-care products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.
Supporting the company's portrayal as a leader in purity are the corresponding claims that the bareMinerals makeup does not contain fragrance, oil, binders, preservatives, emulsifiers, or any other harmful chemicals. Although this line does have its advantages for someone with sensitive skin, as it turns out, bismuth oxychloride, a major ingredient in the powder formulations, can cause skin irritation, while the other minerals can be drying (Source: www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Bismuth_oxychloride-9923103). Regarding bismuth oxychloride, it is interesting to note that bismuth (a metallic element) seldom occurs in nature. Instead, it is a by-product of copper and lead refining, or is manufactured synthetically. Chemically, it's similar to arsenic, a fact you won't see in any advertising for bareMinerals. However, just as cosmetic-grade mineral oil is not identical to the petroleum from which it originated, neither is bismuth oxychloride identical to bismuth. The bismuth oxychloride used in cosmetics is non-toxic, but this background offers a good example of how skewed a company's definition of "natural" can be.
Aside from the health and purity claims, loose powders are as messy as it gets in terms of your vanity (countertop, not ego) and your makeup bag. The powder just gets all over the place, and the very basic packaging does not do much to minimize the mess. Additionally, while there are softer neutral shades, and some fairly exotic shades as well, most are mildly to extremely shiny and make any amount of crepey skin look more so. The face powder does provide some amount of opaque coverage, but the shine and the thickness can be a bit much. The loose powder eyeshadows and blushes apply in a somewhat lighter way, though they still provide significant coverage. Many women ask me about mineral makeup and whether or not it really is better for skin. The answer to that question is "No."
Although most mineral makeup is innocuous, the texture, appearance, and application have difficulties that make it not comparable to today's best liquid or pressed-powder foundations. We agree with bareMinerals' stance that foundation shouldn't look or feel like a mask, nor should there be a line of demarcation where the application stops. However, their foundations are not the only ones able to achieve this, and there is no inherent benefit to this type of foundation over numerous other options.
There isn't much to say about the skin-care products, but what's worth paying attention to is noted in the At-a-Glance section.
For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.com.