This is a very standard, silicone-enriched foundation primer whose silky texture ensures a smooth surface for makeup application. Although primers aren't a must-have for beautiful makeup, some find them a helpful addition. To our way of thinking, if you're already applying a serum and/or moisturizer, primer is an extra step you can easily skip.
Best for normal to oily or combination skin, this primer is fragrance-free and contains mica for a soft shine finish that adds radiance. Its sheer yellow tint helps neutralize a ruddy complexion (hence the "neutralizing" portion of the name), but be sure to check the color in daylight to make sure it works with your skin tone, as this could give a slightly jaundiced appearance if not applied right.
This would earn a higher rating if it contained a good mix of beneficial anti-aging ingredients—one more reason primers are often easily replaced by a state-of-the-art anti-aging serum.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Easy to apply; makes skin feel very silky.
- Sheer yellow tint helps diffuse excess redness.
- Lacks a skin-beneficial mix of anti-aging or skin-repairing ingredients.
- Easily replaced by a well-formulated serum (and you can use foundation to cancel any redness).
With its color-correcting yellow base and light-reflective pigments, this innovative foundation primer immediately neutralizes the appearance of discoloration, uneven skin tone and redness for brighter, younger-looking skin. Our mineral-infused formula glides on seamlessly, combatting flaky dryness, rough patches and uneven skin texture.
Water (Aqua/Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Magnesium Sulfate, Stearoxymethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Aluminum Dimyristate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499).
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.