bareMinerals Foundation SPF 15

Price:
$27 
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Category:
Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Mineral Makeup > Mineral Foundation
Last Updated:
12/11/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

bareMinerals Foundation SPF 15 is the loose-powder foundation that put Bare Escentuals on the map and it is the backbone of this makeup line. This talc-free, mica-based powder has a soft, almost creamy texture and an undeniably shiny finish (not a good look for someone with oily skin).

The titanium dioxide and bismuth oxychloride lend this powder its opacity, medium to full coverage, and slightly thick finish. The formula includes broad-spectrum sun protection, but because most women won't apply this liberally enough, it is best paired with another form of SPF .

This foundation can be tricky to blend, and is best applied with a powder brush. The best options shade-wise are for fair to light skin, though there are a few exceptions. In fact, there are plenty of shades for women of color, but the high amount of titanium dioxide causes them to look or turn ashy on darker skin.

Active: Titanium Dioxide 12.6%, Zinc Oxide 21%. Other: Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica, Iron Oxides, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide

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.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Steph C
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 14, 2014
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    A truly porcelain foundation
    • Fair is perfect if you too have glow-in-the-dark (aka ghost) skin tone. Sure it's messy to apply, expensive (in Australia), and fairly flat/matte in finish if applied too heavily. A great SPF tool for your arsenal, it works really well applied over a moisturiser with an SPF. Ideal for travellers - it won't slide off on the hottest driest days and also fantastic in humidity (tropics). Not sure its really SPF 15 given FAIR's active ingredients comprise 25% titanium dioxide and 19.6% zinc oxide

  2. Sara
    Reviewed on Tuesday, June 03, 2014
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    With passing hours, looks oily
    • I used it for several years actually, but i finally got tiered of the oiliness that it causes after sever hours of wear. I have normal to dry skin , yet, it make face oily and shine too much. It also made my face itch, now i know why. By the way , I am 27 and started using it since i was 23. But now i have switch to another Mineral makeup foundation loose powder, WAY !, better for me , at least. Would never buy this one again.

  3. Wendy R
    Reviewed on Saturday, May 31, 2014
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    Wanted to love it
    • My skin type: Oily, acne-prone Pros: Weightless feel on skin, buildable coverage, glow-y finish Cons: Looks greasy after couple hours, made my skin itch (bismuth oxychloride was the culprit), expensive for me considering coverage desired The Matte version of this foundation doesn't have that ingredient, but it just doesn't look as good as this one upon initial application. Might be ideal for drier skin types.

  4. brenda s
    Reviewed on Thursday, February 27, 2014
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    Won't apply even
    • When I have my sunblock on this product won't apply evenly. There are some areas on my face where it won't go no matter how many times I go over it. It does look nice in the areas that I have been able to get it to stick though and the color matches well so the unevenness is not real obvious. This happens even when I apply mineral veil under the foundation. I have started just using the mineral veil alone over my sunblock.

  5. Emily K
    Reviewed on Sunday, November 10, 2013
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    Probably not best for oily skin
    • This does leave my skin with a really lovely light finish, but after a few hours I am left looking very shiny and greasy. I tried using a primer underneath which helped cut out the shine, but really I was looking for something that would cut the fuss out of my make-up routine. (Which the product itself does do, it is very easy to apply and blend.) Also, it congregates in my forehead creases which can look pretty unpleasant by the end of the day. If only I didn't have pesky oily/dry skin!

  6. Joy
    Reviewed on Friday, November 01, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Love this, keep going back to it year after year
    • I keep returning to this foundation because it doesn't irritate my sensitive acne prone skin. I found the itching was caused by the goat hair kabuki brushes they sell, not the foundation itself. Once I started using a synthetic hair brush, this became my go to again. It does help to have well moisturized skin before "buffing" this foundation in.

  7. Marti Q.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 29, 2013
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    Great if you are young!!
    • I bought this when you bought it on an infomercial. When I first used it I loved it, it gave me the matte finish that I like and using it cut a step in the morning. After using it for several years I noticed my face itching and it was settling in the creases under my eyes, not good!!! After doing some research I found that the itching was common. So, for those young people with no creases it is a great product as long as you don't react to the ingredient that causes the itching; but, for us that are more mature stay away from this product unless you are fortunate enough to not have any lines around your eyes or elsewhere on your face.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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