Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)

Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance

Strengths: Good makeup removers; a couple of well-formulated loose powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and  impressive mascaras; great "100% natural" lip gloss and lipliner; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.

Weaknesses:The mineral makeup has its share of pros and cons and isn't for everyone; several of the loose powder products with shine have a grainy feel and cling poorly; some of the skin care contains problematic ingredients.

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.

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Your results are in the table below. You can narrow your results by using the drop down menus or sort by toggling the column labels. If you would like to add an item to your faves check the box in the "+" column. Click the add to faves button when you're done adding items.

+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Good Stick Around Eye Primer Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Eyeshadow Primers  $20.00
Good Show Some Skin Weightless Foundation Light to Medium Coverage Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen  $34.00
Average Buxom Waterproof Smokey Eye Sticks Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Eye Pencil  $19.00
Good Buxom Stay-There Eye Shadow Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Cream/Cream-to-Powder Eyeshadow  $18.00
Good Buxom Sculpted Lash Mascara Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Regular Mascara  $19.00
Good Buxom Pen & Ink Long-Last Eyeliner Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Liquid/Gel/Cream/Cake  $20.00
Average Buxom Lips Full Color (Discontinued) Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Lip Gloss  $18.00
Average Buxom Lips (Discontinued) Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Lip Gloss  $18.00
Good Buxom Lashliner Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Liquid/Gel/Cream/Cake  $16.00
Average Buxom Lash Mascara Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Regular Mascara  $19.00
Average Buxom Insider Eyeliner Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Eye Pencil  $14.00
Poor Buxom Full-On Lip Polish Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Lip Gloss  $19.00
Poor Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Tarnish Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Cream Lipstick  $19.00
Poor Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Lip Plumpers  $19.00
Poor Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Cream Lip Polish Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Lip Gloss  $19.00
Poor Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Balm (Discontinued) Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Lip Balm Without Sunscreen  $10.00
Poor Buxom Amplified Lash Mascara Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Regular Mascara  $22.00
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