Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)

Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance

Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; great “100% natural” 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: 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

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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
Average Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation SPF 20 Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen  $29.00
Poor 7-Day Skin Detox Mineral Brightening Peel Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) AHAs  $75.00 1.00 set
Poor bareMinerals Multi-Wrinkle Repair Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Serums  $50.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Average bareMinerals Prime Time Neutralizing Foundation Primer Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Foundation Primer  $23.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Poor Wrinkle Concentrate Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Specialty Skin Care Products  $38.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Poor bareMinerals Intensive Glow Pads Brightening Treatment Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) AHAs  $35.00 60.00 pads
Best SPF 20 Correcting Concealer Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Concealer with Sunscreen  $20.00
Good Stick Around Eye Primer Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Eyeshadow Primers  $20.00
Good Instant Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Eye Makeup Removers  $18.00
Best bareMinerals READY Bronzer Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Powder Bronzer  $24.00
Best bareMinerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Regular Mascara  $18.00
Best bareMinerals Flawless Definition Curl & Lengthen Mascara Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Regular Mascara  $18.00
Good Buxom Pen & Ink Long-Last Eyeliner Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Liquid/Gel/Cream/Cake  $20.00
Good bareMinerals SPF 20 Concealer Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Concealer with Sunscreen  $18.00
Average Buxom Waterproof Smokey Eye Sticks Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Eye Pencil  $19.00
Poor bareMinerals Brow Color Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Brow Powder/Wax  $11.00
Poor bareMinerals Redness Remedy Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Loose Powder  $27.00
Poor Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Tarnish Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Cream Lipstick  $19.00
Average bareMinerals READY SPF 15 Touch Up Veil Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Pressed Powder w/ Sunscreen  $22.00
Poor Buxom Full-On Lip Polish Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Lip Gloss  $19.00
Good bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Powder Eyeshadow  $20.00
Poor Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Cream Lip Polish Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)
- Buxom
Lip Gloss  $19.00
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
Average Well-Rested SPF 20 Eye Brightener Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals) Eyeshadow Primers  $18.00
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