Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation is touted as a “breakthrough tone-correcting mineral foundation and skincare serum in one”, but that’s an overstatement. First things first: There’s nothing particularly advantageous about “mineral” makeup (check out this article to find out why). Second, in no way does this foundation replace a well formulated serum in your daytime routine. In fact, swapping your regular serum for this would be selling your skin short on the remarkable ingredients found in today’s best serums. Yes, there are skin-care ingredients in this foundation, but that’s true for most liquid foundations.
The bulk of the fragrance-free formula contains ingredients that give this foundation its aesthetics; not ingredients that anti-age skin. The anti-aging ingredients are used in lower concentrations and none of them are particularly adept at improving an uneven skin tone (though simply applying a foundation can do that via the coverage it provides). In a move for the best, this foundation is bottled in air-tight, opaque packaging to help stabilize the ingredients that are air and light sensitive.
The formula provides broad spectrum sun protection via mineral active titanium dioxide which is what delivers the primary anti-aging benefit. Note that unless you’re willing to apply this liberally, we always recommend pairing a foundation with SPF with another source of sunscreen to ensure adequate protection
In terms of this foundation’s performance, the ultrathin, fluid texture blends into skin for a natural finish. Although this is a very lightweight, sheer foundation, you can build up to medium coverage by stippling it. Bare Escentuals sells an accompanying brush just for that, but you can use any stippling brush.
The ultrathin texture does have the tendency to separate, particularly on oily skin so setting this with a powder is a must. The ideal candidate for Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation is someone with normal or combination skin.
The massive shade range caters to fair skin tones, all the way up to deep. Avoid the 06 Satin shade due to its unflattering pink undertones, but otherwise there are plenty of neutral, flattering options for all skin tones.
All in all, this isn’t a revolutionary product that will change your need for good skin care, but if you want a really lightweight, sheer foundation with buildable coverage, then you may find it appealing.
- Natural finish, ideal for normal or combination skin.
- Expansive shade range of flattering colors for light to deep skin tones.
- Lightweight, fluid texture blends on easily.
- Buildable, sheer-to-medium coverage.
- Titanium dioxide provides broad spectrum sun protection.
- Not as revolutionary as claimed (doesn’t replace need for a serum or skin-lightening product).
- Anti-aging ingredients are used in low concentration.
- Ultra-thin texture can end up separating, especially on oily skin.
Active: Titanium Dioxide (11%). Other: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coconut Alkanes, Silica, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Lecithin, Glycerin, Maltodextrin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Jojoba Esters, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Soil Minerals/Syringa Vulgaris (Lilac) Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Mica, Iron Oxides, 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.