Monday, June 16, 2008

bareMinerals Starter Kit Review

It seems you can't walk past any makeup department, Sephora, or Ulta store without seeing the Bare Escentuals bareMinerals starter kit ($60) displayed front, line and center. The starter kit boasts a value of about $180, but retails for $60, and includes all the basic products and brushes you need to, well, get started with mineral makeup.

Now I've gotta admit, I'm really late to trying mineral makeup. My little sister ordered it a few years back when bareMinerals was sold only through infomercials and she didn't like it much. She said her go-to base Cliniques Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder ($19) gave her much more coverage in much less time, and after trying bareMinerals for myself, I have to agree.

The kit looks really neat when you open it, it comes with three brushes (two powder brushes, one concealer brush), two shades of foundation (one for when you get darker, one for your lighter "winter shade"), a bronze shade called "warmth" that is used on your cheeks and everywhere else the sun naturally hits your face, and a setting powder known as the "mineral veil", which you brush over you face after your done applying your base to make you skin "glow". An instructional how-to DVD and a serum that supposedly makes your skin more smooth is also included.

Okay, so being an NC-42, I got the kit in Medium Tan/Tan and followed the directions on the DVD to apply it. I didn't find the directions difficult since I'm used to applying powder foundation with a brush. You just open the jar of foundation, tap a little powder into the cap, swirl your brush in the cap to pick up the powder, tap off excess, and apply to your face. If you want heavy coverage you're supposed to use the short-handled Kabuki brush, if you want sheer coverage use the longer handled flawless application brush. Next you follow the same "swirl, tap, brush" system to apply concealer (using the concealer brush dipped in foundation powder), a little "warmth" over your face, and finally the "mineral veil" to get a natural looking foundation look.

The verdict? I found this foundation not only made my combination skin look oily after a few hours, it did a terrible job of covering up imperfections. It covered up redness decently (albeit, I had to use the full coverage Kabuki brush) but if you have any blemishes, dark circles, or hyperpigmented spots or acne scars to cover, don't even bother with this stuff. In the DVD they mention a Multi-Tasking Face Product which supposedly comes in two shades, Bisque (for lighter skin) and Summer Bisque (for tan and darker skin), but I didn't get a chance to sample this as it was not included in the Starter Kit. And quite honestly, I don't know why it was not included. The whole point of wearing foundation is cover up imperfections and get rid of blemishes to get an even skin tone, and for $60 I would expect at least some kind of concealing product to be included.

bareMinerals seems to be a foundation for those women who already have great skin, and are just looking for a product to make their skin tone look more even. On the plus side, it does succeed in giving your face a natural looking even tone and probably is a great choice for women with dry skin. On the other hand though, if you've got problem skin/combination skin/oily skin and are looking for coverage that is more than sheer, stick with other brands that are tried and true (like my favorite, Bobbi Brown or Vasanti Cosmetics).

I don't want to discount all mineral foundations completely though, because I hear they are good for your skin and long wearing. They must be, because so many cosmetic companies like Revlon and MAC have rolled out their own versions of mineral makeup. I just think bare Minerals just wasn't for me.

For an excellent review of Revlon's Colorstay Mineral Foundation (yup, the one you see Halle Berry wearing in the commericials), check out this link at Beetrice's Reviews. This is one I actually may try next because the results are supposed to be matte.

P.S. Don't believe the hype that bareMinerals or any mineral makeup is so good for your skin that you can sleep in it. I've had conversations with countless women who said doing so made them break out like mad. Trust me, no makeup in the world is like manna from heaven that you can sleep in it and not mess up your skin. Always wash your face before you go to bed, your skin needs rest too.


  1. Hello Ladies,

    I have really bad acne, well I did, past tense... I've done proactive and other things and I used all kinds of foundation to cover blemishes and nothing worked well and didnt make my skin work except this stuff... I am sorry that I didnt work well for you but Bare Escentuals worked wonders for me, I have really oily skin, so after about 8 hrs I needed to reapply the mineral veil to keep my skin matte for the evening but it looks great and Im medium tan and other makeup often looks pale in pictures, but this makes me skin look luminous

  2. I tried bare minerals too, and it didnt work for me either. It didnt give enough coverage, and I was surprised at how many people asked me if I tried something new with my make up, etc, - every one of them said that I look tired and dull.

    It might be a great product, but just didnt work for me.

  3. Excellent review! :) I really like bareminerals because it's easy on my sensitive skin. It's a little pricey though.

    I found a nice alternative while reading another bareMinerals starter kit review.


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