Saturday, 3 April 2010

Review: Bare Minerals Original foundation

Disclosure - this product was sent to us free for review

Bare Minerals/Bare Escentuals are, for many, the last word in mineral foundation. They're the high-street face of minerals, the department-store-shopper's powder foundation. They have brought the swirl-tap-buff application method to the masses. Their Original foundation has SPF15 and claims to be able to help heal rosacea and acne. It offers buildable coverage and is apparently suitable for all skin types thanks to its gentle, all-natural formula. It's, to quote a marketing tagline the brand uses, "makeup so pure you can sleep in it".

My experience with minerals had so far been of the indie variety (and mostly limited to lovely eyeshadow sample jars from the likes of Fyrinnae) when I was sent this foundation to review. The brand currently have a promotional campaign in play called "Rethink your foundation", and have been offering miniature foundations and brushes to customers on counter as part of the programme. As a result, there are likely to be a lot of other people discovering or re-discovering this brand at the moment too.
One thing I really like about this stuff is the packaging. The "click lock and go" sifter is a pretty neat bit of engineering. Basically you can open or close the sifter holes by twisting the edge of the open jar (there is a serrated grippy bit to make this easy) to avoid spillage if you're carrying it around with you. There are plastic "bumps" to keep the sifter held in position. The jar itself is a solid but lightweight construction with pleasantly neutral branding.

The "flawless face" brush that was sent along with the powder is also of good quality, soft and pleasant to use. I am not sure what sort of hair it's made of (definitely natural hair and not synthetic). It sheds a bit, but not too much.

I wore the foundation, applied in swirl-tap-buff fashion with the "flawless face" brush, for several days running. And I don't know why, but I just didn't take to it. There's something about the feeling of it on my face that I don't like. It's kind of... there. I can tell I have it on whenever I move my face. It's not heavy, it's certainly not greasy, but it's not drying either. It just creates a sensation that I personally don't like, and for that reason I doubt I will repurchase.

That said, I'm confident that it will probably work a treat for other people, and it seems like a well thought out, good quality product. So if you are at all curious, I would suggest that you do go to the counter and have a try of it, especially if the promotion is still running when you read this.

Bare Minerals Original foundation costs £22 (8g) and is available from Bare Escentuals online, or via counters in department stores nationwide. There is also a stand-alone Bare Escentuals store in Covent Garden.
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13 comments:

  1. The new sifter packaging is an excellent idea. I just didn't get on with BE at all; it made my face itch. It also made me look oddly shiny/metallic in photos, like Data from Star Trek.

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  2. I have used Lily Lolo for years, only recently buying a cream foundation again to have a bit of variety. bareminerals isn't a patch on Lily Lolo. I got a sample of bareminerals recently and it was binned pretty sharpish because of that feeling you mention. Not pleasant at all.

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  3. @Grace London really? Shiny? Hmm! M from Facegoop described an itchy feeling as well, seems to be a common reaction. Agreed re. sifter though, very user-friendly.

    @Charlie Ohh, Lily Lolo is one of those brands I've been meaning to try for a while! I will head by their site and pick up some samples when I'm next foundation-shopping. Thanks Charlie x

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  4. I quite liked the finish when I tried it, but it made me itch too - it's the bismuth!

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  5. Ahhh - this is why @mothersmouth doesn't like it I guess, I know she has a hatred of bismuth.

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  6. There's no Bismuth in Lily Lolo x

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  7. I agree that you should try Lily Lolo - to me it feels like I'm not wearing any face make-up. The sifter on this one looks really good though.

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  8. I love that sifter idea, though I'm a bit too wary of the reactions BE can cause to try it. After all, I have bad skin in the first place, so I dont want to risk breaking out even more D:

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  9. I've been using this for around 3 weeks now, with their primer underneath. It was recommended to me becuase I have 'problem' skin to say the least!

    I'm still trying to decide whether its a keeper for me, but I haven't had that itchy or uncomfortable feeling. This is much better for me than any other highstreet mineral makeup, and so much better than liquid of cream foundation that literally cakes up my face no matter how little I put on. I haven't tried lily lolo though, maybe I should....

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  10. the sifter is a wonderful idea, shame its with BM products. I cant wear the stuff due to the bismuth. I know its supposed to give that glowy look, but it's too shimmery for me and irritates areas of my skin.
    I wear Meow Minerals or Aromaleigh minerals foundation as they also do my skin colour which BM dont have close enough to

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  11. Thanks for the feedback, all - great to have your recommendations and experiences. I am grateful to now have some pointers re. other mineral brands, as the variety of MMU companies out there is dizzying.

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  12. Interesting debate - I get on really well with Bare Minerals. You do only need to use a tiny, tiny amount - could that be why it looks too glowy on some?

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  13. Could be an application issue, although there is a huge amount of detailed information on how to apply available from the brand, so I don't know what else they could do to correct that if so.

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