Bare Escentuals Review

Bare Escentuals was the first mineral makeup brand I discovered, way back in 2003. Since then I have tried many brands.

Some were quite good and others were not. Some were just ok. After trying so many brands decided to put my experiences out there. I hope this review helps you decide which mineral makeup is right for you.

The Story Behind The Makeup...


Bare Escentuals (you might also know them as Bare Minerals) is a very popular brand. In fact, they might be the oldest mineral makeup company. They were started in San Francisco in 1976, so they’ve been providing a more natural alternative for more than 30 years.

Their most popular advertising is on infomercials, gaining them the nickname “Infomercial Mineral Makeup”. You might have seen them on home shopping network channels. Affiliates sell them on EBAY or their own personal websites. It’s a widespread brand and is often the first brand someone tries when they choose mineral makeup. It was the first brand I tried after seeing it on a late night infomercial.

 My Impressions...

The Deal: I got a deal of two foundations, mineral veil and warmth, as well as three brushes for around $60 plus shipping. It was actually the I.D. Bare Minerals brand, but they are the same corporation. (I should also call these my Bare Minerals reviews.) I chose the light foundation set.

The Package: When I tore into the package my first impression was surprise at how far down in the jar the sifter sat. It looked like I had only gotten ½ a jar of product! But I didn’t know anything about mineral makeup at this point, and figured that was just the norm.

The Application: I couldn’t wait to try out the Bare Escentuals brushes…the kabuki had looked like so much fun! I dutifully swirled, tapped and buffed. I had an immediate reaction to the brush; the bristles were too harsh for my skin. I dumped the kabuki and used the regular face application brush that came in my package. It applied the makeup with no irritation.

The Finish: I looked in the mirror, was pleased with what I saw, and went out for the day. Later someone pointed out to me that I looked “streaky”. I thought that was odd, so I decided to practice my technique.

Pssst! That’s a big part of getting any mineral makeup to look good. You have to perfect your technique and find what works for you and what gives you the look you like.

I like a light to medium coverage, so I had to work to not apply too heavy handed. But I also had to make sure I buffed every single direction or my pores seemed more noticeable.

The Verdict: I was happy with the coverage, the color and the wearability. It was truly light and comfortable to wear, while still minimizing my rosacea. I was very pleased, and didn’t mind at all that I was charged for and sent a refill every three months. I couldn’t wait to expand my collection to include blushes and eyeshadows.

All Is Well. So Far...

I was so excited to find a foundation that didn’t clog my pores, irritate my skin or look like a mask. I was unhappy with the shininess of the makeup, but that was about it. I think I just prefer a more matte appearance.

When summer came I continued to wear Bare Escentuals and continued my exercise regimen.
However, with the summer heat compounding my sweating, my face started itching. I mean, really itching. I couldn’t figure out what was causing it.

I thought it might be my cleanser, moisturizer, etc. After all, I did have sensitive skin. After trying everything I could think of, including detergent, and nothing helped, it finally occurred to me to test my makeup.

And sure enough, that’s what it was.

I dumped it from my routine then, and did some research. That’s when I learned that the two things I disliked about the makeup (the itching and the shininess) were likely caused by the ingredient bismuth oxychloride.

Read more about bismuth oxychloride here.

In The End...


In the end, while Bare Escentuals introduced me to mineral makeup it turned out to be a brand I couldn’t use. But it may be different for you. Mineral makeup, like most makeup, is a trial and error process to find your favorite products.