Sunday, March 25, 2012

Brand Spotlight: Bare Escentuals

I started wearing Bare Escentuals in college.

At the time, I had extremely oily, acne-prone skin and after watching a presentation on QVC one day, I was totally intrigued by the idea of a mineral powder foundation. Minerals weren’t all over the market like they are today, so it seemed like a pretty novel concept. It took me a couple of days, but I finally picked up the phone and ordered a kit. Two actually – one with the foundation and mineral veil, and one with a couple of loose eye shadows and a blush (which seemed really crazy to me then!). 

I think it’s safe to say that I fell in love with Bare Escentuals products. I faithfully wore the foundation for years and turned both my sisters and mother onto it.  Eventually, my makeup junkie habits had me trying other foundations, but since that first kit, there is always a jar of Bare Minerals in my foundation drawer. It may not be my favorite anymore, but it still works well for me in the summer or any time my skin is a little oily. (I sometimes wear it over lighter foundations or tinted moisturizers when I need extra coverage too.)

And I’m still a big fan of the Bare Escentuals brand. It’s interesting to see how the line has evolved since the late ‘90s when I was first introduced to it.  In spite of their loose mineral reputation, they’ve started getting into pressed products lately. They introduced a line of eye shadows and a pressed Mineral Veil last year, and just this month, they rolled out pressed blushes and bronzers.  It’s definitely a line worth checking out – and here are some of my favorite products if you’re looking for a place to start:

Natural Light Face Lifting Duo
Natural Light Duo swatches - Well Light (l.) & Back Light (r.)

1.       Natural Light Face Lifting Duo – I mentioned this product when in my everyday makeup bag and contouring posts. The jar actually holds two colors – Back Lit and Well Lit.  The Back Lit is a light tan color, so it works perfectly for contouring my fair skin. The Well Lit is a satin-y white shade that provides a subtle highlight. I don’t think this product would work well for darker skin tones, but if you’ve got fair or light skin and have trouble finding a contouring powder that works for your skin without looking dirty or too dramatic, this is definitely worth a look.

Bare Escentuals Ready Shadow Duo in The Epiphany

The Epiphany swatches - A-Ha (l.) & Foreshadow (r.)

Bare Escentuals Ready Shadow Duo in The Top Shelf

The Top Shelf swatches - Mixologist (l.) & Cognac (r.)

2.       Ready Pressed Eye Shadows – It’s funny to say this considering that Bare Escentuals made their name with their loose powder products, but their Ready Pressed Shadows may be the best products in the line now. I have one of the quads, one of the 8 pan palettes that they put out at the holidays, and several of the duos. The shadows come in shimmery, satin and matte finishes, and while all are beautiful, smooth and easy to blend, the matte shades are particularly impressive since it’s tough to find matte colors that are easy to work with.  My favorite duos are the Epiphany with A-Ha, a shimmery light taupe, and Foreshadow, a matte deep brown; and the Top Shelf, with Mixologist, a shimmery ivory shade, and Cognac, a shimmery golden brown. I seriously love these shadows - the formula is probably one of my favorites among all shadow brands, which is saying something, I think. (I also love their pressed blushes, but since I’ve only had them for about a month, I didn’t think it was right to put them on the list. If I wrote this list again in a few months, I’m pretty sure they’d be on it.)

Bare Escentuals Clear Radiance
Clear Radiance swatch

3        Clear Radiance – This is one of the first Bare Escentuals products that I ever bought. They have an entire line of Radiance products now, ranging in color from rose to bronze, but Clear Radiance was the first. It’s a light pink powder that adds a really pretty luminous glow to the skin. It’s definitely shimmery, but I wouldn’t call it glittery.  Because it’s pink, I don’t really use it on its own as a highlighter, but I do like to layer it over pink or rose blushes at the tops of my cheekbones. I love the subtle sheen that it gives. I’m on my second jar – and you know how long these mineral powders last forever, so that just goes to show how often I use it. 

Are you a fan of Bare Escentuals?  What are your favorite products? Which are you thinking about trying?

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