Wednesday, February 27, 2008

swirl, tap, buff your way to bare escentuals

My parents came out for a visit this past week and my mom mentioned that she wanted to try out Bare Escentuals and asked if we could stop by an Ulta or Sephora so she could check it out in person.

Now, I have to admit that I have been dying to try this stuff out and see if it is worth all the claims to be the #1 selling makeup. So, I jumped at the chance to "tag along" with my mom. But I did one better by actually taking her to a Bare Escentuals store in one of our malls. So we set off for our day of girl time.

But as we got closer to the store we both got really nervous. And thoughts of "what if they put on too much, what if it looks horrible, what if it melts our face off" started running through our heads. But we were brave and asked them to show us the basic foundation starter kit.

So, here's the scoop....I strongly recommend going somewhere where there is an expert to help you for 2 reasons. The first being, they can match your color and can even go so far as mixing 2 shades together and even rematching as you get tanner in the summer or paler in the winter. The second reason being, since there is a special technique to applying all this stuff, they only put the makeup on half of your face and make you do the other side so you can learn how to apply it yourself.

I have read a couple reviews that mentioned how this makeup didn't work for them since they had drier skin and I spent some time thinking about that. I could understand that being an issue if they don't use moisturizer or if they don't apply the makeup properly. From what the girl at the store kept telling me, the reason you have to "buff" the makeup on, is so that the minerals have time to react to the temperature of your skin and actually become a cream. So, as long as your skin is a warm temperature it shouldn't have a problem blending it in to your skin. And apparently several million women are using this stuff and there are bound to be a couple bad reviews.

Anywho...back to the girls day...after she was done going through each layer of the starter kit and having me freak out each time she handed the brush over to me. She asked if I wanted my eyes done, or blush or lips done as well. I tried the blush since the last time I wore blush was at my wedding, umm.....six years ago, I thought I give it another whirl. I also tried some lip gloss because I will ALWAYS try lip gloss. The final result - I was pleasantly surprised. I looked very pulled together and "healthy". My face felt very soft and light, like I had very little if any makeup on at all.

For the rest of the day my mom and I kept looking at each other in different types of lighting and asking, "how does it look...ok, how about now?"

Now, my biggest problem with makeup is that I have an oily t-zone that tends to be an issue in the afternoons. The mineral veil in the starter kit is the finishing layer that sets everything and is the only one of the mineral products that isn't all minerals, it also has cornstarch in it to absorb oil and shrink pores. Umm, I would like to buy that stuff by the case. I didn't feel any oil on my face until late into the evening.

So, the starter kit in the store and online is $75 and includes everything that you need (2 bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation medium size jars, Mineral Veil finishing powder, Warmth All-Over Face Color - which is a bronzer, Clear Radiance All-Over Face Color - which is a highlighter), plus the brushes (3 brushes - the foundation brush, concealer brush and a brush for the other 3 layers) and a compact you fill with some of the mineral veil to keep in your purse for touch-ups. What I really appreciated is that they weren't trying to sell me anything and they were very quick to tell me that I can use any of my other makeup with theirs. You love your concealer, you don't need to use theirs.

You can buy Bare Escentuals just about anywhere - I even found it on Amazon and I think we have all found ourselves watching the commercial at some point. I found the starter kits for less than $75 but they don't include as much as the one directly from or their store. There is even a membership club you can join, where the starter kit is discounted and then they send you new foundation every so many months. I just bought new foundation less than a month ago, but I am strongly considering making this my next one. I don't think I will join the club. I like to change and try new makeup too much to commit to one long-term. My mom liked it enough to give it a whirl as well. We also talked about how everyone from Neutrogena to Laura Mercier have come out with their own versions of this type of makeup. If nothing else, you should at least let them help you find your color and show you how to apply it and then buy it from which ever company you want to try.

photo courtesy of


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