Bare Minerals

So I have been wanting to try Bare Minerals for a long time, and finally broke down and bought the started kit from Sephora. It took forever to ship here (didn't want to drive to Lynnwood or U District--probably more in gas than I paid in shipping these days...) it felt like, but it arrived today and I eagerly set to work.

I did this in my living room on the fly. Very low lighting, to boot, so results were uncertain until I went into the bathroom to check it out. I think it leaves me a little sunkissed (maybe too much...hard to tell how I feel just yet), but the coverage is pretty damn good. Completely evens my skin tone without washing out all details and making me ghostly, like some foundations tend to do. I definitely feel this stuff, though. Many people talk about how light it is, they don't know they are wearing it. Well, my cream foundations have always felt great to me. Bare Minerals feels a lot like when I used to use a pressed powder compact in high school--a little bit dry coated, even though it doesn't at all LOOK the same as the pressed powders. Though admittedly the finish *to the touch* (as in when I reach up and touch my face) feels amazingly smooth and nice. And the rub-off factor compared to cream foundation-with-powder or pressed powder is very low. I just now ran a tissue over my face to see how it fared, and I barely see anything on the tissue. I even did it a second time in a different location to make sure I got a fair sampling and nada on the tissue.

I took these photos in the same spot in the living room (so any ambient lighting was the same), with flash, close to the face. I took a few shots in both before and after, to make sure I could choose two photos which were the most similar in angle, expression, etc. There is no Photoshopping/editing of either pic

This is just after washing my face, scrubbing really well to make sure I had a completely clean base to work from. So my face is extra rosy from the warm water (I have very heat sensitive skin). My blemishes this month were particularly bad, so I was most eager to see what kind of coverage I would get on these ugly rough spots. As I said, I took with a flash in both photos to make sure I got maximum detail on pores, redness, etc. So this is a REALLY unflattering picture. Be gentle with me.

This is the after. I was afraid that maybe I got a blurrier shot of the after, but tooling around with it to check this theory, I discovered I just have a soft glow from the make-up, and it is not in fact blurry. I thought about sharpening the photo to prove this, but really wanted to have no editing involved in this comparison at all, so kept it raw.

You can clearly see that my redness and uneven tone is completely evened out by the make-up. The "warmth" added a darkness that I like, but am not sure I would want every day. It feels too...well, in Seattle, when you look "warm" in winter, it looks fake whatever you do. *grin* With practice, I may be able to "subtle it up" more, though, so who knows. The blemish coverage is about 80%. I could certainly put a dab of my usual cover-up to clear those up more. But considering how bad and plentiful the blemishes I had this month, this is damn good coverage for "just a powder".

Random note: Wow, my nose looks pointy in these pics.

Anyway...this was all done using the Bare Minerals starter kit in Light/Fairly Light. I am definitely the lighter of the two, though I plan to experiment with the darker color, with no Warmth step, to see what kind of results that gives me. I used the skin revver upper included as my only moisturizer base, and then put Smashbox Photo Finish on top of that (I use it with my Smashbox foundations, and read in a discussion thread that a lot of people like this combo with their Bare Minerals, so I trusted it was a good move. Seems so.). Then the foundation powder, followed by Warmth, followed by the final Mineral Veil step.

It was not as messy as I was told it would be, but maybe it's just because I haven't dropped a tin yet. *grin* I did feel it was more work than my regular foundation routine, but the results (other than the darker color from the warmth step) look far more like I am wearing nothing at all. Perhaps with practice, this won't seem as labor intensive. I am interested in what this will feel like to dance in, and how it will wear with sweat. I have read from posters in humid climates (like Florida), and they say the make-up stays put like nothing they have ever used, and helps to keep down shine, as well. We'll see...I plan to wear it to troupe tonight to see how it fares.

So to sum up:

~ Evens out redness and uneven tone
~ Looks like I have nothing on
~ Lets my skin glow without looking shiny
~ Reduces shine, but without making my skin matte, like most powders
~ Pretty easy to use, though I had been told it took "a lot of practice"
~ Doesn't smudge or rub off
~ Feels incredibly soft to the touch

~ Feels a little heavier than my cream foundation
~ Right now, feels like more work than my usual routine (more steps)
~ Expensive (and not available at my mall like my other make-up is)
~ Potential to be messy (during application--spills, "poufs", etc)
~ Doesn't seem to cover my worst blemishes as well as my cream foundations

I am gonna give this a shake this week. If it plays out as well, or better, as it did today, then I will buy some of the eye shadows and see if they are as lovely. I have also been on the hunt for make-up that will help clear up my adult acne-prone skin. So I will be watching that closely as well.

So there you have it. The most unflattering photo of me ever posted publicly, just to tell you what I think of Bare Minerals. So far, I would recommend it...

UPDATE: I was using the darker shade by accident. I took "Fairly Light" to mean "just about light" and "Light" to be the lightest. But it's more like "Fairer Light", because it is the lighter of the two. So I redid:

Taking into account that the flash in close proximity to my face is making the photos of my skin come out even lighter than it looks in person (and thus the other photo above doesn't quite show how dark I really look in person, and this photo makes me look paler), I have to say that the Light make-up application will likely work in summer or when I want to look relaly sun-kissed. And Fairly Light will be best for everyday, most natural looking wear.

I also just finished watching the video, which is really really detailed. I fully expected a "here is how you put the foundation on--now go for it! Bye!" Instead it had a very in depth demo, using models (women who have both used Bare Minerals 2-4 years themselves) of two different skin tones demonstrating how they apply their Bare Minerals. Each had slightly nuanced ways of doing it, so it showed a couple different approaches. Then Lori (creator/owner) would show them a way to punch their look up a little for nighttime.

During each segment they clearly show what product they are using, what brush, how, and why they are using each item. Then at the end of the segment, they show a list of the items used, if you want to jot them down. Yes, they are obviously trying to sell you stuff. But only in a few situations was I feeling like they used a product just for the sake of squeezing it in for possible sale (a couple brushes and a couple colors that seemed really unecessary and did little to affect the overall look). Other than that, I found it valuable to see what they used to achieve their look, and see them go through the entire process.

It ends with Lori leading a complete noob through the process--someone who had never tried it before. Less dramatic results, but still demonstrated the simplicity of the application and the ways it can work right from day one.

Still feeling I could recommend this product to my friends. We'll see once we see how it affects my skin quality over time. Though honestly, I read a LOT of reviews on this before finally opting to try it, and only in a very small handful of cases did anyone have issues (a mild itchy skin/skin rash type reaction), and in a couple of those instances, they traced it back to the Skin Rev-er Upper lotion that was used to prep the skin before use. In one of those cases, the gal stopped using that, but still used the Bare Minerals, and the problem ceased.

Check ou for a lot lot lot of reviews of the products to get a better idea of what I read before I decided to buy.

If you decided to try it, keep me posted!!

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On this blog I share my personal posts about cooking and knitting, travel and other musings; while I will blog about dance-specific topics over on the Deep Roots Dance blog:

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