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Product Review: Bare Escentuals
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cheezwiz
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:59 am      Reply with quote
Those of you who are familiar with mineral cosmetics will probably yawn, but this is all new to me!

I've watched the late-night infomercials with a mix of curiosity & skepticism. This definitely seemed like a "too good to be true" product. But what if it actually worked?

I have troubled skin and feel like I've been on a lifelong quest to find the perfect foundation. I've tried just about every liquid foundation out there - from high-end department store lines to econo-priced drugstore make-up. Nothing has ever satisfied me completely: wrong shades for my ultra-pale skin, too shiny, matte formulations that are too drying, settling into my pores, difficult to blend etc.

So while visiting the states recently, I wandered into Sephora & decided to plunk down some money on a starter kit . I also wound up buying one eye glimmer (cultured pearl), a liner (sugarplum), one lipstick (aida) & a gloss (violet).

The starter kit was priced at $60 US and came with the following:

    2 foundation powders, one in fairly light (1.2) and light (2)
    1 jar of mineral veil setting powder
    1 jar of "warmth" an all-over bronzing powder
    3 make-up brushes (a concealer brush, a facial brush & a short handled kabuki brush)
    1 instructional DVD
    1 bottle of MD formulations cleanser


I patiently waited until I got home from my trip before tearing into my box. I sat down and watched the DVD for application tips. Much of the footage was the same from the infomercials I had seen, but it was a good refresher.

I then opened up the containers and went to work! The foundation colours seemed a bit dark to me at first glance - especially #2. I decided to start with 1.2. I swirled a bit on the foundation lid, tapped & buffed on my face as the demo instructed. I followed with a light dusting of the mineral veil using the kabuki brush. Both the foundation & powder felt completely weightless, yet evened out my skintone noticeably. I found the brushes very useful in applying the minerals & would recommend investing in some if you decide to buy BE.

I tried the "warmth" as a blush, and though it went on very sheerly, it simply had the wrong undertones for my cool skin. This would be a nice product for women with warm tawny complexions who enjoy bronzer.

I have been using these products for over a week now and have to say that BE has exceeded my expectations. Not only does it provide a natural looking finish, but the health of my skin has improved dramatically. I have had far fewer breakouts, flakies, red discolorations etc. My face looks much clearer without any make-up on.

After experimenting a bit, I have refined my application technique somewhat. When you are used to traditional cosmetics, minerals are a bit of a switch - less is more! I was definitely putting too much on at first, not realizing that it takes a few minutes for the minerals to do their thing. Now I think I've got the foundation thing down.

Here's what I think about the other items I purchased:

BE Lipstick - this wasn't highly rated on the Makeup Alley website, but I really like it. It has rich pigmentation, and is very emollient. It contains shea butter which is keeping my lips nice and moist. Because I don't have blush, I've also been dabbing a bit on my cheeks as well.

BE Lipgloss - Very pretty, nice texture - smooth without being too gummy or sticky.

BE eye glimmers & liners - fun to play with. Sheer application, but intense pigments. lining the eyes works best with a wet brush. I'm eager to try more colours.

The only problems I've had so far:
Oily breakthrough: I still get this partway through the day, but this happens with pretty much any make-up I use. What's nice is that I don't get a slick "masklike" sensation on my face. Also there is no colour transfer at all. It's simply my skin! It certainly hasn't excaberated any oiliness. A quick blot takes care of any shininess. Minerals are also nice because you can re-apply overtop of your make-up without having it look cakey, or strange.

Fading: the pigments are beautiful, but I find the intensity starts to fade after a couple of hours. I will have to experiment with the mineral veil a bit for a more lasting finish.

To me these are minor problems, and the improved condition of my skin is well worth dealing with these minor drawbacks. For those who are curious about this brand, here's a list of Pros & Cons.

Pros
    Easy application (with a bit of practice)
    Skin can "breathe"
    Natural looking finish - no discoloration or demarkation lines if applied properly
    Natural feeling finish! none of the slick grimy sensations liquid makeup imparts
    Products are not prone to contamination the same way regular cosmetics are
    Products are used in much smaller quantities and therefore last FOREVER.
    Versatility - you can safely put any of these products anywhere you like on your face - eyeshadows can be blushes, blushes & glimmers can be mixed with glosses etc.
    Good value - I really think you get a LOT of product for what you pay. BE has some terrific kits which are reasonably priced and come with all sorts of useful extras like brushes.


Cons
    Foundation contains bismuth & the mineral veil contains cornstarch. These ingredients can be irritating for some women.
    Not very portable - Loose powders are not easy to pack or throw in your purse!
    Messy - if you start using this, be prepared to have tiny streaks of powder everywhere. This stuff is so finely milled, there's just no avoiding it.


For me, the pros are far outweighing the cons right now. I may experiment with other mineral brands in the future such as Jane Iredale, but for now BE suits both my skin & my budget! If any of you have tried BE I would love to hear your comments - what you liked, what you didn't like, appliction tips etc. wave

Oh, and by the way, though I don't recommend this, I have fallen asleep with my mineral make-up on, and just like the BE ads claim, my skin was fine! Wink
chimera
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:36 am      Reply with quote
Wow, that was quite a comprehensive review! I have recently tried Jane Iredale samples and I noticed that it exaggerated any fine lines around my eyes (and I have rather few at my age). Did you notice the same thing with BE?
cheezwiz
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:52 am      Reply with quote
Hi Chimera,

I was having a bout of insomnia when I typed up the review - went a bit overboard! This will be me at work today:

I haven't had any problems with lines being accentuated at all. I noticed that some women have complained about this with BE on sites like Make-Up Alley, but it hasn't been the case with me at all.

The foundation powder contains bismuth, which gives it a slightly creamy texture. Apparently this ingredient can irritate some skins, but its caused me no problems. From what I understand JI has no bismuth, so the texture may be a bit different.

Prior to starting on the minerals I was using Revlon's new Age-Defying makeup with Botafirm. I LOVED the colour match to my skin, but after wearing it for awhile I started seeing lines around my eyes I never knew existed! It was supposed to give a more youthful appearance, but man I looked OLD!!

I'm much happier with the BE Very Happy
chimera
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:00 pm      Reply with quote
Oooh sounds good! Do you happen to know if BE eyeshadow is completely natural? I can't seem to locate the ingredients anywhere online, which makes me suspicious. Smile
cheezwiz
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:17 pm      Reply with quote
hmm
Not sure on this one Chimera. From the consumer reviews I've read, the only red flags with BE appear to be the Bismuth & Cornstarch.

I don't think either one are in the eyeshadows. I haven't seen an ingredient list with my own little eyes though. Are ingredient lists optional or mandatory for US cosmetics companies?

I will say that I haven't had any eye irritation with the shadows (this includes me dozing off while still wearing them!)
Pudoodles
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 6:12 pm      Reply with quote
Excellent review Cheezwiz!! Wink Isn't this stuff grand?! Hi Chimera! re: accentuating fine lines - the first time I played with minerals I think I over-applied and ended up looking more lined than less....It took me a few tries to get the right touch...and now I just couldn't be happier! I am 40 and I am asolutely delighted by how much my skin *loves* the Bare Escentuals! I, too, Cheezwiz, will wander into the land of other mineral makers but I'm a total newbie right now am therefore just completely enamoured with the BE!
Pudoodles
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Mariav
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:43 pm      Reply with quote
Yup, Cheezwiz, Jane Iredale's Amazing Base (loose minerals) does indeed contain Bismuth Oxychloride, not sure about her pressed. Such a bummer, b/c I did love it when I first forayed into minerals, but my skin reacted badly to the bismuth -- (i.e.dried out my skin, got blindness-inducing bumps on my already huge forehead, little chin hives/bumps and got the itchies big time.) I could not figure out what the dang was going on until a facialist confirmed that I was having a reaction to the bismuth.

I sadly had to stop using Jane....

I am so glad that the BE is working for you!and that you love it! I know so many girls/women who will use nothing ese and it's done wonders for their skin!

However, for those who can't use it, there is a wonderful world of mineral cosmetics out there with lots, and lots, and lots of companies who don't use the bismuth in their products. I could name you a million, but some wonderful favorites are Aromaleigh (stinky part - they are only available in the states) who have come up with a foundation called Glissade which is like cream in a powder form (Very silky!) specially formulated for those with sensitive skin. Also Botany 101 - a fabulous MMU that has vitamin E in it - (the good news, she ships overseas, the bad news, be prepared to wait till your next birthday to receive your products....there have been some unfortunate customer service issues which has really hurt her business, but supposedly she's made a turnaround which would be great news b/c the foundation is fabulous.) She also makes one for oily skins.....let's see who else.....Bare Faced Minerals (lovely!), Pure Luxe (haven't tried their foundation but I have their product called Line Eraser which is amazing!), Melange....oh man I could go on and on...None of these products contain bismuth which has been a joy to those who loved the BE and Jane and couldn't use them. They all pretty much contain Oxides and some have Mica.

If you want to really get overwhelmed visit the delphi forums mineral mania site,(forums.delphiforums.com/mineralmania/start) and see for yourself just how many new mineral makeup companies have sprouted up - each with the most gorgeous colors and some with skincare - but best of all the price is right! Rest assured on those boards there is a site called BE ADDICTS, which is indeed for the lovers of BE. It's probably the busiest forum there - full of devoted, head-over-heels in love the with product ladies!

Wink Maria

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cheezwiz
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:02 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks for the info Maria! I will browse the delphi site to see what others have to say.

I'm a lifelong cosmetics junkie - I thought I knew everything there was to know about makeup & had tried everything under the sun.

Turns out there's a whole world of make-up out there that I never knew existed Shock . I've already read about dozens of lines on the 'net & I'm sure there are plenty more!

Fun for me, BAD for my bank account!!
chimera
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Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:40 pm      Reply with quote
OMG I had no idea there were so many companies that made mineral makeup! I am really on the search for products that are all natural and do not contain titanium dioxide. So far I am experimenting with "Silken earth" by Aubrey Organics. The ingredients are GREAT but I am still getting the hang of using it. For anyone who is interested, it contains: Silk Powder, Cinnamon Powder, Aloe Vera, Allantoin (Comfrey Root Extract), Henna, Hematite, Beet Extract, Carmine, Natural Flower Oil.
tinamarie8
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Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm      Reply with quote
chimera wrote:
OMG I had no idea there were so many companies that made mineral makeup! I am really on the search for products that are all natural and do not contain titanium dioxide. So far I am experimenting with "Silken earth" by Aubrey Organics. The ingredients are GREAT but I am still getting the hang of using it. For anyone who is interested, it contains: Silk Powder, Cinnamon Powder, Aloe Vera, Allantoin (Comfrey Root Extract), Henna, Hematite, Beet Extract, Carmine, Natural Flower Oil.


How are you doing with Aubrey Organics Silken Earth? I bought the base ages ago, but never really gave it a fair try because it seemed too pale and dry for me the few times that I tried it. I may dig it out tomorrow and try it again.

Tina
anya
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Sun Apr 17, 2005 8:55 am      Reply with quote
This and other posts on minerals convinced me to give 'em a try, so I just ordered a BE starter kit from EDS Very Happy
Can't wait for it to arrive Very Happy

Anya
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Sun Apr 17, 2005 10:29 am      Reply with quote
I have worn foundation sporadically over the years. You know buy a tube use for the first 3 days, relegate it to top shelf and use on an occassional night out. With the BE mineral I have used it everyday for months now. I love it. I tried samples of the JI and it is OK, but the BE is my favourite. I absolutely love it.

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cheezwiz
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Sun Apr 17, 2005 10:44 am      Reply with quote
Glad to hear you like it Loopy Lori!

I've been using it for a month now and am very pleased. Others rave about Jane Iredale, but its just too expensive for me to try out right now.

I've been browsing the Delphi forums for applicaiton tips. (These women are INSANELY devoted to the product Shock ) I found the before/after photos women posted of themselves very interesting. The makeup photographs beautifully and looks soft, radiant & best of all, natural.

I have ordered an additional foundation (in #1 fair) as well as a blush in "Heaven" from EDS. I will pick it up from the spa as soon as it arrives from the warehouse. Can't wait!

This might sound crazy, but I've noticed that if I do a spot application of the foundation before bed, it helps dry up emerging acne bumps & reduce redness. So I guess my crazy skin likes it!

With the messiness & non-portability, this is not the makeup for everyone. However its versatility & mixability really appeals to my creative "inner artiste" Wink
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Sun Apr 17, 2005 11:38 am      Reply with quote
Could you give us the website of this Delphi Forum cheezwiz - I want to be nosey and look at the before and after pictures, I wouldn't mind picking up some application tips either Wink
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Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:46 pm      Reply with quote
[quote="cheezwiz"]

I have ordered an additional foundation (in #1 fair) as well as a blush in "Heaven" from EDS. I will pick it up from the spa as soon as it arrives from the warehouse. Can't wait!

Hi Cheezwiz! I am going to order the BE #1 as well - I find the #1.2 just a little too dark for my skin - I'm really pale!!
Glad to hear you still like it - I'm loving it!! The radiance is just too DIE for!!
Pudoodles
cheezwiz
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Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:35 pm      Reply with quote
rosebud wrote:
Could you give us the website of this Delphi Forum cheezwiz - I want to be nosey and look at the before and after pictures, I wouldn't mind picking up some application tips either Wink


Hi Rosebud,

Probably the quickest way to get there is to go to the website www.beaddicts.com. (This is a fun fan page with lots of product photos)

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see a link to the "BE Addicts Forum"

It will take you straight to the Delphi page. You do have to sign up for a membership to get in, but it only takes a minute or two.

I found the Delphi forums really weird to navigate - you have click on the tab that says "messages" at the top of the page. Once you do that, you can look at the topic folders listed on the left hand side of the page.

One of the folders is called "Tips & Tricks". If you click on it the folder will expand and list all of the postings. There is another folder SOMEWHERE that is called "BE before & after photos."

Sorry this is so long winded, but I found Delphi very strange & difficult to get used to. My other complaint is that everyone puts dopey signatures on their messages (huge graphics of sparkly fairies, kitties or bunnies Rolling Eyes ) I think there is an option somewhere to hide these. You can read messages for hours and get some interesting application tips!

wave P.S. Pudoodles - I can wear the 1.2 as its very forgiving, but I think the undertone is a tad yellow for my skin. So I'll try the 1 and see how it goes (hopefully I won't look like a ghost!) I'm thinking I might also have to get some Clear Radiance. Sounds like the colour would be perfect for my skin tone and everyone seems to rave about it!
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Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:19 pm      Reply with quote
Cheezwiz, I agree 100% with your comments about Delphi forums. They are a nightmare to navigate Sad I tried to access the before and after BE pics and was directed to a Yahoo webpage which required a login and pass. By that time I was too frustrated to even try! Will your Delphi log/pass give access to these pics, or am I missing something on that board?

Thanks!
Anya
cheezwiz
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Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:20 pm      Reply with quote
Anya Yes unfortunately, you do have to sign up for a membership in order to access the boards. I believe you just have to enter your e-mail address, and create a member name.

Once you do that, you get access, but its very puzzling. You will see topic folders listed on the left hand side of the page. To see messages posted in the folder, mouse click on it, and it will expand.

I can't remember now if the before/after pictures were a folder topic, or buried somewhere inside a folder. After going back to look, I can't seem to find them! This is a shame, because they were very interesting to look at.

Navigation on those boards is really baffling to me, and the loud colours everyone puts in their messages made my eyes bug out!!

If I find the link again I will repost.
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Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:39 am      Reply with quote
I am interested in trying some of the BE products. I think my skin is pretty light but I do not know what foundation shade would be best for me. I am NC 20 in MAC...I don't know if anyone can help me choose the correct shade for BE??
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Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:27 am      Reply with quote
Hi Faith - I went onto that website Beadicts, they have put up pictures of all the powders - it is really good for picking shades - I am an NC20 and recently ordered the multi tasking bisque which has yellow undertones - from looking at the pictures I determined that I actually have pink undertones to my complection and if I do decide to get the BE foundation, I would go for the #1, the lightest one Very Happy Very Happy
I am trying to figure out what shade of Jane Iredale's Disappear to go for????
faith
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Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:43 am      Reply with quote
Thanks Rosebud Smile ,

What is the easiest way to determine what undertones I have in my skin? I think they are pink...I always seem rosy looking, to me anyway Think

Wish I could help you with the JI Disappear, but I have never tried any of these products before.
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Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:23 am      Reply with quote
I always think the best way to determine undertones is to look at the colour of your favourate blusher - the one that compliments you the best and looks the most natuarl, the one I have is a rosey pink - if the one that looked the best on you was say terracota then you may have yellow undertones, check the site out and see what you think. Very Happy
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Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:53 am      Reply with quote
faith wrote:


What is the easiest way to determine what undertones I have in my skin? I think they are pink...I always seem rosy looking, to me anyway Think


Hi Faith, here are some other tips for figuring out your skin tone:

Do you look better in pinks & blues? or warmer colours (peaches, russets, browns?). If you look & feel good in pink, your skin most likely has rosy/pink undertones.

Also I'm told that people with pinky undertones generally have bluish coloured veins, while warmer/yellow toned people have a greenish cast to their veins. Hope this helps! Smile
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Tue Apr 19, 2005 6:45 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks Rosebud and Cheezwiz,

That helps a lot Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy V blue viens, and I do wear a lot of pink; not corally colours at all.
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Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:59 am      Reply with quote
Faith & Rosebud,

I'm an NC15 and I wear BE in #1.2 or #1 (#1 in winter only). I generally go for #1.2 now because I don't want to look so pale.

Btw, I'm using Jane Iredale's Disappear in Light and this is what it actually looks like (some people reckon that it's almost white, which I don't agree with): mabsy.freeserverhost.net/JILight.jpg
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