I really like mineral foundation/makeup, but for whatever reason, it had been years since I used bareMinerals foundation from Bare Escentuals. I use their eye shimmers pretty often and just love those, but I had been experimenting with other brands when it came to foundation. I recently decided to give them a new try and purchased the Starter Collection at Ulta(pictured). The Ulta collection is one of many starter kits that are out there, and they all are slightly different regarding the items in them. It turns out that the starter kit at Amazon.comis a bit cheaper, as are some from Sephora and QVC (see the shopping link at the end of this post). So it does pay to comparison shop a bit. If you have an Ulta or Sephora Store near you, they both carry the line in the store. I have also seen Bare Escentuals stores in some malls.
My kit came with 3 brushes (kabuki, concealer, and powder brushes), two foundation shades, Mineral Veil powder (an illuminating light powder), a blush (Glee), and a bronzer (Warmth). It also included a booklet and DVD on how to use the line. Glee is a mineral blush that I like quite a bit. It is heavily pigmented, so a tiny bit goes a long way on pale skin such as mine. The amount of pigment makes it quite versatile and I imagine that it would work well on just about all levels of skin tones and shades. It also is generally a universally flattering shade. Warmth is a bronzer that also worked OK for me. It too is quite pigmented, and I found that I had to be very careful using it on my pale skin. I think those with medium skin tones would like it better.
The brushes were quite useful and nice. I find a stiffer kabuki brush to be ideal for applying mineral makeup and the Bare Escentuals brush was just right for me. There was also a nice concealer brush and a soft powder brush. The brushes initially shed a few hairs, which is common with new brushes, especially cheaper ones. But after the initial shedding, the brushes were great. They are a bit smaller in size, but I like that both for storage and portability. Plus I already own a few large kabuki and powder brushes. Having some smaller ones is nice.
Unfortunately, my re-try of the Bare Minerals foundation and Mineral Veil powder produced mixed results. On the good side, the minerals go on smoothly and with great coverage, even over melasma and hyperpigmented areas. That was just as nice as I remembered. The makeup also lasts well and has a built in SPF factor that physically blocks rays. That is my preference in sunscreen for the face. The kit I bought came with two different foundation shades, and I got the best results by mixing them because the darker one was about the right level for me, but a bit too yellow. The mix fixed that.
Now for the bad side. I really don't remember Bare Minerals being so shiny before. The Mineral Veil powder is a lovely light shade that seems like it would be a great illuminating powder, but on me it was too illuminating. It was so shiny that I just looked like I had really oily skin. Yuck! Thinking that perhaps I had put too much on, I tried using just a tiny bit the next time. That went a bit better, but it was still too shiny. So the Mineral Veil powder just won't work for me. When I tried the foundation alone, I found that it too was a bit shiny. It was not nearly as bad as when I used the Mineral Veil, but nevertheless, there was still a slight shine to it that I can live with yet would prefer that it not be there. When I reviewed Jane Be Pure Mineral Makeupone reader mentioned the shine in bareMinerals and a couple of readers suggested trying Everyday Minerals. So I might try Everyday Minerals next.
Overall, I really love some of the Bare Escentuals products. The blush is nice, as are the eye shimmers. With the foundation, if you want a lot of illumination from your mineral makeup, give bareMinerals a try, but if shine concerns you, then I suggest avoiding the Mineral Veil and/or trying in the store first before shelling out a lot of money.