12 April 2014

first impressions: bareminerals bareskin pure brightening serum foundation

Note: Updated review can be found here.

Like many people, bareMinerals Original was one of the first foundations I ever used. I couldn't even count how many I went through in high school and college. Next was the Matte formula, which I tried but never really liked since I prefer a more natural finish. Then came the READY formula. While I readily embraced the READY mineral veil, I did not fall in love with the foundation version. The main reason was the finish, it was somewhere between the Original & Matte versions, and overall seemed to have heavier feel. I did get the brush and went through most of one of the compacts, and even got a second in a lighter shade when I lost my tan. However, around that time I started experimenting with liquid foundations and my powders were eventually set aside.

Now bareMinerals has finally come out with the inevitable liquid foundation, bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation. I advance ordered through QVC back in February, seemed to be a great deal with both the brush and foundation for $39.96 (currently they have the same set for $43.96). I eagerly waited for it to arrive, and to my delight it showed up earlier than expected on Wednesday.

Before I get into my thoughts, here is the description from QVC's website:

This unique, lightweight, ultra-thin, skin-perfecting fluid delivers adjustable coverage and a flawless finish, while also providing skin care benefits. The mineral infusion is formulated with ingredients that help deliver a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance. And it's formulated without water, oil, silicone, parabens, or fragrance.

The new Perfecting Face Brush has a specially engineered reservoir that holds the fluid formula, while the longer, surrounding bristles smooth out the finish upon application.

How do I use it: SHAKE well to combine the ingredients. DROP one to two drops of foundation into the reservoir of the Perfecting Face Brush. BUFF gently onto skin in circular motions. Start in the center of face and work your away around the complexion.

For desired, adjustable coverage, only use up to two drops at a time on the brush.

Two drops = sheer coverage.
Four drops = medium coverage.
Six drops = full coverage.

First up, the color I selected, Bare Ivory, is a little too light for me right now. That's the unfortunate problem with ordering something like this online. It would have been perfect for me in the middle of winter, but it's been pretty sunny here in So Cal recently and I've started getting a slight tan. I'm going to exchange it for the next "golden" shade up, probably Bare Beige or Bare Nude. One thing I do really like is that they specifically have "golden" shades. I always found their powders to run a little  to the pink side.

I have used this for only three days, so keep in mind that these opinions are definitely first impressions. I would normally wait much longer to post a foundation review, but I was too excited about the idea of a bareMinerals liquid to wait!

The "reservoir" brush seems a little gimmicky to me, but it is a nice smaller size and very soft. I have always liked the shorter handles of bareMinerals brushes as well, and have never had any shedding issues. I haven't tried any other brushes yet, but it think my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush would probably work just as well. It definitely needs a "buffing" style brush though, as I have found buffing is really one of the keys to using this, similar to the powders.

The packaging for the foundation is very small and simple. The bottle is smaller than I expected, and it's a little difficult to squeeze which helps to control the amount that comes out. It has some sort of ball or mechanism inside to help when you shake, which apparently is a very important step since the packaging says "shake well" multiple times.

The finish of this foundation has a definite glow. A tinted "Serum" is a great description, because this is different from any foundation / tinted moisturizer / BB cream that I've ever used. It takes some experimentation. The first two days, I kept trying to use way too much. I figured there was no way that 2-6 drops would be enough for my whole face, especially since this is silicone free. I also kept using it over moisturizer and primer, like I normally would use any other foundation. The problem I ran into was that it never dried down. I felt like I had a thin greasy layer on my face that just sat there. So finally, this morning, I decided to try skipping my moisturizer and primer, and really using only the suggested 2 drops at a time tapped all over and then buffed like crazy. I used only two drops for each half of my face (four total). The results are amazing, it evened out the tone and my skin feels so soft and moisturized without feeling greasy at all. My advice would be that less is more with this foundation! It seems to work well with their Mineral Veil (a long time favorite) as well, I just tapped it lightly over my T-zone to set any concealer.

While not necessarily a negative, the biggest disappointment I have with this foundation is that it is sheer coverage. Maybe medium coverage at best. It may tone down blemishes, but do not expect it to cover everything. They should not call this buildable or full coverage, from my experience if you build to full coverage, you are using too much.

The best part about this is really the skin care aspect. As mentioned earlier, I have only been using this for three days, but when I wash my face at night it really does seem to have a nice "brightening" effect. Usually by that time my skin is dry and tired, but it seems like bareMinerals has really come through on the promised skin care benefits. Perhaps this is due in part to being formulated without silicones or parabens.

I look forward to using this throughout summer as a light foundation option, however I will not be giving up my full coverage foundations any time soon!

Swatches in the sun and indoors, blended on the left side. You can really see how other than the color, it is almost invisible.

Here are some random shade comparisons also. I have included the only two bareMinerals foundations I currently own, as well as my current go to NARS foundation.