bareSkin by Bare Escentuals

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bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation ($29) is the highly anticipated liquid mineral foundation from Bare Escentuals. Launched on QVC in late April, it was released nationally last week in all Bare Escentuals shops, as well as other retailers that carry the BE makeup line. I eagerly went to my local Bare Escentuals boutique to see the new foundation for myself.

For years I’ve wanted to like Bare Escentuals powder mineral foundation, but I just can’t wear it. It makes my face look chalky, and never settles into a natural look. I’ve tried both the loose powder foundation and the pressed powder foundation, but I can’t wear either. So I had high hopes for the bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation. bareSkin is a treatment foundation that is supposed to help your skin as it provides color. According to the Bare Escentuals website:

    Clinically proven tone-correcting mineral foundation and brightening serum in one. Created with exceptional purity in mind, this ultra-thin, skin-perfecting fluid provides seamless adjustable coverage, a natural finish and the look and feel of beautiful skin while delivering a noticeably brighter, more youthful appearance. Made with the bare minimum ingredients and formulated without oil, silicone, parabens or fragrance. It’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

The makeup artist who assisted me at the Bare Escentuals boutique color-matched my pale, pink-toned skin and chose the lightest shade, Bare Porcelain (01), for “the fairest porcelain skin with cool undertones.” To use bareSkin, you also need to buy the Perfecting Face Brush ($28).

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The Perfecting Face Brush is a flat-edged brush with a well in the center of it. To apply the bareSkin foundation, you need to shake the bottle, and apply one or two drops into the well of the brush. According to the makeup artist who assisted me in the Bare Escentuals boutique, you need one to two drops of bareSkin foundation for each side of your face. After you put the foundation in the brush, you buff the foundation onto your face with the brush in circular motions, just as you would when applying the loose mineral foundation. Before putting the drops of foundation into the brush for the other half of your face, you need to shake the bottle again. Basically, you will need to shake the bottle every time you put drops of the foundation into the brush. You can build the coverage by adding more drops of foundation and going over your face again. So having worn this foundation for three days in a row, what do I think of it? In a word, meh.

The coverage is thin, which would be good for someone who wants a natural finish (and, again, you can add more foundation to build coverage), but I also find it to have sort of an eggshell finish to it, almost like a lacquer or varnish. The makeup artist who assisted me told me to apply the Bare Escentuals primer before applying bareSkin, and sweep Mineral Veil on top of it, in order to help it last longer than the 3 to 5 hours it would last without primer and powder (the bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation might last longer on drier skin types than oily or combination skin). But putting Mineral Veil on my face makes my face look chalky, dry, and powdery, which is why I opted for the bareSkin serum foundation in the first place. If I need to apply mineral powder on top of it, then it defeats the purpose of using the serum foundation. I also don’t like how the bareSkin serum foundation settles into my pores, especially on my nose. I tried blending it with a blender sponge, but in order to get it to blend in seamlessly, I feel like I’m actually taking off more foundation than I’m leaving on. Plus, primer, foundation, and powder turn a one-step makeup routine into three steps, and in the morning, I want to apply my makeup quickly so I can have more time to enjoy my coffee.

To its credit, the bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation has an SPF of 20. It also comes in twenty shades, with both pink, yellow, and neutral undertones, so there will be a shade for almost everybody. I’m not crazy about the bareSkin foundation, but I like the Face Perfecting Brush. I might try using it with a traditional liquid foundation and see what kind of coverage I get. Sadly, I just spent almost $60 on products that have been relegated to my makeup bag of unused products, after only three days.

Have you tried bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation? What do you think of it?

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