Bare Escentuals bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation definitely has a cult following, but most people seem to either love the formula or hate it. Like all cosmetics products, though, much of the difference of opinion comes down to personal preference and skin type. Experts say that the lightweight formula provides full to medium coverage but isn't ideal for those with oily skin. That's because the powder foundation tends to settle into large pores and exaggerate their appearance. Furthermore, when it mixes with oil on the skin, it can appear cakey. For those with normal skin, reviewers say bareMinerals Foundation looks natural, gives a flawless finish and lasts for hours. Some complain, however, that it is too luminous and looks overly shiny. The foundation makeup is available in 20 shades, but experts say that it can appear ashy on darker skin tones because of the high titanium dioxide content. It should be noted that this mineral foundation contains bismuth oxychloride, an ingredient that adds pearlescent shimmer but can cause irritation for very sensitive skin. Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF 20 (*Est. $50) is a well-liked alternative that is talc-, dye- and paraben-free. It also doesn't contain bismuth oxychloride.
Although beauty expert Paula Begoun is slightly critical of Bare Escentual bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation, we found her review to be the most comprehensive and comparative in nature. Choice magazine thoroughly tests several foundations but doesn't share many specifics about individual formulas. Beauty magazines, including Real Simple and InStyle, test this formula (along with many others), but testing methods aren't spelled out clearly. User reviews at TotalBeauty.com and Amazon.com are plentiful and provide good insight into ease of use and overall wearability.
Paula Begoun says that bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation has a "soft, almost creamy texture" and a shiny finish that isn't good for oily skin. It's also a bit tricky to blend. Although there are plenty of shades for women with darker skin, Begoun says the high titanium dioxide content may appear ashy on dark skin tones.
Review: bareMinerals Foundation SPF 15 by Bare Escentuals, Paula Begoun, July 12, 2011
2. Choice magazine
Choice magazine, Australia's equivalent of ConsumerReports.org, analyzes several mineral foundations by comparing their ingredients and rating each for coverage, ease of application and overall appearance. Bare Escentuals bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation is included in this test.
Review: Mineral Make-up Not So Natural, Editors of Choice magazine, Sept. 2009
3. Real Simple
Testers for Real Simple magazine say that bareMinerals foundation is an excellent option for sensitive skin because it lacks any irritating ingredients. Although some experts disagree, one tester said: "it covered a rash without inflaming it."
Review: The Best Foundation, Bora Chang
Bare Escentuals has won beauty awards from InStyle magazine for the best mineral foundation for four consecutive years. Editors praise it for containing mica, which has light-diffusing properties to deflect from imperfections.
Review: Best Beauty Buys 2011: Face, Editors of InStyle magazine, May 2011
Julyne Derrick says that she is not a fan of bareMinerals foundation because it settles into fine lines and exaggerates large pores. She says that most people love it or hate it, but it's lightweight and stays put throughout the day. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Best Foundation, Julyne Derrick
Bare Escentuals mineral foundation earns above average ratings from users at TotalBeauty.com. Reviewers here say the lightweight formula looks natural but has a tendency to settle into fine lines and pores.
Review: Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation, Contributors to TotalBeauty.com
Bare Escentuals bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation is reviewed more often than any other foundation at Amazon.com. Reviewers here say that the formula provides excellent coverage and is a good option for sensitive skin. Several say, however, that it looks overly shiny on the skin and can settle into fine lines.
Review: Bare Escentuals Original SPF 15 Foundation, Contributors to Amazon.com