bareSkin® Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 is Bare Escentuals/bareMineral’s version of a liquid foundation, but with a catch: there is no water, silicone or oil in the formula. The formulation they came up with makes for a really odd texture. It feels slippery and greasy but once you blend it out enough it feels like pure silica powder, un-unnervingly smooth. (Think MUFE’s HD microfinish primer). As far as i know it is a very polarizing product. Rumor has it that it is bareMineral’s most returned product. There is a dumpster diving girl who seems to have found a lifetime’s supply of this stuff, just saying.
Claims – from the BM Weblisting
bareSkin® Pure Brightening Serum FoundationBroad Spectrum SPF 20
Coverage: adjustable coverage
Finish: natural finish
Skin Types: all skin types
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.
First things first, show me those clinical studies. Sample size, cohorts and all. Kthnxbai.
It has broad spectrum SPF! YAY! But that 20 though…. I still layer sunscreen under the foundation because I am a vain little beast that’s terrified of pre-mature aging. I stick to thin liquid formulations that i trust wont make me shiny. I could get into a whole discussion about what I use because I am so picky but sunscreen discussion is for another post (hopefully coming soon). Speaking of super shiny though, this foundation makes me look extremely oily, with or without sunscreen underneath. There is a thin line that separates the ‘natural finish’ of a “healthy glow” from the tragic mess that is a “greaseball’. This finish of this foundation is waaay over that line and planted firmly in greaseball territory.
Primer is a must if you have even semi visible-pores. It will sink into every pore, crease and wrinkle it can find within half an hour of application.However, since there is no silicone or water in the formula your current primer probably will not work as well. It will make the foundation’s finish look more smooth but the longevity is not extended. On most days, it cant even outlast my lipstick (4 hours-ish) before it’s in desperate need of a redo, not touch up, redo. I’ve tried this foundation on top of Smashbox’s photo finish primer. No help. MUFE’s primer. Still no help. I personally used Kiehl’s Micro Blur with this. It gave me a near airbrushed finish to smooth out the foundation but hasn’t done anything to help longevity, unfortunately. I haven’t tried baremineral’s own Prime Time primer because I returned the foundation before i could do so. I just did not want to fuss with it
Speaking of texture, this foundation is temperamental. It hates dry skin and exaggerates oily skin. If you have dry patches and flakes? Forget it. If you have dry patches that you didn’t know about? This foundation will find them for you and bring them to light like a pig trained to unearth truffles. This foundation does capitalize on the “brighter and more youthful appearance” claim though. By brighter they mean, we’re going to make your face so shiny looking that it will shine like oil rubbed wood. As far as youthful part goes… it makes you look as a oily as a teenager. Simple as that. If you have perfect skin and only need sheer coverage to even out your skin tone, this might be for you. If you have dry or oily skin, may the makeup gods take pity on you and put you out of your misery quickly by dousing your face in makeup remover, hand you a gift card and send you on your way to find another foundation.
Also, this foundation will transfer on everything: shirt, finger, boyfriend or dog. Anyhow if you even so much as poke at your face, you’ll be left with a corresponding bald spot. Setting spray is no help. I imagine a hardcore fixing spray is the only way to get this to stay on my skin. Powdering it will help it stay, but it starts to flake and almost peel off as time goes on.
As mean as I’m coming across I will give credit where it’s due. This product is extremely pigmented per volume of product. It’s easy to obtain full coverage with 3 large drops (if applied with fingers). I have a rather wide face so some people might get away with two. One drop applied with fingers concentrated around areas with discoloration might be enough for people with relatively good, blemish free skin. However, i have other pigment dense face base products that i would happily reach for before this one. If you have ever played with the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin enhancer, know that it’s texture is the polar opposite of this bM serum foundation. The KA SSE is very thick, hard to blend and might look cakey if rushed. This serum foundation is very runny and very easy to blend. It’s way too easy to over-blend this and wipe away sections you have already covered so it often looks patchy. But if they could ramp up the lasting and staying power of this, it would make an excellent full coverage concealer.
The Perfecting Brush Review
bareMinerals recommends that you apply this foundation with the “Perfecting Face Brush” that was designed specifically for it. It looks like an other flat top buffing brush – slightly bigger than a quarter at the top – with a well in the middle of it.
The technique, as taken from the bareMinerals site, is to dispense “1-2 drops of foundation [into the well] and adjust to your desired coverage level with additional drops.” 1-2 drops into the brush is very, very, very light coverage. Wayne Goss used 8 drops in his demo video and it was still quite sheer.
In my humble opinion, this brush is a waste-of-money-squared. I say that because it wastes your foundation AND performance-wise, the brush itself is a waste of $28. As demo’d here, it’s pretty much impossible to do your face 1-2 drops unless you already have flawless skin. The brush eats up the foundation like I eat seasoned laver. You know how seaweed in the package just kind of magically disappears? And then all your’re left with are a few crumbs at the bottom? That is pretty much what happens with this brush. It eats up the foundation, leaving only mere crumbs which are then buffed onto your face.
TL;DR version: this brush wastes a lot of your product; therefore it is a waste of money.
It’s also a pain in the ass. Even when you’re not sticking the handle up- … never mind. Ahem. When they say “wash brush regularly for the best results’ what they really mean is, “wash the brush very thoroughly after every fucking use, or else you’ll end up with a streaky face the next time you try to use it.” This brush clumps worse than a duo fiber stippling brush does after it has been used with any kind of cream or liquid formulation. Being more clump-prone than a duo-fiber stipple brush takes a special kind of special, and it’s not the kind of special a $28 brush wants to be. Humorously enough, it’s so evenly streaky (what an oxymoron) that it’ll make you look like you have fur if you use horizontal strokes… so I guess it would be useful for some critter based Halloween makeup.
This brush could not be more undeserving of the “perfecting” part in its name. In essence, it sucks and i detest it. I returned this brush also.