Primers have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, even though most of them aren't easily distinguished from regular lightweight facial moisturizers. That's essentially what Prep Step Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Mineral Shield Daily Prep Lotion is: A good, lightweight moisturizer that has a lot of positive aspects.
This fragrance-free lotion is housed in a squeeze tube with a needle-nose applicator, and that's a good thing because this formula is very fluid! It appears white, but you'll notice "micro-capsules" (pigment capsules) in it that almost give it the appearance of a scrub.
The fluid texture is lightweight and easy to spread, and, though initially a bit shiny, it quickly dries to a satin finish.
One of the best aspects of this product is that it provides broad-spectrum sun protection with a mineral-only sunscreen formula, meaning it's an option for those with temperamental skin. Mineral-only sunscreens tend to leave a white cast, but the aforementioned "micro-capsules" help counteract the whiteness.
As for the antioxidants called out in the claims, BareMinerals included only a couple, but nothing too impressive or worth forgoing your antioxidant-rich serum each morning.
As advertised, this does make skin appear smoother on its own, and it does aid help foundation go on more easily. It also can increase the wear time of your foundation, depending on your skin type.
This formula is lightweight enough to be a good option for combination skin, yet still hydrating enough that it works for normal to dry skin. Those with very dry skin might find they'll prefer a bit more moisture, while those with more oily skin will likely prefer something more mattifying.
Overall, this is a great primer/moisturizer option, particularly if you're looking for a mineral-only sunscreen that won't make you look chalky, which we think is a great idea!
Note: It's best to shake this product before applying, as it tends to separate if left sitting for a while.
Bare Escentuals At-a-Glance
Makeup is what this San Francisco-based cosmetics line is primarily about, and they use the pure and natural marketing angle to entice consumers. Founded in 1976 by Diane Ranger, who left the company in the early '90s Bare Escentuals was one of the first brands to introduce the concept of loose powder foundation. Since then, they have moved beyond it to include liquid foundations and tinted moisturizers and an ever expanding line of color cosmetics as well as skincare products.
The products are sold in most Sephora boutiques and Ulta stores, though the full selection of skincare products is most often found at the Bare Escentuals freestanding stores scattered throughout the United States.
We should note that loose powder makeup does take some practice to get the hang of—yet there is no denying that this type of foundation has its fan base. There is a lot to love about Bare Escentuals, even if mineral makeup isn’t your thing (especially their price ranges, which have remained affordable in comparison to many of their neighbors at Sephora).
Strengths: Good makeup removers; a few well-formulated powders with SPF; some nice eyeshadows and impressive mascaras; some impressive foundations; several elegant brush options; not too expensive.
Weaknesses: Some of the loose powder products have texture and finish concerns; some of the skincare contain potentially problematic ingredients.
For more information about Bare Escentuals, call 1.888.795.4747 or visit www.bareescentuals.com.
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