BareMinerals Blemish Remedy Mattifying Prep Gel is essentially an oil-absorbing makeup primer with a misleading name. The name misleads because this product isn't a remedy for blemishes—it's just an interesting, albeit short term (we got about 2 hours of shine control), way for those with oily skin to keep shine in check under their makeup.
Housed in an opaque black squeeze tube, this sheer, water-based gel contains an oil-absorbing polymer as well as silica, a natural ingredient with a matte finish.
The gel spreads easily over skin and sets to a pore-reducing matte finish within the first minute. The finish is nearly weightless and non-drying, so those with oily skin are will likely love how this feels—and it works well under makeup, assuming the foundation you apply also has a matte finish (which is the best type of foundation for those with oily skin anyway!).
This contains a surprisingly good mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plant extracts. These are nice additions if you struggle with breakouts, because inflammation is a causative factor behind them—so anything you can do topically to reduce it will help (Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 2013).
As for the tea tree oil this contains, the amount is low—too low to have an impact on reducing acne-causing bacteria (Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, 2007). In fact, the telltale scent of tea tree oil is quite faint and dissipates quickly.
The only other curiosity about this product is that bareMinerals claims Blemish Remedy Mattifying Prep Gel contains a peptide complex to promote clear skin. The problem is that ingredient list on the product packaging doesn't mention any peptide. Still, there's enough other beneficial ingredients present to make this mattifying primer-like gel worth trying—at least if you don't have very oily skin, because the shine control is relatively short-lived.
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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