Pressed powder foundations have come a long way in the last several years! BareMinerals' BarePro Performance Wear Powder Foundation is a good example of the improvements we've seen, which is why it comes just within a hair of earning our highest rating.
BarePro is housed in a mirrored compact with a sponge included. The sponge is great for picking up this foundation, which, while a powder, isn't chalky or dusty at all. Instead it's satiny-smooth, gliding across skin without settling into lines or pores.
The finish is matte but not dull-looking, though it should be noted that, as advertised, this is a foundation for oily skin; those with dry skin or dry areas will find this emphasizes patches of parched skin.
The fragrance-free foundation wears remarkably well during the course of a day with no signs of fading, and does a good job providing medium coverage. BareMinerals offers an amazing 30 shades for fair to deep skin tones, with options in each range for those with warm, cool, and neutral undertones.
There are two minor dings for BarePro Performance Wear Powder Foundation. First is that it is not full coverage as claimed; even if you pile it on, the best you'll be able to get is medium coverage. It also doesn't reduce pore size as claimed (though it doesn't settle into them, either).
Still, the positives make this a good option to consider, especially if you're looking for a powder foundation that doesn't look cakey and delivers on its claim of lasting wear.
One more comment: This foundation's claim of being able to improve skin clarity may be about the coverage it provides, but could also be about the vitamin C it contains. The form of C being used is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and while it's more stable than pure vitamin C, it can still be prone to breaking down with routine exposure to light and air that this foundation's packaging allows.
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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