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Beauty Review: bareMinerals Starter Kit

Ulta Exclusive: The Original bareMinerals Starter Kit by Bare Escentuals, $60 ($165 value)

Reviewed by The Budget Babe's Beauty Expert
When I first started to see infomercials for Bare Escentuals several years back I scoffed at them. The airbrushed owners of the brand claimed it was possible for these little “wonder” jars of powder to cover our flaws, give us an airbrushed make-up free look and to heal our skin from things like rosacea and acne, all while providing plenty of SPF sun protection.

But like so many people, I couldn’t turn away from a Saturday morning infomercial—and so I watched as both average women and movie stars swirled, tapped, and buffed their faces to perfection. By the end I’ll admit my curiosity was peaked, but alas, with such a steep price tag I ignored the temptation to try what seemed like the perfect makeup.

Then several months ago, I walked into my local Ulta and voila, a Bare Escentuals Starter Kit made exclusively for Ulta was staring me in the face. At this point I had been hearing more and more mineral makeup buzz, and was ready to give in. The kit is valued at $165.00, waaaaaaaay too much, but the price tag at Ulta said $60, which includes two shades of bareMinerals SPF 15 foundation, one bareMinerals mineral veil, bareMinerals warmth all-over face color, bareMinerals Glee all-over face color, Handi Buki brush, Maximum coverage Concealer Brush, Flawless Application brush, and a How-to DVD.

Still extremely skeptical it would do all it promised (after all, its just powder, and in the infomercial the ladies demonstrating kept saying less is more, and literally use an amount of powder comparable to an ant abdomen) I picked up the box, and made my purchased, determined to give a real evaluation of this magical makeup...

I can honestly say I am blown away by this product. I LOVE makeup and I love looking flawless. I thought it would be impossible to get that kind of effect with just little jars of different colored minerals and oddly shaped brushes. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only did I love the starter kit, I loved it enough to invest in several more Bare Escentuals products. The look you achieve is flawless, and not only that, it really looks as if you are not wearing makeup but more like you somehow photoshopped your face. The first time I tried it my boyfriend was extremely confused, I believe what he said was “why do you wear makeup if this is what your skin looks like without it?” aka, he thought I wasn’t wearing anything. When I told him what it was he was amazed, and strongly recommended I stick with it (which is amazing considering trying to get him interested in makeup or fashion is impossible)

This stuff really covers everything. I never thought it possible, but I’m amazed. Not only does it cover blemishes, it really does help keep them away and improve the overall quality of your skin. It makes sense too, the skin breathes better, and is not longer exposed to chemicals, plus the minerals used to create the makeup have been shown to be essential for healthy skin and fighting acne (think small amounts of zinc for healthy skin). So the longer you wear the makeup, the less time you have to spend putting it on because there is less to cover. It also naturally contains SPF 15 to protect from sun damage (no more greasy sunblock!)

I waited this long to review it because I really wanted to see if all they claim is true about the improved health of your skin, and I have to say I believe it. Not only that, I also watched the transition from the hottest hot of summer to really cold weather. The makeup stands up incredibly. Even in the hottest day it stayed put, no gross smudges, no melting, no nothing. Beautiful. And now in the winter I find that the powder works equally well with drier skin, no gross dry spots, no super ashy powder finish. Not only that, but you can still wear your favorite moisturizer underneath, so the product fits around your preferences. They also claim its makeup so healthy you can sleep in it!!! And its True!!! Nothing bad happens. I am truly a believer.

The jars in the box you get are very small, and I was really upset by this at first. I was thinking, uhhhhhh hello? Normal makeup runs out so fast, there is no way this is enough for anything, I’ve been cheated! Wrong again. I’ve been using the Bare Escentuals for 3 months, and it doesn’t even look like I’ve used the jars, that’s how amazing pure minerals work. Without the filler, you really do need only a spot to do wonders.

Luckily the kit comes with a DVD so it’s all explained to you (the process is a little different at first, but once you get used to it you’ll be doing your makeup in five minutes flat, if even that!). The jars are more then enough to last you a very long time if you use them properly, and the brushes that come with the kit are great quality and would equal the cost of the entire kit if purchased separately (good makeup brushes are pricey!). I love the kit, and think it’s really great- the only other product I wish had been in there that I adore is the i.d. bareMinerals Well-Rested Eyeshadow. If you buy the kit from ulta (free shipping now available online!) I recommend trying to find the Well-Rested Eyeshadow on ebay for a great deal (if like me you are sleep deprived!)

Great for your face health-wise and also beauty-wise, this product is highly recommended by me! I’m never going back, and I don’t think you’ll want to either!

The Original bareMinerals Starter Kit includes:
- Two shades of bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation
- bareMinerals Mineral Veil
- bareMinerals Warmth All-Over Face Color
- bareMinerals Glee All-Over Face Color
- Handi Buki Brush
- Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush
- Flawless Application Face Brush
- How-to DVD.

Get the starter kit at >>

Official Bare Escentuals website >>

Shop Bare Escentuals at QVC >>

Bare Escentuals at >>

P.S. This beauty review is strictly editorial and strictly stuff we love and think you'll like, too! Got a budget beauty product you'd like us to review? E-mail us and let us know!
sounds amazing - i gotta try it!!!
thanks for the helpful review :-)
#1 irina blok (Homepage) on 2007-11-10 12:42 (Reply)
Like you, i've always seen the commericials and strictly shrugged it off as "airbrushed" however, one of my collegues is over 50 years old and claims this stuff works miracles (she is gorgeous, and most people mistake her for being in the early 30's) , i thought about giving it a try. After reading your review as well has finally motivated me to get out of my house, go to sephora, and buy it. Thanks for the helpful review!
#2 Kerri on 2007-11-10 17:45 (Reply)
Great! We're excited to hear that, once we started using it we found out a few of our friends that we always thought just had naturally flawless skin use it themselves! Hope you enjoy it!
#3 Budget Beauty Babe on 2007-11-11 11:25 (Reply)
Thank you so much for this review. You have just sold me on this stuff. I have used Cover Girl Continuous Wear and it gave me a flawless look but I think it has been discontinued as I have not been able to find it in a couple of months. I have been at a loss at what to use for makeup and have been skeptical of the mineral makeup. I am going to get that starter kit. Will the people at Ulta do a makeover with it for you before you buy it?
#3.1 Rachel on 2008-01-21 20:09 (Reply)
I have to say that I got this applied twice, once at a BE store and once and a Sephora. Maybe it's just me, but the fact that it contains Bismuth Oxychloride that makes it unappealing to me. The makeup looked radiant on me, and I was really impressed. When I thought about it later though, I realized that it was a glowy look, and I was more in favor of a matte/natural look. It's definitely something you want to keep in mind. Also, the Bismuth Oxychloride tends to make sensitive skin breakout after long exposure, and my skin's dry/combination AND extremely sensitive and I just wasn't willing to risk trying this. But terrific review and I adore this site!
#4 Christina on 2008-01-08 22:56 (Reply)
My darling, look at the ingredients of any department store or drug store makeup. Little bit scarier than bismuth oxychloride. I admit it made me a little itchy the first week but after that my skin got used to it and my acne cleared up. I used to swear by Neutrogena clean makeup, but it looked so fake and even with the salicylic acid I broke out all of the time.

Also, if you don't have the typical Western European pink translucent skin. You will definitely appreciate this makeup, it doesn't make you look pink! It has beautiful yellow undertones!
#4.1 Sabrina on 2009-01-29 10:55 (Reply)
The concerns surrounding Bismuth Oxychloride also made us stop and think twice. We too found that it is just used to create a shine, and for some people can be an irritant. Now, with that said, we did find that as far as mineral makeup goes Bare Escentuals has less then most budget competitors, however, if thats a concern for you there are other companies out there producing mineral makeup without Bismuth Oxychloride. Beauty Bliss Cosmetics is one. We have not tested their products (so test at your own risk!) but did find that their makeup is Bismuth Osychloride free, and they also offer a line of mica free makeup (another shinny mineral additive). If you give them a try let us know how they stand up to the industry standard (BE)! Most makeup has something in it that will irritate some and not others, and so its a question of testing and finding what works best for your body (although some things we agree we must all avoid!) Thanks for reading and posting- we love hearing from you! :-)
#5 The Budget Beauty Babe on 2008-01-08 23:30 (Reply)
As great as BE is, their selection can be somewhat limited for women of color. I loved mineral makeup, but wasn't in love with the color options, so I did some research on makeup forums and found MILAN MINERALS!! It has a wonderful assortment of shades for women of color and white women, it's less expensive, it doesn't contain bismuth oxychloride and contacting the owner for personal consultations is EASY!! People ask me about my makeup all the time and I'm always glad to share the info with them.
#6 liz on 2008-03-12 17:39 (Reply)
I got taken in by the infomercial as well. :-)

Thanks for the informative review.
#7 Stacey Johnson (Homepage) on 2009-02-03 20:06 (Reply)
I love how bareminerals looks but I seem to be allergic. :-(
#8 Jane (Homepage) on 2009-02-07 21:39 (Reply)
I used to use Bareminerals, and now I wonder why I thought I could do without it. Yes, it seems expensive when you look at the $60 price tag (try the $18 starter kit first if you haven't used it before), but once you discover how long it lasts, you realize you'd be spending more on other brands. Plus, after a month of applying liquid foundation it is full of oil you don't want on your face, not to mention it clogging your pores and then you have to buy pore-clearing products, etc. My husband said just this morning "I hate makeup" when I was putting my liquid on. I realized, I hated it too, but I wasn't about to walk out of the house with red spots, blemishes, and dark eye circles. Time to wise up and go back to what works.
#9 Tammy on 2009-06-15 18:51 (Reply)
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