Bare Minerals Foundation from Bare Escentuals – An Honest Review

Hi, Beauty!

When the popular home shopping network QVC started selling bareMinerals back in 1997 it did not take long before it became a huge success. The original formula is the #1 selling product on QVC and to date, Bare Escentuals remains the most popular line of mineral makeup among beauty consumers. It is amazing the impact a single product can have on an industry. This is essentially the brand that started the whole mineral makeup craze that has continued to this day. Since this foundation is so popular I knew that doing a review on it was inevitable. So, let’s take a deeper look. How natural is it and does it live up to the hype? These are questions I have had myself, and to which I am happy to provide the answers.

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What Is Bare Minerals Foundation?

The company’s cornerstone product is a loose powder foundation made from natural mineral pigments. According to the official website it is –

  • An award-winning foundation that gives you all the flawless coverage you want with a no-makeup look and feel
  • Long-lasting
  • The creamy texture diminishes the appearance of imperfections without drying out skin
  • Provides a naturally luminous finish
  • The groundbreaking formula is clinically proven to promote clearer, healthier-looking skin

Before this product came along most powder foundations looked very chalky and heavy, so women mostly stuck with liquid foundations. But, liquid formulas back in the day were heavy and didn’t look very natural. Cosmetics made only with mineral pigments changed all of that completely.

How Natural Is It?

It is formulated without parabens, binders, fragrances, synthetic chemicals or fillers. In fact, the ingredients are quite simple, which is very good. Not every product they sell is completely natural, but the original foundation and matte formula are.

Is It Organic?

None of the ingredients are labeled as organic and I found no evidence on the company’s website either. However, mineral pigments are not going to be. They are mined out of the ground and then extracted and filtered in a lab. If it contained added oils or botanical ingredients then those could qualify as organic if they are grown without the use of pesticides, but the powder foundations are just minerals.

Why Should You Use It?

It is a safer alternative to conventional foundations that are loaded with chemical ingredients. It is known to improve skin conditions and is non-irritating, which is good news for those with sensitive skin. It feels and has a much more natural look on the skin. I personally don’t like to appear as if I am wearing a ton of makeup on my face. I want my skin to look like real skin, not a mask.

Mineral Foundation For Acne?


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Natural mineral foundations seem to be very beneficial for anyone who has acne or tends to breakout. The simple ingredients won’t irritate skin or clog pores and it does not contain oil.

The Blemish Remedy formula from Bare Escentuals is made specifically to help troubled skin. Here are some more details –

Pros –

  • Medium-to-full coverage
  • Lightweight feel
  • It helps to diminish the appearance of imperfections, redness, and shine
  • Contains Aspen Bark and Tea Tree Oil to help promote clearer, healthier-looking skin
  • Available in 12 shades

Cons –

  • Some people find using a loose powder to be a messy
  • It may cling to rough and/or dry patches
  • may enhance wrinkles

Ingredients – Lauroyl Lysine, Silica, Salicylic Acid, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Soil Minerals, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Disodium Edta, Limonene, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sorbic Acid. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Matte Foundation vs Original?



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The original formula is great for anyone with normal skin. It contains mica which provides a slight sheen. So, if you want that naturally fresh-faced look I would recommend it.

Pros –

  • Medium-to-full coverage
  • Slight dewy natural finish
  • Feels very light on the skin
  • 20 shades available
  • Contains SPF 15
  • Lasts up to 8 hours
  • Winner of the Allure Reader’s Choice Award 2015

Cons –

  • Some people don’t like loose powder cosmetics and find using it to be a hassle
  • May cling to rough dry patches of skin
  • May settle in fine lines or pores

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 12.6%, Zinc Oxide 21%. Inactive Ingredients: Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica, Iron Oxides, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide

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If your skin is more on the combination to oily side, the newer matte formula will be your best friend. Anyone with oily skin knows that products with sheen or shimmer can quickly turn into a shiny mess. Going with the matte foundation will give you the flawless, natural look you want without the unwanted shine.

Pros –

  • Medium-to-full buildable coverage
  • Minimizes shine and the appearance of pores
  • Natural looking finish
  • Does not feel heavy on the skin
  • SPF 15
  • Lasts up to 8 hours
  • Comes in 22 shades

Cons –

  • It may be messy to work with
  • May cling to rough or dry patches

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide. Inactive Ingredients: Lauroyl Lysine, Silica, Calcium Silicate, Soil Minerals. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

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Tips & Tricks –


  • Using a good moisturizer or primer underneath can help the powder go on more smoothly.
  • Apply liquid or cream concealer prior to powder foundation
  • Use a powder brush made from natural goat or pony hair. Natural bristle brushes are best for powder-based products.
  • Start with a light application and slowly build it up as needed. This will help to avoid creasing and caking.
  • A setting powder used on top will help to keep shine at bay and help your makeup to last longer.

Is It Tested On Animals?

Yes and no. Bare Escentuals, Inc. does not test on animals and they do not sell their products in China. However, they are owned by a company that does.

Who Owns The Company?

The company was originally founded in 1976 in Los Gatos, CA. It was acquired by Shiseido in 2010 and now operates out of San Francisco. The company operates over 300 privately owned boutiques and holds retail contracts with department stores and home television networks.

Where Is It Made?

The loose powder foundation is made here in the U.S. The makeup brushes and bags are generally made in China, and the new pressed powder products are either U.S. or Canadian made.

Is It Expensive?

It is not a drugstore brand so I guess I would say it is in the medium to high price range.

What Other Products Does The Company Make?

In addition to the loose powder foundations the company now offers pressed mineral foundations, a full range of color cosmetics, primers, liquid foundations, finishing powders, makeup brushes, and skincare. The lipsticks are not all-natural since they contain some FD&C dyes, unfortunately.

Final Thoughts?

Does it live up to the hype? I have to say it really does look very natural and is not heavy at all. I have friends that swear by it and will not use anything else. Yes, it does last longer than most foundations I have tried. I wore it out dancing on my birthday and it held up surprisingly well. But, I don’t know if it is really better than other brands of pure mineral foundation on the market today.

Would I buy it? No. My main drawback is that their parent company tests on animals. I am an advocate of cruelty-free cosmetics, so the fact that Bare Escentuals allowed themselves to be acquired by a company that is known to conduct testing does not sit well with me. I guess it comes down to your own personal feelings on the subject as to whether or not you want to purchase their products and I will leave that decision to you.

Which foundation do you use on a regular basis and why?

P.S. If you liked this brand review, you’ll love our 100% pure cosmetics review.







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Lora is a native Californian currently living in the Southeast. She is an artist, designer, blogger and nature lover. Her hobbies include herbalism, cooking, baking, creating DIY aromatherapy recipes, sipping wine and listening to music. She also loves to go hiking and camping.


Lora is a native Californian currently living in the Southeast. She is an artist, designer, blogger and nature lover. Her hobbies include herbalism, cooking, baking, creating DIY aromatherapy recipes, sipping wine and listening to music. She also loves to go hiking and camping.

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  6. Elizabeth says:

    I have to say. I love this foundation and have used it for years. Sadly the rest of their products are rated poorly on the think dirty ap. 🙁

    1. Yes, it really is a shame. There are quite a few makeup brands I would love to use if only they would clean up their ingredients. 🙁

  7. Valora says:

    Hi Suze!

    Thank you for your comments. I am so happy you found my article to be informative. I did not give any skin care suggestions since this is a makeup review. I will be posting some articles specifically on skin care very soon though and I have posted an article on the nasty ingredients that most commercial cosmetics contain and how to switch over to natural cosmetics, which you can read here –

    1. Valora says:

      And to answer your question on a good paraben-free natural moisturizer, I do highly recommend the Super Fruits Cream from 100% Pure Cosmetics, Natural Age Antidote Day Skin Cream from Ecco Bella or the Rose Skin Facial Oil or Skin Balm from Badger Balm. Reviews on these products coming soon. 🙂

  8. Hi, thanks for all the information on BareMinerals, your research has been very thorough. I do have a question about your suggestion of using a moisturizer. Maybe this is answered and I have missed it, if so I am sorry. So many moisturizers are full of all the “bad” stuff too so putting it on under a “good” makeup would defeat its purpose, correct? Do you have a suggestion for a moisturizer that doesn’t contain parabens, chemicals, fragrances, etc?

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