bareMinerals BareSkin Foundation: An Unbiased Review

bareminerals bareskin foundation liquid review

The other day, my coworker came in my office and after we discussed a work project she mentioned a new beauty product she was using and LOVED. I admitted I too was using the same product and realized I never wrote a post about it! But hey, using a product nearly all summer provides a more authentic review, right?

Early summer, many blogs I follow had sponsored posts from bareMinerals promoting their new liquid foundation, bareSkin. Promoted as “the future of foundation,” bareSkin claimed to provide a no-makeup look that brightened and evened skintone but wasn’t full of yucky ingredients like fragrance, oil, silicone, or parabens. All these sponsored posts raved about the benefits of bareSkin, but not a single one showed a picture of themselves wearing it, few mentioned what color they chose, how it held up through the day, or anything else to prove this product lived up to its claims.

I’ve used bareMinerals before; while I find their original mineral foundation to make me itch, their Touch Up Veil is awesome and always in my purse for mid-day touchups. I was disappointed in the uninformative sponsored posts, but considering my experience with the line, intrigued enough to buy a bottle, give it a whirl, and give you a completely honest review.

I ordered through Beauty.com (hello Ebates cash back, Beauty cash back, free shipping, and the ability to place and order and have makeup, laundry detergent, dog treats, and allergy meds all show up in the same box), and since you supposedly HAD to get the coordinating brush, ordered that as well. When I wore bareMinerals foundation I looked best in Fairly Light; bareSkin has a completely different set of colors so that reference didn’t help at all. Glancing at the colors, considering the color names I match with other brands and my bit of faux tan, I chose Bare Nude.

The foundation arrived a couple days later, but the brush was backordered. Good chance for me to see if the brush is truly worth it. I tried the foundation with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush (looked to be a similar shape), MAC 190 Foundation Brush, and a combo of my fingers and a BeautyBlender. Ew, gross, this stuff sucks! It looks so orange, it’s greasy, it doesn’t cover, it’s dreadful! Then the bareSkin brush arrived and I tried again.

Yes, you need the special brush. Seriously, the brush makes all the difference.

The brush is smaller than I thought, but far better crafted than old bareMinerals brushes in my collection. It’s soft, tightly packed, and hasn’t shed all summer. The first time using the clean brush, I applied two drops of bareSkin as they recommend and I didn’t think it was enough. The finish was similar to Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: a hint of color, looking a bit more finished but otherwise naked. This was not brightening or evening. However, the next time with the brush already with residue makeup, two drops was plenty to cover my entire face (if you desire more coverage, you can add more drops after your first application). And this time with the right amount of product, it did brighten and even my skin tone. And yes, Bare Nude is a perfect color for my summer skintone.

The key to making bareSkin look good is blending, or in the words of old-school bareMinerals infomercials, buff. Buff, buff, buff, and buff some more. Use one hand, then the other to get in different directions and have a more even finish. The result is skin that looks dewy (but not greasy), even and airbrushed (but not fake), soft and natural (yet pores and wrinkles and spots are buff buff buffed away). Because of so much buffing, I applied my concealer over the foundation. Not sure if it is the foundation, my change in diet, or the season but I found with bareSkin my normal Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer to be too heavy and switched to an old liquid favorite, L’Oreal True Match. I don’t set my foundation with powder because I think it emphasizes my wrinkles, but I do set it with e.l.f. setting spray.

And so, a few pictures of me wearing the foundation this summer:

bareskin bare minerals review

How my face looks after applying bareSkin on a normal day, with a light touch of concealer and e.l.f. spray.

bareskin bareminerals review

Different day, but good example of how the same sort of makeup application looked after over 12 hours on hot humid day (hello flat hair and glistening nose) without a single touchup.

bareskin bareminerals review

Example of how it looks on a weekend when applied without the e.l.f. spray or concealer; this is after a few hours of running errands, going inside and outside, driving with the windows open, etc.

bareSkin by bareMinerals is what I have always wished BB and CC creams looked like on me. I always put them on, maybe liked them for a week, but then felt they didn’t do enough to justify wearing them. I wondered if I was too old, my undereye circles too pronounced, my uneven skin too hard to correct. bareSkin makes everything look even without looking like (or feeling like) I’m wearing makeup. And for anyone else who has dealt with the itchies from bareMinerals traditional foundation, I haven’t experienced any irritation or breakouts or any other ill effects from bareSkin.

Some tips:

  • If you want more coverage, start with two drops, buff it in, then do a second application. This will provide a far better finish than starting with more drops. You'll automatically get more coverage than I have if you set with powder (my coworker uses Mineral Veil and likes the result).
  • Girl I wanna make you buff, buff 'til you can't buff no more… seriously, if you think it looks gross, buff it some more. It will blend and merge with your skin.
  • My coworker went into a Sephora to get color matched; if you have a Sephora or bareMinerals store near you I highly recommend doing this. If not, be sure to shop somewhere that takes returns because the bottles are colored, not clear and looks can be deceiving.
  • SHAKE IT! This stuff needs to be well mixed to get a natural finish.
  • If you wear a liquid concealer, try applying it on top of the foundation; with so much buffing you may buff it away. I found applying on top I didn't need as much and it looked more natural too!
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16 Comments

  1. wldflwr78
    October 13, 2014 / 10:01 pm

    This is exactly how I felt about the powder foundation so I never used them. They made me itch!. But the liquid is,as you put it,everything I had ALWAYS hoped a bb cream or tinted moisturizer would be on my skin. I didn’t get the brush when I purchased the foundation, but I’m counting pennies To go back and get it! Your review is so accurate to my opinion as well!!!!

  2. Jean P
    August 18, 2014 / 1:09 pm

    I have yellow undertones so many drugstore brand BB creams and liquid foundations don’t match my skin tone as well as the Bare Minerals powder (I wear Golden Medium). I am intrigued and encouraged by your review. I also appreciate Kat’s assessment and recommendation of the Mac product. Thanks!

  3. Dawn
    August 14, 2014 / 11:43 am

    Thanks for reviewing this. I’ve been intrigued by the commercials. I might give this a whirl. My face breaks out with any regime change (even going from home to hotel water produces at least one pimple) so I only like to try new things if I’m pretty sure it’s worth the few days of outbreak. Sounds like this might be something to try later this fall as my current foundation (Smashbox) is a bit heavy.

  4. Happinessatmidlife
    August 14, 2014 / 1:52 am

    I have been using the Bare Escentuals powder foundation and had no problems with it. I tried the liquid and I am hooked! I’ve had occasions were I pour out a bit too much onto my brush and just applied it anyways – BIG mistake. it was way too much foundation and I had to wipe off and start over.

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

  5. August 13, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    I’ve heard great things and I like the look, but when I tried it, it was so much work! It took 3x longer to do my makeup, so while I liked the finish, I just can’t use it regularly. I love Mac Mineralized Loose Foundation. it gives nice, natural coverage, but I can do my whole face in a minute.
    http://Www.yousaucyminx.com

  6. Ginger
    August 13, 2014 / 12:11 pm

    Interesting. I have felt like my concealer gets dissipated after applying make-up over top of it. Spotting it on over the foundation seems reasonable. I’m totally devoted to Armani foundation, so I don’t know that I’ll try the Bareminerals, but the setting spray interests me. At $6 I’ll give that a try!

  7. Diane Stenglein
    August 13, 2014 / 12:01 pm

    Wow – that looks insanely good!

  8. Aimee
    August 13, 2014 / 11:43 am

    Thanks for this review. I have looked at it before but found it kind of confusing. Now I’m going to take a second look and maybe I’ll try it.
    I have to say, I always thought you were beautiful but in these close-up pics with pared down makeup, you are just downright adorable!
    This is off subject, but sometimes I can post and it pulls my name up for me. Other times (like now) I have to log in through discus. I don’t get it.

    • August 13, 2014 / 11:44 am

      Thanks Aimee! And regarding Disqus, SAME! Sometimes it’s says “Post as Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen” and other times I have to log back in. No idea…

  9. fayebrowndc
    August 13, 2014 / 11:18 am

    I ordered this from QVC a while ago. I love the brush but found the coverage lacking. Thanks for the tips on using more. I now use the brush with my clinique foundation. I had always applied foundation with my hands but this keeps my hands clean and makes for a smoother finish.

  10. Patti
    August 13, 2014 / 10:40 am

    I love this review, thank you! But I really wanna know what blush you’re using, looks super natural and I love it!

  11. August 13, 2014 / 10:19 am

    Thanks for this thorough review! I’ve been curious about this stuff, but as you said, hadn’t seen a review of it with really any substance or photos.

    • August 13, 2014 / 11:45 am

      I even watched some YouTube videos and it was still hard to see how it looked, how it wore, and why it’s better than stuff already out there. So weird, maybe because it’s so new?

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