Creating makeup that is actively good for the skin, bareMinerals has a whole range of cosmetics that harness the natural power of minerals. Out of them all, the brand is primarily known for their loose, powder foundations. After trying their original formula years ago and being impressed, I had since overlooked their products and I thought it was about time to rekindle our relationship. On a shopping trip with my gorgeous Mum, we both picked up the Get Started Kit and I've given it a thorough test-run.
In this 8-piece kit, you get everything you need to create that perfect, flawless, bareMinerals base; a primer, two shades of foundation, their mineral veil, a bronzer, three brushes and an instruction guide. The original foundation is the only product that I'd previously tried from the award-winning brand, so I was excited to get my hands on more.
First up from the set, is the brand's Prime Time Primer. As with all their products, this silicone-based, liquid formula is infused with skin-loving minerals. Large pores aren't such an issue for me, so I'm not usually a fan of this type of primer, as I feel they're quite clogging and aren't hydrating enough. Prime Time, however, feels a lot more liquid and lighter in consistency, compared to the likes of Benefit's Porefessional. Evening out the surface of the skin and balancing out any oiliness/dryness, it's left feeling significantly smoother, without any tackiness. Giving the loose powder something to grab onto, it helps to maximize the longevity of anything layered over the top, so that your base stays looking perfect all day. Just one, small blob is enough to cover the face and, when smoothing the primer on, it doesn't start to roll off again. You get a 15ml tube in the box, which contains half the amount of the full-size, so it's a generous sample that will last a good, few months.
bareMinerals offer their SPF 15 Foundation in both the original or matte formula, but you get two shades of the best-selling original, in this kit. Depending on which colour palette you go for, the shades will vary, but in my Light kit, I got the shades Fairly Light and Light. Not only does the foundation superficially improve the look of skin, but the minerals work to renew the complexion long-term, apparently. Whether that's a load of codswallop, I don't know, but I do know that this formula never breaks me out and my skin always seems to be going through a clear, redness-free period whenever I consistently use it. Coincidence?
If you haven't tried mineral, powder bases before, then you may presume that they're only suited to oilier skin-types and give a totally matte finish. With bareMinerals, that is definitely not the case! My skin can be quite dry, but I can get away with wearing powder formulations, if my skin is well exfoliated and I make sure to prep with a generous dose of moisturiser first. In terms of texture, the loose powder is so fine and soft, that it feels creamy to the touch and blends in an instant. Although the powder feels weightless and doesn't stifle the skin, it provides an adjustable, build-able coverage. For a sheerer finish, using a fluffier, powder brush is the best tool. Using a more densely-packed brush will heighten the level of coverage, until it becomes fully flawless. Surprisingly, this foundation leaves my skin looking more radiant and glowing than some of the dewy, liquid bases in my collection. There's no chalky, cakey residues left behind, just a smooth, healthy-looking complexion.
On my drier skin, the foundation lasts around eight hours before it needs any attention, such as touching-up around my nose. But, as the finish isn't matte, oilier skin-types could find that they begin to look shiny or the foundation starts to fade in certain areas, after a few hours. Whilst the result is natural-looking, I wouldn't say skin looks completely bare when wearing it, as claimed. Containing an SPF of 15, this base can cause some flashback in photographs, but it seems to be hit and miss. Playing it safe, I simply avoid using any mineral foundations when I know I'm going to have my photograph taken, just in case I'm left with an unflattering white-cast. Better to be safe, than sorry.
Along with the two shades of foundation, you also get a pot of the brand's original Mineral Veil, their famous, finishing powder. Imparting the skin with a soft-focus, blurring radiance, this translucent powder can be used alone or to set foundation in place. Like with the foundation, the powder is finely-milled and doesn't feel at all heavy when worn. Free from any chunky glitter, the powder definitely contains some shimmer which is subtle, but detectable in harsh lighting. Having a pale, pinky-purple hint of colour to it, the formula really helps to brighten the complexion and counteract any dull, grey tones. But, you have to go lightly with it and fully buff it in, otherwise it can leave a slight, lilac tint on the skin. If you have particularly oily skin or you don't like too much of a shine, then you may prefer a powder with more of a matte finish.
|Swatches L-R: Light Original Foundation, Fairly Light Original Foundation, Mineral Veil & Warmth Bronzer|
The last pot in the kit contains the bareMinerals Warmth All-Over Face Colour Bronzer. Now, I use bronzer on a daily basis and I'm not one to shy away from a strongly-pigmented shade. But, for once, I was dubious about using this one. A deep, terra-cotta shade shot through with silver shimmer, this is a very warm bronzer that could be scary for anyone new to makeup. Applied lightly, the colour works well to give a sun-kissed look to the high points of the face. But, as it contains shimmer, it isn't the best product for contouring. It easy to go overboard and be left looking rather tangoed, though. I cannot stress enough how little you need per application; adding little by little, tapping off the excess and blending it out as much as you can is the only way to prevent yourself from turning a rather charming shade of orange.
Included in the kit, are three of their brushes: the full flawless face, the flawless face and the max coverage. Each brush is soft, but I have heard from other people that they start to shed and become scratchy, if they aren't carefully washed and looked after. Made of goat hair, the two, larger brushes can smell slightly when wet after washing, but the scent isn't noticeable when they're dry. The best way to apply the powder products, is to buff them on in circular motions, rather than by sweeping the brush across the face. The more you buff, the better the product works into the skin, the more coverage you get and the more radiant the finish.
As you'd imagine from the title, the Full Flawless Face Brush is the one to use to give a higher-coverage finish. Densely-packed, the bristles hold more product than they do with fluffier brushes, so you're automatically packing more product onto the skin when you use it. Being quite full and domed in shape, it's difficult to be precise with this brush, but it does allow you to apply your makeup quickly and with little effort. A step down from the full version is the Flawless Face Brush. Smaller in size and with the tapered bristles being less compacted, it provides a lighter coverage. Personally, I prefer using this one with the Mineral Veil and Warmth Bronzer, as it feels more like a traditional powder brush and is a great multi-tasker. The only brush I'm not fond of, is the Max Coverage Brush, which is a concealer brush made with synthetic, talon hairs. Similar to traditional concealer brushes, it's flat and has firm, compressed hairs. Rather than using it to buff over blemishes and areas of redness, this brush presses the product onto the skin and you pat over the area to blend. It does do the job, but I find it a faff to use, especially when I'm in a rush.
Sets like this are the perfect way to introduce yourself to a brand and see if you like their products, before potentially purchasing full-size versions. For £49, you receive £108 worth of products in this one, which is a pretty good deal. I purchased mine in Boots and, even though it was only a few weeks ago, it seems like this particular kit is no longer available. There are other, very similar versions on offer, though, including what seems to be the most-recent Get Started Kit, for just £39.
Are you a fan of bareMinerals products?