Thursday, April 24, 2014

Test Driven ::: BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

All photos by {accordingtoame}

I mentioned this product in last week's "Loving Right Now," having finally received it after I waited for what seemed like forever for my pre-ordered bottle and brush to arrive.  When it finally did, I immediately tore it opened, took photos, and then shook that bottle up really well and went at it.  My husband had never seen such glee over makeup.

This product has been hyped for months, and I have been eagerly anticipating it's arrival. This is the first liquid foundation to come out of BareMinerals and this is a big deal.  This first video is one about the development of the product.  Every video shown is via BareMinerals YouTube or QVC's YouTube.

First impressions:::

I like the simple bottle, however I would've preferred that it be clear, and not the implied shade of the product. There's not much way to see how full the product is. And on that note, it doesn't feel very full. You really have to squeeze the bottle quite hard to get product out. I don't know if that's because it's not a full bottle, or the bottle is overly stiff.

The formula itself is also very different. I would liken it to the Armani Maestro, but also at the same time, not... It's not oily, in fact, there is no oil OR silicone in this formula at all, which is a huge win, and it's also much easier to blend. Another huge positive by comparison is that it also dries down, which is a big deal. With the Maestro I felt like it was there all the time just sitting on my face, and it slid around, and no amount of powder prevented that feeling--it was just always there and felt wet. Not dewy, actually wet. The BareSkin dried down well and fairly quickly with blending, and with a light powdering, stayed put pretty well.  

The brush is interesting. I am personally not a foundation brush with liquid foundation kinda girl.  But with this formula, it's actually pretty fantastic. It's not too small, not too big, and the reservoir they've built in to hold the formula is brilliant.  It's also one of the first brushes by them that I didn't feel "itchy" using, and that didn't shed all over. 


I consulted these two videos above when trying to select my shade. I'll warn you, they're absolutely worthless for 99% of people who will see them. Most of us who will be looking at this product are not new to makeup, and most are not new to this brand, so we're looking to find something close to what we already wear in this brand.  Normally I am a Golden Fair (regardless of formula, I didn't need to change for READY), and Bare Ivory was too dark for me. I think it would probably work on my sister, who normally wears Light, but even so might be a little too much for her.   So maybe the girls in Light could look at this shade, though if you're on the lighter end of Light....ehhhh maybe not. On that note, when I squeezed a drop out of the bottle onto my hand, I found the color out of the bottle off-putting and I could immediately tell it was too dark. 

Yea, that's flattering.

Super blended with my hand after the brush...

 Next to the Golden Fair READY--which looks exactly the same as the Golden Fair Loose...

Since the product won't hit stores officially until May 1, I cannot really compare the colors in person and see if there's a better match to Golden Fair than the one I selected, but since it is the lightest Golden shade they offer, I am going to assume not.  I keep hoping I'll see more shades in this line that lean olive and not just peachy yellow. 

Usage and Application:::

In advance of using Bare Skin, I read the instructions and watched the videos above to get a little primer on the proper use of this product.  Besides the videos above for brush application, BareMinerals released a video for those who would prefer to apply with their fingers, linked here.  I would always use a BeautyBlender over my fingers, because the sponge isn't going to leave streaks like fingers likely will.  

My biggest surprise was that I really did use 6, actually, 7 drops, and that even using that many drops I still didn't obtain what I would consider full coverage.   I used 3 drops when I was testing it on my hand for photos and thought "there is no way I need 6 drops on my face!" but by the time I finished the application, I ended up using 7, and I still didn't feel I had even close to "medium" or "full" coverage at all.  It was quite sheer, but still noticeable that I had foundation on.  I applied two drops to each "half" of my face as shown in the video above, and then added another for each eye area for additional coverage there.

Just started applying to my forehead, I look riveted.

Applied to just forehead and down my nose.  My eyes look rad.

Applied to cheek.
Full face of foundation, 7 full drops.

After I had those 6 drops applied with the brush, I put a drop on my hand and used my BeautyBlender to dab under and around each eye, because this product isn't what I'd consider a full coverage foundation, and then kind of tapped the fat end of the BeautyBlender sponge around my face to smooth out the finish to my liking.  Then I applied my concealer as usual, and set with READY Mineral Veil in Translucent allover, pressing it on first, especially around the eye area.   Then I just went about my makeup, and here's the finished face, around 9am. 

What in the hell, Blogger!? This photo makes me look all airbrushed and fabulous. 
The one above is more like REAL LIFE.  In this it almost looks like the right color at least.

Wear and Longevity:::

My first full face test of this foundation was on a Sunday, on a day I had a few errands to run before I would be working on assemblies. Because I feel this has relevance: all my errand-running was done in the morning on a 65-70 degree day, with rain off and on. 

I applied it around 8:30am, taking photos through the application for this post, you see above those finished face photos. By 10:00 am, the color had oxidized enough for me to know this shade was not right for me, close, but not quite right, here in my totally creepy-eyed photo I took with my phone in the Nordstrom parking lot that morning right before it opened. Because yes, I do get there before they open so I can actually park reasonably close to the store. Laziness.  Seriously though, my eyes. WTF. This has to be reflection from my case or something because that's madness. 

It needed to be lighter and slightly more olive, which really I can say about the Golden Fair in general.  I decided to just trudge on, and not worry about the color and pay attention to the longevity and wear itself.  It still looked finished and was still intact on my face. I would definitely not say that it was "invisible coverage" or that it didn't look like I had makeup on.  But I don't feel that's the case with the Bare Minerals powder foundation formulas either, I've yet to see a single person, myself included, that didn't look like they had a full face of foundation on with even a light dusting of those products on. 

By around 1:30 pm, in the image right above, it had started to break down on my nose and forehead a bit, and I hadn't really been particularly warm or sweaty, or active. But Blogger apparently decided I needed to look more fabulous, and who am I to argue.  I am not someone that "touches up." I never really "need" to either, my face looks "fine" without it and stays relatively fresh.  I don't blot unless I am sweaty, and even then I just dab the sweat, so I wasn't going to change for this product.  

By the time 5:30pm rolled around, it was pretty much gone from the majority of my face, my forehead and nose were mostly bare, and looked oilier than they otherwise would, seriously, on a 90 degree day I don't look that shiny and pore-y.  My concealer around the eyes was fading badly, creased like a sonofabitch, which was applied over this foundation, and that has actually only ever happened when I applied over the Armani and the OCC products. 

Apparently I need to wear gray, it makes my eyes craziest of all.

Not being able to get a full day out of it is kind of a deal breaker for me, and I suspect will be for others as well.  I normally am awake around 5:30 am, and out the door by 6:30am fully spackled. I don't leave my office until close to dinner time, so if my face is not still intact and I am not still looking semi-alive and professional-ish by at least 4:00pm, that's a problem!  On the average day, my face still is maybe a bit tired but the spackle is still intact until, at the very least 7:00pm, most days well beyond. That's 14 hours thereabouts with NO TOUCHUPS and NO BLOTTING required and I still look pretty decent, yknow, for me.  This couldn't even manage an 8 hour non-work day, nor was it a skin match for me. 

Bottom Line:::

I returned it, like, immediately.  The finish was pretty great in the beginning and I think if it had more and better staying power and if I had a closer color match I would probably be more favorable towards it.  I am not really willing to buy a lighter shade and mix them, so I am more inclined to return it and just hold out for a color expansion and formula update later.  

The formula not being truly long-wearing or truly fuller coverage, or even really buildable towards a really full coverage, is really disappointing.  This might be one of those "special event" foundations, or "photography-friendly" foundations, versus an everyday staple.   Based on reviews I am reading around the web now, I am not the only one.

I am trying so hard to keep that empty space on the shelf clean, that you can probably tell is not from that one photo, and not keep adding more to the Muji drawers even though I did just buy another one because I wanted to separate some products I had in other drawers more by type than they were (LAST. ONE.)

So, in the hype that preceded it, have you tried the Bare Skin Foundation? What did you think? Was it love at first shake, drop and buff for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

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