I've been using Bare Escentuals foundation since June 2010. A co-worker (and QVC-obsessed partner-in-crime) brought a small sample of Warmth and full sized versions of Original SPF 15 Foundation in Medium Beige and Mineral Veil for me to try. I was immediately impressed and ordered the bareMinerals Makeup Revolution 6-Piece Starter Kit in Medium Beige.
This starter kit is great. It comes with a foundation, concealer bisque, and mineral veil along with two brushes and a lip gloss. It lasted a rather long time (through the fall of 2010) and my only complaint is that the lids were too small for the swirl, tap, and buff method that you're supposed to use to apply the makeup. Luckily once I got full sized versions, that problem was resolved.
As to the color, I never in a million years thought that I'd wear a shade as dark as Medium Beige. The description is "for medium skin with neutral undertones" so even though the shade appears to be in the middle of the foundation spectrum, it really is the color that is designed for most people. The lighter shades in the Bare Escentuals line are really light and in my opinion foundation that is a shade too light looks more ridiculous than foundation that's a shade too dark. With Bare Escentuals, you can also control how much of the foundation you use so I've managed to continue using Medium Beige into the winter by just using a light touch during application.
So here I am without any makeup on. I washed my face using philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash and applied philosophy Hope in a Jar and Hope in a Tube. Then I waited at least fifteen minutes before applying any makeup (this is a tip I've heard from a few different sources. Your moisturizer needs time to absorb and if you apply your foundation too quickly, it ends up absorbing into your skin along with your moisturizer. Yuck!)
First, I use the Maximum Coverage Face Brush to apply Bisque concealer. This part is the most important step as far as I'm concerned. I have Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and one of the side effects is acne so I tend to get small blemishes and scarring that I need to cover. My problem areas are on my chin and along my cheek bones. The brush does an amazing job of covering up every discoloration. Because of the high concentration of makeup that goes on this brush, I wash it every few days. The good news is that Bare Escentuals brushes dry overnight!
Here I am after using the Bisque concealer.
Second, I use the Full Flawless Application Face Brush to apply Original SPF 15 Foundation in Medium Beige. The proper method to apply the foundation is to put a bit of it in the lid of the container, swirl the brush in the lid, and then tap the excess off the brush. The new invention is a locking sifter lid which I highly recommend. It's never nice to be able to tap out what I need and then close the sifter so it doesn't spill out all over the place. When it comes to Bare Escentuals foundation, it's really trial and error to figure out the right amount to use. If I tap out too much, I just tip it back into the container and use it the next time.
After I'm happy with the coverage of the foundation, I finish off the look with Mineral Veil. In a perfect world, I'd have a second face brush, but I don't so I use the same Full Flawless Application Face Brush which seems to work just fine for now. Mineral Veil doesn't have any color to it: the idea is that it minimizes lines, absorbs oil, and softens your complexion. I'm not posting that picture because since Mineral Veil is translucent, it looks basically the same as the previous picture.
Finally, I applied Warmth with the same Full Flawless Application Face Brush. I still use the same small container of Warmth that my coworker gave me last June. I use it very sparingly and not every day. It ends up looking like a mild bronzer, not too dark but a bit of color across my face.
Here's the finished look.
Once I'm done applying my Bare Escentuals foundation, I apply the rest of my makeup. The whole process takes some getting used to and in the beginning, it took me nearly twenty minutes to apply everything to my liking. Now I'm down to about five minutes total, which isn't that bad as far as I'm concerned.
Here's the first photo and the last photo side-by-side for comparison purposes.
It's hard to really tell the difference from one picture to the next and honestly the entire look ends up being really subtle, but frankly that's why I like it. I've never been someone who liked heavy foundation so this works perfectly for me. And it's so lightweight! I don't feel like I'm wearing any foundation at all which is great, especially in the summer when the idea of a lot of makeup just feels miserable.
I definitely recommend going to a Bare Escentuals store if you are near one. They'll do a consultation with you, show you how to apply everything, and help you pick out the perfect shade. If you don't have that as an option, get a small starter kit, like I did, so if you end up with the wrong shade or it just doesn't work for you, you aren't breaking the bank.
Good luck and happy shopping!