Pros: Great creamy texture, staying power, low price
Cons: The jar is almost completely unworkable. Shade selection is also tough.
Having discovered mineral makeup, I am hooked. I don't think I'll ever use another type of foundation. But there are definitely plusses and minuses in the field. Bare Naturale, paradoxically, is both.
Let's start with the positive. If you've never used mineral makeup, it might surprise you to hear me say that this powder has a "creamy" feel. But that's the way I'd describe its texture - instead of sitting on top of your skin in a powdery coat, it easily blends in, masking flaws while helping preserve an un-made-up look. As with most mineral makeups, the coverage is variable - apply lightly for a very natural look, or more intensely for a flawless face.
I've found it perfect for our hot, sunny days in Florida. It stays put, and I can even use it as a concealer. To put things in perspective, I'm 41 and have to deal with a bit of sun damage, so I'm no spring chicken.
This product should be available at most drugstores/discount stores. However, a note of caution: I have noticed that, whereas it used to be featured on some drugstore/discount websites, it no longer is. If you like this product, now might be a good time to start stockpiling it.
A few ingredient notes: The package boasts SPF 19. I would not rely on that - you don't know how much you have to apply to get that protection. And those expecting the ultra-pure ingredient list found in most mineral foundations will be disappointed.
Finding your shade is problematic - the container is thick and it's hard to see the color precisely, let alone match it to your skin. If you can find a display with a tester, try that shade and then work your way darker or lighter. Sadly, there is quite a bit of guesswork involved - so make sure you buy from a location that allows returns and save that receipt! There are other things you can do with a too-wrong shade; I'll get to those later.
The container, unfortunately, is a BIG problem. (What is it with L'Oreal and packaging lately?) Basically, the foundation is packaged in a small plastic jar with a sifter. The jar's silver plastic lid has a brush built into the top - not inside, where it might make sense, but on the top. To get the powder out, you're supposed to take off the lid, turn it over, and dip the brush into the product. Then you use the brush to swirl and buff the product into your face.
The brush is a fairly decent quality (for those of you accustomed to mineral makeup, it's basically a tiny Kabuki). But it's eensy and the fact that it's attached to a big flat lid makes it unwieldy. Even worse, the inside of the lid is unevenly shaped. The powder foundation clings to that, and then falls out all over your hand when you start to apply the powder. What a mess! The .35 oz size is generous - comparable to the amount of product in a Bare Escentuals jar - but the design of the container almost forces you to waste some!
I finally fixed this issue by prying out the sifter and putting the contents into another sifter jar I had with a normal lid (an old Bare Minerals container). If you don't have a spare empty jar, try stretching saran wrap over the top of the jar before you screw the lid on.
But if you do have a jar, you can take advantage of one of the nifty aspects of mineral makeup, which is color mixing. I actually bought a shade too dark for me (natural beige, 464) and mixed it with a lighter shade (light ivory) to get the color that's best for me.
You might find yourself having to experiment at first, especially if you haven't used mineral makeup before. But play around! You might well find you love it.