I’d like to take a moment to review one of my favorite lines of products.
Yes, it’s cliché. But that’s the point. Sometimes, I stay away from products because I’m worried about popularity based on names instead of quality. Sometimes, I’m wrong, and this is one of those times.
Like I’ve said before, I have severe acne and scarring. I get cystic acne deep in the skin and even muscle tissue that leaves the pock marks known as craters and ice picks. No amount of dermabrasion or chemical peeling will ever completely correct it, and since those are considered cosmetic procedures, I’ll probably never get the chance to try them, either. I never thought in a million years that Bare Minerals would hide most of my scars. I laughed, saying, “There is no way that a powder could ever cover these things! I use the thickest makeup possible right now and it covers them, but just barely! It’s practically costume makeup!” And it’s worth buying the actual brand because I’ve tried others, including a more expensive brand, and they didn’t come close to what bareEscentuals has been able to achieve.
The following photo was uploaded directly from my phone and has not been retouched at all (which I can’t say about 99% of my photos). It was taken in natural light, and notice how few scars you can see. Don’t mind the bad teeth – lots of acid erosion/genetics (thank you, acid reflux disease and gallbladder disease) and too poor to ever get braces. Another set of procedures I’ll never get, haha.
But, seriously, look at that face. It’s actually pretty broken out under the makeup. And believe it or not, it’s not heavy makeup at all! I want to walk you through what I’ve now got down as a ten minute routine to get my skin to look amazing, and the products I use. It’s not perfect, and I’m not an expert by any means, but it’s a lot better than caking on a bunch of crap that makes your skin even worse.
Let me start off by talking about my skincare rituals. I have very, very dry skin with normal patches on my forehead and nose and it’s extremely sensitive to any irritants, so there are a lot of makeup types that just won’t work for me at all. It is extremely rare for my skin to become oily. I have not yet found a good moisturizer that a) doesn’t cause an allergic reaction (three months into using Mary Kay’s Timewise, I developed an allergy and started getting hives), b) doesn’t make my skin oily (a lot of the “dry skin” formulas over-moisturize instead of promoting a balanced lipid layer), or c) are super expensive and thus way out of my budget. I’m open to suggestions here if anyone has any! I generally wash my face with Purity by Philosophy (about $20 and lasts between 3 and 6 months for 8 oz.) once a day, although with the recent outbreaks I’ve been having, I’ll probably up that to twice a day until I find a good moisturizer. I also need to find a pH balancer because my current toner is the same brand as the moisturizer that I became allergic to, so naturally I’m worried about it as well.
Here are my products in the order I use them. I’ll walk through each one.
***Yes, purchasing all of these products can be expensive, but I find that they usually last at least twice as long as my grocery store products, so the cost is actually less, and I usually only run out of one (or maybe two) at a time!***
- On a Clear Day by philosophy – This is the best acne treatment I’ve found over the counter, and it’s decently priced. You can use it as a spot treatment or all-over as it is not too drying. This tube is almost empty after six months of semi-weekly and sometimes daily use.
- Prime Time by bareVitamins – I fought against foundation primer for months. I thought it was ridiculous to prime for your foundation, but this is one of the keys to smooth-looking skin, regardless of scars. Think of it as spackle for your face – it evens out all the lines and crevices without being too heavy or oily. It also helps keep your lipid layer even (and they have an oil control version for those of you with oily skin). I apply this to my entire face, making around my eyes and on my eyelids last with the remnants on my skin. One pump is plenty for your whole face!
- bareMinerals Original Foundation in Fair – Don’t laugh at my super light skin! Yes, I use the lightest foundation they have because I’m so freaking pale. No, I don’t tan, ever, haha. I apply the powder foundation by tapping some into the lid and using the Full Flawless Face Brush that came with my starter kit in a circular motion starting on the apples of my cheek, one side of my face at a time. By this time, I’m already amazed at how smooth my skin is looking and how light the foundation feels.
- bareMinerals Concealer in Bisque – Next, I apply the powder concealer using the Max Coverage Concealer Brush. I am careful to apply from all angles so I get maximum coverage that lasts all day. It is surprisingly light and almost a miracle worker. It masks any kind of color disfiguration or blotchiness. PS – I know my brushes look gross here, but I wash them about every two weeks using the brush shampoo that came with my starter kit and then let them air dry overnight.
- bareMinerals Luminous All-Over Face Color in Warmth – Yes, it looks dark, but it’s actually not when used sparingly. This is a great bronzer that I use all year round in place of blush. Tap a small amount (I usually only keep one of the three holes open when distributing) into the lid, work into the Flawless Application Face Brush well, and spread on the apples of the cheeks first, then any area the sun would naturally hit (a 3 shape on the side of each face with the middle prong being the cheekbone, and the T zone).
- bareMinerals Mineral Veil – Get the plain kind (third product) unless otherwise instructed because the color blends into whatever colors are existing. This is the miracle product that gives your face a flawless finish. You can touch it up throughout the day if you get oily and it will take away any bad shine while still leaving your skin radiant. Apply with the same brush as the bronzer all-over in circular motions. It won’t knock off the other powders,, and surprisingly, even after all those layers your skin feels very weightless especially compared to heavy correcting makeup.
- Finally, the eye makeup! I have light hair, eyes, and eyelashes, so I tend to stick with a more subtle routine. I apply Cover Girl Perfect Point Pencil in Espresso to the outside of the top lid only since I don’t want my eyes to look more narrow in a medium-sized stroke. I’ve been using this eyeliner since I was a teenager. I’ve tried others but I always seem to come back to this because of its ease of use and good coverage. I use dark brown because it tends to compliment my blue eyes better and it’s not as dark as black on my ultra-pale skin. Next, I apply bareMinerals Eyecolor in Queen Phyllis using the Tapered Shadow Brush, which on my skin just leaves a pearlescent shine and highlight, although I wouldn’t recommend it for skin tones more than a shade or two darker since it would read as white instead of pearl. Finally, I like to use a good NON-waterproof mascara in a dark brown color, coating two to three times on my top lashes, and barely covering the bottom lashes with one coat so they don’t look weighed down. This formula makes my eyes “pop”. I always avoid waterproof mascara because I have contacts and like to be able to remove my eye makeup easily (with Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover). I’m not terribly partial to any one kind of mascara, but lately I’ve been buying Maybelline’s Volum’ Express in Brownish (link shows Very Black 3X). It does a decent job, but I’ll probably be moving on soon to something else. Perhaps Santa will bring me a Sephora gift card this year so I can find something? 😉
As I said, I’m not even close to a beauty expert, but this system really works for me. If any of you other acne sufferers out there have any questions, please comment and I’ll answer. If you are looking to start with bareMinerals, I’d strongly recommend going to either a Sephora store (not the one in JC Penny) or a bareEscentuals store for a consultation and buy a starter kit! You get the brushes free, which is a huge value and really does make a big difference in the quality of your makeup application. Plus, they not only do your makeup – they walk you through the application process by applying it to half of your face and helping you apply the other half! This is amazing for makeup dummies like me!
Here’s another angle of my typical makeup application. Both of the pictures were taken a few hours later, so this shows how well it holds up, too.