Review: L’Oreal Bare Naturale Powder Mineral Foundation

By Voxy  

The first time I ever saw or heard about powder mineral foundation was on an infomercial for BareMinerals. As it was an infomercial, it was probably on around 2 am, and while I have no idea what I was doing awake at that time (it was years and years ago), I can still remember details of the commercial: “Just swirl, tap, and buff!” At the time I’d never seen the odd-looking kabuki brush, and I was dubious and deeply skeptical of the whole thing. “Buff” — as in, press the powder into your skin? Like, rub it in? That can’t possibly work. And the idea of a “Mineral Veil” — a powder that you put on on top of your other powder — was even stranger and more bizarre to me.

But dang, there they were, on TV, buffing away, and wow! those women’s skin looked fan-freaking-tastic.

In the manner of most things that you think about at 2 am, by morning I had decided it really wasn’t all that and a bag of chips, and I proceeded to forget about it for a long time. I hadn’t yet developed a voracious appetite for makeup, so I wasn’t really on the prowl for new stuff, especially new stuff that only lived in the strange land of infomercials and shopping channels.

Eventually, of course, the makeup police came to my door and held me at gunpoint until I bought some mineral makeup. And that was the beginning of a beautiful love affair.

While BareMinerals was probably the first line to hit the American mass market, drugstore lines were not far behind, and now just about every drugstore brand has a mineral something-or-other (foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and even lipstick and mascara), if not a complete mineral line. Many of these are quite good, so if you like the idea of a mineral makeup but don’t want to pay upscale prices, there are some good drugstore options. One problem with this is that unless you live near a new-and-improved ULTA, you will probably not be able to test products in-store for color and coverage, but since mineral makeup shades seem to be more forgiving than traditional pressed or loose powder because of the level of coverage and how they reflect light, this might be OK.

Or, you can be retentive like I am, and make your own custom blend. ;)

The L’Oreal Bare Naturale powder mineral foundation is a very good drugstore entry in the mineral foundation category. Initial coverage is sheer, but it can easily be built up to fuller coverage via the above-mentioned buffing technique. Some mineral powders are dry while others are more moisturizing (depending on how much of your skin’s natural oils they retain as the day goes on); L’Oreal’s is on the moisturizing side, so if you suffer from oily skin or are breakout-prone, you might want to look for something a little drier. It does contain SPF, but let me just remind you that you can’t always rely on makeup products to produce reliable sun protection, so a sunscreen underneath (or a powder mineral sunscreen on top) is still recommended. It removes easily with cleanser and water and generally seems not to clog pores.

The product comes with a kabuki brush-let attached to the lid; it’s not the greatest, but it will do in a pinch. One of the biggest annoyances with lots of mineral foundations is that it’s not really very clear how exactly you’re supposed to get the product out. This is NOT one of those products where the powder comes out through the brush; you need to unscrew the brush cap and swirl it around in the powder you have shaken out of the bottom part of the container. (This is perhaps the single biggest design flaw of this product; changing that would make me so, so happy.) I shake a little powder out into a tiny ceramic dish I have and do my swirling and tapping in that.

As I alluded to earlier, I do make my own custom color blend of this; I find that I don’t fit easily into any single one of their shades, so I combine three different ones in varying proportions. I also add to this some of their translucent powder, because I want the initial application to go on even a tiny bit more sheer, and some BareMinerals all-over face glow powder in shade True, which shifts the color balance of the foundation away from yellow and more towards pink and also adds a tastefully tiny bit of sparkle. (If you look closely at the photo at the top, you can see it has a little round sticker on top that says “Custom Blend” and the date I blended it.)

Overall, this is a good product both for new mineral-makeup wearers and for budget-minded glamazons. Available at drugstores and ULTA, and you can frequently find a sale on it somewhere-or-other.

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L’Oreal Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation SPF 19: $13-$15

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (drugstore: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good.

Purchase again? Yep!

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)

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