A few months ago, a friend and I sat down at ULTA and had little mini-makeovers, just for fun. This particular friend has a very busy telecommuting job and two small children, so she has had neither the time nor the external motivation to keep up her makeup routine, and I think she misses being girly. Anyhoo, she was fine with getting a little eye makeup done, and a little lip gloss, but when the brave ULTA sales associate advanced on her with a fan brush loaded with a startlingly pink neon blush (Smashbox, I think), she suddenly made a valiant effort to climb out of her skin in order to get away from the brush. Her eyes were as big as saucers! Undaunted, the SA flicked the fan brush over the apples of her cheeks and deposited a sheer flush of color that looked simply AH-MAZE-ING. (Even my friend agreed, after she had calmed down and had a martini to get over the shock.) Although at the time I didn’t end up buying that blush, I kept thinking about how good it looked — so when I saw this kit at Sephora with a super-bright pink cheek tint and a new “color-shift” eyeshadow, I grabbed onto it with my grimy little paws and would not let it go.
Sephora has a couple of Bare Minerals kits on offer right now, two of which contain this mysterious “color-shift eyeshadow.” By the way, the Bare Escentuals store that is about 50 yards away from the Sephora in one of my local malls had never heard of the stuff, which is slightly worrisome. As of right now there are two colors available, and each one is only available with purchase of a kit (in other words, you can’t buy just the eyeshadow, more’s the pity). Fortunately this particular kit had some other stuff I was drawn to, so it worked out.
In this particular Insider’s Kit, you get the following: Cheek Tint (Bare Minerals’ first cheek stain, as they call it) in shade Flirt, a color-shift shadow in Panache (a bright peach, which, upon buffing, acquires a lavender duotone), liner shadow in Twilight Violet (a sort of purple-gray with sparkles), Natural Lipgloss in Cherry Bomb, and a dual-ended brush.
The cheek tint is frighteningly bright in the container. And when I say “frightening,” I mean “sleep with the lights on”, “put a baseball bat under your bed”, “have your teddy bear on speed dial” frightening. Please DO NOT drop this on your carpet, as it will stain. Unless, that is, you already have a hot pink neon carpet, in which case I want to come to your house and see it. I admit that I have not tried applying the cheek tint with the provided brush. This is because I am terrified that I will go from zero to Krazy Klown Face in less time than it takes to say “Krazy Klown Face,” which isn’t really very much time at all. Instead, I’ve been using a fan brush, and this has worked so far. Like the blush the ULTA SA put on my friend, it delivers a sheer pop of bright color. Because it is sheer, it’s wearable for pretty much everyone. If I can pull it off, anyone who has darker skin than me (which is to say, almost everyone) can probably also do so.
The color-shift eyeshadow is the surprise winner here. In general I’m a skeptic about these kinds of things, but Oh My Goodness Gracious Me It Looks Fantastic. There are two things I really like about it: 1. the peach shade by itself is a lovely eye brightener, and 2. when you blend it out into purple, the transition is very nice (it passes through a pinky stage) and the two colors both look good together and are surprisingly easily incorporated into an overall look. Just for grins, I tried it wet to see what would happen, and the peach color turned into a neon sort of pink. In general I think dry application is better than wet here. The swatches below don’t do it justice; I found it hard to capture the purple tones on film. (Well, digital film, but whatev.) I’m surprised by how nice it is on my eyes. There is another shade available in another kit, which goes on a kind of dirty greenish-gold and buffs out to a fairly intense sky blue.
The lipgloss is … meh. It doesn’t do anything for me, but it won’t hurt you. I wouldn’t have bought it on its own. The color in the tube is fantastic, but on lips it doesn’t have much of an effect. Maybe this is just my lips.
The shadow liner is best worked with wet rather than dry. If you use it dry, there is a lot of fallout. Wet, it’s a nice shade of gray with hints of purple, and the glitter stays where it’s supposed to stay. And unlike the color-shift eyeshadow, when you wet this one it stays the same color it was originally. I’m not a huge fan of it, but I don’t hate it either, and I’m sure I’ll use it from time to time.
The brush is nice, but as I said earlier I haven’t tried to use it with the cheek tint. YMMV.
So in the kit, the winners are the cheek tint, the color-shift eyeshadow, and the brush. The gloss and liner shadow are OK but I wouldn’t have bought them separately.
Closeup of the color-shift eyeshadow in Panache.
This is how Panache goes on…
… and this is what happens when you buff it. It was incredibly hard to capture the lavender tone on my camera; this is kind of a fail.
Cheek Tint in Flirt.
Swatch of cheek tint in Flirt, with a sprinkle of powder on the left and a blended-out bit on the right.
Liner shadow closeup
Swatch of liner shadow (left) and lipgloss (right).
Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Insider Introducing Cheek Tint: $36 at Sephora
Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. Would have preferred to purchase products separately.
Purchase again? N/A, but I’d buy other kits if they had what I wanted.
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)