Bare Escentuals VS. Drug Store brand Mineral Makeup

September 19, 2007 at 12:35 am 17 comments

In a recent post, a fellow blogger asked:

I use Bare Minerals now and love it. It seems to last a really long time for the money, but its a huge ouch in the pocket book to buy it. So…what info do you have? As a favor to my friends who want to know if target & drug store brands are any good?

This type of question really gets me excited. Sure, Bare Escentuals is a wonderful cosmetic line. But at $25 a pop, we must ask, “Wouldn’t it be nice to know if anything at the drug store might suffice?”

The best source of information on the Internet answered this question directly. It was an article written by Jazmin from Makeup Moxie entitled, What’s the Best Drugstore Mineral Makeup?” She compared the quality, price, and value for 7 different drug store cosmetic mineral lines.

And the winner might surprise you! Jazmin claims that the best drug store mineral foundation is Milani Minerals Loose Makeup, but it is poorly packaged. IsaDora Mineral Foundation came in close second. Walgreens is currently discontinuing the entire IsaDora line and they are marked at clearance prices, about $8.00 for .28 ounces. This would be a great time to try IsaDora! Do not bother with Neutrogena, it rated as one of the worst for value and performance. L’Oreal’s was okay, but contains TALC, goes on heavy, and caked in hot weather conditions. The Almay line performed better, but it had weird container issues like Milani’s.  Another mediocre performer was Physician’s Formula’s mineral makeup.

If you love Bare Escentuals bare Minerals, here are some products you might also think about:

  • Bare Escentuals Prime Time – this amazing primer prepares skin, has antioxidants, and smooths the skins surface . Making their mineral foundation look even better.
  • Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil – finish off with this oil-absorbing light diffusing powder and really get that soft focus camera lens look.
  • Invest in a high quality kabuki brush, like the one from LooseLipsNY,  i.d.’s Full Coverage Kabuki Brush, or Cat’s Kabuki Brush.

Other Mineral Makeup Lines to consider:

  • Everyday Minerals:  Offering free samples on their website.   I ordered their samples and have been very pleased, this mineral line is fabulous.   You can read my review about Everyday Minerals.
  •  Sherry sent me free samples of their Mineral Loose Powder Foundation and Mineral Shimmer Powder.  Visit and tell them Jen at MBB sent you!  You can also receive $10 off when you purchase both their signature mineral foundation and kabuki brush together. Simply use the code kabuki10 at checkout.
  • Alison Rafaelle Mineral Foundation – her concealer is heavenly and feels like silk; it heals as it covers. I would imagine her mineral line is equally as fabulous.  Alison Rafaelle has redesigned her entire cosmetic line and it will be released on March 3, 2008.  I cannot wait to try it.
  • e.l.f cosmetics loose mineral foundation – good recommendations and only $5.00!
  • Maybelline’s Mineral Power™ Natural Perfecting Powder & Liquid Foundation is getting a lot of favorable reviews for being a great mineral based foundation at a great price.  Check out this offer for a free sample at Bionic Beauty:  “Yet Another Freebie of Maybelline’s Mineral Power Makeup.”  I just read a thumbs down review from the Mineral Makeup Blog.  As with all makeup reviewers, not everyone agrees on what they like or dislike!

Actually, I am not a huge fan of the loose mineral foundations. I have tried minerals at different times with mixed results.  I don’t like the powdery, too-matte look. If you have fine lines/wrinkles, dryness or patchy skin, mineral foundations can accentuate them.  Right now I have been using two wonderful water-based foundations, Tarte’s Smooth Operator, and Model Co 3 in 1 foundation. I love the feel and coverage of these foundations, but usually by noon have “oilies” breaking through.  Combination skin can be tricky!

However, the beauty addict in me is thinking. If I use mineral makeup with a primer?…Hmmm…Maybe, it is time to give mineral makeup another try!

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sandra  |  October 3, 2007 at 6:39 am

    I have the oiliest skin ever. By midmorning I would be an oil slick. I am 46 years old. I recently started using Bare Minerals. I use the “mineral veil” after putting on the “foundation” and “warmth” products, and I can’t believe the difference. I wish that I had known about it years ago. I saw a pictures of myself taken this year on holidays and there is no shine on my face even on the pictures taken in the afternoon and into the evening. I put a friend onto this product and she now enjoys a shine free face. The difference is remarkable. She is constantly getting asked what is different about her. I would highly recommend this product to anyone.

  • 2. jen38  |  October 3, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    I am so glad you have been able to find B.E. to combat the oilies! I have similar problems with my skin and loose mineral makeup is a great way to go!

    You mentioned you love Mineral Veil as well. I use a bit of Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder to set my foundation, and both work great. Do you have any problems with dry patches in certain areas using mineral foundation? In the podcast I refer to in my blog, I asked Stacie about this very issue. She suggests using a creamy concealer around the eyes and using Freeze 24/7 eye cream.

    Have you ever used B.E.’s Prime Time? If you haven’t, beg for a sample the next time you are at the department store. It is pretty reasonably priced and it makes your mineral foundation look even more natural and your skin feels so velvety (I just avoid using it on my most oily spots).

    Great to hear from you and please feel free to comment or ask a question anytime. I might not have the answer, but I will try to find it.


  • 3. hannah  |  October 8, 2007 at 7:31 am

    hi, im from philippines. i am a user of skin alison rafelle foundation. And it is really amazing. And i love their inner glow cheek tint. I am a mineral make up convert!

  • 4. sdhcmh2  |  December 2, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Mineral Makeup is an absolutely great product. The problem is that to many companies are putting additives of one nature or another in them and still calling them pure. They are not only natural anymore, but it also jacks the price way up. I still prefer the natural, natural and because of price I am a CMH Essentials convert.

  • 5. Laura Mercier Mineral Makeup « Mythbuster Beauty  |  February 26, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    […] As always, for best results, I recommend applying mineral makeup foundations sparingly with a high quality kabuki brush.   And while you are at the Laura Mericer counter, sample their liquid or mineral foundation […]

  • 6. Janie Blaylock  |  March 24, 2008 at 6:18 am

    I am 41 years old with three young children. Everytime I look in the mirror, all I can see is my wrinkles and dark puffy eyes. I am looking for a eye creme that addresses both wrinkles and dark circles. I have found testaments to expensive brands as well as drugstore brands. If possible I would obviously love to buy the less expensive of the two. Can you reccommedn a brand that works beautifully and isn’t going to cut into my wallet too badly? I have tried a couple of drugstore brands that diminish the wrinles, until I smile or I squint, then they reappear!

    thanks you for your help,

    Janey Blaylock

  • 7. jen38  |  March 24, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I just sent you an email and hope to find some great solutions for your eye situation!

  • 8. kate2004rock  |  March 24, 2008 at 8:54 am

    I’ve tried everything under the sun. But mineral makeup just does NOT stay on my face. I’ve used Bare Escentuals. I’ve used Laura Mercier. The only thing I ever get is a feeling that my face is dirty. I may just stick to liquid forever. Call me old fashioned…

  • 9. Meg  |  September 5, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I find Bare Escentuals to look opaque and dull while also greasy simultanously (it sounds contradictory, but I find it to be true). However, I do a lot of swimming and running and find that mineral makeups are naturally quite waterproof (whereas liquid foundations made to be waterproof are too full of chemicals for me — I try to stick to natural cosmetics). Alima is the brand I’ve been using for months — the coverage is light and natural but buildable. My mom, who said that my skin looked “dead” with BE, thinks I look natural (but better) with Alima. AND it’s considerably cheaper than BE (I think I paid $18 for foundation) AND it doesn’t have the unnecessary additives that BE does. I’ve heard good things about Everyday Minerals too, but I haven’t tried it.

  • 10. Jen Hill  |  September 5, 2008 at 10:35 am

    So great to hear from you Meg.

    I would recommend the Everyday Minerals line, and like Alima, they have a great variety of formulas, and don’t contain bismuth oxychloride, carmine, or talc like many mineral makeup lines do. The big bonus is they cost less!

    And, make sure to take advantage that most of these mineral lines offer great samples.

    Best wishes and comment anytime! Jen

  • 11. Melissa  |  September 27, 2008 at 9:21 pm


    I would be happy to get your thoughts on Bare’s Get Started kit. Quality vs price ? Which one of the following would the best pick? Bare, Maybelline or Everyday Mineral ? What about L’Oreal ?

    Sincerely, thank you for your precious answers


  • 12. Jen Hill  |  September 28, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Great to hear from you Meli!

    I started writing up my suggestions and it got really long, so I am going to write up a post about it shortly.

    Many thanks,

  • 13. Melissa  |  September 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Jen,

    I can’t wait to read your suggestions !

    – Meli

  • 14. nikita  |  October 2, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I recently bought some Isadora makeup for the first time. One of the Walgreens I live near had it on clearance for 3 for $5 and the bin was filled with an assortment of the brand.

    They had 3 compacts of makeup left and one was open. I did a small swipe of the opened one and found that it was a perfect match for my face! I quickly grabbed it, another in the same shade and a mineral blush and paid for them.

    When I got home, I tested the Oil-free compact makeup on half my face. I was a little worried as it was more creamier than I had assumed. Turns out, it worked out perfectly as it left my face more matte than shiny looking. It also covered my pimple scars beautifully!

    I turned over the back and see that one of the ingredients is Dimethicone…the same stuff in makeup primers!

    Too bad this line is getting discontinued. I’m gonna hit up as many Walgreens in my area and buy up all of the foundations I can find in my color (Olive Brown).

  • 15. Jen Hill  |  October 2, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Nikita that is way cool! I am so glad you like the Isadora line, and so sorry it is being discontinued at Walgreens.

    Thanks so much for commenting today, I love your blog too!


  • 16. kaitlynjoybelle  |  January 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I love Bare Escentuals and use it exclusively. Best thing that has ever happened to my skin. I figure if you think of all the foundations that average people go through just trying to find one that works, the 25$ is worth it- it can last 4-5 months+. You only need a little bit to swirl, tap, and buff! I also like applying this foundation warm–gives great, creamy coverage and uses less product.

  • 17. lashlane  |  January 24, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Hi There,

    Nice blog. I have combination skin and find that any loose mineral foundations, including B.E. will sort of sit on my skin and leave me with a shine by the end of the day.

    I think the drug store mineral powders are interesting. But I get a much better result with a pressed mineral powder. PUR Minerals makes a very nice product. It’s easy to apply, if you’re like me and you like the good old pressed powder form, and it contains no talc.

    I also love Jane Iredale’s pressed powder, but it’s quite expensive.

    Best Wishes,


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