Sunday, 1 March 2015

Review: Bare Minerals 5 in 1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Soft Shell

For the last couple of years I've been liberally plastering my skin in high-factor sunscreen each day, come rain or shine. I'm now firmly convinced that sun damage is the primary cause of wrinkles, freckles and general age-related skin-gnarliness as the SPF-fest has done wonders for my skin. But there's been one little bit of my face that hasn't reaped the benefits - my eyelids. Oily-lidded people will appreciate why I haven't wanted to put rich, creamy sunscreen products on my eyelids. And then there's the potential for stinging when the ingredients inevitably get in your eye.
Speaking of ingredients: the ever-handy ingredients list
Last payday I went to Beauty Bay for a sniff around and to investigate some Zoeva stuff, and I  noticed this product, which is an eyeshadow primer, skin conditioner and colour in one. Its primary attraction for me was that it has SPF 15. It also evens out the skintone on your eyelids, which I thought could be handy. My eyelids are dark, which the beauty industry would no doubt call an impefection, but I prefer to think of as 'ready-made eyeshadow'. I don't mind it, but thought it would be handy to be able to cover it and create a clean canvas for different coloured eyeshadow. More versatile.

The price is fairly steep - £17 for 3ml. But having had good experiences with Bare Minerals in the past, I decided to take a gamble on it. I opted for Soft Shell, a light, cool toned colour. It's not a dead-on match for my skin but is close enough to look fairly natural when blended.

The packaging is a hard plastic tube with a screw top lid and rounded flock applicator. It's good quality and very sturdy, but will limit the amount of product that can be winkled out of there before you have to throw the tube away (or attack it with a junior hacksaw a la old-style UDPP bottles)

The payoff is excellent. It's a thick, smooth and creamy formula that spreads evenly on the lid and doesn't smear, streak or cake. Powder shadows and eyeliner sit well on top of it.

Likewise performance. I have no complaints about the longevity of the product and haven't noticed any creasing or oiliness coming through within the 12 hours they claim it will last. Boxed ticked. 

A quick swipe to apply
Fingertip blending, easy peasy
Left - before. Right - after
But... argh. I have one complaint, and it's kind of a big one. Despite this product sitting within the much-abused 'BB' category, which I'd take to mean it will create a natural-looking finish, Bare Minerals have packed the damn stuff full of microglitter. I really struggle to understand the thought process there. Maybe it's meant to be brightening or illuminating? A subtle sheen would have been a nice idea. But instead there are lots of discrete, blingy microglitter particles that come to the surface when the product is blended over the lids and are highly visible. My camera doesn't pick them up too well, but the picture below, taken in direct sunlight, gives you an idea how prominent it actually is.

It doesn't necessarily look bad, but wow does it cut down the versatility of the product. You can't get a true, natural my-lids-but-better effect with this, because it gives you sparkly eyelids. Everyone knows you're wearing makeup on your eyes.

Direct sunlight allows camera to pick up the full extent of the glitteriness
I have only tried this shade, and it's possible that the others may not have the same glittery effect, but given that this one is the closest to my natural skin tone I don't know how well I'd get on with other shades, or if they'd create a good blank canvas effect.

It's a shame, as there's so much this product gets right, particularly the inclusion of SPF 15. I'll use up the tube, but due to the glitter I can't see this being the long-term everyday staple I hoped it would become.

P.S. here's what I did after applying the primer for these photos - it's a quick coloured liner shebang with couple of UD 24/7 pencils in Honey and Mildew. Blended with my new Zoeva brush.

Today's blogging soundtrack is: Wolf Hall (BBC iPlayer)

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