As I geared up for a jam-packed weekend of wedding festivities last Friday, I sensed that I would need something to hide the evidence of late nights and little sleep. Something other than coffee, carbs, and constant hydration. And so, my makeup bag found itself stuffed with a new tool: Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Well-Rested for Eyes, which promised to be both a multi-tasker (great for travel) and an eye-brightening shadow base (great for the sleep-deprived).

Designed to improve the appearance of the whole eye area, this squat canister of powder aims to serve the needs of eye shadow and concealer in one. The packaging includes a shaker insert to prevent wasted powder, but when I unscrewed the lid, I found that most of my powder had made its way through the holes into the lid portion. I attempted to shove the powder back down the holes (not an easy task when dealing with something so feathery that it would vanish at the hint of a sneeze). I then dipped my short bristle makeup brush in the top and set about dabbing the pale yellow dust around my eyes.

My eyelids got an immediate pick-me-up, so much so that I didn't really need to layer additional eye shadow on top. Lacking noticeable shimmer, Well-Rested makes the lids and brow bone appear naturally radiant. And its matte, yellowish hue is ideal for concealing under-eye circles, since (as anyone who passed art class in the first grade knows) yellow lies opposite purple on the color wheel. Although Bare Escentuals suggests that Well-Rested can be used to cover up dark spots, blemishes, broken capillaries, scars, and other skin imperfections, I don't think that its yellow tint would be appropriate for dark or pink complexions.

The chalky consistency is an interesting change from the liquid concealers I am used to, but with the right amount of eye cream in place, I found the powder much easier to blend than anticipated. The trick for achieving the perfect coverage is to use moderation with the brush, tapping off excess powder and dabbing the skin with your finger repeatedly. Applying Well-Rested over an eye cream should prevent the unfortunate line clumping effect, which can look far worse than natural under-eye circles. Generally, the product seems better suited for the lid region, where it creates a lovely blank canvas for eye shadow and stays in place all day and night.

My favorite aspect of Well-Rested is the added benefit of SPF 20, which sneaks in sun protection without stinging your eyes like most eye creams outfitted with sunscreen (read about my tearful experience with one such cream here). The powder's sun protection is provided by titanium dioxide, a physical sunscreen that induces free radicals in the presence of light. There is some concern that the skin absorbs these free radicals along with titanium dioxide, thus raising the red flag for cancer. Considering the evidence pointing toward the fact that the potentially carcinogenic components do not penetrate into viable skin cells, I am less worried about titanium dioxide than I am about another ingredient common to mineral makeup.

As Marta discussed in a previous post detailing why TIA is not always in favor of mineral makeup, Well-Rested contains bismuth oxychloride, a pearlizing agent. A synthetic byproduct of lead and copper processing, rather than a natural mineral, bismuth oxychloride can irritate sensitive skin and trigger cystic acne. Anyone prone to flare-ups and breakouts, like me, should therefore be wary of applying Well-Rested outside the eye area. I feel that attempting to use Well-Rested to cover up imperfections around my nose or lips, as Bare Escentuals recommends, would simply add fuel to a smoldering fire.

The rest of the formula incorporates several anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as the core minerals mica, which reflects light, and iron oxides, which add natural pigment. All in all, the good outweighs the evil, and Well-Rested seems like a solid little makeup product when consigned to the eye area. Well-Rested may not be a true multi-tasker, but it sure did an impressive job of waking up my eyes when they needed it most.

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide (20%) Other Ingredients: Bismuth Oxychloride (Cl77163), Kaolin (Cl77004), Mica, Iron Oxides (Cl 77491, CL 77492, Cl 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Cl 77891).