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Bare Escentuals crowns Sephora's top ten and we give our take (part one)

August 3, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 6 Comments
It's always fun to see the results of Sephora shoppers voting on their fave beauty products. Bare Escentuals is always a sure winner and we weren't surprised to see the indomitable Clarisonic Brush (gets our vote too - see part two tomorrow). But there are a couple of surprising showstoppers and more than one that fits into the what-were-thinking category. Come back tomorrow for the rest.

Bare Escentuals BareMinerals SPF15 Powder Foundation ($25). I've never heard a bad word said about this product that looks like a powder and feels like a cream. Personally, I think it makes my skin look a little dry, but you can't beat the coverage that is consistent in tone and lasts all day. There's only five ingredients, but a couple of them would make me think twice about buying this again. Titanium dioxide (which provides the SPF) is a photosensitizer and some scientists think that, if absorbed by the skin, can lead to an increased production of free radicals). Bismuth oxychloride is considered by some to be toxic. It probably isn't, but it does seem to be a harsh irritant. So beware if you have sensitive skin.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($22). This primer comes in three shades and if I were you, I'd choose 'Sin'. It is the only one that doesn't have talc, a substance that Senator Kennedy wants banned from cosmetics. Sin has the usual suspects in the preservative department. Apart from that, it is a typical concoction of silicones and emulsifiers. Reviews around the Web and even on Sephora are mixed.

Dior DiorShow Mascara ($24). Most people say that this does what it says on the tin: makes lashes look thick and sumptuous. However, you need to be quick about it because the one thing that draws complaints is that this mascara dries up in the tube quickly and eventually becomes flaky. Apart from the usual waxes, DiorShow gets its gloss from shellac, a resin secreted by a bug that lives in India. Interestingly shellac dries out over time so this might be responsible for the aforementioned complaints.

sephora-opi-varnishSephora by Opi Nail Color ($9). The 54 colors of this range made for Sephora by Opi, the salon nail people, are gorgeous. I'm relieved to find that there are none of the traditional nail polish nasties here. There is no formaldehyde, phthalates or toluene. There is benzophenone, which is photosensitive and can destroy cells if it penetrates the skin. The quantities used in a polish (as opposed to a sunscreen, which is what this ingredient also turns up in) are unlikely to be harmful. And, as I said, those colors are to die for.

Nars Blush ($25). Oh dear, oh dear. The Environmental Working Group gives this blush a 9/10 hazard rating. The main culprits are the parabens, talc and silica. While the first two do seem to be carcinogens, the latter, silica, is only harmful if inhaled and is probably fine applied topically (although it absorbs moisture, so could make your skin dry., Inc.

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Ingredients in Bare Escentuals

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 25%. Inactive Ingredients: Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Mica (CI 77019), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492). May Contain: Zinc Oxide (CI 77947)

Ingredients in Urban Decay Primer

C Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polyethylene, Trihydroxystearin, Triethylhexanoin, Isopropyl Lanolate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Dimethicone, PEG-40 Stearate, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben. May Contain: Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491/ CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride).

Ingredients in Dior Mascara

Aqua (Water), Glyceryl Stearate, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Stearic Acid, Copernica Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Silica, Glyceryl Stearate, Isostearic Acid, Shellac, Myristic Acid, Triethanolamine, Glyceryl Hydrogenated Rosinate, PVP/VA Copolymer, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance), Diazolidinyl Urea, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Geraniol, Citronellol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde. +/- May Contain: Mica, CI 77491, 77492, 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens).

Ingredients in Sephora Opi

Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Benzophenone-1, Silica, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Polyvinyl Butyral. May contain: [+/- CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 15850 (Red 6, Red 7), CI 15880 (Red 34), CI 77491, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), Polyethylene Terephthalate, CI 77000 (Aluminum Powder), Mica, CI 77007 (Ultramarines), Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Ethylene/VA Copolymer, Tin Oxide, CI 77120 (Barium Sulfate), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet).]

Ingredients in Nars Blush

Talc, Polyethylene, Zinc Stearate, Silica, Tricaprylin, Caprylic/CapricTriglyceride, Cera Alba (Beeswax), PEG-150 Distearate, Lanolin, Laureth-4, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ascorbyl Palmitate, May Contain: Mica, CI 77491, 77492, 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 75740 (Carmine), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 15850 (Red 6, Red 7 Lake), CI 45410 (Red 28 Lake), CI 17200 (Red 33 Lake), CI 45370 (Orange 5), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 15985 (Yellow 6 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), Inc.
  • July 4, 2010

    by erin

    Skin rev-er upper is not meant to be a moisturizer, according to the brand rep who trained me.

  • August 6, 2009

    by marta

    That's a great question. But I don't think that bareVitamins skin rev-er upper would be the right product. It has at least one ingredient that helps other ingredients penetrate, plus the glycolic acid is going to encourage cell turnover and make you more sensitive. Take a look at <a href="" rel="nofollow">today's post on Chella</a>, which has a new product that uses a protein to "wrap around" harmful sunscreen ingredients, this acts as a barrier. But in the meantime, I'll have more of a think about barrier systems.

  • August 5, 2009

    by Leigh

    I love BareMinerals. I have oily skin so the drying that others seem to be experiencing is a benefit to me. Im nervous about the effects of TD on my skin. Do you think if I'm applying bareVitamins skin rev-er upper as a moisturizer under my foundation everyday will that prevent the TD from absorbing into my skin and producing free radicals?

  • August 3, 2009

    by Grace

    I also found Bare Escentuals dry (or at least appears to be dry) on my face... it seems difficult to master a perfect, flawless, application with the little kabuki brush they gave me... but I do agree the coverage is very natural. I would only use it on the weekend if I want to have some light coverage but I have yet had the courage the use it on weekdays...

  • August 3, 2009

    by Laura

    I have the Bare Escentuals starter kit from Sephora and don't love any of their face powders. They do bronzer and blush pretty well but I feel like their powders settle into the fine lines on my face and make them look worse rather than covering them up. I also have friends who swear that BE stuff makes them break out.

  • August 3, 2009

    by Lori

    I tried DiorShow and hated it. Admittedly, I already have pretty good lashes, but I couldn't get that thick, huge brush through them! I took it back. I really like the plastic brushes like Chanel Inimitable has.

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