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Shiseido to buy Bare Escentuals

January 25, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 0 Comments
Another boutique in the clutches of a behemoth. Mind you mineral makeup market leader Bare Escentuals has come a long way since its 1974 launch in San Francisco to become a $600m business. It certainly caught Shiseido's eye, who made an offer last week.

In the realm of mineral makeup, Bare Escentuals certainly has an established pedigree. Its dedication to pure minerals and chemical-free formulas has pioneered a whole new segment within the beauty industry. So many of its loyal customers will be concerned as to whether the big Japanese department store band with its typical mix of seductive marketing, handful of cutting edge ingredients and fistfuls of chemical fillers (see its Bio-Performance products) will do to Bare Escentual's mineral credentials.

However, Bare Escentuals isn't a stranger to compromise. Many of its products contain a major ingredient deterrent in bismuth oxychloride, which is what gives mineral makeup its signature candlelit glow. Bismuth oxychloride, a byproduct of lead and copper processing, and can irritate sensitive skin and cause cystic acne in large doses. As a reader pointed out in our Why TIA isn’t always in favor of mineral makeup post, another drawback to the bareMinerals line is its tendency to require a multi-step system of veils and powders for the complete look. For these reasons, Bare Escentuals did not make the cut in our Five Best Mineral Makeup Products even though it crowned Sephora’s top ten.

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