Product review: Bare Minerals Matte

In my life, I have the dubious pleasure of periodically being forced to consume massive amounts of prednisone (steroids). They do their job, but they sure rape and pillage my system while they're at it - I'm talking hair falling out in clumps, water weight gain, and skin issues. Oh, my poor skin. Sensitive at the best of times, it becomes downright suicidal when I'm on prednisone - a roiling, pimply, grease-laden, blotchy mess that clogs and breaks out if I so much as look at it sideways. Basically, it's hopeless and I just have to wait until I wean off the 'roids. It doesn't help that when I'm not using the hard drugs, my skin behaves itself almost impeccably, so I don't have any frame of reference for its tantrums. My frustrations know no bounds and it's #1 on my Whine List (just ask my sainted, patient husband). Enter Bare Minerals Matte.

I'd been hearing about this product from basically everyone on the planet, but I hadn't believed the hype until I was in Macy's one day and almost tackled the salesgirl so she would share her secrets for her flawless skin. She swore up and down that it was just Bare Minerals! So I bit the bullet and bought two foundations and a kabuki brush. This is where my first minus appears - this adventure was not cheap, and the darker of the two foundations is far too dark. In fact, the lightest foundation they make is a little too dark for me.* I understand you can add a vanilla-colored eyeshadow from the line to your foundation to lighten it up.

It certainly is easy to use - if you've ever used loose powder, you can use this. Just tip a little powder into the cap of the container, swirl the brush into it, tap off the excess, and buff it onto your face, one section at a time. However, as I say that, I may be doing it wrong. I expected more coverage than what I'm getting. Am I supposed to be buffing more? Loading more powder on? Can anyone clue me in?

It does stay on all day, which I have to say surprised the heck out of me. And I have less of a T-Zone oil slick than I do with liquid foundation. There still is some oil, but I assume that's going to clear as I wean off my meds. The shade is surprisingly natural and the powder consistency helps avoid the lines and creases that appear with liquids. However, I'm still using concealer on zits and my Greek undereye circles, and I don't think that's going to change.

One glowing, miraculous point - it is AMAZING for sensitive, clogged pores. My blackheads started to clear up within three days. My blotches are diminishing and I'm less self-conscious about the mountain range between my eyes.

To sum up: I'm definitely going to keep using it, at least until I use up what I've got. I'm going to work on perfecting my technique and see if that improves the coverage. I woudl recommend it for sensitive skin but if you have major cystic acne, I wouldn't bother.

*Yes, I am pale. I wear sunblock religiously and you should too!