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Bare Escentuals / Terrible experience!

1 9000 General DrivePlymouth, MI, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 888-795-4747

First off, I would like to say that I have never had an allergic reaction to anything in my life. Nor have I ever had problems with contact-type rashes (poison ivy/oak.., any make up ingredients, etc). So when I saw a Bare Minerals / Bare Escentuals ad on TV offering a free trial, I went online to check it out. Going through the checkout options, you are bombarded with other offers you can get for a discount. So I went ahead and added 2 other packages to my free trial. I was so excited to get it in and use it. When I put the makeup on, it looked great (at first), however, after a few minutes, I began itching-majorly all over my forehead, then the top of my cheeks. I called the phone number in my packet and was told by a rep that is was my face adjusting to the minerals and that it would quit and wouldn't happen all the time (that is was just a one-time thing for a few minutes). So I took her word, but ended up washing the makeup off my face. Woke up the next morning and tried putting it on again-ITCHING. So I washed again. Then I put on some regular foundation first and tried the makeup-ITCHING. Finally, I looked online as to why mineral makeup causes itching. BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE. However, this was not mentioned on their website, nor mentioned by their representative. And also, opposite of what their rep told me-it doesn't go away or quit. You don't just develop a tolerance/immunity to it. I washed the makeup off like 3 times, however, still had slight itching. Later that night, after still itching, I looked in the mirror because my head felt flushed, and I had a rash-small, red bumps. I called the company. Yeah, I can send the makeup back and get a refund, minus the money I had to spend in shipping.

Okay, I just called them back and the rep I spoke with had never heard of the bismuth causing a reaction. She spoke with her supervisor who informed her that they could refund the shipping that I had already paid so that I could use it to send the items back. However, she couldn't pull up the account because they are switching systems, so she had to transfer me to another dept with whom she had already spoken. When the other rep (Karen) came on the line, she told me it was company policy to not refund any shipping, either way even though the other rep had said she would and that she would have to check with her supervisor. She put me on hold and came back and told me that her supervisor couldn't approve any kind of refund but that she told her to put notes in my account regarding to why I cannot use the product and they may be able to get it done later. I then told her about the previous rep speaking with her supervisor and how it had already been approved. She put me on hold again, and then came back and told me that her supervisor said she could refund $15 of the $35 so that I could send it back but that was all they could do. What I think is crappy about the whole situation is that they advertise how it is hypo-allergenic and free of this and that, but they do not mention anywhere that some users do have reactions due to the bismuth oxychloride, even users who have never had any kind of reaction to anything in their life have had reactions. Then you pay $200 for something and then they expect you to have to send it back to them and be out shipping both ways. If they had mentioned that people without past history's have had reactions, I probably wouldn't have wasted my time and money on it. Instead, I would have probably went on ebay and bought a small amount and tried it first. Oh well. Let's get to packing everything up.

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  • El
      5th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    People can be allergic to anything and everything in foundation -- water, sunscreen, etc. Bare Minerals has very few ingredients compared to other foundations, but of course it's still possible that someone may have a reaction. I'd also like to mention that the itching may be due to the brushes you used to apply it with.

    Their kits are $60, by the way, not $200.

  • Lu
      4th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    AGREE - this makeup is terrible. I too, put on a new complexion mineral makeup that I bought last weekend. Within a day, I had red bumps ALL over my face. I believe the amount of bismuth oxychloride along with the mica are what caused my rash. It was very red, itchy, and most of all embarrassing. I will NEVER buy from Bare Escentuals again. They refuned my 'complexion kit' this past weekend. That wasn't the tough part - it was that my face has been completely ruined for at least two weeks. Beware - this makeup is not that great. Read this blog: I think a lot of people feel the same way I do. Hope this helps!

  • Je
      26th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes


    I suffer from acne and oily skin and Bare E has been a life saver for me. I HAVE TO BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL WHAT I PUT ON MY SKIN. I can sleep in this stuff and it only improves my skin, if I slept in liquid foundation I would wake up with 10 new pimples. I break out very easy to anything but BE covered my flaws and made my skin younger looking, healthier and flawless looking without looking like I wear any make up. It doesn't look like make up, it looks like your skin. Liquid make up is filled with so many waxes and binders and chemicals that are HORRIBLE for your skin and ages us or makes us look older by sinking into wrinkles, BE stays on top of the skin so it can breathe and look natural. Like a air brushed look. Now with that being said it does take some time to learn how to apply mineral make up correctly as it is a HUGE step to stop using that nasty chemical filled liquid foundation. Once you get the hang of it, it takes less than 10 min to apply consealer, foundation, blush and finishing powder. When I 1st received my order I didn't like it b/c I was doing it wrong. I was putting on too much. You only put a little in the lid and swirl the brush until all the minerals are tucked inside the brush and tap off the excess and buff it onto your face. That's it. Use just a little at a time in the lid and go from there if you want more coverage. I almost missed out on this great product b/c I didn't know how to properly apply it. You have to watch the DVD that comes with it, you can't by pass that. Now BE has become so high in demand you can buy the starter kits at any Ulta or Sephora and that's it. No auto commitment at all. You can even buy the Foundation and Powder alone if you want but the starter kit gives you the MAIN tools and products you need at a GREAT price to get started with this make up. BE even has they're own Boutiques now and a stock on Qvc so people must love this make up or these BE stores couldn't stay in business nor could Sephora or Ulta or Qvc have it in stock and always be in demand for more. So if this make up is so horrible why are they selling so much and even have they're own BE stores now? Trust me when I say, give it a chance and learn how to properly apply mineral make up before you give up. Now if you do have a allergic reaction then you can't help that but don't give up guys just b/c you think it doesn't look good b/c you most likely, like me, was applying it wrong. Don't give up before you have learned how to apply it correctly. There are even Mineral make up forums that have members who use it that can give you advise. Be Beautiful is one of them. They talk about all make up brands and fashion and other issues too. I go there a lot and the ladies are great and can explain this mineral make up to you. They talk about other mineral make ups too other than BE, there are some mineral make ups THAT DON'T HAVE BISMUTH IN IT AND THESS LADIES CAN TELL YOU WHERE TO GO. EVERYONE IS VERY KINDF THERE.

    I just thought I would add this comment since I almost gave up thinking it was s horrible product when it was me applying it wrong. I hope this helps. B/c of BE I no longer break out wearingmake up and my skin has improved as well. This is just my opinion and I respect how everyone feels about this product. Just make sure your doing it right before you give up. God Bless

  • Va
      29th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I suffer from oily, acne skin, and once foundation is applied the color would totally change because of the oiliness. I purchased the starter kit in warm/dark. After the 1st day honestly I saw a major change not only in my makeup be my skin. If the result continue to be this great after one da y - I will never change to another line of product again. I am extermely happy with the results I am receiving. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you BARE MINERAL

  • No
      14th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    You have the company address WRONG! There is NO BE at that location. Try getting CORRECT information before posting it.

  • Sa
      11th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I need some response to my problem--has anyone had any problems with developing blepharitis from using Bare Minerals? I developed itchy eyes and a yellow exudate that dried to flakes on my upper eyelids and between my eyelashes which eventually caused my eyelashes to do crazy things and to fall out. My eye dr. asked if I had done anything differently with my makeup or hair products of which I couldn't think of anything at the time; but now, after thinking back, my eyes started bothering me after I started using these products almost a couple of years ago. Help!!

  • Li
      19th of Jan, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I had a severe allergic reaction to my eyes after using the Bare Minerals Eye Kit. Fortunately I was at home during Christmas and my dad is an ophthalmologist! He gave me perscription drops. My eyes were blood red and I had crust every morning and couldn't open my eyes. I didn't think that it could be the makeup...I thought maybe I just had an eye infection from traveling. Then I used it again in Jan 2009, in Los Angeles and the same exact thing happened. Then I realized that it must be the makeup. I had only used it twice and both times now had the same reaction. My dad said it was an allergic reaction to the makeup. I had another perscription medicine! I"m sending the product back and also requesting a refund for my perscriptions.

  • Sh
      28th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Their customer service is awful. If you didn't get this resolved I advise you to contact the BBB at and file a formal complaint with the company. This is terrible and should not be tolerated. You shouldn't have to be pushed around like this.

  • It
      30th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    First of all guys - anything new you try can cause a reaction. ANYTHING. Food, makeup, shampoo - even a new climate can cause a reaction. Just because something is hypo-allergenic does not mean you won't have a reaction - everyone's skin is different. It is not the companies responsibility to label every ingredient with - "may cause an allergic reaction", because that's just plain preposterous. That would mean that any ingredient that can cause a reaction (pretty much anything used in any product) would have to have a disclaimer.

    The part that irritates me the most about this is that people don't do their own research before using a product. We're not your babysitters people - learn how to read for yourself, and learn to take responsibility. When you try something new, it may not be work for you!

  • He
      27th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I ended up making 12 phone calls in a month and a half period just to get my shipment of Bare Minerals and then when I got it, it was the wrong color and they wouldn't let me exchange it! There reason was because they had already sent me out a previous package, BUT THEY SENT IT TO THE WRONG ADDRESS! HOW IS THAT MY FAULT? I just wanted to exchange it for the right color and since they wouldn't I had to pay for a product that I can't use!

  • Pa
      3rd of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    You can find good mineral makeup on ebay. I received mine in the mail today and I only paid $21.95 for a full kit including brushes, and free shipping. Will last a few months with regular use. Mineral makeup contains no fillers, and it looks like you don't get much for your money, but you really do. Check the ingredients before you buy - the best mineral makeups will have very few ingredients, and the top three ingredients will be zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides. Avoid fillers and rice powders, ultramarine, and talc. I am not shilling for any mineral makeup sellers or companies, but I researched mineral makeup (and everything else I buy) thoroughly before setting money down..the internet is a vast information source, check it out before you buy it.

  • Re
      30th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    same thing happened to me -- red bumps all over my face after feeling really itchy and hot. i agree, one should do her research before purchasing a product. the company should warn people of this possible reaction, though.

  • Mr
      31st of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    Wow! I am not alone. I had scaly dry patches on my cheaks. The rep said their cosmetics are all natural. I thought it might be the weather that caused dryness. I had to return my original package. I did not like it and they said I had to keep it all or return it all.
    I ordered new products. I found that I was too busy to use the loose makeup, which was all over my counters. I used the lips and eye products. I thought I was having allergies and did not realize that it was from BE. I had swollen lips! Huge! Then they became scaly and painful. This continued for two weeks after stopping the BE. I finally used Benadryl, zyrtec and cortisone cream to reduce the swelling. I had to use antibiotic ointments to heal my lips.
    Later I found out that BE also causes asthma. My asthma is seasonal so I was surprised to have several attacks during the two weeks I used their powders. By the time I connected the dots, I had already stopped using the powders.
    FYI: I am still waiting for my refund. They received my return two weeks ago! They even contacted me to customize my membership, completely ignoring that I had to see a doctor about the allergic reaction. They did not contact me about the refund!
    This company is a joke and they need to warm people about the allergic reactions!

  • Al
      18th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    Hello - my gripe with this company is not the product, sorry, but their lousy shipping policy - this may seem trite to some, but living in Hawaii like I do, shipping is a big issue - most large companies accommodate places like Hawaii with Priority Mail shipping, but not this company - here is the e mail I sent to 4 different addresses listed on the BE website and have yet to have a response :

    First let me say that I have my own online business and if I treated my customers the way I've been treated by Bare Escentuals with regards to my shipping problem, I would have been out of business a long time ago
    I live in Hilo, Hawaii - I placed a phone order with Bill in your customer service on June 17 - at that time, I was told that shipping would take 1 to 2 weeks to reach me in Hawaii - I was fine with that - here I am, almost a month later, and the last tracking information I have on my package is that it was in San Franscisco as of June 24 - I even call that Bulk Mail Center and was told that it most likely went by boat on June 29 or 30 to Hawaii - that takes about a week to be received at Honolulu and be scanned in there - that would have put it in Honolulu around July 8 - it is now July 18 and nothing new is noted about this package - yet, I was told today that I have to wait until tomorrow to complain yet again and have it reshipped because tomorrow is 21 working days since it was shipped and your policy is to give the package that long to be received - THEN I was told that if you re ship to the same address and it isn't received you won't do anything about it - so, if I understand correctly, I would be out the $63 simply because I live in Hawaii and you're can't be bothered to find a better way to ship to customers in Hawaii - SAY WHAT ??? - ARE YOU KIDDING ???
    I've never run into such a ridiculous shipping policy in my life - most large companies have shipping options for areas like Hawaii, and ship orders coming out here by Priority Mail so that things like this don't happen - in other words, they actually care that customers in Hawaii get their products in a timely manner and are happy with their buying experience - Bare Escentuals could take a lesson - now, unless I somehow miraculously get this package by tomorrow morning, I have to call back and have the reship sent to my business in Nevada, then I'll have to pay even more shipping to get it from Nevada to me here in Hawaii - would you like to be told that if this was YOUR order ??? I really think not
    I was living on the Mainland the last time I ordered these products, and came back to Bare Escentuals after 4 years of trying other brands, etc - I came back bacause I truly felt the Bare Escentuals products were superior to the other products I had tried, and I still do - but I also judge a company by how they treat their customers and this company has failed miserably - I am so disappointed in this company - you should be disappointed in yourselves - Order # 60567897

  • Ma
      16th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    i am not happy with my full flawless face brush. i went to ulta to complain and they could not tell

    me anthing. the bristles shed all over me and they get in my eyes. what is wrong? i cannot use this product with this brush. ulta is in paramus new jersey. marianne

  • Ma
      16th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    I am not happy with the full flawless face brush. the bristles are all over my clothes and in my eyes. it shed in little hairs. I went to Ulta in Paramus, New Jersey, and they were not helpful at all. Please advise. I have cleaned the brush with well cared for, it seems even worse.

  • Bi
      28th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    I only get an itchy face when i get hot from the original BE foundation - I contacted them in the US and they said that some people had reported a reaction to the original foundation and that I should apply a primer then mineral veil then foundation - still itched a little - so they recommended the Matte version applied over primer (Smashbox one) then mineral veil then BE matte foundation then mineral veil - voila no itching hope this helps.

  • Ha
      23rd of May, 2013
    0 Votes

    I used to use this product and was actually very pleased with the results. I quit using the product when I got pregnant with my son because I felt it made my skin too oily. Then after I had my son, I started using it again and noticed dry, itchy patches and small bumps that you cannot see but feel all over my face. I have urged my sister to quit using the product because she has noticed the same things happening with her skin as well. In general, I do think this is a great makeup, however, I don't think I will ever use it again due to the reaction I had with it after my pregnancy.

  • Al
      20th of Feb, 2014
    0 Votes

    I am starting to wonder too if my newly diagnosed condition of Blepharitis has occurred because of using Bare Minerals foundation, warmth and veil. I am going to stop using today to see if my red bloodshot eyes and red irritated water lines clear up! Hoping for the best! Anyone else have positive results from stopping this makeup use?

  • Ju
      8th of Oct, 2014
    0 Votes

    I have used Bare Essentials powdered makeup and clear primer for years and loved it! That being said I recently was given some samples of their new liquid makeup line when making purchases and had a severe allergic reaction. It tingled when first applied, this is normal for me so I left it after a few hours I had to remove it and 3 days later my face, eyes and splotches on my neck are still angry, red, swollen and itchy even with Rx eye drops(Pataday), cortisone cream, applying Aquaphor (recommended by my dermatologist) as needed for dry flakiness taking, OTC Benadryl, Loratidine, then limiting my diet to simple salads and baked chicken with rices, green veggies and broths and no stimulants that may irritate skin (Caffeine, Chocolate, etc) . I hope this is a one time fluke and I will be able to continue use of the products from the past once it resolves but will definitely be cautious in the future. Sure missing my morning Espresso...

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