Beauty Test Drive: Bare Escentuals Complexion Rescue Is The Best Lighting Your Face Could Ever Want

A fun thing that no one really tells you about getting older is that pimples still happen. The horrible pizza-face cystic acne that might have plagued you in your teens for the most part goes away, but annoying, red, painful zits still occur, like so many little reminders that, even though you are a person with a 401(k) and the wherewithal to pay your bills on time, a giant honker of a zit will still ruin your day and leave you picking ceaselessly at your face in the mirror, just like when you were a teen.  I’ve spent a lot of time looking for that one thing that will actually make my face look smoother, better, plumper, dewier. I like the idea of having skin that looks like I spent a lot of money on it, but natural. I want a sheen on my face that looks purposeful, instead of the standard “did she or didn’t she wear moisturizer today” look that is my norm.

Product: Bare Escentuals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating GelCream, $29

Application: You squirt out a little dollop into your palm, because that’s what Carmindy used to do on “What Not To Wear,” and then you rub it vigorously into your face until it blends in. Sometimes I find myself putting on too much, and not being able to take back what I’ve applied, but the magic amount for me is something that’s roughly the size of a dime? Here’s a picture, because telling you that a “dime-sized” amount is the right amount is dumb.


I’m not sure what a GelCream is, but this stuff looks an awful lot like a regular foundation. It’s comfortingly thick and feels like it’ll actually do something, which is all we can ask of our beauty products. It smells chemical-y, in a soothing way, like the plastick-y smell of Barbie feet. It also makes my skin feel softer and absorbs quickly, which is great, because there is nothing worse than than foundation sitting heavily on your face like a mask.

Results: This Bare Escentuals Tinted Cream Gel Rescue Hydrator purports to be a BB cream, a CC cream, a tinted moisturizer and a regular moisturizer all in one. It has SPF, which more than I can say for most things I put on my face, and is sheer enough to make it look like I’m not actually wearing anything except the grace of a benevolent god who decided to make me look like I’m bathed in really good light at all times. I was pleasantly surprised to find a shade that works for Winter me and Tan Me, two very different people. There’s actually an impressive range of colors in this line, which is nice, and I imagine if you have a lot of money and are really invested in making your skin look dope as hell, you could drop $60 and mix and match. But, a precise match isn’t crucial, here. It’s sheer enough to make it so that if you’re using something that’s a teensy bit off for your skin, it’ll still make you look fresh.

I have my doubts that it actually increases skin hydration by 215 percent after one week, like it claims to do, because I imagine having a face that is 215 percent more hydrated would necessitate the use of a bucket or some sort of face bowl, to catch all the excess water oozing out of my pores, but I will say that I can wear it without moisturizer, and I don’t feel gross.

Sadly, it does nothing to erase the shine on my nose, which is its own powerful beast, tamed by no product, but whatever. Because it’s so sheer, I can’t tell if it’s dissipating over the day, but even if it sits on my face forever and takes up permanent residence in my pores, it’s fine because it just feels nice! It feels like something expensive and good for your face. Also, even though the difference is hardly noticeable, I’m into it. It makes me feel nice without adding to the smattering of early-30s hormonal acne, and it even covers it up, sorta. It doesn’t settle into my weird laugh lines or those delicate little things under my eyes. It just makes me look like I have my shit together, which is all I can ask for a face product. Totally worth it.

Rating: 4/5 stars, because nothing is ever perfect.

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