The longest-lasting relationship of my life began on a Saturday afternoon at the mall. (Remember those?) The year was 2009; the place was the Westfield Brandon Mall outside of Tampa, Florida, where I was window-shopping and product testing with a friend. I didn’t lock eyes with a new romantic interest, nor did I stumble upon a pair of jeans that magically fit us both like a certain fictional sisterhood. No, the earth-shattering, world-shifting meeting I’m referring to is laying eyes on Bareminerals Eyecolor in Bare Skin.
I understand how this could sound like a paradox: How could an eyeshadow with a name like “Bare Skin” catch anyone’s attention? In the row of glittering products at Sephora, I latched on to “Bare Skin” for its promise of a natural glow. I wasn’t technically allowed to wear makeup at the time, but I wanted to start—and this “bare” shadow struck me as a sly way to get my beauty life going. I remember brushing the mineral powder shadow onto the back of my hand and marveling at its faint glimmer under the florescent lights: all this, for $15. I was sold.
A lot has changed in the decade that passed since my first eyeshadow purchase—primarily, I’m a grown woman who doesn’t need permission for any part of my beauty or fashion routine. If I wanted to, I could wear a full Teflon face as often as I pleased. Ten years later, though, I still wear Bare Skin every single day.
Even at Glamour, where our beauty editors generously allow the rest of the team to try new products, I’ve never asked to take part in an eyeshadow test—I’m so attached to this shadow, I’m not interested in considering alternatives. It isn’t nostalgia alone that keeps me coming back to Bareminerals Bare Skin. Part of the appeal is pure staying power. Other eyeshadows I’ve tried faded or turned sweat-shiny without a thick layer of primer underneath. Bareminerals stays on for a full day without fading or smudging, no primer needed.
Its best quality is, by far, the color. It’s a soft, dewy pink—a lot like my favorite Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, but with a tad more sparkle. When I was younger, it was an age-appropriate intro to eye makeup (subtle but not sheer). As an adult, it’s just enough shimmer for a day-to-night, one-shade eye look. And, it brightens my eyes on mornings when I’m prone to Resting Tired Face (read: every morning).
My application process hasn’t changed since I first bought Bare Skin. I shake a bit of powder into the lid, then brush it on with an E.L.F. C-shape eyeshadow brush. Then I’ll line my eyes with MAC’s Coasta Riche eye pencil. The whole process lasts all of three minutes—I timed it.
My affection for easy on, easy off makeup hasn’t faded in the years since that first discovery. (Nor has my stockpile: One jar of this eyeshadow lasts several months longer than other palettes I’ve tried.) Even if I were to find another pinky-nude eyeshadow with all-day durability, Bareminerals Bare Skin eyeshadow would be my first choice. It’s like they say, you never forget your first love.
Halie LeSavage is the fashion associate at Glamour. Follow her @halielesavage.