The Sample: Senna Cosmetics Barely Base Sheer Mineral Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF20 in Light & Glow (Review, Swatches & Photos)

28 Jun

««Press Sample»» 

You guys, I FINALLY tried my first BB cream!! I know, a little late to the game, right? Especially now that there are CC creams out and what, DD creams on the horizon?? Not sure how I feel about that, but anyway…Senna’s Barely Base Sheer Mineral Makeup has actually been around for a while but when the BB craze struck, it was re-marketed as a BB cream. And why not? It certainly meets all the criteria (at least to my understanding of what a BB cream is–I know there are those who are devoted to authentic Asian-style BB creams and these U.S ones are supposedly a big, fat joke to them :P).

The Barely Base hydrates the skin while providing a light, even, natural-looking coverage. It contains antioxidants, mineral complexes, and plant botanicals to revitalize the skin and is oil and fragrance-free (yeeessss!!!).

I received the shades Light and Glow to review. Light is described as a “golden light for light-medium skin” while Glow is a “golden radiance for light to tan skin”. Both descriptions are accurate. Still, the coverage is light enough that the shades are quite forgiving. Both Light and Glow seem perfect for my NC25-ish skin, though each of them on their own is either a fraction too light or too dark for me. Mixed together though, it’s sheer perfection (no pun intended!).

What I also really like about these Barely Bases is the fact that is comes in not one or even two (like most BB creams do) shades but SEVEN! Yes, there are seven shades available. Finally, amiright?! :D There is also a nice mix of cool, neutral, and warm tones, which is nice because as many of you know, many BB creams seem to run very pink.

The base comes packaged in a black plastic squeeze tube. The plastic is much thicker and harder than your average tinted moisturizer tube–it’s sturdy and I like the feel and look a lot.

–you can see that the packaging between the 2 shades is slightly different. Senna has a disclaimer on their site stating that this may occur and that the products are indeed the same. The bottle on the right is the newer packaging, I believe–

The product itself is quite thick and creamy yet delectably smooth and silky. When I first squeezed it out, I thought there was no way a product that thick and seemingly rich would work for my oily skin. Yet surprisingly, the Barely Base held up really, really well on me! I’m talking about 3 1/2 hours without needing to blot (*this is while testing last week when the weather was still warm but nice. This week, as the temperature slowly climbs, I’ve tried to wear it out a few times and I grease up like crazy. But I’m just gonna be honest with you, EVERYTHING I use does the same thing, even the most mattifying foundations. My face just goes crazy during the hot summer, so I don’t hold it against this particular product or any other and put down my results from when the weather was still bearable). That is pretty darn good, in my book! (sad, isn’t it?! :P)

As for the finish, all I can say is wow. People seem to throw the phrase “matte but with a natural glow” around a lot but I have yet to experience anything or any kind of base product at all that could deliver those types of results for my skin type. I seriously was beginning to think it was impossible! Then I tried Barely Base. The finish really is matte–not semi-matte but natural matte (there is a difference, in my opinion). But there is definitely a natural glow to the skin in that subtle, mineral-esque way. It doesn’t make my face look shiny in the slightest. You can see that there is no shine on my face yet there is a certain lightness to the finish. It’s really lovely!

–Light on left, Glow on right (click image to enlarge)–

Now as you can probably gather from the name of the product, this BB cream/base is indeed quite light in coverage. Notice that I say “light” and not “sheer” though, despite Senna’s title of “Sheer Mineral Makeup”. The product covers up my redness and evens out my complexion beautifully–I don’t find that very sheer base products really cover all the red areas on my face like Barely Base does, so I do think it’s a solidly light-coverage product.

So verdict? I am impressed. I was hoping I would like it but I didn’t expect to love it like I do! It’s seriously the perfect summer base. It’s light, covers but looks natural, easy to apply (throw it in your beach bag and go!) and can be lugged around with fear of bottles breaking/exploding/etc. Also love that Senna didn’t just throw the requisite SPF15 in there and call it a day. SPF20 is still not really enough but for those of us that sometimes are really, really naughty and don’t put on sunblock prior to base (I know, I know…), SPF20 will definitely do. :)

»»Pricing: $40/1.7 fl. oz. (50 ml.)


»»Recommended for: all skin types though very oily skin might not experience as good of results as those with normal to combination skin

»»Overall Rating: A-


Disclaimer: the product(s) featured in this post were provided to The Beauty Sample free of charge by the manufacturer/PR for review purposes only. Regardless of how the product was obtained, my priority is to you, my readers, and I will always give you my honest opinion.

26 Responses to “The Sample: Senna Cosmetics Barely Base Sheer Mineral Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF20 in Light & Glow (Review, Swatches & Photos)”

  1. Catherine @ bcrueltyfree June 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Love how you describe the finish of this, definitely something I would like. The two colors look really realistic, I feel like both would probably be workable for me. I’m really trying to get better about wearing sunscreen daily, so the SPF is a big plus for me as well

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      Haha yeah me too–I find that this summer, my skin is like CRAAAAZY oily for some reason so to have SPF and base in one is a huge plus for me! Wearing an additional layer of sunscreen under my makeup, while good, is just too greasy for me :/ This is a really great product–I highly recommend! :D

  2. Tracy@Beauty Reflections June 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    I’ve tried this before and loved it! It’s really nice I agree! I wish they’d come out with a higher SPF version!

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      Yay! It’s nice huh? Really, really light and natural but surprisingly covers a lot more than I thought it would! :D Higher SPF would be sooooo amazing–agreed!

  3. Liz June 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    The colours seem extremely yellow, but I believe you that it covers the reds and evens out complexion. Lately I’ve been pondering going back to the Laura Mercier TM or giving a BB cream a try despite my earlier stance to ignore anything that has double alphabet initials. (Even if I don’t have anything against the products, the marketing drives me bonkers. BB shampoos – gah.) I won’t spend $40 without sampling first though! It’s too bad Senna isn’t around at counters here.

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      I know I wish Senna were more readily available too–I feel like if more ppl got a chance to test in person, it’d get a lot more love and attention that it deserves!

      I really like a yellow base–it’s great for my warm undertone and it covers my really, really red areas (nose, upper lip, chin, etc. :/)

      I have the LM TM and I like it but it’s a lot more like a foundation than I would like my TMs to be. Bobbi BRown’s is nice too but veeery similar (and the shades are much more universal, in my opinion)

  4. Chris June 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    I haven’t heard of Senna, but I’m currently testing different BB creams to minimize my makeup routine this summer. I’ve been loving the version by Estée Lauder which surprisingly is a perfect match for me.

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Oh whoops–I guess I have tried BB cream before because I’ve used the EL one and loved it! I agree–the shade match is surprisingly perfect for me! Only thing I didn’t like was it was very silicone-y :/

  5. Makeup Morsels June 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    hahaha I like how a beauty blogger’s definition of naughty is wearing SPF 20 foundation :P Definitely intrigued now because who doesn’t want that matte with a natural glow finish?? Glad to hear this worked out so well for you, sounds like the perfect product for summer! Although right now it’s so hot I don’t even want to venture out of the house, let alone put on a full face. PLEASE COOL DOWN SOON GAHH.

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

      OMG I feel you, MM!! Yesterday was about 90 and today it’s 95 so it’s slowly gettin’ there. I am VERY cranky when it comes to hot weather so all I want to do is slug around inside with the AC too :P About to go to the pool though so that will be nice…:P

      And yes–SPF20=BAD! hahaha SPF45 is like supposed to be the lowest :P haha

  6. Meryl @ Memoiselle June 29, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    Good to hear that this doesn’t make your face feels oily! I think “Light” looks perfect on lighter skintone. Although the BB cream craze has been quite sometimes, I am still going gaga over BB creams rather than foundation :D

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      Haha the whole BB/CC/DD thing is driving me crazy but I don’t doubt that there are many great products within that category! :P I would be curious to try more but not because it’s a BB or whatever–just because I’m always on the lookout for a nice, natural, matte base :)

  7. Lily June 29, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    I haven’t heard of this brand before. It’s so hard to keep up. Haha! Glad to hear it works though. I’ve been enjoying really light products. It’s been HOT here…

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      Oh God, I can only imagine how bad it is in Malaysia. The humidity is what really seals the deal! It’s about mid 90s here today and I’m DYING but I thank God it’s not sticky or humid! :/ Stay cool, Lily dear!

  8. Taylor June 29, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    I am intrigued. I’ve been hearing a lot about Senna recently. These bases look so creamy. I love it!

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      You HAVE to try something from this brand, Taylor! I think you’d like it a lot! I just got some summer pieces and they are GORGEOUS!!! :D

  9. Jacqueline June 29, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    Wow Becca, this sounds very interesting. I have past my bb cream phase for the moment but will probably come back to it. I just hate that for some bb or cc creams, there is only 1 shade available.

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Ooooh you just reminded me–this BB cream has SEVEN shades to choose from so yes, that’s definitely a pluus! thanks for reminding me, I’m going to update my post now ;)

  10. Teri June 29, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    I really love the packaging, now that is something nice to look at! I also love that the colours seem to lean more yellow, finally a bb cream that is not too beige, pink or grey!

    • becca June 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      I KNOW! I always see them so pinky and it confuses me. I think yellow is much more universally flattering and I like it a lot :)

  11. Toya July 2, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    This sounds lovely Becca! Agree with the comment above that the shades lean more yellow than pink, which I have to deal with a lot. Do they have darker shades as well??

    • becca July 4, 2013 at 12:53 am #

      They do!! :D There are 7 shades available and, as I mentioned, the shades are quite forgiving. I think Warm Beige or Dark may suite you nicely, Toya :)

  12. Jenni @ lifeandlensofbeauty July 3, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    I”m surprised that the foundation colors didn’t lean too pink/orange!! I found that to be the case whenever I tried looking for foundation in western countries, LOL

    • becca July 4, 2013 at 12:54 am #

      I know, I do too and it drives me crazy! Obviously there are both warm and cool tones out there but you’d think that neutral to warm-leaning shades would be infinitely more flattering than starkly pink/cool shades! :/ Always frustrating, indeed!

  13. svetlana July 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    My normally normal skin has taken a turn for a bit on the oily side with summer, would this be kind to my face u think? :( I want something light I can wear on days off frolicking in the summer freedom (wearing a hat of course!)

    • becca July 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

      Yes I definitely think it would! Sounds like if your skin is normally normal its probably just oily in the t-zone. I think pair this with a nice mattifying primer down your t-zone and you’d be set!! THis one is sooo nice and natural–you’d love it :)

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