Bare Escentuals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 review

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Bare Escentuals has been my go-to brand for all my makeup needs since my first experience with their product. I’m not going to get all gushy, but the foundation worked so well for me that I branched out and tried other things. Those branches have turned into The Giving Tree for me, providing everything I need.

The latest to be had is the bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0, their entrance to the realm of pressed shadows.

Hello? Pressed, as in solid, shadows?

For years I have collected Bare Escentuals’ loose mineral shadows, particularly loving their shimmery nudes, bronzes and browns. I love the flexibility (and blendability) of these shadows, nearly swearing off pressed shadows.

Well, for me, swearing off pressed shadows is kind of like swearing off doughnuts – it doesn’t last forever. Sure I use other products, other forms and formulas. I like them all.

Love, however, is different than like. I like a lot but love only a few. BE, I love you. As it turns out I also love your pressed shadows. Really, would there be doubt?

The colors in these duos ($20 each – quads and palettes are available too!) range from the classic, neutral, daily-wear combinations to the intensely daring and unexpected.

There are over 15 different READY Eyeshadow 2.0 hues available so far, and of these, wht received six to put to the test, The Epiphany, The Inspiration, The Promise, The Escape, The Vision and The Grand Finale. (Can I just say how much I love the epic sounding titles? ~Tyna)

The Vision

After helping to swatch these colors I was most intrigued with The Vision, (featuring Illusion, a sea mist and Mirage, a deep lagoon) discovering that its Mirage was just that, a color that seemed to change from an illusory greenish-grey to taupe-y charcoal from palette to skin. This was a change so chameleon like and surprising we checked and re-checked to ensure we hadn’t mistakenly mixed other shadows. We didn’t; it’s just awesome.

The Grand Finale

Ultimately, I went against type and chose The Grand Finale (Standing O, a brilliant gold and Climax, a deep royal blue), due in part to the names of its contents. Who could resist a Standing O and Climax? I definitely want those! If they decide to name a palette Disneyland with Fantasia and It’s A Small World, I’ll be in seventh heaven.

Another reason for choosing this combo is that I love golds, and this duo contains the most intense gold I’ve seen outside the realm of cream shadows. The Standing O blue is bright and bold and something this fairly fair-skinned gal never does. I’m glad I tried something new because the color is phenomenal. I first tried this duo color-blocked with gold Climax on the inside and the bright blue on the outside. This was a pairing for a party—fun, but not everyday.

I then tried this with the gold as a lid color and the blue for the crease, outside corner and upper lid liner. Blended together, these create a beautiful green gold that looks fantastic with my brown eyes.

The Epiphany

These colors are extremely saturated and have a creamy, silky feel when applied while wearing all day without creasing (I did use primer). If you are looking for a sheer wash of color, go lightly my friend—very lightly. For a more day time look, might I suggest The Epiphany with A-ha (brown sugar) and Foreshadow (brown truffle)

The Promise

Another more neutral duo is The Promise featuring Aspire, a buttercream sheen and Vow, described as brownstone.

Can I just say that I really love the compact that houses all of the READY Eyeshadow 2.0 duos . It’s made of a rubberized material that doesn’t slip or break, allowing for a good grip when I snap it open. This may be a little thing but I’ve broken quite a few containers made of lesser plastics that are trickier to open than a combination lock. The mirror in the lid is quite large and useful as well.

The Inspiration

The sponge applicator, however, is small – too small for great control. Normally I don’t use brushes or applicators included in packaging but the thick, almost cream-like consistency of these shadows seems to beg for sponge application. If you do use a brush, I recommend using a stiff one, especially for the more intense colors.

I imagine both a sponge applicator and a good brush will give you a holiday worthy, jeweled look using The Inspiration with Muse, a pink frost and Passion, a glimmering plum.

Duos right to left, The Epiphany (A-ha, Foreshadow), The Vision (Illusion, Mirage), The Promise (Aspire, Vow) and The Grand Finale (Standing O, Climax).

One final bonus, these eyeshadow formulas all contain BE’s proprietary SeaNutritive Mineral Complex as well as antioxidants, cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine and cucumber for anti-aging and anti-puffiness! You can do some good for your skin, while looking good too.

The Inspiration (Muse, Passion)

No parabens, no binders, no fillers, no harsh chemicals
Incredibly smooth texture
Intense color saturation
Long wearing
Sturdy, no-slip packaging

Some may not like the intensity/saturation of the colors
Small applicator

Yes, I love The Giving Tree of Bare Escentuals! Should its branches ever stop bearing fruit, it will have given me many years of timeless beauty and good face.

we heartsters and Review Team, what has Bare Escentuals given YOU?

Sherri is co-author of What Would You Do With This Room? My 10 Foolproof Commandments to Great Interior Design, and of course, a wht writer!

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • sherrishera

    Sherri is a writer, dog lover, old movie fanatic, history detective, political junkie, fashion pundit and social media consumer advocate. “A fancy dinner and expensive champagne are better than writing a rent check any day of the week.” skin tone: NC 25 skin type: oily/sensitive favorite beauty product: anti-aging anything

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  1. I’m a Bare Escentuals devotee for their brow powder ($11 and i buy it twice a year because it lasts SO long….) but I haven’t tried any of their other products. However, after seeing The Promise and The Inspiration palettes, I might have to check them out again! I really like with the color pay-off in these; saturated and long-wearing? Impressive…

  2. @sherrishera , I love BE’s loose mineral shadows and had no idea they made a pressed version. These colors look and sound fabulous, and The Vision has my attention in particular. I don’t see any way I’m going to be able to resist!

  3. I am with Melissa! I had no idea BE made a pressed version of shadow. I am a neutral girl and I see some beautiful duos!
    Epiphany and The Promise, here I come!
    Great review!

  4. Wow! Very nice of BE to make solid pressed eyeshadows! They are super colorful and it’s hard to choose which ones I’m going to really fall for, because they’re all nice! If I had to choose, I do love The Epiphany and The Promise too, just like Stephanie.. :)

  5. I have also long loved BE. I am not going to lie, but I have been very nervous about the new direction of the company since it was bought out. But I am very glad to hear the live for the new pressed shadows. I can’t wait to try them!

  6. I’m definitely going to purchase The Vision. Honestly, I’ve been dreaming about it since I first laid eyes on it.

  7. I got to try The Epiphany and I have to say, I’m loving that BE went with the pressed shadows, too! This is a wonderful set. I think the packaging is one of my favorite parts. The rubberized compact is so sturdy and solid. It feels good and is going nowhere on your counter. The mirror is the full size of the lid too – plenty big. I didn’t think much of the small applicator at first either, but when I used it for testing’s sake, I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely and evenly the sponge spread the color. I think the colors are quite saturated, too. A-Ha is a frosty light brown – almost even plum on me. Very pretty, very frosted. I go light with this for daytime. Foreshadow is a matte chocolate brown. Both feel silky soft when applied and last all day. I am loving these new shadows and it’s a definite 5 stars from me!

    1. Oh gosh, I didn’t care for the sponge applicator but don’t think that it’s a reason not to buy the product. Overall the packaging is genius and not wasteful (many people will like the sponge applicator for this creamy powder). The compact itself isn’t larger than most and utilizes all its space for our good (i.e. big mirror). I’m wondering if that spectacular rubberized exterior is recycled …or could be? Anyone?

  8. I’ve been using an assortment of BE products for years now and I own several of the loose shadows, however, I rarely used them because I have trouble getting loose shadows to stay put. Fortunately BE came up with the pressed shadows which seem to have fixed that problem. I got to test out “The Inspiration”–I was a little concerned with the color combo as the darker shade appears almost burgundy in the pan and burgundy shadow does me no favors (I look like I am suffering from some sort of hemorrhagic fever), however the darker shade turned up as a dark purple with a healthy amount of shimmer, of which I was pleasantly surprised by. I thought this duo created a really lovely jewel-toned smokey eye that would work on any skin tone–I was also very impressed with the staying power as well–I managed several hours of wear before creasing began. It was an early Christmas miracle. I will now be checking out “The Vision” in person at my local Sephora :)
    5 stars from me!

  9. BE is awesome, but sometimes I’m just in too much of a hurry to deal with loose shadows. (Like @Krista I have a hard times getting loose shadows to stay put, so I always need to use a primer. Also, I’m kind of a messy girl so I tend to get fall out EVERYWHERE with a loose shadow.) To have pressed shadows is fantastic! “The Vision” and “The Grand Finale” are beautiful, I must see them in person.

    One complaint- why oh why do companies still include those little sponge applicators? Does anyone ever use one? Ugh. Save space and either include more product or use less packaging for less waste!

    1. Primer totally doesn’t even help me with loose shadows. It makes me sad :(
      Sometimes I end up using the sponge applicator, but usually I finger paint the shadow on. I’m sophisticated like that. LOL

  10. I picked up a new BE eye shadow today. I really was impressed with the longevity of this new formulation of eye shadow. They are very blendable with almost no fallout.

    I prefer this formulation over their “loose” shadows.

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