I put a short on Bare Escentuals in CAPS, in large part because I just wasn't sure what the competitive sustainable advantage is. True, it seems to be a popular product so far with a good premise (that it's good for your skin because it's made of minerals). However, having been a woman for almost 37 years I've noticed hot cosmetics come and go. It seems to me there are few that really command loyalty (I'd argue maybe something like Clinique has showed great staying power).
Anyway last night I caught a TV commercial advertising L'Oreal's Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation. Sound familiar? It sure looked familiar, right down to the brush that was pictured with the product, which looks to me just like the kabuki brush sold for full coverage for Bare Escentuals.
The Web site Epinions had a four-star user rating for the L'Oreal product, and one review seemed to be touting the same types of benefits Bare Escentuals talks about. (It's better for your skin, etc.) It also mentioned Neutrogena has a powder foundation called Mineral Sheers. Furthermore, the reviewer seems to have used the same manner to apply the L'Oreal product as Bare Escentuals. And... user comments included such opinions as it was better than Bare Escentuals and another said it was cheaper to try. Many women are reluctant to shell out a lot of money on a product that might not look right on their skin.
This isn't to say Bare Escentuals doesn't provide a good product that isn't hot right now -- I just wonder when these competitors eat its lunch. I can only imagine the L'Oreal version is MUCH cheaper. (For example, I believe Bare Escentuals' kabuki brush sells for about $28 on its own -- well it is of course made of goat hair LOL.)
Anyway, again, just wondering what the competitive sustainable advantage is as more companies offer similar products.