Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Over & Under: Most Overrated & Underrated Powder Foundation

There are always products that receive endless raves, but they don’t always live up to our expectations or work out as well as they do for others.  Share your picks for most overrated and underrated POWDER FOUNDATION.  Don’t forget to share your whats and whys as to your choices!

  • Most Overrated: [answer]
  • Most Underrated: [answer]

My Picks

  • Most Overrated: Honestly, I haven’t tried enough powder foundations to feel confident answering either way!
  • Most Underrated:

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65 thoughts on “Most Overrated & Underrated Powder Foundation

  1. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    For me, most over-rated would be the Too Faced Amazing Face Powder Foundation. I read a lot of reviews that made this sound, well, “amazing” but for me, it was a real let-down.

    Most underrated would probably be Pur Minerals 4-in-1. I think a lot of people sort of sneer at it because it’s sold on tv shopping channels and the company pitchwomen (first, owner/developer Jolie something-or-other and since, successive owners or “frontwomen”) are more than bit hyperbolic in their praise for the stuff but putting all that aside, I find it to be a really good, easy to use/mistake proof product at a reasonable price and which doesn’t break me out (though it does contain that bismuth stuff that many find problematic) and also has SPF. Having said all that, I also really love Laura Mercier’s mineral powder foundation, even though it’s not pressed and a bit messier to use. Oh, and I also like MAC Studio Fix, which I am sure a lot of people find over-rated. I find it very good and not over-rated at all.

  2. Avatar of Amy Amy

    Most Overrated: Bare Escentuals
    Most Underrated: Brands like Youngblood and pro brands like Ben Nye etc.

  3. Avatar of Dominique Dominique

    Most overrated : M.A.C, a bit chalky like many M.A.C powders ( compact for example )
    Most underrated : Estee Lauder ( which is the parent company for M.A.C ! ), provides full coverage and also Get Even Benefit, a powder not a powder foundation but it is still good.

  4. Chiara

    I’ve never really liked powder foundations, although MAC’s MSFN has gained a special place in my beauty-loving heart, since it can be used as a medium-to-full coverage foundation.

  5. idk much about powder foundations but a good drugstore powder that gives awesome coverage is the milani miltitasker face powder!

  6. I’m not a big fan of powder foundation on its own but will use it over a liquid for added coverage
    Most over rated have to be Bare Escentials and MAC mineralized skin finish. I really expected them to be something especially the MAC one. My drugstore version blows both of these out of the water. Which leads to the second question
    Most underrated for me is Nuance by Salma Hayek available at CVS. Its super pigmented and blends beautifully into the skin. For higher end I like CoverFX again great pigmentation and coverfx has a good color matching system on their site

  7. Jackeline

    Most Overrated= MAC Studio Fix

    Most Underrated= L’oreal True match =D

  8. Avatar of Cat Cat G

    I’ve only tried like two, so I can’t weigh in on this one! I like my Bare Minerals, so haven’t really felt the need to try any others…

  9. Avatar of Kendra Kendra

    I also have never been terribly fond of powder foundations (I find the tend to be heavy and unnatural)But that being said…

    Overrated: Bare Escentuals- While I do like some of there other products, I don;t get the hype over the foundation. Fuller coverage can be hard to achieve, and usually results in having a lot of foundation on my face. Also it tends to smudge and fade after a few hours.

    Underrated: Sephora- they recently revamped there own line and the powder foundation is pretty decent. I like to use it in a pinch for a natural but polished look, although I don’t necessarily use this as my everyday foundation, just because I do prefer liquid foundation.

  10. Avatar of Thea akatonbo

    I’m still fiddling with it, but so far I’m finding BareMinerals foundation to be overrated. I keep trying one shade darker and I keep still looking pale!

  11. Stacey

    Over-rated: Bare Escentuals- do you see how it cakes on the container and lid over time. It really isnt all that great. Also, MAC- I dont know if Studio Fix is a powder foundation but I will include it as not much coverage.
    Under-rated: I like the coverage of Dolce N Gabbana. Also, it last all day and I have oily skin. I do not like the cream foundation though….just thought to mention.

  12. Sarsie

    Overrated: Bare Minerals (Bare Escentuals)

    Underrated: Meow Cosmetics, Alima Pure

    I love powder foundations now that I’ve figured out the best way to apply them for my skin (lightly misting the brush first with a setting spray) — buildable coverage that looks incredibly natural.

  13. Courtney

    Overrated: Bare Minerals
    Underrated: Clinique Almost Powder or MAC Studio Fix

  14. Avatar of Ellen Ellen

    Don’t know about overrated, but for underrated, I do love my Nars powdered foundation compact – in fact, I just put it on! I don’t hear much about it, but it leaves me with a nice matte (but not cakey) finish and is medium-full coverage.

  15. Don’t have an overrated brand, most of the ones I’ve used have done precisely what they said they would.

    Underrated: Meow Cosmetics, it’s an indie mineral makeup company which makes a foundation shade for everyone. I’m ultra pale with yellowish undertones and they’ve got a color for me, and pretty much everyone else as well. More than 80 shades in all. Great customer service, and sample sizes so you can try a whole bunch of colors to see which one really fits you.

    • Avatar of Mairyn Mairyn

      Agree – Meow Cosmetics is my go-to powder foundation. It’s affordable, never cakey, buildable, long-lasting, doesn’t emphasise dry skin AND I have my perfect shade match in it :)

  16. Beck

    Overrated: MAC Studio Fix probably, I feel like it is really overly heavy on my skin & it can’t breathe.

    Underrated: Aveda Inner Light Mineral Dual Foundation. The best powder foundation I have come across, feels nice & “non smothering” on the skin, applies well & has good coverage.

    • Avatar of Lilja Lilly

      I totally agree with you! The Aveda powder has some of the best coverage out there and natural ingredients and I have been using it for 3 years but I never read about it anywhere…

  17. Liz

    Over-rated: Bare Minerals
    Under-rated: Urban Decay Surreal Skin

  18. Kathy

    Overrated: Mac Studio Fix
    I actually like the formula, but so many of the colors (especially the lighter ones) have a gray undertone. I’m holding out hope for one of the new shades to match me, though.

    Underrated: Neutrogena Mineral Sheers
    This is one of few brands that works well on dry skin (or at least on my dry skin), and Natural Ivory is a really good match, somewhere between NW15 and NW20 but doesn’t oxidize like Mac’s.

    • r0saL1n3

      Lol. It is actually the opposite for me. Studio fix is one of my best go to powders. And Neutrogena did not work for me. I don’t use the sponge it comes with though. I use my travel sized kabuki brush instead.

      • Avatar of Jaune Jaune

        Me too! It’s crazy to me to see everyone say Studio Fix is overrated. It’s actually really light weight if you use a brush to put it on. I just dust it on when I want lighter coverage, and it works really well.

        • Avatar of Amy xamyx

          It really is a great product, I’ve read several comments that it causes break-outs for some (although I didn’t have that issue). For me, it’s not that it doesn’t perform well, but more the fact that I’ve found another product at 1/3 the price that works just as well.

  19. I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard anyone really talk about a powder foundation and I’ve never found one that really works miracles (or lasts very well). So I don’t know that I’d say they were over- or under-rated, but from experience:

    Overrated: Laura Mercier pressed powder. I’d heard such good things about her foundations, but now I realise that people were talking about her loose powders. I got the pressed version and it remains one of the most shocking disappointments I’ve had from a HE brand. It went on caky, wouldn’t blend and emphasised every dry point on my face, even when very lightly applied.

    Underrated: I haven’t really found one that I loved, but I am very much liking my current Dior pressed powder. And I feel like Dior’s foundations in general get kind of lost in the shuffle. I often pass on their colour collections because I feel I can dupe the shades, but I keep returning to their foundations and concealers.

  20. Avatar of Julie JC

    Most Overrated: MAC Studio Fix (no surprise here, right? It’s so popular but it doesn’t really provide great coverage without caking up and “melts” within 2 hours during summer on oily skin)

    Most Underrated: ??? I will try the Cover FX powder foundation next time, instead of continuing to buy MAC Studio Fix. I’ll try other recommendations here too! :-)

    • dana

      which cover fx powder did you use? the one in the silver compact? they refomulated and it’s now in a black one. wonder how it compares to the older one

  21. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    Overrated: MAC Studio Fix; it’s not that it isn’t a great product, but (for me) I can acheive the exact same finish/coverage I need with Milani’s version. I realize everyone has their own idea of what sort of coverage they need from their foundation, and Studio Fix is more “buildable” than Milani, and it really is an amazing product, I just don’t find a need to spen 3X the amount just because it’s MAC.

    Underrated: Nuance by Salma Hayak; again, as I don’t need fuller coverage (and I don’t think as many who think they need it actually do) foundation, this works very well for me, especially over a TM.

  22. Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

    Overrated: I’m not sure.
    Underrated: Either Benefit’s Hello Flawless or Burberry’s Sheer Foundation compact. I have both and love both, and the Burberry is my go-to for everyday minimal makeup looks. I actually just repurchased the Burberry as my original compact went missing.

    I did notice that the Benefit went on a bit cakey when I had dry skin, but once I moisturized it was great.

  23. Overrated: I kind of agree with you, I can’t think of one I’ve tried that I didn’t like. MAC Studio Fix always sounded really heavy to me from reviews (also from looking at the ingredients) but since I haven’t tried it, I can’t say for sure. I actually like Bare Minerals a lot, but the amount of hype those foundations got (especially a few years back) was probably a bit exaggerated. The whole “you can sleep it in” thing – umm no, bad idea…
    Underrated: MILANI The Multitasker – which I’ve just reviewed on the blog. Beautiful and less than $7.

  24. Jill

    Interesting that so many find Bare Mineral so overrated. I’ve used it for years and love it, but I’m always looking for something better (or less expensive)

    • Masha

      HI. My skin is NC 30 tone and skin type oily. Recently I purchased Bare minerals foundation in Medium Beige but I don know it doesn’t look natural too much shiny luminous giving a fake whitish look. Am I using it wrong ? I dont know Im so confuse. What should I do?

  25. Adele

    Over-rated: MAC Studio Fix, very cakey.
    Under-rated: NARS Pressed Powder, partially because it’s the only powder that is light enough for me and matches my skin tone properly. Their shade range is really great.

  26. Donna

    I would have to say overrated in my opinion is MAC Studio Fix, it didn’t over much and I could not find a good match for my skin tone. My underrated choice is Clinique Almost Powder. This covers everything for me and the match is excellent.

  27. Avatar of Andi Andi Lockhart

    Overrated: Bare Minerals

    Underrated: Everday Minerals Jojoba base!!!! I love this stuff! I love most of the products from this company!

  28. Avatar of Mindy Smith AZSunshine

    Underrated: Pur Minerals. It a wonderful product that I have been using for years! And I love that its pressed!

  29. Overrated: MAC Studio Fix powder
    Underrated: MUFE Duo Mat powder foundation

  30. Overrated: I hate to say it but probably Bare Minerals. I just pulled mine out again, I use it in summer as it lasts really well in heat and humidity (in Australia you really need that), but I find it goes cakey when I try to build up the coverage. They also didn’t have a shade that suited me until they introduced “Golden Fair” recently.

    Underrated: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – not technically a foundation, more a setting powder, but it’s worth mentioning as I LOVE it. It buffs onto skin and looks amazing. It can be used as a foundation if you need very little coverage, and I love how it looks matte but not dimensionless and flat.

  31. Sherye

    Overrated: definitely Lancome Dual Finish- sits in every fine line and I can’t stand the smell!
    Also really do not like Bare Minerals. By the time I’ve built up the powder to the coverage I want, my face feels like it can’t move freely anymore. And by 2pm I can see splotches where it has worn off unevenly.

    Underrated: Good ol’ Estee lauder Double Wear powder. i also really like EL lucidity, but it’s more of a setting or finishing powder.

  32. Geneva

    I don’t have an underrated product, I used MAC’s Studio Fix for the first time this summer. I have oily skin and require minimal coverage, I used Real Techniques buffing brush and have been very happy with the results. I will definitely repurchase this product. I love that the coverage can be built up if required and its a good price.

  33. Avatar of Tina Tina

    Underrated: Shiseido Sheer Matifying Compact! I’ve been using it every day the past few weeks, and it’s lovely – evens out my skin and makes me look fresh and glowy while keeping oil under control.

  34. Avatar of aika Aika

    Most Overrated: Bare Minerals
    It’s too much work, with all the swirling and tapping and when it was first introduced it was very hard finding a matching shade for my golden skin. My friends love it, but I don’t think it deserves all the hype it gets. It has been sitting in my make-up bin for 4 years and I have not reached for it once. I’m just going to throw it away.

    Most Underrated: Most Japanese drug store foundations and BB Mineral Powders

  35. Avatar of Sabriel Sabriel

    Interesting that so many people are saying bareminerals. I thought mineral foundation and powder foundation were different categories, with powder coming in a compact.

    My current foundation is bareminerals, but I’m not 100% satisfied with it.

  36. Most Overrated: Clinique is supposed to be so good for people with sensitive skin, yet it makes me break out worse than some products that are cheaper and supposedly of lesser quality.

    Most Underrated: MAC Studio Fix gets lots of credit, but it can never be enough for me. This stuff looks amazing, and I’ve always gotten compliments on how flawless my skin is when I’m wearing it. (my skin is NOT flawless, lol)

    • dana

      which clinique powders have you tried? I was thinking of trying some but now I’m not sure!

      • Perfectly Real Compact Makeup. I think they have little sample sized ones you can try…ask about that and see if it doesn’t break you out. I was disappointed but I know it works for many people. I’m using Makeup Forever Duo Mat and Mat Velvet now and it doesn’t cause any breakouts for me, thankfully.

    • Avatar of emily Emily

      All the foundations I’ve tried from Clinique (I think I’ve tried all/ most of them) have made me break out, and it’s supposed to be better for your skin!

  37. Amanda

    Most Overrated= Bare Minerals powders, I just don’t get why they are so popular! I can barely tell the difference between bare faced and using it.

    Underrated= Maybelline Fit Me- great coverage and texture. And I love Cargo HD powder, also has really nice coverage.

  38. junie

    underrated- sephora microsmooth foundation face powder. It is great coverage at a decent price, and the texture is fantastic. I love it so much! it’s comparable to MAC’s msf but actually has a better color range.

    overrated-mac studiofix. that sh!t is horribly cakey.

  39. casey23

    When I first started doing makeup, SA’s usually motivated me to use powder-foundations because I have oily skin. I only used to powder foundations and I can’t say if they are over or underrated but I do know that in the end I didn’t like both of them so I switched to liquid foundations!
    My first powder foundation was Shiseido Pureness compact foundation. It has a good coverage and light-weighted but if you apply it on even somewhat dry skin (even normal) it does look cakey! And after a few hours my nose started to look blackish (probably oxidation!)

    Second one was the famous MAC studio fix! Cakey, heavy weighted, hated it!

  40. JEN

    Most overrated powder foundation: MAC Studio Fix Powder – geeze this stuff is so cakey and clogs your pores like no other. I like the coverage but man, this almost always makes me break out, even after good cleansing night and day.

    Most underrated powder foundation: ?

  41. I don’t know about overrated or even underrated for that matter in this category, but a really amazing powder foundation: D&G Powder Foundation. Powder is not my favourite foundation formula for aging skin, but this I can wear without looking like a total hag. It’s also a great to use a light dusting over liquid foundation for totally immaculate skin… doesn’t look cakey whatsoever.

  42. Ariel

    I actually don’t have an overrated! But then again I love all 3 I own and yes that includes mac studio fix. You just need to use a light hand or spray it with a setting spray to keep the cakiness at bay.

    Must underrated? Mac mineralize skin finish natural. Finally light enough for my uber fair skin. It’s very sheer but unbelievably gorgeous and glowy. Also Laura Mercier mineral foundation loose powder. Super gorgeous and glowy just be sure you buff it in. Both are mineral powders but powders none the less.

  43. Jenny

    Not sure on overrated, but underrated is definitely Anna Sui’s powder foundation. Soft, smooth, and sets on skin quite beautifully. I think its lack of hype is mostly because it doesn’t have significant market penetration in the west, and the rather limiting selection of shades, but it’s been my go-to foundation for years!

  44. most over rated: bare escentuals. there is no point to this powder. does not do anything for my oily, red-ish skin. i regret purchasing one after another back when i didn’t know better.

    most under rated: none. im a full coverage liquid foundation girl.

  45. hawaii girl

    Over rated – I’m with many other who say Bare Minerals. I’m over 40 and it shows ever last wrinkle and line!

    Under rated – Sephora is great for long lasting medium to full coverage. I just tried Ferro Cosmetics foundation and it’s my new go to, beautiful finnish!

  46. Avatar of Ruca Ruca

    Over-rated: BARE MINERALS SUCKS!!!! OmG, I was foolish enough to wear this stuff to my own wedding after being egged on by my BFF and (of course) the store clerk and heavy marketing, but WOW, is this a terrible product on me! It emphasizes every fine line until I look like Baba Yaga the witch, and the palest shade is about 10 shades too dark on me, creating that ever-lovely “mask” effect. I have absolutely NOTHING nice to say about Bare Minerals. Nothing.

    Under-rated: As a few have already mentioned: MAC MSFN. Those Natural Skinfinishes can be used as a setting powder, but they are extremely versatile. You can apply them wet and get medium-to-full coverage; you can apply it dry, buff it in, then spray it down with a setting spray like Skindinavia, and you get sheer-to-medium coverage that looks totally natural, as if you are not wearing makeup at all. It has been a real life-saver in some cases were I didn’t have time for foundation, but really needed it! NEVER blows out any fine lines or flaws; it just makes everything better, and matches my pale skin, too. Light and Light Plus both work on me, and working them together adds dimension. LOVE!

  47. Avatar of Maddie Madeline

    Overrated: BARE MINERALS. Seriously? It shouldn’t even qualify as foundation.

    Underrated: MUFE Duo Mat is amazing, as is CoverFX. However, much to my chargin CoverFX have just reformulated their products so can’t vouch for their new powder foundation.

  48. Celleste

    Overrated: Bare Minerals and Jane Iredale

    Underrated: Aveda Inner Light Dual powder foundation (the best thing they make)

  49. Avatar of michele Michele

    Overrated: Bareminerals…. too shiny and takes a ton of buffing. Looks heavy if I want to cover my under eye circles and even out my skin tone.

    Underrated: Laura Mercier mineral foundation…. almost never hear about this mineral foundation. I love this. Stays semi-matte on my VERY oily skin and lasts all day in the heat. Looks natural, covers my under eye bags and uneven skin tone. I wish I had been introduced to this earlier, especially since I’ve used LM’s oil-free tinted moisturizer for years! Coverage in natural.

  50. Avatar of emily Emily

    Overrated: Clinique
    Underrated: I’m still looking for the right one. Has anyone tried Dita Von Teese’s art deco line?

  51. Avatar of Renu Kim

    Overrated: M.A.C. Studio Fix Powder
    Didn’t last, made face oily and settled in lines.

    Underrated: Shiseido Pure Mattifying
    It took me years and years of horrible foundations before someone gave me one of these as a gift? It gives great coverage, lasts through the day and my face is shiny only after hours of wear. Best of all, it looks fine in photographs.