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ELF is the worst setting powder, after trying it for 3 days I returned it. Price is right and they do have some good products the setting powder4 is not one of them, it actually rolled up into little ropes of powder if I touched my face, I removed it tried it again.. same thing its almost silicone like. too weird to use effectively.

yes! in the black box so similar to MAC, in fact their whole line is to mimic MAC, its a total miss on this powder. I used their face primer and after I was ready to set everything I used the powder and it rolled into little powder rolls like a small pie pastry roll would look..lol it was horrible! tried just not touching and it still was just awful!

ELF’s HD powder isn’t a setting powder. It’s made from powdered dimethicone, which IS a type of silicone, and which isn’t meant to set foundation or concealer over spots. This product is designed to blur pores & other imperfections and does a very good job of doing exactly that. There isn’t anything on the package which states it’s a ‘setting powder’ because it in fact is NOT. It’s actually an excellent product, if used properly & for its intended purpose. Did you happen to read the ingredients of the primer you used before hand? I have never had such a thing happen with the ELF HD Powder because I have been aware of its proper usage from the beginning. The HD powder would obviously not adhere to your skin because of what you had applied to your face before the powder.

Saying it’s a terrible product after using it for an unintended purpose – without reading the label or knowing what’s in it, as well as with other products which ingredients’ you’re not aware of – is like saying some random laundry soap is terrible & useless after taking a bath with it & then breaking out in an allergic reaction. That would be ludicrous. That wouldn’t be the company’s fault or the product’s fault. That would be related 100% to human error in that case. Likewise with ELF’s HD powder, which I’ve seen mentioned here again & again by people who have been using it as a setting powder.

That doesn’t mean that ELF doesn’t make some terrible products. They do. But so do all other cosmetics companies. To blame a product or company for a mistake made by the uninformed user of the product isn’t even minimally logical. .

I’ve used the ELF one for a while and I stopped getting the MUFE one because I love it! Maybe you’re using too much? Try it with a fluffy face brush! I use it with Sephora’s XL Rounded powder #49… I have extremely oily skin, and this keeps me nice and matte almost all day πŸ™‚ (sometimes, I may need ONE retouch).

bareMinerals’ Mineral Veil. I see no difference between using it or using nothing. So it’s the worst in terms of not doing anything at all!

I agree. This stuff doesn’t make my makeup stay any longer, and I find I may actually get oilier when I use it. At that price, it should work or it goes back (which it did).

Skin types are so different. I have oily skin, very oily skin and I love the mineral veil. It is the only product I found that controls my oily skin. The Make up forever HD is the worst out of what I have tried….. Actually promotes my oily skin. Enjoy reading everyone’s thoughts.

Admittedly I haven’t tried anything from CoverGirl in over 10 years, but I’d have to say they were the worst. They made my skin a bit tight, and the smell was disgusting. I’ve never had major issues with oiliness, and my skin has always been fairly well-behaved, so I don’t need much from powders, concealers, or foundations, and honestly, I don’t find much difference between HE & DS. The primary ingredient of most powders, regardless of pricepoint, is talc; most women can actually get the same results using baby powder at a fraction of the cost.

I hear ya! I was cheering for this one and it fell flat. No colour correcting, no setting, left me oily after a few minutes and you hit pan on this product by the 3rd use. Not even worth 3$

Also their HD powder was possibly the worst thing I have bought in years…it actually made my spots more pronounced and took off all the concealer I put on beforehand…really bad.

I find that most ELF things tend to be of poor quality, with the exception of their brushes which are of decent quality for the dollar or two that they cost.

Unpopular opinion, but I hate the Make Up Forever HD Setting Powder, it doesn’t control oil and leaves a white cast if not blended properly. I don’t see much of a difference when I use this product. Overall, I guess it just doesn’t work well with my skin type.

I hate the Rimmel Stay Matte powder. It disappears after 5 minutes off my normal (not oily) skin. What’s worse is that people rave about this, and I just can’t understand the hype. It’s terrible!

I agree. I have oily-skin and when I tried it, I had to reapply it like 6 times throughout the day. And it did a great job of showing off my pores *rolls eyes*

I agree as well. For me, though, I’ve got combo skin and it just made my dry spots drier and my oily spots cakey. The pores on my nose were super noticeable, too. Terrible!

I actually like this one; however, my skin is on the drier side, so perhaps that’s why I get a different result. I also tend to use it with a TM as opposed to an actual liquid foundation.

Oh crap, I have this powder because everyone talked about how great it was. I use it but I definitly don’t love it and I do find that I have to retouch SO many times! I also have oily skin – so what do you guys recommend??

So glad to hear others have problems with rimmel. that’s what I’ve been using the past couple years and I’m shiny before I even get to work πŸ™ I got Laura Mercier’s translucent setting powder for the inevitable touchups – it has no noticeable colour and feels nice and soft πŸ™‚ Perhaps I should put it in my makeup kit and use it instead!!

They actually reformulated the Stay Matte this year! I used it a year ago and I loved it, and my skin is super oily, but I just repurchased it, and it was heavy, cakey, and it absorbed no oil. I called Rimmel. They added coconut and mineral oils. I had to write a blog post about it because it was so disappointing. πŸ™

Tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder. First off, the packaging is horrific; there is one little hole and by little I mean pin-sized, that you’re supposed to get the powder out of. Secondly, it leaves the worst white cast. Third, it smells AWFUL! For a while, I was in the search of a great setting powder and after I tried Tarte’s, I figured it can only go up from there.

I never understood the popularity of MUFE HD as I find this one to be horrible, and I know dozens of MUFE HD haters in the makeup community. I never liked the texture, but once I did an eye look for a closeup photo, and I was in a rush… I only did my left eye, and buffed out the MUFE HD around the area that would be in the photo. I took full-face shots in macro to blow them up and edit the rest out. When I saw the pictures of my full face, the white around that one eye was striking! It looked like I was wearing a white pirate’s eye patch. No matter how well I buff this stuff out, I get at least a small “ghost” effect that appears in photos, and that is unacceptable. I have never had this problem with any other HD powder, like Smashbox (which I like). It’s so sad, because I do love MUFE products!

I had the same problem once, the thing is that you need to use a really REALLY small amount of product, it is not a powder foi oily skin, and if you need to touch up your powder during the day, you should try a different one! Nowadays it’s my go to powder, but I apply a very small amount, with a big fluffy brush. It’s fine for those who want to set their make up, it gives a natural yet mate finish, it doesn’t make you very mate unless you use a big amount and then the ghost face is inevitable.

i’ve heard this is similar to elf hd powder. i use this to set my concealer and i’ve never had any problems with flash photography. what i do is set my concealer with a little amount of the elf hd powder and then top it with loose powder.

The ingredients in those two products are actually completely different. The ELF HD Powder is powdered dimethicone. Not really meant to set foundation, although it can work quite well to set under eye concealer. It’s more for blurring imperfections. Which it does, when used corrrectly.

MUF’s powder is primarily – if not exclusively – silica powder. I have to double check the ingredients list, although I know for a fact that it has a great deal of silica in it (which is a natural mineral). I think that at one point it was nothing but cheap silica powder which the company repackaged & sold for obscene prices.

If you’re going for matte skin after foundation application, or trying to control oil breakthrough, look for a product with calcium carbonate in it. This will set your makeup & also be extremely useful as a blotting powder throughout the day, without resulting in caking/too much powder build up. Just press it into the skin using a velour puff, then dust off the excess with a fan brush or something similar.

My favorite calcium carbonate based pressed powder that I carry in my bag is made by Kett & is about $25 or so. It takes very little product to keep oily shine under control & doesn’t give a white cast. One application lasts on my skin for several hours. I got mine at Camera Ready Cosmetics. If you want to buy loose calcium carbonate powder – the cheapest & most versatile option – just Google for bulk suppliers. A 1lb bag of this stuff is very cheap, not to mention high quality & good for your skin. A pound will last you forever!

For people with combination to dry skin, just use pure silk powder for setting & blotting, all over the face as well as over under eye concealer. Press it into the skin with a regular velour puff, let it sit for a few minutes, then dust off the excess with a loosely packed, fluffy brush. It works on my oily skin as well, very often. If you buy it in bulk it’s much cheaper than any setting powders made by brands such as MUF or MAC, very effective, doesn’t cake up, balances the skin & doesn’t tend to cling to dry patches and make them more obvious. It’s also very unlikely to cause allergic reactions & is actually good for your skin.

Somebody else mentioned corn starch, but I personally don’t like it because it’s not finely enough milled/crushed. Silk powder & calcium carbonate have a much finer texture & apply on the skin much more smoothly.

I haven’t noticed either of these products causing any problems in photos, ever. I used to get breakouts caused by different powders, but not anymore. I haven’t had any issues with setting or blotting powders since I stopped using most mass manufactured powders & even formulate my own now. There are only a few store bought powders I can use with good results. Most are just horrible crap that wreak havoc on my skin.

For my under eye area, I sometimes set my concealer with ELF HD Powder because it blurs fine lines. Works great for me. Other times when my eye area is dry, I press silk powder in over my concealer first, then dust a small amount of the ELF HD over top, and lightly dust off any excess. Just go with how your skin is behaving at the time.

The problem there is the silica and is known to have that issue with flash photography. I won’t use it when I know there is flash photography involved but other than that I absolutely love the powder. Looks good in natural light photography too. The flashback ghost problem is something to keep in mind for all powders containing silica not just the MUFE

That’s a well-documented effect you will find in any “HD” (pure silica) powder, it reflects light – so when the camera flashes, the light bounces off. It’s definitely not recommended for photography!

HD means make up for high def TV, this was partly marketing gimmick and partly product for people who shoot a ton of video for the web. And TV reporters. Notice how actresses in high budget TV have zits now? That’s what HD means, High Definition. Finer resolution. Nobody needs that for daily wear.

And remember- the pro on the set of (your favorite show) knows this stuff. Especially the chemistry and how things look in different light. The only reason this stuff is sold to us is to make money while raising the bar on insecurities. A Pro MUA on location can have anything overnighted in from House Of TV Make Up- and does. This is in stores to get us to buy more Stuff.

Wow, I love all this education about this product, especially since I know the ingredients and the purpose of “HD” products, I have several silica powders, I don’t use flashes, and I am a Pro MUA. LOL

But thank you, anyway. πŸ˜‰

On his youtube site, Wayne Goss did a demo using MUFE HD powder on one side of his face and another product on the other side just to show how this powder acts with flash photography but many people have known for a long time that the “flash back” effect of silica (which makes skin look so flawless, as it reflects the light and makes us look luminous in daily life) isn’t great in flash photographs.

I love Wayne Goss; I subscribe to both of his channels. I agree, this is an old, well-known problem, but I haven’t had any trouble with other Silica products like I did with MUFE HD. Again–I do not use flash photography; I can’t, really. When I do an eye look and photograph it, the flash changes the colors and sometimes the entire appearance. Flashes even ruin the appearance of glitter if you take the picture up close. I’ve always used an off-set light for makeup photos to get a true color in the picture. Still, this picture left a white spot on my face that looked bizarre. I may have not buffed it out enough because I was in a rush, but I did buff it out as well as the HD Smashbox (and other similar products) at the few later dates when I tried it, and I still got a bit of a ghost face.

FTR: The photo with the white patch on my eye was about 2 years ago, and I only had the product as a free deluxe sample given to me as a promo. I have approximately 9 different setting powders in my possession right now–some in my kit, some in my personal stash, and some waiting to go in the trash. I like a few HD powders, but I hate MUFE for more than one reason–the texture is awful! It is not very finely milled, and it feels like sand to me. I don’t have any other products that have this texture, including the silica powders. I have wondered if the large particles of silica are what makes this powder so different from other HDs I have used.

Palladio’s Rice Powder. I really wasn’t expecting too much as I bought it as an emergency powder replacement when I was out of town but it had awful packaging and made my skin even oilier (!!!).

Hello, just wondering if you guys have any recommendations for a setting powder for dry skin–something hydrating and not matte!


It’s pricey, but Estee Lauder’s Re Nutriv powders are mostly water for this reason–designed for dry skin. The loose powder has crushed pearls to add a light sheen to the skin, so beware of over-applying. The pressed version is matte. Each comes in 3 shades + a “transparent” shade, which is still pale flesh toned. I love them, but I don’t use them every day.

MAC’s MSFNs are nice, too, and I use them more often. They are not as hydrating, though. I love the Halo, but I haven’t worn it often enough to compare it to the rest.

Good luck! πŸ™‚

Bare Mineral’s Mineral Veil. It gives my makeup a greyish cast when I use it for some reason. Doesn’t do anything for oil for me – by the time I get to work I’m oilier than I was before.

I second that! i used it when I first started wearing foundation, and it made me look like i was dead! There is not enough range in the color selection.

Estee Lauder Lucidity Translucent Power. It made my very oily skin even oilier (it that is possible) and it turned its color into something very orangy. Also, I applied it around 7AM and just before leaving the house at 7:45AM I had to blot the oil. Sad thing is that it lasted for more than 6 years, the way I used it was to settle the layers of foundation I used on my oily lids to apply eyeshadow. I just threw it away less than a month ago and I got it around 2006. Lol!

I’ve had that happen with Lucidity translucent before, too. I actually love all of the Estee Lauder powders, both pressed and loose, but my dry skin was in need of a little moisture many years ago, and I made the mistake of using either light moisturizer or a hydrating foundation and I didn’t let it dry as well as possible before using my loose Lucidity. ORANGE! Back then I was only experimenting with and learning about makeup (in more than the basics for work sort of way I had used makeup previously), and this was a learning moment for me. You just cannot use Lucidity if there is any moisture on the face, or else it turns a horrid shade of orange. It really is great for everyone else, believe it or not.

Since then, I have fallen in love with Estee Lauder’s Re Nutriv, both pressed and loose. The loose has crushed pearls in it, so it leaves a sheen on the skin; the pressed is matte. Unfortunately, I don’t think this would work for you though, considering the fact that these powders have a lot of water in them–they are hydrating powders.

Stay away from Stila’s powder~that is orange in the jar! Colorscience has a very nice one you may like. Have you tried the Guerlain Meteorites? I love those, but they aren’t for everyone.

ELF HD Powder is the WORST setting powder I’ve ever tried! Its TERRIBLE! Even if you can get beyond the total failure of the packaging (the MESSIEST powder in existence) the product itself is just awful! It leaves a horrible ghoulish white cast on your face, even tho the product is supposed to be transparent. I’m extremely fair, and it makes me look ill, so I have NO IDEA how other people with darker skin tones use this stuff. I think ELF has a lot of winners in their line, but this is NOT one of them for me! *ick*

And I love the stuff… That may explain the giant mystery of elf. I think they have only two useable products, and have been wondering how they’re solvent. Different stuff for different people.

MAC Sheer Loose powder, they are not sheer at all! looks white and drying!

Do I need a new loose powder (currently using Chanel in #20), because I have gotten a bit tanner, say NC20 to NC 25. Any thoughts/advice?

Have to say it but the MAC Blot Powder did nothing for me πŸ™ … I even hit pan but I have to reapply it like 2 or 3 times (in the summer) since during the winter I don’t get quite as oily.

Elf setting powder… messy and doesn’t do anything…it made me break out too ….

sometimes I use the physian’s formula translucent powder don’t know if it does anything for me though…

ELF HD powder. I thought it was a bargain, but never again, no thank you.
I’ve found other uses for it like for blending eyeshadows and mattifying lipsticks but that’s just because I can’t throw anything out.

I actually love this stuff for very specific uses. It really blurs the visibility of pores anywhere on the face & works as a great setting powder over under eye concealer because it keeps it from creasing in fine lines, while blurring the look of any tiny lines that are there. I wouldnt use it as an all-over setting powder after foundation, though as it’s not much more than powdered dimethicone. It’s not really formulated to set anything. I dont think they claim anything other than it giving the ‘HD’ look, meaning blurring imperfections. Even the packaging just says ‘High Definition Powder’. But lightly pressed into the skin over ‘problem areas’ after setting powder, it works spectacularly to diffuse uneven skin texture & fine lines. .

Yes, I find it also works quite well to blend out harsh edges of eyeshadow if a lighter shade hasn’t been laid down first.

Interesting how a product can vary from person to person. Mineral Veil is my holy grail! My makeup doesn’t feel complete until I apply it. It keeps shine and oil at bay while creating a great finish.

I haven’t really encountered a “worst” setting powder. All the powders I’ve used have been fine, from MUFE HD to MAC Prep+Prime (loose and pressed) and Blot to cheaper brands like Coty. I like Rimmel’s Stay Matte and the loose (but messy, as all loose ones are) powder from CoverFX. I still have a jar of Erno Laszlo Controlling Face Powder that I’m loathe to finish because (a) it is wonderful and (b) many of his original products have still been monkeyed with and reformulated so they’re not as good as they used to be. Like I say, I enjoy all the powders I’ve tried.

For me, it’s Urban Decay’s Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finsihing Powder. As much as I love UD and hate to knock any of their products, this one has always given me trouble. I hate the applicator (weird sponge that has to be brushed over my face); the powder is nothing special for the price.

Mufe hd! It gives me that white patches on my face in pictures if i use the setting powder above my liquid foundation. So what i do is i use a different translucent powder above my foundation then use the mufe hd so it gives that even distribution of powder.

I have very oily skin, and its hard to find something that will work for any length of time. One that works today with this foundation, won’t necessarily work tomorrow with a different foundation.

Reading reviews on products like setting powders is pointless for me. What works for you, with the combination you use, most likely isn’t going to work for me. I’m probably using different combinations, my skin is oiler/drier than yours, it’s hotter/colder here, more/less humidity, you get the idea.

That being said, I will tell you what works best for my very oily, 45 year old skin. Pure cornstarch. I keep spending $$$ on others, and keep going back to cornstarch. It can be a bit powdery and dry at first, but within an hour or so, it just soaks in and vanishes. No big deal to me, I don’t really care what it looks like at 5:30 in the morning (no one is going to see me for more than an hour). I care what it looks like at noon and beyond.

Touch ups during the day are not an option for me. As oily as I am, adding more powder will never work. I blot when needed, but with cornstarch, I don’t have to do that very often.

Hope this helps. Good luck finding your HG.

For me, almost all MAC powders have always been the worst. They’re either completely ineffective or cause my skin to break out. Or make my foundation cake up. Disgusting *bleh* I also refuse to buy products like MUF HD (overpriced rubbish that could be made at home), NARS, or any other obscenely expensive so-called ‘setting powders’, simply because my results with them have been anywhere from completely disappointing to totally embarrassing. I’ve tried Ben Nye powders as well because they get rave reviews & hated them too. Full of nothing but corn starch, some oxides & some chemicals. More overhyped rubbish. Seems many people here have experienced the same thing with finishing powders, amongst other cosmetic items. There really are a lot of crap products on the market for which we’re being ripped off.

I now formulate my own powders (and finishing mists) for setting my foundation the majority of the time, although I do use MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Naturals once in a while. Maybe once every couple of months, over my more sheer wax-based foundations as it gives a bit more coverage & sets everything at the same time. These are the only MAC powders which I haven’t returned due to problems they usually cause me. Then again, my Monave mineral foundation also sets my wax based foundations & gives a bit more coverage at the same time, and are completely non-irritating. I picked up the MSFs out of curiosity more than anything.

I love pure silk powder, as well as pure calcium carbonate for my setting powders. They’re by far the most effective, highest quality, and also the cheapest. They both take care of different skin issues & set your foundation at the same time.

For my bag, I did need to get a good quality pressed powder compact, though. After returning yet another horrible MAC compact, I ended up choosing Kett’s blotting powder because it’s primarily calcium carbonate, never cakes up, never flashes back in photos, and hoovers up oil like crazy all day long. One compact will very likely last me close to 3 years because it takes so little to instantly suck excess oil up. I’ve also been using EL Double Wear foundation a lot lately too, as well as using a killer silicone free primer which really controls oil. These 2 products nearly negate my usual requirement for a blotting powder, all day & night.

A lot of people don’t seem to understand that just because a product is a powder in a compact, or even a loose powder, doesn’t necessarily make them a ‘setting powder’. Some powder compacts are foundations. Of course these will cake over top of liquid foundation if used to set a full face of foundation, especially if also being used throughout the day as a blotting powder. Others are meant to be products that blur imperfections. I keep seeing ELF HD Powder being mentioned when it isn’t even meant to be a setting or blotting powder. Other products are marketed as setting powders but can still be complete junk, or not be working very well due to the application method a person is using.

It’s important to read labels, research ingredients, and understand which products might be better for our skin type. Not to mention learn the best way to apply these products. Listen to experienced makeup artists (I’m not referring to people like Michelle Phan, who are far from professional makeup artists). Find well-respected professionals in their field, take advantage of their knowledge & experience. Suck it up like a sponge. For example, I keep seeing things like people saying they set their foundation by dusting their setting powder on with a brush…..what?? That’s the surest, quickest way to disturb your foundation application. Sure, dust the excess off but don’t be pushing your foundation around your face right after applying it when you’re actually trying to SET it in place. No ‘setting powder’ will work to its best ability like this, no matter how great its ingredients are. Simple things like this – as well as educating ourselves regarding cosmetic ingredients, their properties & how they can help or harm our skin – can make a big difference in how effectively any product works we’re using it.

Hi, just curious what silicone free primer you’re using? I have been looking for a great one for what seems like forever now with no luck. Great tips/knowledge regarding your post too πŸ™‚

I know the feeling. It took me forever to find this primer. It’s called Nurturing Force Blot Out Offensive. Most spectacular primer I’ve ever tried. It’s white but completely disappears on the skin. It can be used with or without makeup, mattifies on contact, can be used in oily eyelids that are prone to creasing, can be patted on over top makeup, used on lips to percent lip products from fading through the day, can be used for ‘blotting’ throughout the day instead of powder or tissues. It’s approximately $25 and goes quite far. You can buy it at Camera Ready Cosmetics or Paints & Powders online stores. Both have good customer service. CRC has REALLY GOOD customer service reps.

I have tried powders by MAC, Screenface, Mineral Veil, Jane Iredale and Nars. I can say, with full confidence, my holy grail for the past ten years and for the future years will be Jurlique silk dust. It is an Australian favourite, so finely milled and comes in lavender or rose. For shoots I blend with some finely ground Elizabeth Arden mineral bronzer for the most incredible long-lasting HD finish. Also an amazing dry shampoo – and deodorant!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!