Makeup Ignoramus Filter: What on earth is "Microfinish Powder"?
May 21, 2018 1:13 PM   Subscribe

I was at Sephora last week and redeemed my Beauty Insider points for a sample of Make Up For Ever's "Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder." I have Googled this and I am still really confused (a) what it is supposed to do (b) if it is for me, since I don't wear foundation (I wear tinted sunscreen).

This Allure review says, "It sets makeup better than primer, evens tone, never settles into fine lines, and won't interfere with the color of your blush or bronzer the way tinted powders do."

* What does "Set makeup" mean?
* What is "primer" in this usage? I use a primer for my eyelids under eyeshadow, but is this something different?
* I don't use foundation. Would there be any benefit to using this on top of tinted sunscreen? (Or on top of untinted sunscreen for that matter?)

Thank you for your help -- I am not a huge makeup user, but I consider myself reasonably informed about basic makeup tools. I have Googled and I am still confused!
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't wear foundation, but I sometimes use a translucent powder. It will make your face less shiny, basically. It might cover minor variations in skin tone. Try it out! You probably want to apply with a fluffy brush, a sponge is likely to cake it on.

set makeup = help keep makeup from moving as your face gets oily over the course of a day

primer = base layer that helps keep makeup in place and usually also smooths skin a bit, face primers are usually less hardcore than eyelid primers, as far as I can tell
posted by momus_window at 1:19 PM on May 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: "Sets makeup" means it stops your makeup from wearing off throughout the day. Some people wear a primer under their foundation, not just under their eye makeup, to make a smoother finish and to increase staying power.

If you wear eyeshadow, bronzer, blush, etc. you would dust this powder over the top of all that as your last step, with a big, fluffy brush.

I wear tinted sunscreen or BB cream, not foundation, and finish my face off with powder. It gives a matte look that I like (vs the shine that the sunscreen can leave behind). I never reapply makeup throughout the day but will sometimes put a fresh layer of powder on if I have to go to an event after work.

It's also REALLY great at setting lipstick. Apply lipstick, blot, apply the powder, apply one more layer of lipstick, and your lip color will survive food and drink much better than on its own.
posted by assenav at 1:20 PM on May 21, 2018 [13 favorites]

Best answer: Agree with above. Want to add that I sometimes use a powder to set mascara + undereye concealer. I prefer mascara + setting powder to waterproof mascara and powder does a nice job of keeping undereye concealer on throughout the day.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 1:22 PM on May 21, 2018

Best answer: MUFE HD powder is known for giving a matte, blurred ('perfected') finish. It makes the skin look smoother and less shiny, while 'setting' or keeping any liquid or cream products in place.

Do be aware that it is also known for terrible flashback in flash photos (it looks like you dipped your face in flour) so it is typically not used in bridal or event makeup.
posted by rachaelfaith at 1:38 PM on May 21, 2018 [14 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you!! I learned a bunch of new things. And thank you rachaelfaith for that note on photos!
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 2:39 PM on May 21, 2018

It's not a good look. :)
posted by rachaelfaith at 3:31 PM on May 21, 2018 [12 favorites]

Rachaelfaith, those are photos on people wearing a lot of powder that then reflects when taking a photo with extremely strong flash. It doesn't just...look like that when you apply it. Sunscreen will do the same thing under flash photography.

Microfinish silica powders are your best option for a natural matte finish in person. The above meme is not really relevant as I assume you're not going to be packing on the stuff then having someone take photos of you with a professional grade flash.
posted by InkDrinker at 4:17 PM on May 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Inkdrinker that is exactly what Rachaelfaith said.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:36 PM on May 21, 2018 [15 favorites]

Yes, definitely no silica powder for flash photography and also skip your usual tinted sunscreen for those, because it will do the same thing! I keep one small bottle of SPF-free foundation just for weddings and other situations where I know there will be flash photographs shared widely.
posted by assenav at 8:25 PM on May 21, 2018

Best answer: I also want to note that you need way way less than you think. Using too much will dry your skin or settle into the lines. Use a fluffy brush. Lightly dip your brush in it and tap it a few times against a table corner or something like that. You really just need a very fine dusting.
posted by like_neon at 12:24 AM on May 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

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