Brand Name Makeup: Legendary vs. Expensive


Every girl is looking for that perfect matte finish to their makeup. The look of shine-free, oil-free heaven. Unfortunately, such realities don’t necessarily exist for the average girl. I get oily, you get oily, we all get oily, and boy does it turn ugly.

Out with the old days of powder and in with the new generation of matte makeup, silica powder.

Silica powder has been introduced as the new ‘powder’ that mattifies the skin for a permanent long lasting effect. Myself, looking for that elusive shine free, oil free look did my research and landed on the legendary MUFE (MAKE UP FOR EVER) HD Microfinish Powder that has been hyped by people in the industry as the best silica powder of its kind. I flipped flopped back and forth deciding whether it was worth it to buy a small pot at 0.3 oz for $39.


[button link=”” style=”light” size=”small”]MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder[/button]

Upon indecision, I decided to continue my research for more well known and well reviewed silica powders. I came across another touted silica powder from Laura Mercier which was even more pricey at $44 than MUFE but had more grams in the pot, 1 oz to be exact. I ended up going to Sephora to purchase both to see which one I liked better and with their freaking amazing policy I could return them even if I used them (THAT’S RIGHT LADIES).


[button link=”″ style=”light” size=”small”]Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder[/button]

There I sat in front of my mirror, freshly coming off a makeup purchase that gouged a chunk of my wallet out, but excited to see what this silica miracle powder could do. I decided on wearing each one on separate days to truly test the longevity, durability and bang for the buck each product would be worth. I used the silica setting powder after I had applied all my makeup, gently dusting it on my t-zone and sometimes dabbing it VERY LIGHTLY over the rest of my face.

You might have noticed I capitalized VERY LIGHTLY and emphasized my gentleness with product application. A little goes a long way for silica powder. Gentle dabbing is key.


  1. Take the product and if it comes with a sticker seal inside only peel and cut 1/4 of it off. Alot of silica powdered products can get messy if the whole sticker plastic is ripped off also causing you to lose product when you try and clean the mess up.
  2. Screw the lid back on and tip the product upside down, tap twice.
  3. Turn the product back upright and tap on the lid twice again.
  4. Open the product, there you will see some residue powder clinging to the inside of the lid.
  5. You will only use the product that has been transferred to the lid, putting the leftover tub of product down.
  6. Take your kabuki brush and sweep it inside the lid
  7. Gently dab it across areas that you want to mattify.

Using my instructions I applied MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder the first day and Laura Mercier the second day. Also just to test the results were similar throughout my usage timeline rather then just a one off I used each product a couple more times later on in the week.


I have to start off by admitting that I did end up returning both products, not because they were terrifyingly awful but for what I expected them to achieve it did not happen for ME. I have girlfriends that swear by these products and say they are amazing so these results are purely based off my my personal experience and skin type.

Lets begin, I have combination skin so it’s a daily battle to fight against a shiny look 2 hours after I’ve just applied fresh makeup. My base coats consist of an emulsifier lotion, foundation primer, and stick creme foundation.

MAKE UP FOR EVER did not do well for me. The product caused an itchy and tickling effect on the areas on which I applied it, mostly on my nose. This has been an issue that some users have experienced saying that the ingredients in the HD Microfinish Powder has caused a tingling sensation which they and along with myself disliked, alot. The powder also didn’t last up to its hype. I usually get oily after 2 hours and with the powder it lasted to around the same time, no real difference for having dropped $39 (yikes!). Freshly applied though it did have that mattifying look but again after prolonged use the results did not last.

One other thing that is a well known strike against the HD Microfinish Powder is the fact when used under flash photography you can clearly see a very opague white tint in the areas you applied. I will have to stand on MAKE UP FOR EVER’s side on this argument however. The HD Microfinish Powder is named HD for a reason, it is used by professionals on celebrities because celebrities are constantly having to face cameras and they need to look their best oil and shine free. The HD stands for High Definition for video recording. The product was not created to be used against harsh flash photography. Infamous examples:

Don’t be scared away by the product or these pictures though because as I emphasized before, gentleness is key. The amount Eva Longoria has on her face is overkill, her makeup artist should a) never have put that much product on her b) never used it to seal in her makeup underneath her eyes to catch fallout. You also won’t be chased by paparazzi into your new Lambourghini so I think you’re safe.

Laura Mercier had better results still however for the ridiculous price I paid $44 (double yikes!) I expected more. The tickling sensation didn’t happen with this product and the mattifying effect did again look well at the beginning of the application. Again wearing it throughout the day though I still got visibly oily and needed to reach for my powder compact. Laura Mercier did do better under flash photography as compared to MUFE so for those club night iPhone pics Laura Mercier might be the way to go. Maybe I was expecting too much of these touted products but they are touted for a reason and for myself to have super high expectations for the amount I paid, I don’t think I’m too far off base. I have reverted back to my powder compact, dusting my t-zone and nose every 2 hours in hopes of a future product that will finally eliminate my must-carry-at-all-times round mirrored friend.


I have done research on many other silica powdered products that are of the lower price range. E.L.F has a silica finishing powder too where many say it is a dupe to MUFE without such a harsh drawback from the flash photography and literally 1/5 of the price. MAC also has one called the Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder if you are interested in another brand name. One that has caught my eye though and I have yet to try is Coastal Scents Silica Powder Spheres where you can purchase it in quantities of just pure silica powder without any of the other extra added fillers/ingredients that companies add.

Lemme know if you’ve tried any other brands or even your experience with MUFE and Laura Mercier good or bad! Comment below!