I wanted to add a comparison based on the Coastal Scents and TKB Trading silica powders as I've had experience with both now.
Make Up For Ever first turned me on to silica powder but that was far too expensive to continue. I saw a review on here that compared the micron sizes of various silica powders and decided to go with TKB Trading first as it was the smallest at 5 microns.
I LOVE TKB Trading's silica. I paid $19 for 4 oz. I have a big problem with greasies and makeup looking cakey on my face by the end of the day. With this powder, I still get a little oily throughout the day but it's really decreased and I have no issues with cakiness whatsoever. It really adds a lovely soft focus look to my skin. TKB keeps my skin looking good for hours and when I retouch to hide oiliness, it refreshes my makeup and makes it look just applied. Since I started using this, my friends commented that I looked so much better with more natural makeup, even though I didn't actually change my routine except for this powder.
When I ran out of TKB, they were stocked out of silica powder for almost a month so I decided to give Coastal Scents a try. I paid $4.95 for 1 oz, I believe you can get 8 for around $26. Luckily I went for the smaller size as it turns out that this product does not suit my skin at all. I exfoliate my skin very well as I tend to get congested quickly but this gave me flakies like crazy. I was spending so much time in the mornings just picking off flakies with tweezers and it really was impossible to get them all. My skin started looking really bad again, I got really shiny and my makeup would cake after about six hours. I also started getting creases on my forehead from my dryness of the powder.
I switched back to TKB a few days ago and I am so happy with my skin again. No more dry skin and back to gorgeous glowing skin. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative MU's HD powder, I definitely recommend giving TKB a try before purchasing the Coastal Scents version. It is more expensive than CS but I find it of much better quality and it's still a steal compared to MUFE.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS STUFF!! i have extremely oily acne-prone skin and this is just great!! i usually use it as a finishing powder over my foundation (revlon colorstay) or BB cream (L'Oreal magic bb creme) and it is awesome! i originally saw this on pinterest as a dupe for the MUFE HD finishing powder (which i haven't tried) but that is i believe, about $30 for .33 oz where the coastal scents powder is like $5 for 1 oz. I've had the 1oz size of powder for about 6 months now and I'm about halfway through it, even though i use it almost every day and a lot of it when i do. It is a translucent powder though so be aware it may leave a white powdery finish for some people or if your darker skinned it may not blend as well, but because I am usually the lightest shade in any foundation that was not a problem for me. This doesn't control my oil all day but it's the best any powder has ever done ( about 3 hrs before it starts to even look the least bit oily). I also suggest using a good quality brush to apply it with because that's made a huge difference for me, I use the sigma large powder brush. I highly recommend you try this stuff if you have oily skin like me, you will not be disappointed.
If you have oily skin this is heaven for you. I just love it.
I have to give this a low score overall because it just didn't work for me.
1. The CS silica spheres is much cheaper than any mainstream brands (including e.l.f.).
2. It gives your skin a smooth, silky feel and may help to control shine for some, but I didn't notice a significant difference on my super oily skin. Still had to blot at noon. I thought that there might have been a slight decrease in oil on the blot sheet, but it didn't change the fact that I still looked like I had smeared my face with Crisco.
3. Use just a super tiny bit--it'll make you look like you sneezed into a flour barrel otherwise. The CS jar I got mine in is definitely wanting in that respect even though it's perfectly functional as a storage jar, because it is impossible to get a small amount out. You'll need a separate sifter jar, and will probably have to cover up most of the sifter holes to prevent a silica OD.
4. Don't use it for nighttime photography, or anything that will require flash. You will, again, look like you sneezed into a flour barrel.
5. Sensitive skin, be aware! I initially liked the silica spheres, but using them made me realize that I am extremely sensitive to silica--I broke out in little irritated bumps within three days of use. I started paying attention to products that contain silica as a result, and because I found that I consistently broke out with any amount of silica in a product, I cut the ingredient out entirely. Silica does increasingly appear as an ingredient in a lot of mainstream facial products nowadays (no wonder, as it does make your skin feel awesome), so I am constantly checking ingredients lists for silica as well as the usual silicones. I suppose I at least have the microspheres powder to thank for discovering my silica sensitivity!
For an oil control alternative that didn't make me break out, try silk powder!
I wish I could remember which poster recommended this in another thread because she saved me a ton of money. I just got this in from Coastal Scents a site I was unfamiliar with but glad I found. I can't exactly call this a dupe of MUFE HD because it's the exact same thing without the huge price tag. Same ingredient (100 % silica) and milled just as fine or so close that I can't tell any difference. This goes on just as invisible and controls oil just as well. This was cheaper than the E.L.F version that I tried which is loaded up with a silicone filler and makes me look like I'm gearing up for Kabuki theater. I purchased a 1oz jar of this and a 1oz jar of the Cosmetic Microspheres (magnesium silicate) for less than what I spent on a travel jar of the MUFE HD powder at Christmas. My total bill for both products, standard shipping and taxes was less than $19. I ordered on a Friday afternoon and got my package on Monday. They also tossed in a generous sized mineral eyeshadow sample in a tiny flip top plastic jar. I'm using this silica to refill my travel HD jar since it's the perfect size. I'm sure that this 1oz jar is gonna last about a year since you need so little. Quality product, awesome price and outstanding shipping time. I will definitely repurchase.
I just realized that it's been almost a year, I've used this daily, had one small spill and STILL have a 1/4 of a jar of this left. Not the best for flash photography but to set your make up during the day and oil control this can't be beat.
I'm going to start by saying that I bought a container off Ebay. It was cheap and I was mislead to believe it was more than what I got. That's okay 'cause now I'm going through TKB Trading (1oz is $6.45 shipped). But I do have to say that this review is based off of the Ebay one I bought.
With that being said, this is a fantastic product. I apply a primer, my TM, apply the rest of my make-up (letting the TM "set"), and then apply the silica powder. Yesterday (5/27/12) the weather reached 90(F) here. I had make-up on, I was sweating like crazy and the make-up stayed. All day. I looked as good as when I started. My face just looked glowy instead of matte though. So yes and yes again will I buy this stuff. At work I didn't think it was working since my concealer doesn't tend to look so fresh at the end of the day but apparently this does work very well.
I'm giving it a five since it's the same thing as MUFE while the price is very low. Anyone can afford this. When you buy MUFE you pay for the marketing costs and the hype.
Apply this sparingly and with a small brush (eyeshadow brush is good). And only where needed. Too much makes you look kinda dead.
I ordered this together with three other powders: Cosmetic microspheres (magnesium), zinc oxide (for sun protection) and rice powder (for really humid summer days).
The cosmetic microsphere-powder is a much better powder for all over face because it reflects light and airbrushes a little, the way silica powder doesn't. Both powders makes your skin feel amazing, though.
If you're gonna order this, I totally recommend the microspheres too, maybe you could mix them together or something. If I could only pick one, I'd take the microspheres.
Hope this was helpful.
I bought a 1oz jar from coastal scents and woa, this is more than I expected! It's probably about..oh..50mL of powder in a 100mL container (roughly). I put some into a sifter container and the powder, being so finely milled, went everywhere. I dusted some onto my freshly washed, moisturized face using my Ecotools blush brush and the powder flew everywhere. When I applied LM tinted moisturizer on top, the finish was matte and not as dewey as usual, indicating that even though I couldn't see the powder, it is there doing it's thing. Unfortunately the mattifying effect did not last as long as I'd hoped -by the time I reached work 1 hr later, I could see tiny beads of oil on my nose, and yes, I had to blot again mid-day and late afternoon. I think it's okay -not a miracle product but it does mop up oil to some degree: without silica, I'm a greasy mess but with silica, I get just tiny beads of oil which is as good as it gets, from what I've tried so far. Maybe if I can develop a technique to brush this onto my skin without so much of it flying off, I can get more oil-absorbing power from these spheres.
I needed a mattifying setting powder and was considering purchasing either Tarte's version or MUFE's until I saw people mention that these $30 powders are essentially just plain silica dioxide and you can order it much cheaper from mineral makeup suppliers. I actually ordered mine from TKB Trading but am putting the review here because this seems to be the hub of activity on this subject and it's basically the same thing.
I have to admit, getting a ziplock baggie of nondescript white powder in the mail did not give me a lot of confidence in the product, but let's be honest, almost all makeup we buy is made in China and we work on faith that it is what it says it is. Part of the reason plain SiO2 costs so much when purchased from a cosmetic company is you're paying for packaging and marketing, and if it saves me money, I can do without that. I carefully spooned the powder into an old BE mineral veil powder jar and use just a little to set my liquid foundation in my oily t-zone. Just like what they sell at Sephora for a fraction on the price--boom. It definitely keeps the shine at bay for me. You can also try adding small amounts of mica or kaolin to make the powder a little more luminous or add a different shine absorber.
I'd also like to address the silica scare going around the Internet and in some of the posts below this one. Do your homework, ladies--not all silica is created equal, and this is NOT the type of silica that causes silicosis. The difference is that cosmetic silica powder is "amorphous hydrated silica," which is a synthetic silica that is less abrasive than the crystalline silica that causes lung scarring (and even then, mostly in industrial settings where you're breathing dust all day). Amorphous silica has not been shown to cause silicosis. Most of the confusion lies in the fact that most companies just call it "silica" on the label, without giving you the specifics. There's a good extended discussion on this issue here:
I still try to avoid breathing it--I wear a breathing mask when transferring it to a container, don't breathe in when applying the powder to my face, and you can even use a damp brush to apply so it doesn't dust up--but I do that with any loose powder. But if you breathe in a tiny bit occasionally, it's probably not going to hurt.
This powder is fantastic, it is exactly the same as MUFE hd powder. I have tried both and I would never be able to tell the difference. The price for this is amazing, I don't understand why anyone would spend extra money on a brand name product, when there is an exact dupe out there. I got 1oz of this stuff, that will last me forever. It does a wonderful job at filling in fine lines and enlarged pores and definitely keeps me looking matte. The only downfall I can find is the jar that it comes in, It really doesn't do much to stop it from becoming air born. You do need to be careful not to breath this in, as it isn't great for your lungs and unfortunately the skrew top jar it comes in does not help.