Update (12/27/2013): I've been using this all week now, and I love it!!! After a short time, it melds into my skin, and it doesn't get greasy or oily. My usually oily nose stays shine-free. No skin irritation or issues. At the end of the day, most of the makeup is still there to remove. So happy I found this again!
I am one of those that used Powder Base in my early 20's. That was over 40 years ago.
I've been through every kind of foundation over the years. Liquid, cream, powder, stick, spray-on, you name it. I've tried long-wearing, and haven't found one yet that lives up to it's reputation. I always wind up with a grease-slick of a nose, no matter what. I've yet to find a foundation that I couldn't give up.
I came here to read some reviews after realizing Powder Base is still in existence, and became curious about trying it again.
I swear, as emollient as this foundation is in the pot, it amazes me!!! It blends in easily, and there's loads of color shades. It does not get over oily/greasy, it has a lasting finish, and it doesn't seem to settle into lines. I have to say I'm fascinated with this foundation, and think it's a find beyond belief! I'm sold on Powder Base, and plan on sticking with it. What's old is new, as they say, and I can see why this has stood the test of time.
Finding this product was a huge score for me.
My good friend from college always had that beautiful, I-wish-I-looked-like-you skin. I used to eye her makeup bag when she would be getting ready with me to go out so I could see how she achieved the Dewey-but-not-greasy look. One day I finally just asked her and found out what it was. "Powder base?" I said. "You mean.. Old lady makeup?!" Apparently her mother and grandmother habe always used it and had beautiful skin. I had to have it. You can imagine my excitement when I picked up some powder base (ivory) and realized it was only $16.99. That is cheaper than any of their other foundations! i began to worry that it wouldnt work as well. My friend applies hers with a wet foundation brush, so I did the same. Sure enough, I was able to get that gorgeous Dewey skin.
The real plus with this stuff is that, even though it is a very moisturizing foundation, it does NOT break me out. And believe me, my sensitive skin will find any and every reason to break out. This stuff has actually helped my acne due to the zinc oxide in it!!! Total score. I will repurchase again and again. :)
I found this review completely by accident. I don't remember how I stumbled upon it, but I was very intrigued.
I have very oily and acne prone skin, but now, in my forties, I am also dealing with the issues that come with aging skin; dryness, loss of luminosity, uneven tone and texture, fine lines...and unfortunately, foundations formulated for oily skin exacerbate all those issues. It's been a challenge finding something that meets the needs of both oily and aging skin.
So as I said, I stumbled upon this review and my interest was piqued. As it happens, there is a Merle Norman boutique very close to my workplace, so I stopped in to give it a looksee. The SA was helpful but not overbearing. She made several suggestions, but ultimately I did decide to try the powder base. I was a little skeptical as it seemed very emollient...verging on greasy. But because of the healing properties it purportedly has and the non chemical sun protection (I HATE foundations with chemical sunscreens) as well as the fact that they have a very liberal return policy, I decided to risk it.
As I was applying, my skepticism was unabated. It seemed very, very dewy and didn't seem to set. It looked shiny, even greasy. I was pretty sure that I had made a grave mistake. But as it sat on my skin, it just kind of...disappeared. It like...melted and became one with my skin. It was SO amazingly natural. Even the color, which I initally thought was too dark, was absolutely perfect. I did set with powder, which minimized the shininess, but still left a nice, natural luminosity.
As for how it stood up to my oily skin, amazingly, I did not have to powder for about 4 hours. And then, it really didn't get greasy and gross, just a little dewy. I blotted and was just fine. The product did not break own or become streaky or patchy. After 8 hours, I still looked fresh and natural. I was suitably impressed. I would have expected such an emollient product to leave me dripping with oil in an hour or two, but it didn't. That is HUGE.
Coverage is what I would consider medium, but it can easily be built up without cakiness. I have a few dark spots that it covered easily with just a few extra dabs with my sponge. The best part is that you can achieve wonderful results and good coverage with very little product.
The fragrance is a little strong, yes. But it's not altogether unpleasant. I've used foundations that had a very heavy chemical/paint smell, but that is not the case with this. If I had to describe it I would say it's more of a heavy floral smell. For the first hour it seemed very pronounced and then I didn't notice it any more. It's not a deal breaker for me.
I've only worn this for two days, so I can't comment on the healing properties but I am really, really impressed with the finish, the coverage, the natural appearance, and the lasting power. I think I'm sold.
I have very sensitive skin and have a hard time finding foundations that do not cause reactions. I worked for Merle Norman as a teen and wore the powder base back in those days, even when my skin was quite oily. I eventually became a skin care professional and sold and used much more expensive products but when my skin is giving me problems I often return to Merle Norman. Years ago their oil free moisturizing lotion was one of the few that was approved by my dermatologist and yet felt like it did something, I always keep it on hand. When my skin is reactive I get out my powder base, the zinc oxide in it calms it down well and if I wet my fingers and face slightly I can can a nice smooth finish. Not too heavy if you take your time, but if you want a very heavy coverage you can achieve it. This makeup has a great physical sunscreen in it, which is fantastic for those of us who are allergic to chemical sunscreens. The smell is a bit old fashioned and no one will be impressed by the label but it works well. Merle Norman also consistently matches my skin and that is not always possible in other lines.
I own three Merle foundations and like them all. I have Aquabalance, Lasting and Powderbase. All my Merle SA's kept pushing the other foundations on me but I finally tried this and love it. I paid $16.99 for this and it is worth the money. I have pale, dry skin and this does everything I want. I particularly like that it is moisturizing but stays all day. It isn't marketed for long-wear but I can see it washing off when I cleanse at night. Also, I use retin-a twice a week and this limits the peeling associated with that. This may be old school but it is worth a try. I love that it is so cheap but looks wonderful on. It holds it own against the other two foundations I use. I will say that I have yet to try a bad Merle foundation. The only drawback it that my color, ivory, is a tad dark. I use L10 in Aquabalance and Cream in Lasting. Both of the other colors are a perfect match.
I have a love/hate relationship with this powder base.
*The scent-and I dont know why.Its a sweet medicinal smell that's vintage like. Not floral at all...maybe cause its different. It doesn't last
*The zinc oxide is a great UVA blocker since I cant use chemical sunscreens, this is an added benefit.
*If I start to see a pimple come up, I wear this and by the next day its gone. Works better than acne medicine for me.
*The jar-simple black and white and retro looking. No printed lettering
looks great on the vanity.
*I have winter dry skin right now, so I thought with the mineral oil this has in it, it would be emollient. It goes on that way but 3 hours later I have dry patches on my cheeks/chin/mouth. I've come to the conclusion that its the high amount of zinc. Did some research and sure enough zinc has absorbing properties-which explains why it does so well with occasional breakouts.
*The Alabaster beige I was matched with does not quite match my NC25. Its the right color just the wrong tone, but I can offset with powder/blush, except it makes me even more dry.
*Settles into my pores, so not liking the overall finish, but that could be because it makes me so parched.
This jar will last forever I'm sure, since I'm really only using once in awhile when I see a flare up. I will revisit in the warmer months and see if it makes me too dry then...I have a feeling it'll do great when I get oily in the summer. Zinc is a remarkable mineral!
I am 55 years old and been wearing powder base since I was 15 years old. Only thing available in my small rural town. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. My Mother who is 76 has used it all her adult life and her skin is like a babies. It's because of this simple formula with zinc oxide, no other explanation for it. Oh yes I strayed over the years and tried different "new" products but not for long I always come back to this. I use a sponge wedge (MN brand) and blend a thin layer then finish off with the sheer face powder (big pearl container gold lid) and it lasts until I take it off. Summer months I finish it off with Luxiva Powder Foundation. It's ironclad! Morbid I know but I have told the local undertaker it better be on my face when I am laid to rest!
This product covers everything, uneven skin tones really good. I have really dry, fair skin and it works really well for me. I have used this product for about 4 years now and I love it. Its really creamy and goes in well, just takes a few minutes to work it in well.
I have been a Merle Norman client for years, but this is the first time I have written a review about a product and am doing so because people need to understand a little bit about this product before buying it.
I am now closing in on 30 and have been using Merle Norman products for the last 6 years since WORKING FOR THE COMPANY shortly after graduating college.
First, you must know that I have an oily t-zone and moderately dry cheeks...the ultimate "combination skin" and acne.
Powder base is by far my favorite Merle Norma foundation. I am not saying that the others are not wonderful, but this product is vastly different than most foundations you will find currently on the market.
Like other brands, most Merle Norman foundations are now oil free or designed to allow the skin to breath and reduce breakouts. Powder Base was Merle Norman's original foundation and contains mineral oil and zinc oxide.
What you must realize is that "mineral oil" in a product does not ultimately mean "acne" if, like me, you are prone to acne breakouts. However, most foundations containing oil will increase acne breakouts because the oil clogs pores.
The reason Powder Base can improve redness, and in some cases, like mine, help to reduce and heal acne (even hormonal acne ladies) is because of the high concentration of the Zinc Oxide.
Regardless of the mineral oil, the Zinc Oxide level in this foundation fights skin irritation and is a natural acne medication as well as sunblock. Zinc is a critical mineral needed by the body that we rarely get enough of through diet. Though professional dermatologists and skin researchers debate over the effectiveness of Zinc to treat acne or heal the skin, I can only speak for myself that it worked for me.
After trying prescription treatments, over the counter treatments and expensive acne skincare products, for the first time since puberty I have my acne under control.
Do not take my word on this alone. No foundation is for everyone. A drugstore brand or alternate Merle Norman foundation may still be your best option. Still, ask for a few "bubble samples" of this foundation from Merle Norman and try it before buying it or dismissing it.
Also, do not apply with a brush. Yes, the consultants at Merle Norman are taught frequently to use brushes because fingers and sponges soak up product and are less sanitary if not washed or discarded respectively. This product is thick but can be applied very lightly with buildable coverage that is difficult to achieve using a brush. Blotting lightly with a tissue will remove any excessive amount of foundation if applied to heavily.
During the summer, the humidity can cause this foundation to feel even heavier. Do not rely on this product to cover blemishes in humid weather. It will feel slightly cake-y. Still, with a light hand, even in the summer, this product will feel similar to any other sunblock and will offer a "natural" finish rather than full coverage.
I hope this information has helped those of you who are still debating purchasing this product or those who have already purchased it and are disappointed. I apologize to those of you who had negative experiences with your consultants. If used correctly, many of you may find that you like this product more than you expect.
I got this in Ivory and it was too dark! Which is weird cause I have other MN foundations in Ivory that match. So idk whats going on with that. I guess full coverage works for some people but it just doesn't for me.. I feel like its too cakey. I don't really llike anything about it.