For the past few years (since having my first child and now two years post-preg), my skin has been sooooo finicky. I've been acne-prone for years, but never overly-sensitive. Well, I'm definitely in the realm of having very sensitive skin these days. Because of that, I've reseated my mom as "Return Queen"... nothing I try ever works. That was the case with makeup until I found this powder. Amazing... it has incredible coverage, doesn't irritate, and keeps me looking great for nearly 8 hours without blotting/retouching. I apply by patting my Ecotools retractable kabuki into the powder, then lightly pat it all over my face one section at a time (swiping more powder as needed). For blemishes and red spots, I apply a little more just on the spot w/ an old MAC eyeliner brush. I've hit pan and repurchased a few times which is unheard of for me! Good stuff! (I use the lightest shade offered)
UPDATE 9/2011: Still love this! :-D Never causes irritation or issues.
UPDATE 3/21/12: Still going strong with this little gem!
I typically use Clinique's Stay Matte powder, but wanted to see if this had more staying power (it doesn't). I prefer Stay Matte's color range, so I'll return to that after I use this up.
Pros: SPF 15, oil free, light weight
Cons: It smells strange (all Clinique products are fragrance free), fewer color choices than Stay Matte, after time you have to scrape the top layer of product off to reveal usable powder.
I have a lot of redness in my cheeks due to rosacea and this really does a great job of keeping it covered without feeling like I have too much makeup on. Also has not broken me out at all and I feel like my skin is less angry since I have been using it. I previously had been using Studio Fix for years. I thought I loved it, but this is far more natural looking. When I started using the Clinique I had several people tell me that my skin looked good, including my husband. I even had a woman whom I see pretty regularly in a local store ask me if I had changed my makeup and told me that I looked really good. While I was happy for the compliment, couldn't help but wonder how bad I had been looking prior to this makeup. I took it as a sign that I should stick with it. I also appreciate that Clinique's compacts are very sturdy, cheap packaging is such a pet peeve of mine.
This is a pretty decent powder foundation. It's odd to me that most powder foundations I try, high or low end, all end up looking the same on me. It makes me question whether higher-priced brands are really better. I went to Sephora to compare this to the Laura Mercier powder foundation that I've been contemplating buying and they seemed identical in finish and color. As with most powder foundations, this looks powdery and a little chalky on me in the morning, but looks great once my natural oils have moistened it up a little bit. And as with all powder foundations, it looks pretty bad at the end of the day with serious caking and separation. On the positive side, the #1 shade is a pretty decent match on me and only slightly oxidizes during the day, probably not even noticeable to anyone but me. It also doesn't break me out, but I feel like it could end up drying my face a bit if I wear it too often. Like I said, it's pretty decent and basic. Great for those who don't like to fuss a lot with foundation!
May I often stray for the "next best thing" i always return back to my almost powder. Just one application with the sponge gives me the natural coverage I need while giving me that "poreless" face. For even heavier coverage it works well over the new Moisturesurge TM (since everything else is DC). For those who hate the sponge, if you can find a small brush (ex the brushes from PF Happy Boosters) they fit over the plastic cover inside and it closes for touch ups if you want a brush. I really wish they would return to the old packaging they use with Perfectly Real compact. The plastic separator can get annoying to mess with.
One of the main reasons I enjoy this powder for so long is that is doesn't have bismuth (they use Boron Nitride, same as Jane Iredale) and is enough coverage to hide the extra redness in my cheeks without losing all my freckles. So I look polished without looking caked up. I have normal/sometimes oily, sometimes dry skin, and this powder lasts a good 8 hours on me without any touch ups.
I switched to Jane Iredale Purepressed Base for about a year and while I enjoyed its coverage, I didn't enjoy price. I find this a great cheaper alternative for very similar product. Both finely milled, sheer and natural looking. If you are having reactions to Bismuth I would give this a try before going down the JI line. Its half the price of the JI and gives a very similar, if not better coverage than the JI. I hope they never DC this product. Quite possibly the best one they have IMO.
I pretty much threw out all my concealers and foundations after getting this powder--no joke. In search of getting the perfect coverage, I had bought tons of concealers, creams, etc. Little did I know, Clinique's Almost Powder was all I needed. Got the little sucker in Neutral Fair and when used with my Beauty Blender, it gives plenty of coverage for my acne scars and it lasts throughout an 8-hour work day. Color-wise, I'm not sure it matches my NC15 Asian skin "perfectly" so I'll probably go back and get rematched...Neutral Fair is the yellowest (the swatches online even look YELLOW) but when worn, it almost seems pinkish? Although, my perception has been off many times (according to friends). Other than that, it is my HG powder/face coverage. All you really need is moisturizer and you're out the door.
SUPERB. I have tried them all and this is the best ever! Medium for autumn and winter and into early spring and dark for summer - coverage is superb - can be varied by use of a brush for light and the puff for deeper. Covers any flaws, is good for the skin and looks sensational. WELL WORTH THE COST. Compared to Chanel and MAC, this is very inexpensive and has the highest quality ingredients.
Have been using this for about a month now. I have it in 02 Netural Fair. Provides good coverage: light if you apply with a brush; medium if you use the sponge that comes with the compact. I have acne scars and this covers them well, not completely, but enough that you hardly notice them. Provides a nice, light, smooth finish. Good for oily skin; doesn't cause my face to become an oil slick but I can see it being a bit drying for those with normal/dry skin. Also, this does not brake me out. Would recommend this product for those with oily or acne prone skin. I will definitely be repurchasing!
great finishing powder. i use it over my anti-blemish solution make up. nice coverage. gives u a natural, silky look. i'm halftrough it and the powder broke into tiny pieces. really annyoing
(0 - 5 points, 5 = excellent, 0 = very bad)
coverage*: 5, texture: 5
feeling: 5, skin-type**: 4
blendable?: 5, staying power: 4
TOTAL POINTS: 28 of 30 = excellent
* Is the coverage what it's supposed to be?
** Does it suit the skin type(s) it's supposed to be for?
I love it - it's so perfect for my combination skin! I experienced no break-outs as others wrote. The texture is sooo silky and I don't get oily for about 3-4 hours and that's a very good result for my skin!
They don't sell it with the sponge shown in the pics above any longer (I'm sure that is why some of you wrote about "cakeyness"!), but with a brush. I don't use this brush either (too small for my opinion) and I found out about how to build up the coverage! Application with
- duo-fibre brush: light coverage
- foundation or powder brush: light - medium coverage
- sponge: medium - full coverage
The application is easy (no streaks) and fast too. I don't use foundation underneath either. Plus: "01 Fair" is perfect for my very light complexion.