EDIT - 03.12.13 - I revisited this product based on my previous experience. The smell is worse than I remember, like crushed candy all over my face which did not go away. I also had a difficult time finding a warm enough color for my fair skin, most being too pink. I highly recommend Palladio Wet/Dry powder instead of this. The coverage is comparable, staying power is better, no scent, cheaper, and the packaging is better.
I never visited Merle Norman before today. I have to say this powder is divine. I have never felt anything so silky. It offers excellent coverage and I can't believe the color match. Why did I overlook Merle Norman all these years? As long as this powder does not break me out I will continue to buy. I wish they left out the sponge and doubled the amount of product. Oh well.....
I use this as a finishing powder to set my makeup. I have VERY oily/acne prone skin and this product along with MN's luxiva oil control lotion really does the trick! I have been a product junkie for 10 years and oily skin along with acne have always been my worst enemy. I live in hot and humid FL which makes this problem even worse. I even stopped wearing powder because it made my face look caky. I've used many brands (high and low end) and this product is by far the best! First, I apply Sisley oil free foundation (my HG!), blush (I haven't found my HG yet), Merle Norman luxiva oil control lotion (my HG by far) and I finish off the look with a swipe of the ultra powder foundation over my entire face. I must note that I do not use the sponge supplied. I use a powder brush since I use it dry. No more oily face or disappearing makeup! Yippee!!!! Oh, the sent is reminiscent of baby powder but disappears as soon as you apply it. Maybe the smell is as strong as other people have described when used wet.
i used this more than a year ago so unless theyve changed it,this is my experience.even if you dont drop the powder will break.and it will spill out everywhere even with the compact closed onto everything in your purse and cant be brushed off.i bought 3 compacts and each time was more careful with it but it still broke.i dont even remeber the quality of the powder b/c all i remebr it for is the mess it made.there are better quality powders for less that wont break.if i pay that much ($20+) it better not break and i will never waste my money on this again
I was so afraid after reading some of the reviews about the overpowering scent that I almost passed up on a truly great product. I am so super sensitive to scent (just read some of my reviews and you will see what I mean). I can barely take anything scented because most give me a headache or mess with my allergies. I am as pale as they come (think Anne Hathaway/Rose McGowan). Very pale with pink undertones (a cool). I bought their lasting foundation in Cream which looks darker in the tube but somehow miraculously matched my super fair skin without any demarcation lines or anything. It's nice but wasn't quite enough for me since I like that truly flawless ready to go on television type look. I had heard that using the Ultra Powder foundation over Merle Norman's Luxiva Lasting foundation is a match made in heaven and it is! I cannot believe how gorgeous and flawless it makes me look. If you don't put on a lot of foundation (no matter how much coverage you need you should use only a layer then use a good concealer for the spots so your foundation isn't cakey) and pat this down over your foundation and concealer you will look utterly flawless. This is perfect because it's not just a powder so it sets everything perfectly. Keeps my oil at bay for hors and hours! I bough this in Ultra Ivory and it makes me look even paler then I am which is a switch (I usually look darker which I hate). I look like a porcelain doll with this combo. I am in love!!! But the best thing about this is that the overpowering scent I heard some of the women mention is barely detectable! I was bracing myself because almost any scent puts me off but wow. This is a slight sort of powdery scent that fades almost immediately once on the skin. I was totally fine with it and I am usually VERY Reactive to scents. This one fades completely. I love beautiful compacts and stuff like that so I also expected this horrible looking compact but not at all! Sure it's a bigger one because they give you more product and a nice sized sponge puff but it's a beautiful white and gold. I didn't find it hard to look at in any way. I am very impressed!
I love this product! I have been trying different products, but I keep finding myself coming back to this! I have yet to find a powder foundation that covers as well (with an even, matte finish) and lasts as long as Ultra Powder Foundation. I have sensitive skin, dark under eye circles, and freckles and this foundation doesn't irritate my skin and covers like a thick foundation (yet it's a light powder!) Some people on here complain about the smell...personally, I think it's a pleasant sweet smell but some people simply don't want their cosmetics to have a fragrance (which is totally understandable!) I think the packaging is unique and elegant; however, DO NOT carry this around in your purse because it WILL BREAK very easily and you'll be left with a nice mess! The only downside to this product is that it is pricey ($22) and the product runs out fairly quickly. With that said, I've been buying this product for 5 years and will continue to re-purchase it!
I am looking for a natural looking, yet decent coverage powder foundation. I have Olive/Yellow toned skin, NC25ish. I decided to try this product based on the reviews.. I've tried a couple of other high end powder foundations such as Dior, Chanel and EL, and I loved the results I got from Dior and EL.. but these products were definitely putting a dent in my wallet and I find that sometimes the powders would feel heavy or noticeable on my skin after a few hours, so I opted to find a good quality, cheaper alternative.
The packaging for this product is a little tacky, but I keep the compact at home most of the time so no one really sees it and it doesn't take up space in my purse too often. I'll admit, it has a very.. nostalgic-type makeup scent.. kind of like a baby powder type fragrance, but it really doesn't bother me too much. Coverage is not as good as the other brands I've tried, but it's not bad by any means.. I'd rate this a medium coverage foundation. What I like about it is that it looks quite natural on my skin even when I layer it. Oil touch-ups for me are needed mayber.. 4 hours after application? I usually blot with blot papers and dust some powder on and I'm good to go again. Price is still farely expensive, but cheaper than other department store brands.. All in all I would probably buy this powder again, but for special occasions or when I need more coverage, I'll opt for other foundations.
I haven't tried Merle Norman since high school when just before prom I went in for a makeover and emerged looking like you'd ask my pimp for a refund. But I wanted to try this based on the reviews here. ( Although I was leery. I swear you women get together and plot to make me buy products that make me look like Brunhilda's less attractive sister.) But this is fantastic! Takes me about 1 minute to apply with a kabuki and it makes my skin look beautiful but natural - if there is such a thing for me. Does not emphasize my gigantor pores or fine lines, and just has sort of an airbrushed finish. It does need a little touch up before the end of the day, and tends to be a little shiny around my nose, but otherwise it's great. And so easy and fast in the morning before work! I forgive you all for leading me into the depths of makeup hell so many times before. Don't let it happen again.
I tried this product when I was pregnant with me daughter and it worked so well for me. I have very oily sensitive skin and this did not cause me to break out and it controlled the oil all day . The compact is so gawdy and it is a little embarrassing to pull it out in front of people but other that that I would definitely but again!!!
Although I have switched to using mineral foundation lately, this remains as one of my top 2 foundations. The coverage it provides is exceptional, application is smooth and non-cakey, and it does an excellent job at keeping oil at bay. It even looks GREAT when applied with the sponge it comes with. For a less powdered look, apply with a slightly dampened sponge or brush, or, use a tiny bit of facial mist. It's rather expensive and, as has already been mentioned, packaging is quite gaudy. The product itself, however, is of top quality. I can definitely see myself coming back to this down the road.
Love it! Finally found the foundation that works for me. I have sensitive, oily skin with large pores. I put this on over Paula's
Choice Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15 and a little concealer. It is a great match for my skin, feels light as a feather, and blends so quickly and beautifully. It has a very creamy consistency, which I didn't expect with a power foundation. And great oil control!
I had almost given up being able to use a powder foundation (NO mineral makeup has ever worked for me, including MN). For reference, I've tried Lancome, Chanel, and various other high end powder foundations over the years, but they turned color, didn't have enough coverage, looked cakey, didn't hold back the oil, or irritated my skin. Yes, as mentioned in other reviews, the case it comes in is bulky and kind of old fashioned looking, but I can certainly live with the container considering that we're talking Holy Grail foundation (although it would be nice if the container is changed--maybe to the black and gold of many of the Luxivia products.)