Merle Norman Ultra Powder Foundation


226 reviews

81% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$


Mica, Talc, Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Methicone, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Proplyparaben, Fragrance (Parfum) 101905.

on 2/19/2012 5:17:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I've been using this for 2 years and seen it through 3 different packaging changes, all better than the ones before it (the design picture above was incredibly clunky and hard to use, now it is a small black compact that is easy to transport.) I bought it after I found a small compact of it in my grandmother's makeup. Clearly, this product has been around for quite a long time and is trusted to do the job. I am yet to find any foundation, let alone powder, that beats this. It can be applied for minimal or maximum coverage depending on the time of year and dryness/oilyness of my skin. It doesn't cause any breakouts (I've slept with it on one time and it did not cause any type of breakout then either). My only complaint is it can be a bit cakey looking if you haphazardly brush it on. It takes some time for me to make sure I don't get little flakes or dry patches because of it. It sets in about 10 minutes. Moisturizer goes on over it surprisingly well. It does wear off my skin, but I have bad combination skin so this is as good as it gets unless I use a primer. The price is a bit steep, but overall it's completely worth it.

on 2/15/2012 8:43:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I became a Merle Girl after trying this foundation, due to the great reviews it got on MUA; especially its oil control ability. I am oily and because I am oily I am acne prone. I'm always on the hunt to control the slick. I have even tried the milk of magnesia method (broke out) and a fantastic oil control sunscreen from Kao Biore (UV Perfect) which also broke me out. Seems anything that's labeled as "mattifying" breaks me out (why oh why...isn't that the opposite of what it's supposed to do)? Anyway - I bought this foundation in Ultra Golden in the summer and was super-impressed from the first time I used it. Very natural, buildable coverage (I would say up to medium) - it does not look chalky like most powder foundations I've tried - even if I get it on my eyebrows, they don't get that dust-coated look. It covers imperfections pretty well, although I'd be hard pressed not to use concealer (I do *not* have a peaches & cream complexion) but concealer goes on well over this foundation. And for those of us over 40 - I should stress that while it doesn't settle into lines (I don't put it under my eyes), it doesn't really disguise them either. Just makes my face even and helps control that oil. I still have to blot a few times over the course of the day but this foundation lasts and lasts through those blots and still looks great at 5 o'clock (not just-put-on, but not streaky, cakey or patchy either). I just bought another in Ultra Buff to match my winter skin. This is definitely my HG foundation - recently tried to switch away to save $$, and tried several liquid foundations - all of them broke me out (thank heavens for return policies). I have to stick with powder foundations and this is absolutely the best one out there that I've tried. Don't hesitate!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Grey

Use this as my foundation a lot. Covers well and sets makeup well. It does go on much better with a sponge than a powder brush because of the creamy consistency. The new black packaging looks very modern in my opinion. The cream and gold doesn't do much for me.

on 11/20/2011 8:20:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I began using this two weeks ago after using a Revlon product that looked fine but broke me up horribly. Since I began using this I have had no new breakouts. The color (Ultra Golden) is fantastic on me and blends beautifully. I find that if you apply it with a foundation brush it gives medium coverage that is buildable over trouble spots. If this doesn't break me out I will definitely buy it again. I use other Merle Norman products I absolutely love: blush, lip pencils, etc. I am not sure why I hadn't tried the foundation before but now I'm a fan.
ETA: As of 4/2012 I have stopped using this for a couple of reasons: 1) the Merle Norman store that I could easily get to has closed, but 2) more importantly, I've discovered that the Skin79 Pink BB cream gives me much better results.

on 10/1/2011 3:48:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Wow, absolutely amazing in all areas. I love powder foundation, as liquid typically breaks me out or feels heavy. Powder, however, can rub off, get oily, oxidize and have bismuth oxychloride. This is perfect: great lasting powder, decent coverage, transfer resistant, soft matte finish, very pale yellow shade for me (extrememly hard to find) and incredible oil control. No breakouts at all! I love Dior Forever powder, but it makes me a bit oily in the summer and my other beloved Lorac Wet/Dry has limited coverage for gross days. All-in-all, I can say enough and will stock up. I wear this with MN cover-up, flawless oil-control powder, cream blush, lasting cream eyeliner and Supreme Lash mascara and primer- still looks perfect 12 hours later. UPDATE: Can't imagine a better foundation. No breakouts and lasts so well, and looks completely natural. I usually blot every hour- with this and the Flawless Oil-Control powder, I didn't blot once today. Love it!! I'm also loving the cream eyeliner. Merle Norman is so underrated.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 9/22/2011 10:29:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Wow. This is the powder I've been searching for all my m/u life. I've used several setting powders from DS to HE and this is the only one that doesn't look too cakey, powdery or separate a few hours into the day.

I lightly apply it over the Luxiva Lasting Foundation (which is another OMG HG) and I honestly do not have to touch up AT ALL. I use Ultra Neutral (I'm NC25) and it is the perfect color for me. It controls my oilyness and does not break me out.

I use an ELF complexion brush and lightly pat the brush in the powder. There is also not a lot of fall-out or waste because the powder is pretty dense.

The powder is fragranced too, so beware if you're sensitive to that. The packaging is a bit bulky. It's a black compact that is about 1/2 inch thick.

All in all, this is the BEST powder foundation I've used so far. I was also told by the MN SA that this is their number one selling product of all time. Go and try it!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 8/5/2011 9:02:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have recently been converted to a Merle Norman addict! This is it for me! I've always associated MN as for older women... boy was I wrong. I'm kicking myself now that I didn't try this brand sooner! I've always, always been drawn to a cream-to-powder foundation. I have combination/oily skin and usually by noon I need a touch-up. This has totally battled my oiliness and I'm noticing that I'm needing fewer and fewer touch-ups. My skin looks flawless with this powder. I usually use this under Luxia lasting foundation but I feel like if I'm just running to the store I could just use this. There is a slight smell. If not expecting it, it could turn you off. It's light and pleasant. The first compact that I purchased the color was a little off. Ok, my mother said the color was "horrid". I called my SA and told her the problem. She even stayed late for me to arrive after work. There was no issue in trading in for the correct color. I love this stuff. And I've purchased after the new compact change. Such a sleeker and modern look and feel. Beautiful.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I love this ultra powder foundation! I was very skeptical of Merle Normans makeup just because I thought the brand was geared for more mature skin, boy was I wrong. This powder is about medium coverage, very blendable and buildable coverage. My skin is acne prone and oily and this really keeps my oily t zone at bay with no breakouts! I'm a little lighter then nc-25 and the shade ultra neutral is perfect for my skin. The packaging is kind of clunky and there's a slight scent but it doesn't bother me. The sales lady said they take returns so I suggest you at least try it!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 4/20/2011 12:09:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Ok, so after reading all the reviews on here and finally coming to terms with the fact that liquid foundation is maybe never going to work for me, I decided to give this a whirl. I went to the MN counter and an "older dame" (as my 96 year old friend Louise would say) fixed me up with a drastically bad color match (thank God I went outside with the mirror to check in natural light). Somehow after a few more swabs I matched myself with a shade that didn't look at all like it would work for me, but totally does (Ultra Chiffon).

The formula contains talc and mica, I believe, which is why it goes on pretty differently from my trusty old (and I do mean old -- I've been wearing it off and on since high school) Lancome Dual Finish. The coverage is nearly perfect -- can be very heavy if you want it that way, but easy to sheer out by dipping a sponge in water and blotting. I use an angled Paula Dorf blush brush to apply, which works well since it doesn't pick up as much powder as a kabuki but more than the sponge that comes with it, which is fairly useless and takes up a ton of space in the compact. Oh, and the compact -- ridiculously ugly and clunky and big, hate it, but the actual product is good enough that I can overlook that. The smell doesn't really bother me for some reason -- from the reviews on here I thought it would be intolerable, and I barely notice it.

So bottom line: the color matches my skin perfectly and makes it look nearly flawless in a natural way without looking dry/cakey (though as with all powder foundations, you do need a moisturizer). I look like I'm not wearing makeup just have super even, clean, clear skin. I haven't broken out from wearing it and other than somehow achieving the dewey look that I wish I could get (but always devolves into grease) with a liquid, I don't know what more I could ask for. Old lady makeup, FTW!

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 4/15/2011 1:11:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Tan, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I liked the powder when I tried it in the store - it looked perfect. I even purchased the oil-free primer that was recommended. It looked good the first time I used it. No breakouts entire time. After a few uses, I noticed that it was emphasizing ALL of my dry areas.

I am returning the product because it makes my skin dry and powdery looking.

This product contains talc and fragrance.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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