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Dry Shampoo - Cornstarch as Dry Shampoo

rated 4.6(63 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.6
  • 95% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.1
  • Price: $

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/29/2011 10:26:00 AM More reviews by I_Smell

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Coarse Eyes: Blue

Ok, you're probably not going to believe this, and I don't blame you for being just as skeptical as I was when I read the raves. But... this cheap a** product manages to keep my face more matt than *any* loose or pressed powder I've ever used. Ever. And it's all natural and fragrance free.
I always use a setting powder to set my foundation. Normally I have to blot and re-apply every 2-3 hours because my combo skin gets very shiny in the T-zone. This occurs winter and summer, whether I'm very active or not at all. I mainly blame my sunscreen, because I don't get half as shiny when I don't wear any.
Today it was 23C (73F) and ridiculously humid (92% relative humidity!) and I only needed to blot and re-apply after I had been working out. By then my make up had been applied 6 hours ago! Seriously, no powder has ever been half as effective in keeping me matte. For reference: I wear La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Extreme Fluid SPF 50+ Sunscreen, followed by Maybelline Superstay Liquid Concealer and Foundation, alternated by Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid foundation.
I have transferred some cornstarch into a clean pepper shaker, lol, and this is how I use it: the pepper shaker enables me to dispense as little as possible into a tall bowl. I pick it up with a large flat top powder brush, making sure I work it into the bristles very well. I tap off the excess, twirl to distribute it evenly, dip and twirl again, shake off again. I lightly dust it onto my whole face, alternating between gently stroking and tapping. Then, again with minimal pressure, I buff off the excess with a large soft kabuki brush. And voila, no white cast: it goes on pretty much translucent (I do have light skin though). No cakeyness either: just a matte, polished face. The process is a bit messy though, like most extremely fine milled loose powders. But for something this effective I'm more than happy to overlook that. And you could always keep some in a sifter jar, or even a rotating sifter jar. Those have a rotating cover for the sifter to prevent spilling. Coastal Scents has them, for instance (not affiliated):, or just Google it.
Last, but not least: should corn starch leave your face whitish, maybe you could try to mix it with a regular loose face powder? It will probably still give you the benefits of the starch, minus the white cast? Worth a try, I say. :-)
Oh my, to think I payed so much money for products that didn't even work that well. I'll never by another powder again in my life.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 9/19/2011 5:19:00 PM More reviews by dsmac085

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I just started using cornstarch at the roots of my hair as I'm hot natured and can't stand my hair getting all sweaty and moist. This is a great way to wick away moisture. I use it with a powder puff at the nape of my neck and under my breasts/in cleavage when the weather is hot and humid as well.

If you read the label for Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, the first ingredient is corn starch. If you tap a bit of your mineral foundation into an empty Mineral Veil container and mix it with cornstarch, you should have the slightly tinted effect of the mineral veil for a much more reasonable price.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 9/9/2011 6:53:00 PM More reviews by lightsout91

Age: 19-24 Skin: Oily, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I wish I had found out about this technique when the weather was 100+ degrees! Cornstarch makes my face ALMOST completely matte. It's not quite the finish I was hoping for when I first used it, but the way it controlled my very oily skin from going into "gulf spill" territory is amazing. The only negative thing is that if I use even the tiniest bit too much, then it dries my skin out to the point where it kind of hurts. And unfortunately I don't think this works for darker complexions, it borders on whitening for my olive skin. So I think I will only use this on super summery/humid days, but now that autumn is approaching I don't think there's a need for me to use this!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/27/2011 10:20:00 PM More reviews by Theaflower

Age: 44-55 Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Ok calling all oily skinned gals young and old!! This is AMAZING!! I used a cornstarch baby powder by Belli as a setting powder over my foundation and will never use anything but a cornstarch powder to set my foundation again. SERIOUSLY, lovely and amazing! If you are oily you must try this...I used a cornstarch based baby powder on my face AND COULDN'T be happier with the results....LOVE! PS I have used many powders and this is as good as it comes and for pennies!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/26/2011 9:02:00 PM More reviews by michyy

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

oh my lordy.
cornstarch.. i have a big box at home just sitting there, lifelessly.
until i found out that you can use this as setting powder..
i have oily skin. and this keeps my face pretty damn matte throughout the day! I wear glasses and usually without cornstarch, my glasses touch the oil and it just feels gross! but when i have cornstarch on my face, my face is so matte. i use this with Elf's bronzing brush, i dont care that its not intended for powder! it works! haha!

i pat my brush onto the cornstarch, and tap it to get off a lot of excess. then I brush it onto my oil-iest places- nose, chin, forehead. then brush the rest on cheeks and such. the trick is to NOT dip your brush in too much or you'll get cakey.

i love this so much. i feel bad for everyone that spends 20$ on powders from mac, or whatever when they could simply use cornstarch for less than 5$ for a million years!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 5/29/2011 12:05:00 PM More reviews by gingersparkles

Age: 36-43 Skin: Very Oily, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Perfect setting powder.
I apply with a fluffy brush to set my foundation. I do follow is with a setting spray so it never gets powdery through the day.
It is all natural and dirt cheap, what more can you ask for?

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 5/24/2011 1:59:00 AM More reviews by Beansforyou

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

i've been using this for my hair and face for the past year or so. I mixed a bit with a compact powder (usually when I am down to the last bit of my powder foundation around the rim) and apply to face.

I find that if I used it by itself, it is too white. Also, it tends to puff up and powder out through out the day ...hard to explain, but it's like I think it was applied, but when I sweat later in the day, it reverts to a powder, so i have little small patches of powder on my face..

Overall not a bad option for your face though..A little goes along way! I've used alot in the past (wet it, and applied it wet)-and althougth the wet option works well to keep wet faces dry, it also made me break out badly.

As for the hair, I place it directly on my scalp over the oily parts, and it does wonders making my hair look much well as acting as a lifter at the roots :) it almost doubles my hair volume, so i can't complain

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 11/19/2010 2:31:00 PM More reviews by rastaxcore

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue

I was mad at my MUFE HD powder one day -- if my foundation is a smidge too yellow, it makes me look like an albino Snookie to put the MUFE over it. Not with cornstarch. Same ability to lock foundation onto your skin, applies as smoothly although leaves a bit thicker of a film than the MUFE. Maybe or maybe not so great for girls with darker complexions but if you're medium to light skinned this is a great way to mattify and set your foundation without blowing $30+ at Sephora.

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 11/3/2010 3:24:00 AM More reviews by Starberri

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Fair, Cool Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

The natural and cheap way to set your makeup and keep oiliness at bay! Dirt cheap, but you will need to get some sort of container to put it in. I use just a touch on a big fluffy brush and I'm set for the day.

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/18/2010 11:42:00 AM More reviews by bran888

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

Where has this stuff been all of my life? Apparently in the kitchen...I have oily skin that I have to blot at least once but up to 3 times per day, and oily hair that is good for the day I wash it, but then oily the next morning (and by oily, I mean quite noticeably so).

A couple of hairdressers have told me that I really shouldn't wash my hair everyday...I guess that's true since though my roots get very oily, the rest of my hair can get frizzy and dry-ish, esp. the ends. I tried an expensive dry shampoo (oscar blandi)...and I'm not sure if I didn't use enough, but it didn't seem to do anything at all.

I read online that cornstarch (aka unscented baby powder) is a great oil absorber. My face was feeling pretty oily, so I used just the tiniest bit on a powder brush, and wow, my skin was completely matte (but smooth and not dry)....awesome. I decided to try it as a dry shampoo. Just to warn you, I used this this morning, so I can't comment on lasting power. However, it works! I have medium/dark brown hair, so after reading up on DIY dry shampoos, I mixed about half and half organic unsweetened cocoa powder and cornstarch, to avoid the white cast. Don't get me wrong, it's still light going in, but as soon as I massage it into my scalp, you can't see it at all. I used a makeup brush to apply a little bit at a time to my scalp area and massaged it in (I ended up using more than I thought I would, but I'm quite oily). After a few minutes, I ran a brush through my hair, then touched up my front part with a little of my dry shampoo (rubbing it in), and my hair looks great. It actually feels relatively good too. I enjoy the smell of cocoa, but I only really smelled it when I was putting the shampoo on, not afterwards. I'm almost positive that I'll need to wash my hair in the shower tomorrow, but if my hair stays looking and feeling good all day, I will call this a major success.

Edit: end of the day update. As a mattifying face powder, this is amazing!! my face has been shine free all day, and feels smooth. As a dry shampoo, I think it could definitely work for those who are not too too greasy. For me, it kept my hair looking decent for a half day, then i reapplied and it looks ok...definitely better than it would look otherwise, but also not freshly washed. I think this will work well for a going out hair touch up if I wash my hair in the morning and don't want to do it a second time...but to make it through a whole day without washing...I might give it another try, we'll see.

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No