This is one of those wonderful foundations that you put on when you are tired and do not want to choose. It always works, summer and winter, I can wear buff and neutral and look like I spent a long time putting my foundation on because it looks so perfect. People often ask me what I am wearing.
Though MN foundations seem to start rather dark (to me) the Ultra Power foundation starts very light. I am very fair, but need the buff or Neutral to give just a little color.
Even though I am older, MN products are not for old ladies only. They have lovely colors and the quality is remarkable. I like several fondations, but always go to this one and My El Double Wear Stay in Place powder. Frankly, this foundation is a MIRACLE. (For a run-down on the modern update on Merle Norman Products - see my review of liquid foundation sp15. I am in no way affliated with MN - just want to enhance its reputation)
I bought this foundation after reading the great reviews, liked it a lot, but hated the packaging. I currently have 4 powder foundations, Lancome Dual Finish, MAC studio Fix, Merle Norman and MUFE duo mat. I've worn a different one each day this week to compare and I like the Merle Norman better than the Lancome and MAC. Will repurchase Merle Norman and MUFE ( MUFE photographs well).
I read the glowing reviews on this and I hate to be the debbie downer here, but I was disappointed with this makeup. During the summer when my skin is the oiliest I purchased it, and it seemed to do a decent job of controlling oil for me. Nothing earth shattering, but better than any other powder foundation I've tried thus far. (I should note that I've been using EM Intensive mineral foundation for the last year, and I love the coverage but the wear and oil control aren't the greatest). So I immediately noticed the scent, which is just downright nauseating to me. I noticed that Talc was an ingredient, and I wonder if that was contributing to the scent, as well as the texture of the powder. It's very chalky and almost kind of grainy feeling when you first put it on, but after a 1/2 hour or so once my greasies kick in it seemed to settle. I have decent skin with visible pores though, and this powder did an ok job of covering my pores. Also, I hate the packaging. Very old fashioned, clunky, & unattractive. So then after using it for a month my face was feeling tight, dry, rashy....which then makes it even OILIER so I quit using it just to see if the makeup was the culprit and my issues stopped. So I went on another mission to find something else and was unsuccessful. A few months have gone by, and recently I decided to give it another try. Now I definetely think this makeup is what's breaking me out. I stopped using it and got out my EM and walah.....face cleared up. Which is a drag because like I said earlier, can't find something that controls oil AND looks nice. Back to the store it goes....maybe I'll try Origins Silk Screen next. : (
This may be winning me over from Lancome's dual finish. I use this in Ultra Cameo and it looked flawless on my pale skin. I was impressed the first time and its not dissapointing me at all....even touch ups don't cake! I am really impressed with this powder and will def repurchase!!
This is a great powder foundation. It gives great coverage with a very light feel. It can be worn with liquid foundation or by itself. I am pleased to say that Merle Norman is in the process of redesigning their packaging and updating it for the people out their that care about what the packaging looks like. The powder to my knowledge will stay the same. I also have to report not all Merle Normans have the "fake" sales consultants. I have met some that are actually very pleasant, realistic and not over powering or intimidating. I would definitly recommend to everyone and will continue to use myself!!
excellent product; I liked the pressed mineral powder better than the loose powders. Coverage is great and lasts all day. Use with tinted moisturizer for a more finished look. Overall, would definitely purchase again - good price - mide $20's. Who care about the package - it's the product inside I care about.
This is positively Heavenly foundation. OK, I really loved LaPrairie foundation but let's face it, at $75, I had to keep searching. This foundation is MARVELOUS. It gives fabulous coverage with a natural look. It isn't as dry as the LaPrairie which may not be a good thing if you're oily like me. But since the LP foundation isn't meant for AA women and I have to mix it, this is much easier to use. I don't always have the time to create that perfect look with LaPrairie. This allows me to look flawless for much less money as they have a much wider selection of colors. I agree with the last reviewer that the Merle Norman staff leaves a lot to be desired but I only have to deal with them long enough to buy the foundation so it's all good.
I gave my sister my barefaced minerals foundation which I loved but really wanted a compact. Her face looks fabulous and I'm hoping I still look as good as I think I do with this :-)
I have been using this product for about six months, and have been very happy with it. I like the look of it on my skin, the ease of application, and how it makes my skin look matte, but not heavily "made up". It looks nice in daytime and evening, and I have even layered it over tinted moisturizer (smashbox, fair) for a more polished look.
I did not feel comfortable buying this product in the Merle Norman store, I was not impressed at all by the surroundings, employees, environment, etc. - I wish I did not have to go back in there to repurchase! This is why I removed one lippie.
I *HATE* going to Merle Norman. I wish so badly that they sold their products online. I actually have to mentally prepare to walk into the store. I walk in, the door jingles and two associates simultaneously emerge from the back of the store with generic smiles on their faces. One of them approaches while the other stands back and smiles, not blinking....
SA: Hi! How can I help you today? (VERY enthusiastically)
ME: Umm, yes, I've heard good things about your Ultra Powder foundation and just wanted to pick out a shade. I'm kind of in a hurry.
SA: Great! Have a seat and I'll get that for you.
I sit on one of those high stools in front of a tabletop mirror and fidget uncomfortably while I watch her pull out various skincare products from beneath the counter. The other associate is still standing there, just staring....It is completely quiet.
ME: Ummm, I don't really have time to try on a lot right now. I just wanted to pick out a shade of the powder.
SA: (Looking around at products and seemingly confused) Oh, well, I was just going to put some tinted moisturizer on you first.
ME: Oh, that's okay. I'm just interested in the powder right now. But thanks.
SA: Okay, well I'm not sure if it will look the same without our other products.
(The same as what?)
So, she pulls out a horribly dark shade of powder (I'm super pale) and starts applying it to my jaw.
SA: Oh, that matches quite well.
ME: Oh, uhhh...I kind of want it to match my skin, not the redness in my face. Do you have a lighter shade?
SA: Well, let me see....I'm not sure.....(Fumbling around in her drawer). Maybe we should try some of the color correctors on instead.
ME: Nooooo.....that's okay.
So, I ended up politely asking her to ring up the lightest shade of powder so I could get the he** out of there. The powder itself is actually quite lovely, but can be a little too drying sometimes. I wear a good moisturizer underneath and the coverage is light to medium. I definitely have to wear a separate concealer on blemishes, as this only covers minor redness. It lasts well throughout the day too. I'm not sure if I would repurchase because 1) It contains fragrance, which actually isn't very offensive, but just unnecessary and 2) I'm not fond of paying $20+ for a powder foundation. But until I find something better, this is fine.
Oh, and I agree with everyone who's said that the packaging is U-G-L-Y. It's, like, Ivory and gold and the locking mechanism is total crap. Cheap and very off-putting. I bet if Merle Norman redesigned their packaging, they would earn some respect.
UPDATE: Well, I've been using this exclusively since my initial review and I have to say that it's probably the best powder foundation I've ever tried. I've been wearing mineral makeup for the past 8+ years and I forgot what "real" makeup felt like. LOL It's so light, yet it covers better than any of my mineral powders. The only drawback to this is that it does absolutely nothing for oil control. I do have to blot mid-day, but it's totally acceptable, considering the other benefits it provides. Oh, and I'm happy to report that the slight fragrance does not upset my skin AT ALL. =)
ANOTHER UPDATE 1/20/09 : This seems like it's the only foundation in the world that doesn't break me out. Oh, I forgot to add before, I'm a MAC NC15-20, LM Porcelain, usually the lightest shade of any brand. I purchased the lightest shade of this, Ultra Fair, but I could definitely go up a shade, which is what I'm going to do when I repurchase. Some people say this has a shimmery finish, but it's more like a SLIGHTLY satin matte. It's not shimmery at all. And for reference, this retails for $21.50.
UPDATE: 9/25/10 I picked this up in the ultra Cameo shade and I like it more than the Ultra Fair. It almost looks slightly too dark when I first apply it, but then it just sort of melds into my skin and looks very natural. It seems I really have to pack this on to get good coverage, but it lasts all day and keeps me mostly matte. They seem to have raised the price on this too. My last purchase was around $24.
UPDATE: 10/5/10 I'm no longer a Merle girl. I give up. The only thing I've liked even a little bit from the line is this and it's just too perfumed and chalky. The more I wear Ultra Cameo, the more it just looks too dark for me. I got some pictures back after wearing this at my son's birthday party and I just look orange and shiny. Ultra Fair is too light and the coverage just isn't that great unless you apply 10 layers. Honestly, I'm relieved to not have to go back there again. IMO, they're overpriced and mediocre. I'm much happier now with a $10 powder foundation I got from Mark cosmetics called Powder Buff foundation. The coverage is fantastic and the shades actually look like real skin. So....goodbye, Merle. It was nice knowing you...
I've been using this product for several years now. It is the best powder foundation that I've come across. Recently, I've started using this over Clinique's Almost Powder Foundation (because the Almost Powder covers the redness in my cheeks a lot better but leaves my face greasy). However, this product is perfect for setting the Almost Powder. It's like it seals it in and this product is fabulous at keeping the oil at bay throughout the day. I give it four lippies because worn alone it can be a little too drying.