Review of E.L.F. Studio High Definition Powder by kf2012
This is a good, solid setting powder, but it's nothing miraculous. I'm nearing the end of my second container, so I've obviously found it satisfactory, but I'm still keeping an eye out for something better. I can't compare it to MUFE's HD Powder since I've never used that product, so this review will be based entirely on this product's own merit.
First off, the packaging. The container is very bulky. My first one had a skewed lid, so when it was tightened all the way, the corners didn't match up and it stuck out awkwardly. The second one was normal. If you peel the clear sticker over the sifter completely off, this will pour out way too much powder. I just poke through the plastic over several of the holes, and that lets out a more reasonable amount at a time. A note on the sifter: it's not set securely into the container, so if you flip the jar upside down and shake or tap it to get the powder out, the sifter CAN fall completely out of the jar, dumping powder everywhere. (I speak from disgruntled experience.) So make sure you're holding the sifter in place when shaking out powder. Lastly, even if you don't use the included puff (which I don't), keep it in the jar on top of the sifter when you're not using it. It cuts down on the amount of powder spilling loose inside the lid.
On to the application. I use a fluffy powder brush to apply this all over my face as a setting powder, using a swirl, tap, & sweep method. The powder is not finely milled; I actually find it a bit coarse and you can easily make out the silica spheres in it. Because of this, I try to keep the application light and blend it into the skin well. I'm very fair, but this can still leave a noticeable white cast on me if I overdo it, almost like baby powder. As long as I don't over-apply and I blend well, this isn't much of an issue.
Performance-wise, I'm satisfied. I don't notice any of the "pore minimizing" effects that some say it has (perhaps my pores are just too gargantuan for this to make a difference), but it does set my makeup well and helps prevent transfer. My skin is very oily and can eat through foundation in just a few hours, but this helps it stay in place much better. I will still get shiny, but I stay fresh-looking for longer with this powder than I do with almost anything else (the only thing I've used that could trump it is BE's Mineral Veil).
It's a great for absorbing oil and I especially like it for use over more emollient and/or tacky foundations and concealers. It has a completely matte finish (which is good, but can leave an almost flat appearance if overdone -- again, using sparingly and blending well helps with this). Texture-wise, it leaves a very silky feeling behind on the skin. I've actually used it as a primer in a few instances, brushing it on over my moisturizer/prepping product of the day, then applying foundation, then applying another layer of this to set.
Overall, I find this powder does the job, and it gets a special nod of gratitude for not breaking out my insanely fussy and acne-prone skin. I will still be on the lookout for something better, as I would like to find something with more convenient/less messy packaging and with no worries of a possible white cast. I would repurchase this, though, if I don't find something with those qualifications.