I had noticed that corn starch (commonly referred to as corn flour in my part of the world) is an ingredient contained in many setting powders. I have oily skin for the most part, so powdering is an essential step in my make-up routine. I decided to use some corn flour from the pantry as a setting powder after liquid foundation. I have used regular baby powder before, and was quite satisfied with the results.
It must be said that I am a woman of colour (NC37-40). I was initially apprehensive because I was expecting the corn flour to leave the dreaded white cast on my face.
To my surprise, it didn't at all. I applied the corn flour sparingly using a large, fluffy powder brush. It imparted a sort of glow to my face, and somehow blurred my pores and minor imperfections.
What I really love about corn flour, however, is that even if I happen to apply too much, it doesn't leave my face looking cakey. With commercial setting powders (tinted and translucent), I could easily become over zealous with my application, and end up with an awfully dry-looking, cakey face - at the height of an African summer.
As for its oil-absorbing properties, it gets an A+. I'm able to carry on with my daily tasks without worrying about my make-up melting off. I very rarely feel the need to touch up. Once my natural oils break through, I am left with a pretty, almost dewy finish instead of an oil spillage.
Just a caveat. This stuff can be terribly messy. It flies everywhere if you aren't careful. When I'm out, I prefer to carry a compact powder for obvious reasons. I'm still on the hunt for a reasonably priced translucent compact powder that absorbs oil on contact with the skin.
Most importantly, it doesn't break me out or clog my pores. I'm very prone to clogging, so this is a winner for me. It's super inexpensive from my local Indian grocery store. I purchase the 500g packet for 20 ZAR (approximately $2). This is sure to last me a good while.
If you are concerned that corn flour will give you a white cast, I'm sure one could add a bit of tinted face powder to the corn flour to match one's skin tone. Store it an empty loose powder container and powder away!