Merle Norman Powder Base

Filtered by hair type : Other


5 reviews

80% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$


Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Water (Aqua), Paraffin, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Fragrance (Parfum), Lecithin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Talc, Sodium Borate 120905

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Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This stuff is just amazing! I've tried to make friends with it a few times over the years with varying results, but now I'm hooked. It may not keep me from checking out a new foundation every once in a while, but the hunts and any serious straying should be over!

Once upon a time, I tried a foundation from Gerda Spillmann. It was gorgeous, but did a number on my eyes. That was many years ago, but it's still my standard of comparison. And Powder Base comes pretty close, especially now that I've discovered a few tricks.

I apply it with a barely damp Beauty Blender, though if you don't mind cleaning brushes, it also looks lovely using the Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush. It has enough coverage to work as a concealer, too. It can be used with or without powder. On my VERY combination skin I prefer it without. The biggest trick is to blot it after a few minutes. I just use folded toilet paper. What comes off on the paper is a little horrifying--oily tinted residue. But this blotting makes it look natural even in daylight (and the rear view mirror), and makes it last, with or without powder. My makeup goes on by 7:30am, and doesn't get taken off until sometime between 11 and midnight. And it' still there, even without powder, and the only touch up may be another tissue blot. Not only does it come off easily with the Clarisonic, it also rinses clean from the bristles.

Do not panic when you see the color in the pan. Mine looks so wrong--and nothing like the colors of others that work. But when I'm rested (I.e., when my skin is fairly smooth) I can actually have difficulty seeing where I've already applied it! When I'm finished, it may look a little bit greasy, but the blot takes care of that and makes it just about invisible. Somehow it still provides good coverage. Magic, I tell you. In a zillion shades and less than 20 bucks.

Update April2018: Not currently using, but only because I needed a different shade and I just don't like the MN studio where we live now. I'd happily order from the previous place if I were getting the same color, but not being able to try it on is a problem.

15 of 15 people found this helpful.


Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Update (12/27/2013): I've been using this all week now, and I love it!!! After a short time, it melds into my skin, and it doesn't get greasy or oily. My usually oily nose stays shine-free. No skin irritation or issues. At the end of the day, most of the makeup is still there to remove. So happy I found this again!

I am one of those that used Powder Base in my early 20's. That was over 40 years ago.

I've been through every kind of foundation over the years. Liquid, cream, powder, stick, spray-on, you name it. I've tried long-wearing, and haven't found one yet that lives up to it's reputation. I always wind up with a grease-slick of a nose, no matter what. I've yet to find a foundation that I couldn't give up.

I came here to read some reviews after realizing Powder Base is still in existence, and became curious about trying it again.

I swear, as emollient as this foundation is in the pot, it amazes me!!! It blends in easily, and there's loads of color shades. It does not get over oily/greasy, it has a lasting finish, and it doesn't seem to settle into lines. I have to say I'm fascinated with this foundation, and think it's a find beyond belief! I'm sold on Powder Base, and plan on sticking with it. What's old is new, as they say, and I can see why this has stood the test of time.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I found this review completely by accident. I don't remember how I stumbled upon it, but I was very intrigued.

I have very oily and acne prone skin, but now, in my forties, I am also dealing with the issues that come with aging skin; dryness, loss of luminosity, uneven tone and texture, fine lines...and unfortunately, foundations formulated for oily skin exacerbate all those issues. It's been a challenge finding something that meets the needs of both oily and aging skin.

So as I said, I stumbled upon this review and my interest was piqued. As it happens, there is a Merle Norman boutique very close to my workplace, so I stopped in to give it a looksee. The SA was helpful but not overbearing. She made several suggestions, but ultimately I did decide to try the powder base. I was a little skeptical as it seemed very emollient...verging on greasy. But because of the healing properties it purportedly has and the non chemical sun protection (I HATE foundations with chemical sunscreens) as well as the fact that they have a very liberal return policy, I decided to risk it.

As I was applying, my skepticism was unabated. It seemed very, very dewy and didn't seem to set. It looked shiny, even greasy. I was pretty sure that I had made a grave mistake. But as it sat on my skin, it just kind of...disappeared. It like...melted and became one with my skin. It was SO amazingly natural. Even the color, which I initally thought was too dark, was absolutely perfect. I did set with powder, which minimized the shininess, but still left a nice, natural luminosity.

As for how it stood up to my oily skin, amazingly, I did not have to powder for about 4 hours. And then, it really didn't get greasy and gross, just a little dewy. I blotted and was just fine. The product did not break own or become streaky or patchy. After 8 hours, I still looked fresh and natural. I was suitably impressed. I would have expected such an emollient product to leave me dripping with oil in an hour or two, but it didn't. That is HUGE.

Coverage is what I would consider medium, but it can easily be built up without cakiness. I have a few dark spots that it covered easily with just a few extra dabs with my sponge. The best part is that you can achieve wonderful results and good coverage with very little product.

The fragrance is a little strong, yes. But it's not altogether unpleasant. I've used foundations that had a very heavy chemical/paint smell, but that is not the case with this. If I had to describe it I would say it's more of a heavy floral smell. For the first hour it seemed very pronounced and then I didn't notice it any more. It's not a deal breaker for me.

I've only worn this for two days, so I can't comment on the healing properties but I am really, really impressed with the finish, the coverage, the natural appearance, and the lasting power. I think I'm sold.

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I have a love/hate relationship with this powder base.
*The scent-and I dont know why.Its a sweet medicinal smell that's vintage like. Not floral at all...maybe cause its different. It doesn't last
*The zinc oxide is a great UVA blocker since I cant use chemical sunscreens, this is an added benefit.
*If I start to see a pimple come up, I wear this and by the next day its gone. Works better than acne medicine for me.
*The jar-simple black and white and retro looking. No printed lettering
looks great on the vanity.
*I have winter dry skin right now, so I thought with the mineral oil this has in it, it would be emollient. It goes on that way but 3 hours later I have dry patches on my cheeks/chin/mouth. I've come to the conclusion that its the high amount of zinc. Did some research and sure enough zinc has absorbing properties-which explains why it does so well with occasional breakouts.
*The Alabaster beige I was matched with does not quite match my NC25. Its the right color just the wrong tone, but I can offset with powder/blush, except it makes me even more dry.
*Settles into my pores, so not liking the overall finish, but that could be because it makes me so parched.

This jar will last forever I'm sure, since I'm really only using once in awhile when I see a flare up. I will revisit in the warmer months and see if it makes me too dry then...I have a feeling it'll do great when I get oily in the summer. Zinc is a remarkable mineral!

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Other, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I bought this a couple of days ago based on the reviews here. I was not disappointed! The scent is a bit overwhelming and the packaging a bit bland but inside is a pretty good product. I had been using some Luxiva foundation with that HC something, but it is not covering as much as I would like, even with powder foundation dusted on top. Might be better for winter. Anyhoo, this stuff really is thick and with a sponge and gently lotioned skin, this cover pretty well! I get itchy from added sunscreen and the other (timeless maybe?) Foundation I had purchased made me break out with whiteheads. So far, this is has been a dream! No breakouts, itchy or red skin from the foundation. The SA at the Merle Norman in my area are great-they were patient and she showed me every combination of powder/cream/liquid foundation. She pulled this out last time but I didn't but it. I have to laugh, because I work in a prison, and the overwhelming fragrance doesn't really bother me. As a matter of fact it is sometimes refreshing! Will comntinue to use it up, and may repurchase.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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