First Look: Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation

My sincere journey into makeup started with the classic bareMinerals by bareEscentuals (ancient post linked). At the time, I wasn’t wowed by the product, but I wasn’t dissatisfied, either. I used up my pot and did not repurchase.

Prior to that, half-assed attempts at evening out my complexion when it could use a little help were met with Physician’s Formula Mineral Wear Loose Powder. I haven’t used it since I started, “sincerely,” using cosmetics, but it is a good product (unless they’ve changed the formula sneakily; I don’t think they have).

At some point, I was curious about Urban Decay’s Surreal Skin loose foundation (long since discontinued), but I never got to check it out because there wasn’t an Urban Decay counter nearby and there was a dearth of Sephora and Ulta locations in my vicinity at the time.

So, what’s the common factor here? Powder. My early forays into makeup were solely about ease-of-use (even if it meant the color match wasn’t quite right, or that it didn’t wear super well). Not that I feel liquid or cream foundation difficult to use…they just take slightly more effort to blend in, usually. A few months back I went to an Urban Decay event at Sephora with a friend; there, they slapped their new Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation on me. I liked it, but wasn’t in the market at the time.

Naked Skin Ultra Definition - First Look - BoxNaked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation

A dear friend asked for some suggestions on something to help even her out, was lightweight, simple to use, etc. My experience with bareMinerals ended up being that it oxidized quite quickly on me – and other users report the same results, so I am hesitant to recommend it to anyone with more than a modicum of oil in their skin. Based on my experience with the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder, I included that in my suggestions to her.

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Stila Hydrating Finishing Powder

Today, in Things That Make Sense…

Stila Hydrating Finishing Powder

I was browsing the beauty section of Amazon the other day and came across this finishing powder. While I am currently happy with my current one, I was skeptical but intrigued and clicked through to the product. After all, how can a powder hydrate? After all, Google says:


1. fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance.
2. reduce (a substance) to a powder by drying or crushing it.

Common theme? Dry.

I use a finishing/setting powder to absorb the extra oil that my T-zone produces and hold my foundation in place. (If I didn’t have that to contend with, I honestly wouldn’t bother. And since I do not wear foundation every day, I do not use powder every day.) Why? Powders are drying – that’s the whole point.

I did some poking around and found that they offer only one shade of this product. It is not translucent (it is pigmented!) but Stila says the Hydrating Finishing Powder is universal. Reviewers disagree – I found several that said it was too warm, specifically, too orange. I am not a particularly pale person (even when I am pale for me) and that looks like it would be too dark/too orange for me to enjoy.

The Stila Hydrating Finishing Powder page suggests that it can be used as an eyeshadow base and that it is a, “great option for individuals with oily eyelids.” As someone with reasonably oily eyelids, I can’t say I buy that line. If I want more than a couple hours out of much of anything, I need a primer – which this is not. Furthermore, if it is indeed as hydrating as they would have you think it would not make the best eye base for oily-lidded folks. If you have dry lids? Sure, it might help. But I wouldn’t bank on it, and I would still recommend a primer.

Stila says it helps to protect the skin – but it isn’t boasting SPF. Naturally, my reaction was, “How?!” To my delight, there’s some actual science here – the third ingredient, which is ectoin (ectoine?), is a compound present in certain bacteria. Don’t freak out – used in skin and sun care, it helps protect from UV rays. It apparently also helps with dryness somehow, but I’m not sure how – the mechanism is unclear. It is advertised to release this stuff via time-release, but I think that might require me to suspend my disbelief a bit more than I’m willing to.

In all, coming in at $32, I will pass on the Stila Hydrating Finishing Powder. In general, I prefer translucent powders but I especially do not like a one-size-does-not-actually-fit-all medium orange-y hue. Bottom line is that if your skin needs a moisture boost, you should look at your skincare routine and hydration habits – not a powder that perches precariously atop all the other goop we slap on our faces. If you’re looking for a decent finishing/setting powder, I recommend Rimmel Stay Matte. The line carries a translucent and several pigmented shades and is available for $3-5.

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