For the past two weeks my face has been bombarded by painful pimples! The red, huge kind that will not go away easily, and the kind that will leave skin ugly red scars. Le sigh. It's probably work-related stress and a major lack of sleep. As a result, my makeup routine has been tailored to suit the condition of my skin – no foundation, BB cream, CC cream or tinted moisturizer of any kind. Just plain old moisturizer, sunscreen, and a bit of powder.
And the powder that I've been using is my old trusty Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation which gives me enough coverage that I need to conceal the blemishes and redness without causing any more breakouts. Since I've been using it again, I thought I might as well review it, too!
The powder is housed in a black double-decker compact that snaps shut with a magnetic closure. The top compartment contains the powder while the bottom has a round sponge. The lid has a small window stripe that you can see through and on the inside has a small half-round mirror that I think is a little too small. The sponge is really soft and of good quality, and should be used dry only according to the instruction by MUFE.
There are 11 shades available and mine is in 203 Light Beige which blends seamlessly with my NC30 with yellow undertones. The powder is oil-free and has no detectable scent.
Duo Mat is a mattifying pressed powder foundation with buildable coverage. You can dust it lightly on the skin with a large powder brush for a sheer finish, or use a dense brush or a sponge for a medium to full coverage. On a normal day, I'd use a powder brush to set my foundation, but for the past couple weeks, I use the sponge to get the coverage I need and then I buff it out with a powder brush. I find that if I use just the sponge alone to pack on the powder, my skin tends to look a little too matte and too “made up” so I always make sure to diffuse it with a powder brush for a natural finish.
The powder has a silky smooth texture and provides a shine-free, satiny finish. It covers those red, active blemishes so well on its own that I can sometimes skip a concealer! It's amazing what this little powder can do. My complexion immediately becomes even, imperfections blurred out and redness concealed. It just covers everything so well that I think people who suffer from hyperpigmentation, red/dark spots, or uneven skin tone will really appreciate it.
What I like about this powder, too, is that it can be layered without looking cakey and it never feels heavy on the skin. It even minimizes the look of pores and dry patches which is a little unusual since most powders tend to emphasize them. You may notice your skin becoming a little ashy initially, though, so do give it a good 5-10 minutes for it to set to a perfect, satiny, non-powdery finish!
It is also long-lasting! While it doesn't completely control oil all day, it doesn't make my T-zone any oilier than it usually is. The rest of my face continues to be matte most of the day and the coverage doesn't seem to fade or become cakey at all. It doesn't oxidize or dry out my skin over time, either, so another giant thumbs up!
I see Duo Mat being a good option on days when you just want something quick and easy to use but still provides a good coverage. I know it has been saving me a lot of makeup time in the morning because all I need to do is moisturize my face, apply this powder, add a little bit of blush and lip gloss, and maybe a little eye makeup and I'm ready to go! :)
I believe MUFE has discontinued this powder and replaced with the new version called Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation (which has been receiving quite a lot of negative reviews from what I read), so it may not be available in store anymore. However, it is still available for purchase online at Sephora.com, so get it while you still can! Sephora has a great return policy after all if you are not satisfied with the product, although I have a feeling you will really love it once you try it! :)