Product Type: Max Factor makeup
Newest Review: ... with me because of the time and mess I can get into when applying it so if I go out I take Max Factors pressed powder with me (also in tr... more
Performs Above The Price Tag
Max Factor Loose Powder
Member Name: missrarr
Max Factor Loose Powder
Advantages: Very good value for money, finished foundation nicely and combats shine
Disadvantages: Packaging isn't ideal
When I was younger I had terrible skin; so much so that I ended up having to use a medically-prescribed solution to combat acne well into my early twenties. Then, one day, it just went away. For a few years I had a decent complexion, albeit a very pale one which shows any tiredness.
And now it is ageing. As I career towards the last birthday of my twenties, I am seeing fine lines, again emphasised by tiredness. Throw in a massive commute, a long summer, no holiday yet so far this year, and you have a dull, tired complexion that does nothing for one's self-esteem.
So I always wear make up when leaving the house. I would use it every day even when I didn't leave the house but I have learnt that if I can get away with not going out, I can also get away with not looking in mirrors and thus can avoid that soul-destorying feeling that I am a hideous failure as a woman (feminists, you might want to read something else).
Usually it is liquid foundation followed by a powder; I used to love a Clinique fine loose powder but the morons in power at that firm discontinued that little pot of light-manipulating sorcery and thus condemned me forever to trying to find a replacement. Or witchcraft, but anyone who has seen me try to follow a recipe could tell you that finely-balanced spells and I would not be happy bedfellowes.
***MAX FACTOR LOOSE POWDER***
When the sniffy Clinique counter guard dog - sorry, I mean helpful assistant - had done looking down her perma-tanned nose at me after delivering the news of the discontinued product with a mix of disdain and apparent pleasure at my disappointment (who hires these people?!), I toddled back to the "high street" brands section of Boots where I clearly was considered to belong.
At the time I was getting on well with the Max Factor range, and they had a three-for-two offer which would allow me to pick up my liquid foundation of choice along, try one of their powder offerings and a little treat on the side. I selected the only loose powder available, in its only shade - translucent. Even Peaky McPaleasheck here couldn't go too far wrong with a powder apparently devoid of colour, surely?
This powder comes in a black screw-top pot about an inch in height. If you shop at Boots, you will currently pay £7.99 for a pot. It should have a plastic wrap seal, and inside the pot you will find a white puff and a plastic mesh which lies over the powder.
As I mentioned, this is only available in the one shade - translucent. So this is not a powder foundation, but a powder that is used to set a look. Indeed, the maxfactor.com website advises that you apply after foundation, concealer and blusher to "set your look and smooth away fine lines". It will not give you full coverage on its own.
The same website supplies the following directions for application: apply loose powder to the back of your hand with a large powder brush, tap off the excess and dust over your skin in downward strokes. No instructions are provided with the pot. The website advises that the puff is best used to blend, and claims that the "clever mesh sieve dispenses the perfect amount of powder", that the product "suits all skin tones and blends with any foundation". Also the claim is that the "ultra fine formula doesn't feel dry on the skin" and that it is dermatologically tested.
Talc, Mica, Avena Sativa Kernel Flour, Zinc Stearate, Calcium Silicate, Paraffinum Liquidum, Methicone, Stearic Acid, Aqua, BHT, Methylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Propylparaben, Quaternium-15, +/- [CI 77891, CI 77007, CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499]
***SO, ANY GOOD?***
Let's address this from a variety of angles.
First of all, application. The mesh is indeed helpful at restricting the amount of powder that your brush picks up. I use a fairly large powder brush from the Cosmopolitan range, and it picks up a sufficient amount of powder. Indeed, when some powder makes its way around the edges of the sieve, the brush can easily pick up too much. Frequently I find myself tapping the brush to knock off the excess, and usually a few stray bits of powder will find their way to my neck and bustline as I apply. However, these blow away quite easily as the powder is very light.
This goes on over my foundation nicely. It doesn't make my skin look dry nor does it feel so. However, it doesn't completely "blur out" the appearance of my fine lines, however, although I wouldn't go so far as to accuse it of emphasising them as some drier formulas might.
This does balance out my annoyingly shiny T-zone well. I work a very long day and experience the joys of temperature change outside, inside, on the underground, on trains and air conditioning, so I am impressed that I only feel that I need a light top-up during the working day and then often a third application as I get towards home having usually experienced more shine because of the heat of rush-hour tube travel. So in terms of longevity and repeated application, this does very well.
The colour is very neutral. Here I must give the product a strong positive word; I have, as I have tried to give my skin a break when I am at home all day, even got enough bravery to pop to the shops with just a dusting of this without foundation beneath - and it performed very well. It softened the appearance of flaws, mattified the skin and didn't leave me feeling massively self-conscious, so that's a big plus if I really do not want to clog my skin up for a day and need to pop out briefly.
***DOES IT LAST?***
Yes. It occurs to me now that I have been using this product for well over a year and I am only on my second pot - and have at least half of it left after many months of use on an almost daily basis. So good value for money here, when high-range products that offer the same benefits can easily be twice the price.
Shortly after I first purchased this I was sent on a work jaunt to Jersey which involved a flight. Not thinking too far ahead, I chucked the pot in my make up back with my other products and packed them for the trip. When I got to Jersey, in transit the movement this pot of product experienced led to the powder largely working around and then on top of the mesh, and being a healthily-packed pot of loose powder this meant that when I unscrewed the lid a fair bit escaped and worked into the thread of the lid mechanism. So beware. Being so light, as I tried to rectify this, more escaped and floated away or on to my clothes. The same happens which this travels as lightly as in a suitcase in a car, so be careful with it.
Because of this I would not carry a recently purchased pot for day-time top-up applications. Instead I have kept my old pot and tap a little from my new one in to it, replace the sieve and the limited amount of product, combined with careful opening and handling, means I can reapply.
My previous product of choice, the Clinique option, had a firmly-attached plastic top to the pot below the lid with a series of dispensing holes - as the sieve is independent and thus can move in this product, it would be perfect if it had a similar mechanism within the packaging. If you weren't ready for it, this could ruin an outfit if the product has travelled even lightly.
It's a great product - the packaging lets it down. For that, I feel like I am being harsh but I am tempted to remove a star. There's no point having a great product that offers fantastic value for money and completes your make up look if you lose half of it down the sink or drop half a pot of it on a guestroom carpet - or your little black dress.
But I can't fault it as a finishing powder and the fact that it performs well enough at deflecting light and softening the skin tone without a foundation below it is a massive plus. It has no notable scent and has never stained my clothes, it doesn't dry the skin and whilst it is not powerful enough to totally hide fine lines, it does overall soften the complexion. Put that with the sheer length of time that a pot will last you and for the price tag this is a very strong product which must rival some of the high-end equivalents for less money. So, frankly, those white-uniform garbed haughty harridans from the "elite" make up stands in Boots can shove their opinion of whether or not I'm worthy of their products - when it comes to a loose finishing powder, I think their products might not be worthy of me.
Summary: A very good "high street" loose powder - just be careful when you take it on holiday!