17 Jun 2013

Eshiko v Make Up For Ever HD Powder

Some HD Powders...
L -> R: Make Up For Ever, Eshiko, Laura Mercier (trial size)

I'm back - not with a bang just yet (who'd've thought pneumonia was such a b**** to shake off!), but at least with a battle.  In this post, (and finally now that I've got around to remembering it!) I compare Make Up For Ever's HD powder with Eshiko's offering - one of the latest cult products from Japan in recent years (and a photo-op compare with Laura Mercier's version too)...

Eshiko HD Powder

This stuff from Japanese brand Eshiko should be re-labelled "magic powder" because that's exactly what it is.  Similar to Make Up For Ever's HD powder, this is a white cloud of crazily uber-fine (10nm) particles of 100% silica - the particles are roughly the size of smoke particles, which you'll see if you fling this stuff into the air :-) however it's hydrated silica so it won't cause you lung issues, and it's non-comedegenic, so it won't clog pores either (my main concerns when I saw how fine it is).  It powders down well and can be used as an extremely effective blot-powder as it will absorb oil/sweat up to fifteen (!) times its own weight.  For this reason, it can be used for touch-ups very effectively and (unless you have extremely oily skin) you don't need to worry about blotting away excess oils beforehand.

It works for all skin types.  It buffs away to a transparent finish and gives the most beautiful soft-focus finish I've ever encountered.  That's the trick though - as with all of these powders, you need to buff them in well, not so much so that they'll work, but so that they don't flash-back.

Hands down, it's best applied with a brush - it's a little too fine for the old powder-puff press-and-roll application method.

Look here for more info.  I purchased it directly from the site, where it sells at USD$29 (with free shipping, which, while it does take a few weeks to arrive, ships with a money-back guarantee - interesting in itself for cosmetics items).  I think that Guru Makeup Emporium in London also stock it, and they will also ship (no free shipping there however).

Make Up For Ever HD Powder

The Make Up For Ever HD Powder is similar to the Eshiko offering except for a few minor differences - also 100% (hydrated) silica powder, but this time 500nm (still pretty damn fine!) particle sizes and has a hydrophobic effect - where the Eshiko HD powder attracts moisture (hydrophilic), the Make Up For Ever powder repels it (likely why the former works better on dry skins than the latter).

The Eshiko, despite having much finer particles, strangely feels gritty;  oddly, I can feel this one on my lips and teeth as I apply it to my face (however I suspect this is because it's so fine and cloud-like that it simply goes everywhere when you're applying it - maybe this is something to be careful of if you're a contact lens wearer?)

I purchase my Make Up For Ever HD Powder from the store in Dublin, but they now also sell online (here).  At €33.50 (less my measly 10% Pro discount) it's still more expensive than the Eshiko.

I prefer Eshiko - the main benefit of Eshiko over Make Up For Ever HD Powder (for me) is that the Make Up For Ever powder dries my skin out after a couple of days' usage, and also shows up any dry and/or patchy areas on my skin, whereas the Eshiko doesn't.  In addition, Eshiko is less expensive, and it does a slightly better job at minimising pores than Make Up For Ever.

Critically though - what about flashback?  All of these HD type powders can flash back if you're not careful.  We've all seen the pictures!

Nicole Kidman - HD powder malfunction
(under flash photography conditions - this wouldn't be visible otherwise)

Careful is the trick though... buff them in and they disappear into the skin (all of the following photos were taken with flash, the powder is not particularly visible to the naked eye).

L -> R: Make Up For Ever, Eshiko, Laura Mercier
Just applied, pretty visible with flash 
L -> R: Make Up For Ever, Eshiko, Laura Mercier
Some (small amount of) buffing-in
L -> R: Make Up For Ever, Eshiko, Laura Mercier
A quite decent amount of buffing-in is required to ensure no flash-back

See the final image?  It looks blurred - in fact it is not; I took that shot quite a few times before I remembered that this was the point of these products - they produce a blurring, a soft-focus effect, which is very evident from the last picture in particular.  I don't use these every day, but I do like them when I want to have absolutely flawlessly perfect-looking skin.

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