Monday, February 13, 2012

SilkyGirl Magic BB Powder Foundation

Among the multitude of things I randomly picked up in Asia, SilkyGirl Magic BB Powder Foundation turned out to be the greatest find. It's sold for about $14-18 Singapore dollars at Watson's and I believe the brand is sold in most drugstores across Asia.

While shopping in Singapore, I scoffed at all the "BB products" that left an ashy/chalky cast to the skin and scorned their limited colour ranges that seem to run from ghostly pale to regular pale. When I saw that SilkyGirl's Magic BB powder actually had something in the medium range (plus one extra shade darker than this 03 Medium!), I became curious enough to swatch it. It blended seamlessly into my skin while offering great coverage as no other powder foundation has ever been able to, so into the basket it went and home to Canada it came!


While I appreciate the inclusion of SPF 20 and other properties, I remain everlastingly amused by the possible meanings of "formulated for Asian skin." 


I like its slim, portable compact and love that I can now do my face on the 45-minute-long subway commute to work in the same amount of time it takes to put on some hand cream. MUFE, Laura Mercier and Shiseido powder foundations never offered the same amount of coverage nor the lasting power. And this is at a fraction of the price of any of those three brands. I've already asked Friend J in Singapore to hook me up with replacements for when I finish this particular compact.



The powder is fine, soft and incredibly smooth. As to the "BB Magic" component of this product, I feel like it shows up later in the day when the powder refuses to budge or shine like most foundations and powders inevitably do. Worn with my beloved Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, the combination keeps my face matte from 8am to 3pm. I now use only a third of the amount of blotting sheets than I used to and wish I hadn't stocked up on the Boscia blotting linens so much.


Because of my acne scars, I do apply a hefty amount with the sponge applicator and double up coverage on the areas of concern. Despite its medium shade match, or perhaps due to the near-full coverage it provides, I find my face looking very flat and dimensionless after using the Magic BB Powder. Bronzers and luminizers definitely come in handy to add the contours back into my face. However, there's no need to "set" this with any additional powders as it sets itself more than fine.



The only criticism I have with this BB powder foundation is that it may not be suitable for dry skin despite its claim to be moisturizing. The skin around my mouth happens to be slightly dry in the winter and unless moisturized liberally beforehand, I find that this powder will emphasize the dryness and make the skin feel tight around those areas. But for the supremely oily skin types, like I normally am, this powder foundation can be your best friend. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know how much I love my Laura Mercier Oil Free Liquid Foundation. Well, I just finished a bottle of it and returned the backup bottle of it to Sephora today because I am switching over to SilkyGirl Magic BB. That is HUGE. I've been a devotee of Laura Mercier Oil Free for about five years now and always returned to it. But this is how much I'm loving this powder foundation right now. It's the perfect product for a lazy girl on the go. (That's me!)

(Adding to the proof of my laziness, I advise those wondering what "BB" stands for or what the heck it is, to head over to Rae's neat summary of it at theNotice for a quick update.)

What's the best powder foundation you've used and when was the last time that a foundation changed your life? I love the idea of spending less time and money to make up my face from now on.

40 comments:

  1. I'm glad you found something that works so well for you! I'm not really a powder foundation person - my skin is too dry for it most of the year. That said, I do like Pur Minerals and Meow Cosmetics mineral foundation during the summer.

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    1. I have a friend who loves Pur Minerals and won't use anything else! There are days when I wish for dry skin, I tell ya.

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  2. Happy you found something you love! I didn't know that there were BB Powders too. Pretty cool.

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  3. I am hopelessly devoted to MAC's Studio Fix Powder, but you have got me intrigued with this BB Powder! I am really lazy when it comes to my own foundation, and I have really oily skin and am usually pressed for time when getting ready... I wonder if you can get this online and shipped to Canada? I originally refused to get into the whole BB craze, but this powder sounds really awesome!

    I am still contemplating whether or not I want to try Estee Lauder's BB Cream in Medium -- which is surprisingly dark for a BB Cream! I am an NC40, and it seems to match quite well... But I'm unsure of whether I want to use a non-powder face make-up...

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    1. Anything in liquid form will feel feel and look oily compared to powder. I should try Studio Fix and directly compare these two to see if it's worth the hassle of obtaining more of these from overseas! If it is better than Studio Fix, I can ask my friend to send me an extra for you as well. :)

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    2. Yes, please compare! :D

      You can always go to a MAC counter and get someone to try Studio Fix on your face and see how it sits for the day instead of buying a full product!

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    3. That's what I plan on. I cannot bring home another piece of makeup right now. Even if it is better than SilkyGirl, I wouldn't get the Studio Fix until I finish the SilkyGirl. :)

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  4. I've yet to jump on the BB cream bandwagon but it's on my beauty "to do" list. I've been deliberately holding back because the variety of BB creams in Australia isn't huge yet. I like the idea of the BB powder foundation because I'm always fan of powder over liquid formulas on my skin so I guess I know what I'm on the lookout for now!

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    1. I plan on trying one of the Canadian drugstore version of BB cream but I think I'll always prefer the fuller coverage of foundation. I've really been missing out re: powders!

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  5. I had no idea there were BB powders. How...odd. I feel like powders can't be true to their SPF rating, though, unless you pack that stuff on.

    I used to use Clinique's Almost Powder, which I liked. I have an Estee Lauder powder which is nice, too. Now I'm on MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, though, and I think this is my current favorite. :)

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    1. You know, I do pack it on enough that it can almost act as a physical shield! But it still looks like skin. I hope my skin continues to improve so I can get away with powder foundations from now on!

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  6. This sounds so intriguing; I thought that BB products only came in cream/foundation form. My first experience with a "BB" was with Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation, and I'm still on the fence about it - the samples I was sent weren't really my shade, so it kind of turned me off. Last week I picked up a tube of the new Garnier BB Cream, and while the coverage is all that it promises, I'm still not sold on the scent & texture. This sounds like something I would probably like to try - and naturally, it's not available here! Murphy's Law is still alive & well, it seems! Glad you found something that works for you!
    PS: Happy Valentine's Day, Liz! May you be filled with love today & every day! Hugs!

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    1. Happy belated V Day, Eugenia!! I hope you had a wonderful day. :)

      I've been reading great reviews about the Marcelle BB and have yet to see a rave over the Garnier, but to each her own, right? I will be giving the Marcelle a try eventually but I'm hoping the convenience of powder will win out!

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  7. I don't wear powder foundation, but my favorite setting powder (kind of the same thing -ish) is Rimmel Stay Matte. This sounds pretty magical though! Good thing you have a friend to CP it for you :) And I can't believe they carry more than one shade, I rarely see it. Or they'll carry two, but they're equally pale.

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    1. Yeah, my friend and I were shocked at the "wide" range of shades, lol. I think the darkest can suit me when I'm tanned, but that's probably NC40 at best.

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  8. I've never tried BB powder foundation before, nor have I seen it. I'm going to try find this when I go to Asia! My favorite BB foundation is still the Missha M Perfect cover - it's actually quite thick for a BB cream (even thicker than a lot of foundations I own) but the coverage is really good without feeling too heavy on my face.

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    1. I've never tried Missha M but that sounds good, too! I was prepared for this to be a subpar gimmicky crap but it's so great. I hope you can find it. :)

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  9. i totally lol-ed at the "formulated for asian skin" part haha i'm totally going to look for this when i go to asia now since i think i mite prefer powder foundations over liquid in general xD and with my oily skin and acne scars i totally need good coverage as well xD i'm curious to see if it'll be better than my studio fix powder :)

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    1. I need to get myself to a MAC and check out Studio Fix already! If I do and it's better than SilkyGirl, I'll do another post and save you the hassle of chasing this down.

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  10. Despite being *normally* an oilier skin type, I still find that I too frequently have flaky patches from my eczema to attempt to use powder foundation, unfortunately. It seems so easy and quick! There are some things I don't mind spending time on beauty-wise, and others I'd love to be fast and easy, and this is one of them. I'm still very much loving my NARS Sheer Glow however - it's definitely my go-to cold weather foundation, but I do not have a warm-weather formula that I can count on yet. Still looking! I'll have to take a look at the LM Oil-free - though I think I took a look at the shades once and couldn't find a match :(

    Great find though Liz, you always seem to do that! You have a knack for picking up stellar products!

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    1. You know, I don't think that you're oily at all. Maybe a little in the T-zone like a lot of people - but overall as a skin type, you seem more dry/combination than anything else. I can't imagine using a powder foundation if my skin were dryer.

      It's too bad that BB creams have such a horrible range of colour because I get the feeling that would be right up your alley.

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  11. Well now I was wishing I could try this (despite not being Asian), haha...this sounds like you've found a winner. Can't believe you're giving up your LM, that is still my go to foundation.

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    1. I know! I was a little sad but kind of glad to be saving $$$ since the LM costs 3x more than this. I still have the LM Tinted Moisturizer and Silk Creme to slug through, though.

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  12. I'm a total BB noob, I have only tried a couple of 'real' BB creams. I still don't know if they work for me or not. I'm totally intrigued by the powder form, wow! This needs looking into :)
    I'm a huge fan of powder foundations. Nude by Nature (Aussie Mineral makeup brand) changed my life about 3 years ago :D Now I'm using MAC Studio Fix powder, it is great. Also Palladio Rice powder is good stuff!

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    1. Me too, actually. I haven't even tried a real BB cream on my face - so shamefully unAsian. ;(

      I've really gotta get on the Studio Fix thing. I passed up Palladio Rice powders as they seemed rather messy.

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  13. Now you've got me wondering what does formulated for Asian skin really mean? It's going to keep me up at night, perhaps.

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    1. Personally, I think they just say that to sound more appealing to the market they're catering to - but it just means East Asian coloured! They totally exclude mixed heritage/Malay/South East Asians by doing that.

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    2. That's how it is though, there's that exclusionary attitude. That's sad. As an American I used to feel that foundation colors were catering to the Caucasian crowd. Everything I tried had a pink undertone, then the brands which focused on Asian skin tones came around and they had a yellow undertone. But I think pink doesn't suit most skin tones. So who are they catering to then?

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    3. They were catering to the Westerners but doing it quite badly! Just bad science and bad marketing. People are still confused about their colours and I don't think the searches and mistakes will ever end.

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  14. Thanks for letting us know about something inexpensive that works! Wish I'd bought this when I was in Malaysia! Thought I was over the "cheap" Silky Girl brand, but I remember loving their square powder compacts which were small and light and the powder was nice enough, great to keep in the bag for touch ups.

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    1. They're cheap but not super cheap like ELF or W&W. It's a bit on the pricey side for a drugstore brand, actually. But I get your sentiment. Every time I think I'm done with a brand, they release something good that actually works. Like Maybelline. A part of me really wants to say good bye to them but I just discovered their FIT Foundation is quite decent!

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  15. Hello, i think its a bit too late to ask, hmm, is this powder foundation work best on oily skin and long lasting? And is it sometimes fade in oily face? And also we don't have to apply face powder after that?

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    1. Hi, Anisa!

      I have very oily skin and without a primer it does get shiny after a few hours. But with a good mattifying primer underneath it, it takes about 4-5 hours before I have to blot my nose. I do think that it's best for normal or oily skin; the powderiness might not layer well over dry skin. I don't use setting powder after - I go straight to bronzer or blush. Then I just use blotting paper to touch up throughout the day.

      Hope this helps!

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  16. Ive seen this product recently at my watson too!im Sporean btw,i was pretty disappointed with the silkygirl bb cream that i almost nt gg anywhere near their counter.lol!so do u think this powder will outhold the humid here?now that u love this stuff so much;)

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    1. Hello! I miss Singapore so much. :D

      It's tough to find something that will last through the heat and humidity of your country. I didn't wear this while visiting there but knew most of my makeup was going to slide off with sweat by the end of a long day. Still, I think wearing the powder with a good mattifying primer (like my favourite Hourglass Veil Mineral) will stand the test fairly well. But the powder alone will NOT last. It's the pairing of the primer with it that makes the killer combination!

      Good luck and let me know if you try it and like it. :)

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  17. Now have refill.....new packing too :-)

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    1. Ooooh! I'll have to get my hands on it then. Thanks for the notice!

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