I was really curious about translucent HD powders, but I wasn't ready to shell out $34 for Makeup Forever's Microfinish HD powder. Instead, I bought generic silica microspheres and an empty 30 gram jar from TKB trading to see if HD powders are worth the hype. I bought 1 ounce of silica microspheres for $4.95 and a 30 gram jar with sifter for $.90.
HD powders are very fine powders that are supposed to be invisible on the skin. Many on the market, like the ever popular Makeup Forever HD and the elf studio HD, are silica based and translucent. Loose HD powders are great for applying a thin layer of powder over the face before applying foundation (a la Wayne Goss), setting foundation without adding extra coverage, and touching up during the day. Silica powders are notoriously bad for flash photography, so I recommend staying away from them for special events.
The Makeup Forever HD powder ($34) is comprised of silica microspheres and the elf studio HD powder ($6) is comprised of silica microspheres and fillers. I would like to note that not all silica microspheres are created equal - as with all powders, there are different particle sizes and some are more finely milled than others.
I was curious about HD powders, so I decided to take a DIY approach and buy supplies from TKB. I bought the Silica Microspheres, $4.95 for 1 ounce, with a median particle size of 5 microns. I also bought a 30 gram jar with a sifter and matte black lid for 90 cents. After filling the jar with powder, there was plenty left in the bag for a refill (or two).
Let's start with the easy part - the jar. As expected, this is a plain ol' jar. There is absolutely zero special about it, but it does exactly what I wanted for an affordable price. I would definitely buy another if I needed it. For a size comparison, here is the jar with a L'Oreal True Match powder and a NARS blush.
I really ended up liking this powder. I use it regularly for setting undereye concealer and mattifying my foundation at the end of a work day. The texture feels silky and has a lot of slip. I do find that it lives up to the hype - it does absorb oil, mattify, and look invisible on the skin. I count this as a successful DIY makeup project!
Overall, I recommend going the DIY route for HD powders and was very satisfied with my TKB products. I would hesitate to call this a dupe for the Makeup Forever HD powder without knowing the particle size for their powder, but this product is a much more affordable alternative that does the job. I would recommend this over the elf studio HD powder because it doesn't contain any filler ingredients.