Dupe Diaries: The Make Up For Ever Ultra HD vs Catrice Nude Illusion Powder

It's easy to draw a comparison between the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Powder (~P2,500) and the Catrice Nude Illusion Loose Powder (P599). Their acrylic packaging is so similar and the white, fine powders inside appear to be exactly the same, visually. But do they work the same way? Let's find out!

The Make Up For Ever HD Powder is the OG when it comes to HD powders that are designed to make skin look flawless in the age of high definition cameras. It's ultra-fine; because of its 100% micro silica content, it can fill in pores and fine lines effortlessly. You can't use too much of it. Seriously, using too much will look like you have an Instagram filter at 100% but in real life! That's not as appealing as in photos. A tiny amount goes a long way so you have to be careful about how much you pick up.

Many, many look-alike powders followed in its wake. They are much cheaper but are they the same? Not at all, at least in the case of the Catrice Nude Illusion Loose Powder. Its main ingredient is aluminum starch and talc*. It does mattify skin and make it appear smoother, but not at the level that the MUFE can achieve. Its texture is more coarse and definitely not as fine as MUFE. Here's a side by side comparison:

The Ultra HD is practically invisible; I can't build up the texture here. The Nude Illusion has a coarser texture.

The Ultra HD is practically invisible; I can't build up the texture here. The Nude Illusion has a coarser texture.

The Nude Illusion mattifies wonderfully,  and improves skin texture instantly. It does look flat though.

The Nude Illusion mattifies wonderfully,  and improves skin texture instantly. It does look flat though.

The Ultra HD enhances my makeup look rather than flatten it. It's like an invisible filter for the skin!

The Ultra HD enhances my makeup look rather than flatten it. It's like an invisible filter for the skin!

How about oil control? Both powders help control oil, but I'd say Catrice does it better since you can use quite a bit of powder, therefore there's more of it that can absorb oil during the day. Since you need to use only a tiny amount with MUFE, it delays oil by only an hour or so versus Catrice, which can help delay oil for about two hours. The MUFE HD Powder is really for that poreless, matte, camera-ready look. The Nude Illusion is more for daily mattifying.

In terms of packaging, the MUFE has a fine net sifter to prevent your brush from picking up too much powder. The Catrice has your typical plastic sifter with holes; I do recommend removing only half of the sticker cover. I just use the normal amount of powder though. I can be pretty liberal with the application, unlike with MUFE.

Verdict

There's nothing quite like the high of finding an immensely cheaper dupe of a cult beauty product. Unfortunately, I may disappoint you this time because for me, the expensive (yet totally ~amazing~) original gangster powder is the winner here! I love how flawless my skin looks when I set my makeup with the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Powder. It doesn't add any coverage to my makeup, thus keeping it dimensional instead of giving it a flat matte finish. I can see why this is a makeup artist staple!

The Catrice Nude Illusion Loose Powder for me isn't quite a dupe. I have many similar powders like it - just check out the list we made previously. That's not to say that it's bad. It's great for everyday wear and oil control, and the price is friendly. You won't be disappointed with it.

Let me know what you think, as always!

*There is a debated correlation between the use of talc and ovarian cancer but the studies only cover talc used in the genital area. Here's a good read about the Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuit.

Ingredients of Catrice Nude Illusion Loose Powder:

ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, TALC, DISODIUM EDTA, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, METHYLPARABEN, ETHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, BUTYLPARABEN.

Ingredients of Make Up For Ever UltraHD Powder: Silica  

Catrice may be purchased in Watsons and SM Beauty Stores. Make Up For Ever is available in Mega Fashion Hall, Greenbelt 3, TriNoma, and SM Mall of Asia.