I've been searching for a good foundation setting powder that blends coverage and mattifying properties in an easy to use formula for years. Literally. And so far, my search has been inconclusive. But, I think I've found a pretty good option (not a holy grail status option, but a good option). It's MAC's Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, $26 at maccosmetics.com.
I know the idea of setting foundation with foundation seems silly. But I'm always looking for more coverage and I figured that a foundation would have more lasting power than a regular powder, and probably more mattifying power. This foundation comes in a round, palm-sized compact with a mirror in the lid and a sponge concealed in a compartment under the powder. The powder comes in the usual MAC shades and has no SPF.
As far as the packaging goes, I am very pleased with it. It clicks closed with a really satisfying sound (I know that's weird, but it makes me so happy), you get a great amount of product, and the mirror is very helpful. I don't understand the sponge, to be honest, but if you like sponges it's a convenient way to apply your powder on the go.
Now, for the product itself. I hate powder foundations and matte finishes, so I haven't applied it as such (this definitely has a matte finish). I see how it could be a good powder foundation, and it certainly has good coverage. It is highly pigmented, which is great for me because I've been applying it only on my t-zone, and it helps with my nose redness. What I do with this is use a big, fluffy brush and pat it down my t-zone where I'm oiliest. The coverage is easy to build, and it keeps my foundation and concealer lasting and staying fresh for much longer than they did before. I've heard that this breaks a lot of people out, but I haven't experienced any issues with that in the 2 weeks that I've used it. With my last pressed powder, I had to reapply at least 4 times a day. Here, I can reapply maybe once or twice and still not look like an oil-slick.
Long story short: this a pigmented, high-coverage pressed foundation that will keep you matte for at least a few hours and set your makeup nicely. I don't know if I would use it as an actualy foundation, but as a setting powder I think it's fabulous.
Awkward Chic rating: A-. If it kept me matte all day it would get an A, but as is it's a pretty fantastic product.
Images from thisnext.com, firstimpressionsbeauty.blogspot.com.