Product Review: RMS Beauty “Un”Powder

Want your skin to feel great and look polished and flawless? You must give the RMS “Un”Powder a try.

A few months ago when I saw RMS was coming out with a new product, I was all over it.  I ordered the “Un”Powder immediately and awaited delivery with high hopes. My first application was too heavy-handed, and I thought the product wasn’t for me.

Upon reflection, though, I thought, “This is RMS. I must be applying it wrong.” True that. This is something that I only need the teensiest bit of to make a big difference in my skin.

I’ve discovered that a little on my forehead and nose, on top of my mineral makeup, is spectacular. It feels crazy silky, keeps excess shine away all day, and is the only product I’ve ever used that makes my gigantic pores practically unnoticable.

The “Un”Powder is pure silica (which is not the same as silicone) and does not have a color, so it’s for any skin tone. I far prefer applying with a brush than the puff it comes with. If you want a veil-like effect from a powder, definitely experiment with this. I’ve tried mixing it half and half with my mineral foundation for light coverage, but I think that would work better in warm weather, or on someone with oilier skin or wanting a super matte look. I’m convinced that this could mattify the oiliest of skin. Be sure to use an applicator appropriate to the effect you want—always an important thing with minerals and powders. It’s hard to control the amount used with the included puff, so invest in a thick brush if you are going for a matte look, or a light, soft brush if you want to use just a little.

Okay, who has tried this?

36 Responses to “Product Review: RMS Beauty “Un”Powder”
  1. Elizabeth says:

    Rebecca, this product sounds great. I have purchased many powders because they are supposed to control shine, but find that they don’t. Also, are you still a fan of Evan Healy products? I was considering trying them. I have some mild redness on my skin that has improved due to some changes in my diet, but I’d still like to use some sort of regime that might help also.

  2. nancy says:

    Thank you Rebecca for another great review.
    You had me sold when you said this one makes pores practically disappear:)

    @ Alexandra, on your “face painting post”,
    Thanks for the suggestions… I’ve been enjoying products that were not getting any love at all :)

  3. fern says:

    Confession: I have this powder but have not tried it yet. I am waiting until my Make Up For Ever HD Finishing Powder runs out. The MUFE powder, however, is also 100% silica. It totally makes my pores look smaller, controls oil like nothing else (without drying!), and gives an airbrushed look (related to the minimizing pores thing). After finding silica, I will never use another finishing powder.

  4. staygold says:

    I, like Fern, was also using the MUFE Finishing powder, mostly just for under eyes when I do heavy glam going out eye makeup. I returned it to Sephora (they actually have THE BEST, most relaxed return policies FYI – I’ve returned things up to half used years later : / This came in handy when I was cleaning out and transitioning to clean stuff). Anyway, the RMS and MUFE are really quite similar – I *think* the MUFE has nanoparticles or something in it though, doesn’t it? From an application standpoint they feel exactly the same. So, I’m pleased with the powder!

  5. Alix says:

    I also like Tarte’s semi-clean “Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder”.

    Only ingredients are Silica, Kaolin, Lecithin, Lysophosphatidic Acid, Lysolecithin.

  6. Caitie says:

    I’ve read some great reviews of this product, but I didn’t realize it was just straight silica until now. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see myself spending that kind of money on a single ingredient product like this! You can buy silica microspheres from a supply company for just a couple dollars. Obviously I can’t speak to whether they’re identical to the RMS, but there have been a lot of comparisons done to the MUFE powder, which is also just silica.

  7. Audreiana says:

    Does this work like a translucent powder does to set makeup? I have really dry skin so I’m not the biggest fan of the matte look, I prefer the dewy look but a powder usually works to make my makeup last a little longer. I usually use a hydration spray after applying powder to get that dewy look but this powder sounds like it would work really well for oily skin. Thanks for the review. Xo, Audreiana from True Beauty By Nature

  8. Ally says:

    I’ve been using this powder for a few months now and love it. I have really sensitive and easily congested skin. It’s only a little oily in the t-zone (a new and very frustrating development, the result of using a clean, but foaming cleanser; rebalancing my skin is the name of the game here now). My favorite way to apply this powder is with a good fan powder brush. I find it gives me precision control to apply only enough exactly where I want it. I dust a little over my t-zone and chin and stay away from everywhere else on my face. I love it. It’s totally my secret weapon lately.

  9. Kalpana says:

    I ordered this powder few weeks back. It really works. I use it on my t-zone and sometimes to set my under eye concealer. It works great. I haven’t tried MUFE but this RMS power is one of the best I have used just because the finish is so undetectable and it does control any shine for hours. I agree that its best applied with fluffy brush.

  10. Ann says:

    Rebecca, would this work on oily eyelids, or it’s not good to use around eyes?
    I believe Silk Naturals also has a pure silica powder, for much less $. Rebecca, could you try out Silk Naturals products and post a review? There’s hardly any reviews at all on these, but they seem to have really good products.

  11. Lolly says:

    Caitie: I had the same issue with buying what is, essentially, sand. Then I broke down and bought it anyway and I love it. I think it’s sort of the same as buying products Formerly Known as Sprout. And the RMS Coconut Cleanser. Everyone raves about it and I’m like “it’s just coconut oil, people!” It’s all super-basic stuff that one could easily knock up in one’s own kitchen if one had an inclination. Except that most people do not have the time, nor inclination to buy ingredients in supply companies, find storage containers, etc. I think it’s possible that the RMS solica powder is much finer and/or smoother milled, but honestly, I’m not sure I care. It’s a lovely jar, it’s easy to use, so I feel like it’s worth the splurge. That said, I think you could probably replace it wih the generic stuff quite easily.

    Audreiana: it totally does. I used it on top of my RMS eyeshadow and it worked great to prevent creasing.

  12. Anna says:

    @Catie, yep, a lot of naturals are low-ingredient-count items that are marked up. DIYing is awesome!

  13. courtney says:

    I think I would like to give this a go… I have been using vapour foundation which is quite lovely, but my face is always oily halfway through the day. I have tried other setting powders but they always ended up making my makeup look cakey and creased. Does this last all day and not do this?

  14. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Elizabeth, I am a forever Evan Healy fan. That woman is a magical alchemist. I use Sea Algae Serum and her hydrosols daily and Pomegranate Serum occasionally. I haven’t tried her full lines but I know lots of people love her products for rosacea/redness.

    @Caitie, I see your point, and I do quite a bit of DIY. Sometimes, it’s more convenient to buy a brand I trust to source responsibly, whereas buying in bulk I’m not always as confident in quality or responsible sourcing. Plus if I order from that company anyway (as I do from RMS) it’s great to keep down shipping charges.

    @ Audreiana, yes, I use it like any powder to set, and I’m generally dry/sensitive so I use it very sparingly.

    @Ann, I haven’t tried it like that (I’ve been using the RMS luminizer around my eyes lately) but I’m sure you can use it around eyes like you would any powder – just with the usual care you’d use around eyes. I’m not familiar with Silk Naturals, but a quick peek at their website shows they do have some vegan stuff I’d consider trying – looks like a mica/silica mix is available.

  15. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @courtney, my experience is it lasts all day with no creasing or caking.

  16. Sandra says:

    You wrote: Silica is not silicon. But, silica is SILICON DIOXIDE (SiO2).

    Thanks for the review. I love RMS Illuminator, but do not like silica on my face. So, this product is not for me.

  17. Sarah C. says:

    I’ve used RMS coconut cleanser in the past and was not a big fan but I’m currently using the eye shadow in “lunar”, the living luminizer, and “un-cover-up” with good success. I just bought the “un-powder” about 2 weeks ago after reading really great reviews about it on Spirit Beauty Lounge. I’m so glad I purchased it! I have combination skin, am prone to cystic adult acne, and have a VERY oily T-zone. I’ve been applying the powder with the “puff” applicator it came with just in my T-zone area since I bought it. I’ve never used anything like this powder before, it keeps the shine away pretty much all day. No need to keep blotting with the tacha blotting papers I usually carry around. I’ve been really happy with this powder and will definitely purchase again!

  18. Kate says:

    I’m curious…but I’m also addicted to Tarte’s Clay Finishing Powder. Great stuff, and I can get it at Ulta. But if anyone can do a comparison I’d love to hear!

  19. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Sandra, I referred to silicone, which comes in a variety of forms and is commonly used in hair and skin products. I wanted to distinguish this product from the controversial silicones that we’ve talked about on this site.

    @Sarah, I’ve had the same experience – I don’t think I’ve used my Tatcha papers at all since I started using unpowder!

  20. AKM says:

    As much as I love Rose Marie & am a devoted fan of lip2cheek & luminizer, this product to me is a case of Emperor’s New Clothes (although I do see Rebecca’s point about responsible sourcing). You can get an identical product at Coastal Scents for a fraction of the cost. No it doesn’t come in a lovely container, but for the price, I’ve re-used the container from my Jurlique powder (the best travel/powder container ever invented) and am happy as a clam with small pores & no shine :-)

    The Jurlique powders are also lovely, a more complex ingredient list, but definately worth looking into for an experience. And the scents are very mild, not overbearing.

  21. Amy says:

    I thought that the entire reason RMS un-powder was so special was because it is a silica that is cut spherically so that it is not harmful to inhale and doesn’t do micro damage to your lungs, etc. I believe it is the only spherically cut silica out there. I mean. ANYWHERE. All the other silicas have hard edges and are more dangerous to inhale.
    Why wasn’t this mentioned? Is this valid?

  22. Naomi says:

    @ Elizabeth – I was recently diagnosed with rosacea and switched to Evan Healy and cannot say enough about how great the results are! I’m using the Blue line cleanser, the pomegranate serum and the Immortelle hydrosol twice daily, plus alternating between the blue cammomile day cream and the whipped shea butter with olive cream. I had proper weeping blisters on my face along with the redness and sore, dry, cracked skin and noticed an improvement in a matter of days. I would recommend EH for anyone with sensitive skin.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    @Naomi – Thank you so much for sharing your regime. I am definitely going to give these products a try. Thanks again!!

  24. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Amy, RMS mentions on the website that their silica is spherically cut to avoid irritation, but I have never seen a claim that they are the only ones who have spherical silica. Coastal Scents has a product called “silica powder spheres.” I am familiar with RMS and trust them to provide a quality product that is what they claim it is, so I’m willing to spend the money. I’ve not yet tried silica powder from any other source.

  25. Jaime says:

    I love a few of my RMS products, but this one I’m not sure about.
    I too thought silica was dangerous to inhale?

    What’s next, cocoa powder in a jar and they call it bronzer?!

  26. Lisa says:

    @Elizabeth Just another vote for Evan Healy FOREVER from this redness-prone, sensitive-skinned, eczema-troubled girl. I have lots of inflammation that her Blue Line has tamed! I use the Blue Lavender Cleansing Milk, the Immortelle hydrosol, the Rosehip serum, and when not indulging in Patyka’s Bioliftin (so amazing), I use the day cream. After reading Rebecca’s review, I tried the Algae serum and I love it! The tightening is great and it has made my skin amazing. So much love for EH!

    Thanks Rebecca for all the reviews – as someone who samples waaaay more products than someone with sensitive skin should, I appreciate the trials and find your recommendations really useful.

  27. Rebecca Bailey says:

    On the issue of safety, I haven’t seen any evidence of the type of silica in this product being any more dangerous to breathe than any other mineral cosmetics (if anyone has a link please post it). It’s never good to breathe in small particles. There is, however, plenty of evidence that the sharp silica dust one would encounter as an occupational hazard over long periods of time in certain industries is potentially life threatening. I believe that’s why RMS makes a point of saying their silica is spherical.

  28. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Jaime, ha! Yeah, RMS charges one first born child for their coconut oil too. I had to try it just to see, and it is very nice quality. But I’ll keep buying that sort of thing from the grocery store.

    @Lisa, always glad to help, especially a fellow sensitive girl!

  29. Kara says:

    The only problem with “HD” silica powders (such as MUFE) is that with flash photography they show as white. Really white. So while they look great on film or in person, if you are in a situation where there will be flash photos, I would not use them.

  30. marlene says:

    Quality quality quality….yes, there are synthetic silica’s out there and there are poor quality ones out there for sure. Are they labeled that…no. I contacted RMS and their silica is 100% natural and from Japan and is superior over other silica’s that is why the price is higher. There are different qualities of everything in the beauty biz so people need to keep that in mind. Theirs is also NOT coated in Silicon. Silicone is what leaves the white residue. Theirs doesn’t. I am a fan

  31. Michele says:

    34$ for a one-ingredient product? I’m sure it’s very pure but it’s starting to get a bit ’emperor’s new clothes’ if you ask me. I’ve never tried this product but you can get amazing veils, powders, etc for like 1/4 the price. It just bothers me because people see this and think you have to be rich to go natural, and you don’t.

  32. Lauren D says:

    Here’s the safety sheet for the Coastal Scents product:

  33. Late to the party, but I just read this review and I absolutely love this powder! It has made my life easier, really. My T-Zone tends to get pretty shiny, and in Summer it can get a complete mess! This powder keeps me matte (but not dry-looking) all day long.

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