We’re kicking off my Ellana reviews with the Sheer Velvet Powder Primer** (460.00 Php for 6g) because I’ve actually owned and used this in the past. I had it way back when it was still called the Sheer Velvet HD Powder in “white chocolate” and it was packaged in a shallow pot with a silver lid. I remember reading reviews online and seeing that it was often compared it to the MUFE HD powder, which was 10x more expensive, so I went ahead and ordered it. For a long time it was my go-to setting powder, but as I was just starting to really get into the makeup at the time, I moved on to other things after a while.
At the risk of spoling the review early on, I will say that my reunion with Sheer Velvet was sweet. Ellana has improved on the packaging and spiced up the design, only adding to the value of the aptly-named soft, velvety powder inside.To begin, let’s have a look at the packaging. Sheer Velvet is housed in a sturdy plastic pot with a screw top lid. The base of the pot is covered by a plastic section with one hole through which the powder can be dispensed. If you’re familiar with loose mineral makeup, this type of packaging will not be new to you, except that there are usually multiple smaller holes that form more of a sifter. You have the option to just tap a brush into the area where the powder comes out onto or you can also pour some out onto the lid, where you can swirl your brush to pick up the product.
The new packaging is a big improvement from what I saw Ellana using in the past. An awesome product can absolutely be ruined by cheap packaging, so I’m glad that this plastic pot does not feel cheap at all. While Ellana’s products are incredibly affordable, that shouldn’t mean sacrificing quality, and I’m happy to say that this new packaging shows that the brand understands that.
As for the illustrations on the top of the lids (by Soleil Ignacio, btw)– I have to admit that I’m not partial to them. That is, however, a matter of personal taste and I have had so many people comment on how much they love the look of the packaging precisely because of the illustrations. My preference is for plain, modern packaging, but at the same time I don’t find my Ellana products offensive to look at in the least. A good number of them sit atop my vanity within sight (and reach), in fact.
And now to the white, soft powder that is the Sheer Velvet Powder Primer–yes, the last word in its name is “primer.” I was confused when I saw that at first, too. While Sheer Velvet is most often used to set makeup and absorb oil, it can also be used to prime the skin before applying another powder foundation. On bare skin, Sheer Velvet can prime in the sense that it smooths over pores and prepares the surface of the skin for yet another powder.
Sheer Velvet’s unique texture is what makes it possible to use it as a primer. It’s fantastic because it is so smooth and finely-milled that it creates a soft-focus surface with ease. The lack of pigment means that it does not, cannot, and will not leave a white cast on any skin tone. When applied to the skin, seems to melt right in and blend in instantly.
I like to use Sheer Velvet mostly to set liquid foundations, sunblocks, or tinted moisturizers that don’t quite lose their wet finish. I don’t get much oil control out of Sheer Velvet (I have an oily T-Zone), but it tones down the shine on my face without making my skin look too flat. Velvety is absolutely the word for the finish I can achieve when using this product.
You can use just about any powder brush to apply this powder, but I suggest picking one with not-too-densely-packed bristles and a broad top so that you can softly push product onto the skin. Photographed above is the Ellana Baby Buki brush– a perfect example of what I just described!
Here I’m wearing Sheer Velvet on top of MAC Face and Body foundation. You can still see a glow coming from my skin, but it’s definitely not the bad kind of shine. As promised, here’s a summary of my thoughts on the Sheer Velvet Powder Primer:
- Incredibly smooth, melts-into-your-skin texture
- Formulated without pigment, so one shade suits all
- Smooths over pores and blurs imperfections
- Did not irritate my sensitive skin
- Affordable at just 460.00 Php / approx. $11
- Free of preservatives, parabens, mineral oil, chemical dyes, and fragrance.
- Refills available on the Ellana website
- Contains silicone, i.e. Silicon Dioxide and Polymethylsilsesquioxane (only actually bad if you are sensitive to it)
- Does not control oil beyond a certain amount
- Difficult to control dispensation of product
- Not easy to travel with, i.e. not portable
And that’s it! The Sheer Velvet Powder Primer is for you if you are looking for a no-brainer finishing powder with a universally flattering finish. Ellana ships all over the Philippines and internationally as well.
Check them out at:
Also available inside The Ramp branches at Shangri-La, Trinona, and Glorietta.
* This product was provided to me free of charge. All opinions are my own and remain unbiased.
** Affiliate links used in this post.