(SUQQU Clear Veil Powder in 101 Clear (refill))

In this post, which I wrote in 2007, I mentioned SUQQU’s Clear Veil Powder. It was launched in fall 2006 and became an instant sensation.

It is a semi-transparent pressed powder. According to SUQQU, the main function of this product is that it sets the foundation without altering the foundation color or leaving any powdered finish. It is also claimed to be able to cover pores and deliver an oil absorption effect.

(It is available in 101 Clear (matte) and 102 Clear Pearl (very slightly shimmery). The case, refill, and brush (similar to the flat powder brush of RMK’s Powder Foundation EX) are all sold separately.)

When I touch the surface of the powder, it feels like a piece of frosted soft plastic. I can’t hardly pick up any powder with my fingers. It does seem considerably different from nearly all the other pressed-powder products I have come across.

The application can be slightly tricky, and, over the last couple of years, I have noticed that the SUQQU sales assistants’ application techniques have changed. I remember they used to advise that we sweep the brush gently across the powder (as we normally would with any pressed powder), but it appeared to me then that the brush was not really able to pick up the powder this way. Now the sales assistants seem to apply a lot more pressure with the brush to sweep up the powder, which I think is the only way to pick up the powder from the pan.

When the powder is applied on the skin (after I apply my powder foundation), the particles are invisible. Therefore, it is certainly true that it is able to set the foundation without leaving any trace of it (no alteration of foundation color or powdered finish). What I see is that the finish of my powder foundation becomes a little more matte and that the appearance of pores is more blurred, and this is obviously down to the semi-transparent silicone particles.

The pore-diffusing efficacy is decent, but I do feel that the oil-control ability is somewhat on the weak side.

In my post two years ago, I mentioned that I imagined Clear Veil Powder would be a pressed-powder equivalent of a silicone-based liquid/gel primer (think Smash Box’s Photo Finish) and that it would probably work as a “post-primer” (something with the same purposes as those of a primer but applied after the foundation). After I have tried it, I do still think of the product in the same way. But I do find that I can also use it as a primer and apply it before my powder foundation, so the product is more versatile than I expected.

Whether Clear Veil Powder serves all of our needs would vary from person to person. If you have finally found a foundation that offers the perfect match with your skin tone and think all the loose/pressed powder products that you come across interfere with the perfect match, then this setting powder is definitely worth looking into. If you use a setting powder to diffuse the look of pores, then this product may work well for you too. But if you rely on a setting powder to keep you shine-free, then this might not be the product you are looking for.

Overall, I commend the design of the product. In Japanese cosmetics, there are a lot fewer multi-purposed products, and, especially within Japanese base makeup, it seems to be mostly about one product serving one very specific purpose.

As I was reminded of all the Japanese office/kitchen/storage gadgets that faithfully and effectively serve their sole duties, I think Clear Veil Powder is another prime example of this sophisticated simplicity of consumer product design that Japanese brands (not just beauty brands) excel at. It also exemplifies the unique quality of Japanese makeup that will always keep me curious and fascinated.

Related posts:

SUQQU Contour Shadows
(another example of a unique and specialized product)

SUQQU Spring 2009 Collection Review

My Personal Take on SUQQU