While visiting a favourite perfumery, only to try some expensive fragrances with a fellow scenthead, there was a Laura Mercier display at the cash register that caught my attention. A row of powders promising a luminous finish, with impressive swatching results. I didn’t buy one, but after seeing it on another blogger’s instagram feed I was convinced.
I’m not a powder girl, having had a brief and unfortunate love affair with ultra-matte skin when I was in high school. Something happened to my skin – having been covered in a sheen of grease for years, I’ve suddenly started experiencing dryness. Therefore, I’m evangelical about a dewy finish – so even though powder sets your base it can also be uncompromising on dry areas. This powder doesn’t even look like a powder. It gives your skin a gorgeous illuminated finish, much more vibrant and alive-looking than I usually expect of a powder product. It scatters and diffuses light beautifully. I wear the lightest shade, though it is available in six shades to suit most complexions.
The brand advises to use these with a powder brush as a setting or finishing powder, or with a denser brush for more intense application. I have only used this as a setting powder swept loosely all over the face using a synthetic powder brush, over tinted moisturizer. The powder is rather firmly pressed so it takes a bit of force to get enough on your brush. It’s not a “creamy” product by any means. In terms of formula, it’s nothing groundbreaking – mica, cornstarch, silicone, binding agents – all fairly standard stuff.
I can’t end this review without mentioning Hourglass. Obviously, this product bears an uncanny resemblance to their Ambient Lighting Powders. But you know what? I prefer these by far. I don’t own any Hourglass powders. I have swatched them though, and was surprised to see how shimmery, even chunky they were. The only shade I liked was “Dim Light”, and since that finish only came in a light beige… I decided I’d much rather spend my money on a brand that caters to a wide range of skin tones.
Pros: Wide shade range, beautiful luminous finish. Forgivingly sheer.
Cons: The powder is rather “stiff” so it takes a little elbow grease to get it on your brush.