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This product was another of the things I had to test in my kit for the book 21st Century Beauty Bible (due to be published Christmas 2005 I think). So as Ive used it and evaluated it for the book I might as well share my thoughts here too.
ELIZABETH ARDEN FLAWLESS FINISH LOOSE POWDER
The only other thing I have in the Elizabeth Arden range is the Green Tea foot scrub, which is gorgeous, but I really didnt know what to expect when I saw this in my kit as Ive no experience with their makeup. I also have very little experience with loose powder because in the past Ive found it to look too set and so stayed away from it.
The packaging of this product really couldnt be improved on, and is much more sophisticated than most other loose powders I have seen - just because its a makeup essential (for some people) doesnt mean it has to look boring. Its perfect for what it is and not so big that it takes up most of your makeup bag although its obviously not tiny either. Its a minimalist modern looking frosted pot, which could be mistaken for frosted glass from a distance, but thankfully its plastic. Its not only attractive though, its well designed for its function. If you unscrew the glossy black lid youll find a decent sized powder puff for application (you can either use this or a big fluffy powder brush of your own), and under that youll find a plastic divider between the powder and the lid (with a hygienic seal when you buy it) which has lots of holes in it to dispense a reasonable amount of powder. As long as you place it on an even surface when youre using it, youre unlikely to tip the whole pot over the floor.
I think that loose powder has the potential to be the messiest makeup item in your bag, but I didnt have any disasters with this pot. It was easy to use with both the puff or a fluffy brush of my own or the puff followed by the brush to dust off the excess, and it wont leak into your makeup bag because its got that sturdy screw top lid. I found that with the puff I could get a flawless complexion (yes, honestly) because it applied slightly more onto my skin, but I didnt think that that looked too great because I looked a bit like a mannequin. If I used a brush on its own then less seemed to stay on my skin but it was a better look in my opinion. Due to the light reflecting particles (Mica) contained within this powder the best results are achieved by dabbing the powder on rather than rubbing it into your skin. I found that if I gently dabbed some on my face with the puff and then dusted the whole of my face to remove all the excess powder this was the best look. It left me with a flawless but almost nude looking complexion - it does waste a bit more of the powder than required but I think its worth it for the result. The powder seemed to blend itself with very little effort required on my part. It didnt make too much mess either, although I still wouldnt recommend applying this in the clothes youre intending on going out in Id wait until its done to dress.
I really liked the texture of this powder because it seemed very finely ground, and the shade (Medium/02) seemed almost identical to my olive skin tone. Whether I was just lucky I dont know, but this powder is quite lightweight so Id imagine itd suit all medium skin tones. Once on your face it wasnt visible that you had little particles on your face as it can be with some powders which arent so good. To look in the mirror the powder looked really silky and slightly radiant, but it wasnt especially soft if I touched my face. Something that is not unique to this powder but is worth mentioning: powder will accentuate any bits of dry skin that youve got on your face something that I didnt like because the dry bits werent noticeable without the powder.
Certainly. The powder gave me a flawless matte appearance which stayed put right up until I decided to remove it in the evening. I dont have a big problem with makeup disappearing from my face but I do think that this stayed more matte throughout the day than other powders Ive used, so this might be worth bearing in mind for anyone with a combination/slightly oily skin.
Despite the powder giving a flawless and long lasting result, I actually didnt feel much like I was wearing makeup. I dislike the heavy feeling you get when youve slapped on foundation and powder, but with just moisturiser and this on top I felt almost natural.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
£16.50 for a 28g pot, which I would imagine would last a LONG time because you only need a minimal amount to achieve the flawless effect. This will be available from anywhere where they have an Elizabeth Arden counter like bigger Boots shops and large department stores.
At the moment I prefer a slightly dewy tinted moisturiser look, so I dont like looking matte. However, if I used loose powder then without a doubt Id be using this one because its the best one Ive come across (although admittedly thats not all that many). So if youre a firm believer in powdering your face to set your makeup, this could well be an essential buy! The only thing I could say on the downside is that I dont think itd be great for anyone who suffers from dry skin on a regular basis as it will highlight that fact.
I always use a loose powder to set my makeup and leave me nice and matte. I needed a bunch of new stuff at Christmas, and rather than buying my usual Guerlain, I went for an Elizabeth Arden foundation and this powder, because they had a great special offer going. First thing to note is that the packaging is not great. There's a plastic thing like you get on packs of bacon over the little sieve which I ended up breaking through with a pair of nail scissors and trimming to fit the edge; there didn't seem to be any other way to remove it without dumping powder all over the floor. And the swish black box containing the powder is nice and solid, but the swish black lid has all the integrity of a digestive biscuit. Within a week it had cracked and wouldn't go on any more. The container's very shallow, and it's easy to spill the powder. About half a week later, all the skin on my nose cracked as well. A visit to the beauticians with a list of all of my makeup later, I stopped using it, and within a week I stopped looking like something from a Hammer Horror. This, I decided, was a good thing. When I was using it, I noticed that I didn't stay matte for very long. It doesn't have a great smell, and it's not that finely milled. Try Guerlain instead.