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I'm fairly happy with the setting powder I'm currently using which is NARS loose powder. It gives me the coverage and oil control I need and still looks pretty natural. The only reason I strayed from it is because I heard excellent things about Laura Mercier loose setting powder and I'd tried products from the line before so thought it would be worth trying.
For £29.00 you get a 29g jar of powder with a plastic sifter type insert. The packaging as with all Laura Mercier products is pretty boring and unimaginative; I've never been a fan of the browny purple colour that the brand uses. I was quite surprised when this came to find that the product doesn't come with a puff, most of the higher end setting powders I've purchased always come with some sort of applicator so I was a bit disappointed with this. To use the product you have to turn the tub upside down and gently shake or tap to release a small amount of powder into the lid. I've been a little bit over enthusiastic on a couple of occasions and ended up dispensing a lot more product than I actually need and it's proved difficult to try and get the excess back into the tub without getting into even more of a mess. Generally the packaging is pretty simple though and I've found the screw on lid to be pretty secure and easy to keep clean.
I believe there are a couple of shades to choose from in the loose powder but I went with the Translucent which seems to be the most popular. This particular shade is designed to set make up without actually adding any colour to skin. In the tub it has a very pale beige tint to it with a slight yellow tone. I was actually quite pleased with this as I always tend to associate translucent powders with being really pale and white. When applied and blended into skin the colour disappears and what you're left with is a matt, even finish on skin. It's designed to be used over foundation/tinted moisturiser or it can be used on bare skin to take away shine and create a more uniform look. I almost always wear foundation and therefore use this as a setting powder for my base so what I expect this product to do for me is to hold my make up in place and prevent any shine.
It did deliver on the first of these things, over the top of Clarins everlasting foundation it seemed to work pretty well at mattifying and adding the finishing touch. It didn't cake or emphasise pores and I found it fairly easy to blend using a velour puff and powder brush. It did however look ever so slightly chalky despite the powder being super fine and soft. I also felt that my skin looked slightly paler after application even though it had blended well and looked almost invisible when I applied it to the back of my hand. The second thing I wanted this powder to do for me is to control any shine and it hasn't done a great job at this. After a couple of hours of wear I notice my t zone starts to get oily and I have to blot. This stuff doesn't actually promise to control oil or shine but it does promise to prolong the wear of make up and by letting the oilys come through I feel that it's not doing its job. Aside from the shine problems the product does wear quite evenly on others areas of my face that are more on the dry side; I haven't noticed any change in colour throughout the day and it doesn't cake or pool into pores which is a bonus.
Overall this isn't a bad product, I've definitely used worse in the past but I really was expecting more since the powder is so expensive. Admittedly you do get a large tub for your money and it does last a while but there are plenty of others out there with the same kind of quantity for less money. There are loads of raves and positive reviews on it so maybe it's just not suited to my particular skin type or maybe my standards are too high after using NARS? I think I'll be sticking to my usual face powder for now until I find something else to replace it with and I'll use up the rest of the Laura Mercier in between. I would recommend trying this if you have dry or combination skin but if you suffer with oily skin I'd go and test it first before shelling out almost £30.00 for it.
Available from Space NK, Harrods, Selfridges and strawberry net
Ingredients: (Translucent): Talc, Magnesium Myristate, Nylon-12, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Lauroyl Lysine, Methicone, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ultramarines (Cl 77007), Iron Oxides (Cl 77491, Cl 77492, Cl 77499).
As I've mentioned in previous reviews, I went on a hunt for good makeup before my wedding in December as I was getting married abroad and didn't trust the lady who was doing my makeup to do a good job and so I needed backup supplies. I'd read positive things about Laura Mercier makeup in general and so went to the counter in Selfridges, initially just to buy their foundation primer. However after having a bit of a makeover there I ended up buying quite a few products and this powder was one of them.
I've never really been a fan of makeup in a powdered form, either loose or compact, as I always find they block my pores and give a "caked on" appearance so it really would take something special for me to part with my money for one. The sales assistant convinced me that it was something a bit special by showing me exactly how good it was at keeping your foundation in place. She applied a line of bright red lipstick onto the back of my hand and rubbed it with her finger showing me how easy it was to smudge. She then drew another line and using a powder sponge lightly dusted the powder over the top of it. This time when she rubbed it the lipstick stayed put! Didn't smear or smudge it at all. I was impressed, if it could do that with lippy, imagine what it could do for my foundation! So she earned her commission and I bought some, along with a velour puff applicator that is recommended for use with this powder.
The powder comes in a black tub with a plastic insert with small holes in allowing a small amount of the powder to get to the surface. This is supposed to enable you to get the right amount on your brush or sponge without making a complete mess, something that I'm still yet to manage. I always seem to end up with powder all over the bed, the carpet, my clothes...is it just me?! Anyway the LM sales assistant told me to rock the velour applicator over the powder and then do the same motion over my skin after I'd applied foundation. Apparently doing it this way prevents that caked on appearance.
The powder comes in translucent, ivory and beige and I opted for the translucent as the lack of colour is what I wanted; I wanted it to purely set my foundation, not provide extra colour or coverage. The translucent powder is very pale and although it states that it's for any skin tone I do wonder if it would be too pale for darker skin so maybe the beige may be more appropriate for those with darker skin than me.
I applied the powder with the velour puff applicator as advised and the powder was very fine and light and just gave a light dusting onto my skin. After I'd finished applying I sat back and looked at my handy work in the mirror. You couldn't really tell I'd done anything but that was actually the effect I wanted.
It didn't look caked on, it didn't cling to dry patches of skin and didn't show up pores like so many other powders seem to do. I was also worried that applying the powder would make my skin look dull and minimise that pregnancy glow I'd finally managed to achieve but it didn't. The glow was still there! Hurrah! My skin was also left soft to touch, presumably because of the "finest French "cashmere talc" they claim is in there.
I used this product on my wedding day and true to its word, it kept my makeup in place all day. I used the Laura Mercier foundation primer as well on my big day but I have used the powder on other occasions without using the primer and still found it to be effective.
I'm not really sure if the velour puff was essential and maybe a cheaper alternative would have done the job, however it did work so I cant really complain. It can be washed to prevent slapping germs onto the skin and also means its really long lasting.
I paid around £28 for the powder and £10 for the velour puff from Selfridges which does seem quite a lot but it's lasted me ages as using the sponge means you don't need to use too much of it. I couldn't usually justify spending so much on cosmetics but as it was for my wedding I considered it worth the splurge. It is possible to get hold of a smaller version which is very convenient for travelling or great if you just want to try the product out.
For further information try the Laura Mercier website (www.lauramercier.com) but it's worth noting that you cannot buy the products direct from there as they only ship to America. Space NK, Harrods and Selfridges all sell the Laura Mercier range and a better deal may be available online.
Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder /