The NARS Translucent Crystal setting powders received a ton of attention in 2013, but the price point was generally what made me hesitant to purchase. I actually ended up receiving the loose version for Christmas, and was really excited to be able to give a product with this good of a reputation a try without worrying about the money. The Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder is advertised to perfect the appearance of skin by softly blurring pores and fine lines while setting and prolonging the wear of makeup.
NARS offers loose and pressed versions of the translucent powder. While the pressed version is more convenient, the loose version actually comes with more product and is a little bit more matte. Both versions cost $35. They can be set foundation and concealer, helping to prevent creasing, boost oil control and makeup longevity, but I noticed that the website specifically pointed out that it can be used to set the makeup around the inner corner of the eye and lash line. I’d never thought to try that before and thought it was a nice tip.
My first impression of this powder was that it was definitely nice, but I wasn’t sure it was spectacularly superior to another translucent loose powder in my stash, the L’Oreal Translucide Naturally Luminous Loose Powder, which costs around $12 for 0.5 oz (0.15 oz. more than NARS). In fact, the two provide a pretty comparable look and effect on the skin. They look different in the jar and feel different when I touch them with my finger, but they both have a soft look and have very fine shimmer visible in the jar that gives that very subtle luminosity to the face. The NARS powder is a little better at blurring pores, but it also has a stronger white color.
So at first I was really questioning whether the NARS powder was in fact worth the splurge, because all of its advertising seems to be based on that finish that it gives. However, when I started alternating between using the two powders on different days, I’ve come to realize that I think the real strength of the NARS powder is how it wears throughout the day. Simply put, it helps with oil control and keeps foundation looking fresher for longer. Because of this, it’s become my go-to powder when I’m getting ready for a particularly long day. It’s not the only powder that’ll wear this well (my DreamWorld Hermetica powders also wear really well, for example), but it’s an easy decision that I don’t have to think too much about, and that’s nice.
Above, I’m wearing the powder on top of a mixture of L’Oreal True Match (review) and Revlon ColorStay Whipped liquid foundations. If you’re curious, I’m also wearing Buxom Sculpted Lash mascara and the Maybelline Master Hi-Light in Light Bronze (review) on my cheeks and eyes.
One little gripe is that for $35, NARS didn’t even throw in a little powder puff. I don’t always reach for powder puffs when applying powder, but an additional function that they serve in a loose powder pot is that they help it from becoming a giant mess. A puff designed to fit atop the pot sifter will help keep powder in should the jar get jostled or knocked around a little bit, which is pretty helpful when the sifter can’t be closed. The L’Oreal Translucide powder comes with a puff, and I use it every once in a while, but I always keep it in the jar. You always have the option of throwing out the puff if you don’t want it, but I’d rather they include it if the sifter isn’t able to close. C’mon, it’s cheap.
The Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder is free of fragrance and parabens, and includes glycerin and vitamin E to help guard against dryness and help keep skin comfortable all day. NARS is cruelty-free, though its parent company, Shiseido, is not. It’s a good product, although kind of expensive. If dropping $35 on a powder doesn’t faze you, then I don’t think you’d regret picking this one up, as it’s a great all-rounder. On the other hand, I really don’t think you have to pay this much in order to get a good powder.
Have you tried the NARS Light Reflecting powders? What’s your favorite go-to powder?