Hey everyone! Today I wanted to talk about a big-ticket item that a lot of beauty gurus rely on as a staple product in their collection. It feels like I can’t go on YouTube without someone mentioning the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder ($38). During the Sephora VIB Sale last November I picked up a jar of this powder along with the Laura Mercier Velour Puff ($15). After trying it for several months I think I’m finally ready to give my verdict on this product.
Yep. You read that right. This $38 loose powder, the holy grail of so many makeup lovers scores just “meh” in my book. Before we continue, keep in mind that this is just my personal experience with this powder! If you love this powder and this is your holy grail, I’m glad! It must work for a lot of people if it’s so popular! But for this combination-skin girl, it was less than ideal.
Why the cult following?
Okay, let’s start by talking about how Laura Mercier came to be the go-to brand of loose powder. For one, it is incredibly finely milled. It’s one of those powders were if you dip your fingers into it and rub them together, the powder doesn’t totally go away. It sticks and creates a super smooth surface on the skin. It’s soft as silk. A lot of people say they like it for oil control, or for setting under eye concealer. For me the biggest draw was that it had absolutely zero flashback in photographs. If you’ve ever used one of those pure white loose mineral powders, you know what those can look like in flash photography.
You see the white cast in the left of the picture? That’s what the NYX Studio Finishing Powder ($10). It causes crazy flashback. On the right there’s the Laura Mercier Powder, no flashback.
The Laura Mercier Powder is translucent, but as you can see it does have a beige tone to it. They just recently brought out a medium-deep shade, so if you have darker skin and think this would look ashy on you, you’re in luck! The beige color helps minimize flashback, along with the ingredient list (I’ll make a separate post about what to look for ingredient-wise – keep your eyes peeled this Sunday). In theory, this should be an excellent powder.
This powder just doesn’t look quite right on me. I’ve tried it a number of different ways, and I just can’t seem to get it to look good on me! I tried using it to bake, since that seems to be the most popular use for it on YouTube. It made my under eye look dry, flaky, and sunk into every fine line I didn’t even know I had! Ok, so I tried going in with a light hand and just setting my under eye concealer. Better, but still a little too dry for my liking.
So how about all over the face? First I tried taking a little bit on the velour puff and patting it into my skin. Again, it sunk into all my fine lines and just looked cakey as heck on me. I tried going in with a big, fluffy brush and using the tiniest amount possible. Sometimes it looked okay, but other times it was a cakey mess. Even after I put on setting spray, it still looked out of control powdery.
How about just on oily zones? I tried both the puff and a brush and ended up with the same result: oil peeking through within hours. It was doing nothing to control my oily zones, and managed to look horribly cakey around my nose within just a few hours.
Honestly, this powder has proven to be an expensive and ultimately fruitless experiment! I don’t think I’ll be using this powder again, as I can’t guarantee it will look good. I wouldn’t recommend this product to combination skin folks! I feel like it emphasizes my dryness and also emphasizes my oiliness, so I can’t win!
I wouldn’t just leave you all without some alternatives though! I’m going to list a few powders I do like and that may be good alternatives for you!
It looks like this is a Walmart exclusive, but if you have a Walmart near you it’s totally worth it to pick this up! Of all the powders in this collection, I would say this is the most like the Laura Mercier powder in terms of how it feels. I don’t like it for baking, as I think it emphasizes my dryness, but a quick dusting to set concealer or all over the face is beautiful! I love the finish and think it’s a great, much cheaper alternative to the Laura Mercier product. The only downside is that, true to form, L’Oreal has heavily perfumed this product with their grandma-rose-perfume scent. I don’t mind it (I actually kind of love this scent), and I can’t smell it once it has been applied, but if you don’t like scents I would recommend staying away from this one.
This is my favorite loose powder of all time. It’s 1/10th the price of the Laura Mercier powder and a million times better looking on the skin. I can bake, set my whole face, lightly set concealer, the works. It’s finely milled and doesn’t cause any flashback, and it doesn’t sink into fine lines. I can’t sing this product’s praises enough! I highly recommend you try out this powder if you’re in the market for something new!
Left to Right: Laura Mercier, L’Oreal, NYC, and a Revlon Pressed Powder I want to talk about in a separate post! All of these were patted on top of my Clinique Beyond Perfecting foundation.
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