Monday, February 18th, 2013

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder ($34.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described as a “weightless, translucent powder” with a “soft matte finish that looks luminous in any light.” It looks stark white in the pan, and there’s a definite sheen; a pearly finish that certainly reflects light. The texture of the powder is very unique; I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like it. It almost feels like a cream and powder hybrid–not just a cream-to-powder product–but the texture has the smoothness of a cream but the thinness and dryness of a powder. Because of this texture, you really need to swirl and swish your brush across the surface (if you use a brush) to loosen the product.

I primarily used a powder brush to apply the product (I liked the results of MAC’s 134 best), and the powder, while it can swatch more heavily and look white and almost chalky, disappears and holds true to its translucency claim applied to the skin. There’s no powderiness in the pan or as seen on the skin. It absolutely softens and smooths out the skin’s texture and appearance. There is a faint reflective quality as an overall glowing sheen but doesn’t translate as visible sparkle or obvious particles.  It extended the wear of my foundation by an hour or so–I have normal-to-dry skin.

Even though it’s titled a setting powder, it feels more like a finishing powder, though the category is, frankly, one that I always feels blends together/overlaps where the two are often more alike than not. In that vein, Guerlain Wulong has a similar sheen and coloring, but Wulong has a stronger shimmer-sheen finish, so it gives skin a more luminous (“glowy”) appearance. We are talking degrees, not canyons, of difference, though. It has more of a sheen to its finish than Hourglass Diffused Light, which I reviewed yesterday.

One thing I noticed about the Pressed version is that you have to be really good about the brush or tool you use to apply it, because the surface of the powder doesn’t seem to react well to anything liquid/moisture/cream. It was really imperative to wait for my foundation to dry before brushing this on, because any smidgen of foundation caught on the brush (which I only used for applying the setting powder) would slightly harden the surface of the pan. There’s a very thin sponge included with the powder, and it works for application, but I found it dirtied very quickly and resulted in far more foundation transfer into the pan than preferable.

I will be reviewing the Loose version shortly after this, and while I prefer the look of the Pressed over the Loose, I really don’t like how touchy the surface of the pressed powder is and find the Loose one is easier to apply and maintain. Also worth noting: the pan of this is on the smaller size at only 0.24 oz., though physically it seemed rather large (even the Loose version has 0.35 oz.).

The Glossover

P
product

Translucent Crystal

A

There's no powderiness in the pan or as seen on the skin. It absolutely softens and smooths out the skin's texture and appearance. There is a faint reflective quality as an overall glowing sheen but doesn't translate as visible sparkle or obvious particles.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (right)

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose (left) / Pressed Setting Powder (right)

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
Foundation Only (Guerlain Parure de Lumiere) / Loose (left half of second photo), Pressed Setting Powder (right half of right photo)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Sephora, $34.00.

Is it limited edition?

No.

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58 thoughts on “NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Avatar of Precious Precious

    I was waiting for your review on this, but I think I prefer the loose version. Phew! That was a long one. Thanks, Christine. :D

  2. Avatar of Gena Gena

    I think this one looks much more flattering than the previously-reviewd Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder. I just might buy it! Thanks for the review. :)

  3. Dory

    This is totally on my to-buy list!

  4. Would you recommend it for oily skin with some acne scars? Although it does get covered by my concealer I feel like wearing any kind of illuminator or light reflecting anything (powder, primer etc) makes the uneven skin more prominent but I would want to try it since I use matte skin products and sometimes I look too flat :/

  5. I love how this looks on your face! It’s such a soft focus. It’ll be hard trying to decide between the Hourglass Ambient Light Powders and this!

  6. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    I’m a bit conflicted about whether to buy the loose or pressed form of this. I’m reluctant to get both as I have so many setting powders on the go and none of them is even close to being used up. Pressed is so much more practical but if this one is temperamental, I might opt for the loose and deal with the messiness. So I’m eagerly awaiting your review of the loose formula too. Can you say how this compares to the pressed version of MAC’s Prep+Prime powder? Have you tried that one?

  7. Megan

    Your skin looks so amazing with this. I love a healthy glow. Currently I use Guerlain Meteorites to set my makeup and it gives me a slight glow. I want to try this as well.

  8. Oh, it looks good! Not too matte, nowhere near chalky, but not too glowy or shiny either. I think that the loose version might be more my cup of tea though, so I look forward to a review of that!

  9. Avatar of Emi Emi at Project Swatch

    This looks really lovely on you! When I swatched it in store though, I was startled by how shimmery/ sparkly the powders were. I guess it just disappears when applied on the face?

  10. Avatar of Anne Anne

    I swatched it today at Sephora, and it seemed very interesting! The texture surprised me (in a good way), too bad it seems touchy.

    This is off-topic Christine, but do you know if you’ll be reviewing Chanel Santal and Beryl Le Stylos? I’m debating on getting one or both, and I was wondering if I should wait on Temptalia’s endorsement!

  11. How does this compare to MUFE HD Microfinish powder? It looks very similar.

  12. Marissa Gonzalez

    Ahhh been waiting for this review! Good to hear it’s got nice qualities to it. Do you know if this translucent powder has the “flash back” effect?

    • It didn’t seem like it to me when I used flash photography on it, but I don’t really notice that problem with a lot of powders and foundations (including foundations with SPF 15 and the like)!

  13. Avatar of Elyse Elyse

    I’ve been so waiting for you to review this. I’ve really wanted the Wulong, but that price! This is way way more in my price range and kept hearing great things. So glad that you loved it– now I feel more confident about buying it!

  14. Avatar of Amanda Amanda

    I have Guerlain’s Parure de Lumiere! Expensive but I love it, it makes me look dewy without becoming oily

  15. Daniella

    Hi Christine – how would you compare this to the Hourglass product you just reviewed?

  16. Lydia

    Hi Christine! When you say “right side” or “left side”, do you mean your right/left in the photo or the viewer’s right/left? Sorry for the stupid question.

  17. AnitraC

    Do you think this powder will give you a “ghostly” look in photos with flash? Like if you are out at night? I’m still looking for a great powder that doesn’t go that . Thank You!

    • I didn’t have it do that to me when I tried flash photography!

    • Leila

      I heard from another review a couple of weeks back that these powders are actually specifically formulated so that they don’t look ghostly in flash photography. Considering that, I think these should probably be at the top of your list for photography purposes!

  18. It looks like a lovely setting powder and it looks great on your skin, but I think I might like the look of Hourglass a bit more.

  19. Avatar of Anna Anna

    I think you look amazing in the photos but I actually think it looks better without the powder. There is shine without the powder.I always try to add shine to my face.

  20. Debbie

    I have this powder compact and absolutely love it… I would like to also invest in the loose version as well…

  21. My same thoughts on the loose version apply to this one :) I think I’d personally go with the loose powder, but for some reason the pressed looks really interesting/unique in the pan… I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a powder that looks quite like it before

  22. Naz

    Oooh. Always on the lookout for a good translucent powder and a big NARS fan.

  23. Lucy

    Would you recommend this or the loose version to set concealer under the eyes?

  24. Avatar of Christine Christine

    Which did you like better – this or the Hourglass Ambient Light product?

  25. This is what I have been looking for! I wonder when it would be available in the Philippines…

  26. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    I swatched this at Sephora last week, and fell in love, instantly. However, I have so many “face” products to get through, so it’ll have to wait a bit… I actually plan to pick up both the pressed & loose powders, as well as foundation & concealer.

  27. Avatar of Amy Amy

    I really enjoy the look of the pressed version, think ill deal with the surface by just using puffs. I’ve also heard that the people at NARs said that you should scrape off the entire top layer of the product before usage. Supposedly, there’s a light layer of film sitting on top of the product, but they could also be referring to the hardening of the powder.

  28. Stephanie TP

    This is perfection in a powder. This is what translucent powder should be. I prefer this even over my Guerlain meteorites pressed and perles. When we Recieved this a work we sold out in two days everyone loved it so much!

  29. Bere

    Is it similar to Mac prep+prime transparent finishing pressed powder?

  30. Lilinah

    I’m older, 64, and i have dry skin. I have some fine lines, but no big wrinkles. Rosacea has noticeably enlarged the previously fine pores on my cheeks, chin, and nose. This powder is amazing. It reduces the appearance of those pores, some even seem to disappear. And it reduces the appearance of fine lines. On me i don’t notice much obvious sheen, just a general sort of luminosity. And i’m not looking for mattifying, because most matte face powders make my skin look flat and dead. But this stuff just makes my skin look softer and smoother. I’ve stopped using any other face powder since i got this.

    One thing, though. I use a lot of skin care products, and i found that the little flat white applicator that comes with the pressed compact (note: it’s in a second pocket in the pouch) transfers skin care product to the powder. I carry this stuff with me, so i’ve been using a small retractable powder brush instead.

    I love this stuff. It’s like magic.

  31. Avatar of Jesselyn Jess

    Can it be used for setting concealer under the eyes?

  32. victoria

    i love this product, it is fast becoming my HG setting powder. i almost returned it because yes i do agree, you do have to swirl you brush a couple of times to lossen the product. it blurs a few for my flaws but what i love it the most is i find myself having to do less to no touch ups throughout the day. i have combo skin and it helps prolong my makeup. i don’t know how it will hold up to hot humid weather though but so far, for the price, i think it’s worth it for me.

  33. Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

    Sigh. I still can’t decide which one I like better, and I already own the Pressed…but I might have ot get the loose anyway. For comparison purposes. Something. *hangs head* hi, my name is becc and i have a makeup addiction…

    • LOL! Or maybe buy another type instead? Like maybe Hourglass? Wait, you have that one… well…

      • Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

        I have three of those, actually, thanks to a friend and a Sephora gift card for my birthday. And the brush. no, i don’t have a problem…

        • Hourglass Foundation Brush next!

          • Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

            Is that the retractable or the #2? Because I have the #2 and the #7 right now.

            • #2 I guess – I am blanking on the number – but definitely mean a regular long-handled brush. How are you cleaning the Ambient brush? Holding onto that sucker sucks.

            • Avatar of rebecca blueraccoon

              I haven’t used it yet so I don’t know :) I figured I’d just wash it with doc bronner’s, same as everything else. drying it may be a problem, though…

            • Holding it while washing it made me not like it, LOL. It was very slippery/hard to hold and wash compared to other brushes. It did take a little longer to dry – my big powder brushes (MAC/BB/OCC) had all dried but Hourglass was a little damp after 12-16 hrs.

  34. Janette

    Do you put this on top of foundation and blush for a finished look?

  35. Sarala Sapkota

    I want to buy translucent compact powder. I am living in Kathmandu Nepal. How can i get it ?