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NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($34.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “weightless, translucent powder” with a “soft matte finish that looks luminous in any light.” It has the exact same description as the Pressed Powder.

I actually found the two to look surprisingly different when swatched. The Loose version is a similar stark white, but it looks nearly matte with very, very fine shimmer sparsely found when blended out–but nowhere near the same sheen as the Pressed Powder. As a result, this mattified skin better and had a very subtle sheen–really barely-there. Like the Pressed Powder, the Loose version softens the skin’s appearance; texture and lines blur, while pores soften and smooth out. Can you really tell the difference between the two? At a glance, no, definitely not, but if I look at myself in the mirror, I like the way there’s a noticeable but natural sheen to the skin all-over that the Pressed seems to generate more so than the Loose powder. I think if you have oilier skin, you may prefer the Loose.

Since it is a loose powder, the texture feels different, as it is an extremely finely-milled powder that’s soft and blendable on. I found it was easier to apply, because you’ll have no trouble getting enough product on a brush or pouf with this. I recommend only opening a few of the holes in the powder, because it will be easier to contain the excess that you aren’t using. Of course, because the pot tends to expose more product than you need, it can be easy to over-apply the product. The Loose version is more like Hourglass Diffused Light, though Diffused Light has a warmer tone, so it is also a color corrector.

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

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

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)


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Jade Avatar

Flashback is when a product reflects light back at the camera in flash photography. A lot of products with SPF (though not ALL products with SPF) do this.

Paige Avatar

I didn’t like it because of the white cast too. I bought both this and Hourglass Diffused Light and I prefer Hourglass’ much more. I think it’s because of my olive skin, the yellowness of Diffused blends better with my skin while still giving the luminous glow.

Tornadogirl Avatar

Hi Christine,

I’ve been looking at both the Nars Crystal Light or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder for my very fair skin. I’m not a fan of overly shimmery powder but still like to look a little “glowy”. Between the two, which one did you prefer? Thanks!!!

Amy Avatar

Well, I think they’re two different kinds of products completely. The NARs powder is a setting powder that sets and locks makeup, while the Hourglass is a finishing all-over face powder for added glow and possibly color correct. Hourglass Ambient Powders are not meant to set and lock the makeup.

LJ Avatar

It looks fantastic on your skin, I think my favourite on you of the three you’ve tested since yesterday.
I ordered this yesterday, so glad I did! I’ve got oily skin so this version, more matte as you say, will suit me much better – relieved I chose this one over the pressed. Just can’t wait to try it out now!

Catherine (@bcrueltyfree) Avatar

Base products are one of my most favorite types of makeup, I’m kind of obsessed with products that help create a flawless-yet-natural canvas. I absolutely love the effect of this powder. I don’t think I can tell the difference between the pressed and loose, but both really give a beautiful finish to skin.

Clare Avatar

Really enjoyed this review!! There are so many powders out there I find it almost impossible to know which are worth the price tag. Do you think you will review the Bobbi Brown retouching powders? I’d love to know your thought on them x

everytomorrow Avatar

Do you think it’s worth using a setting or finishing powder if you’re using powder foundation anyway? I’ve been eyeing the Hourglass powders and now also these NARS ones but I’m not sure they’re something I’d get use out of.

t_zwiggy Avatar

I had such a hard time deciding between this and the pressed version. Now I’m pretty sure I made the right choice by ordering the loose powder for my oily skin. I’m actually really impressed by the oil control aspect of this. I rarely have any luck with most setting powders, I’m still oily within the hour, but this one keeps it under control for 5-6. Now I just hope I can keep using this every day without breaking out. No problems so far.

Veronica Avatar

*sigh* I feel owned by NARS anymore. Nearly a 1/4 of my to-buy list is all them. I’ve been mulling over which version to buy, but seeing your review, I think I’ll go with the pressed. I don’t have oily skin, and Guerlain’s Mythic powder actually gives me a similar look to the loose.

BTW, you look beautiful with light makeup! I didn’t realize you hadn’t any eye makeup on until I scrolled back up. Your brown eyes are really striking on their own! πŸ™‚

Becky Avatar

Thanks for the awesome in-depth review! Its unbelievable how helpful and useful all the side by side pictures are in my decision-making. Thanks for putting in all that work! Just a quick question regarding the NARS product vs the Hourglass ambient powders. If I were to use the Hourglass powder (say, Dim) for luminosity, in addition to the Nars light reflecting powder for its line-blurring abilities, which one you advise to put on first?

Erica Avatar

I bought this over the weekend after being ambushed by a NARS sakesclerk hanging near the Laura Mercier section at Sephora ( no joke – Sephora Times Square NYC ). Only to be told they ran out of the loose powder version (lol). I purchased the loose powder at a more user friendly Sephora. It does what it says, but it left a pale cast on my nutmeg NC 55 skin. I also noticed a distinct smell that would certainly become annoying after long term use. Back to the drawing board for me…sigh.

Morgan Spratt Avatar

Hello, I’ve been trying to decide between Guerlain MΓ©tΓ©orites, hourglass ambient light powders or the nars as a setting powder that still give me the “glow” wich would you suggest? I’m nc44 with dry skin slightly oily t-zone, the nearest place to me that sales Guerlain is about 5 hour drive so u can’t really compare the three.

Shin Avatar

Hi Christine! Between NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder and
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, which one do you prefer? Thanks! πŸ™‚

Melinda Avatar

Christine, thank you so much for reviewing this, I already have MUFE HD Powder and I don’t really like it because it creates slight white cast upon application.
Which brush do you use to apply this? I think it should work nicely with MUFE HD powder as well.

n8ivebeauT Avatar

Hi Christine,
I was very curious. In reading your review you mentioned the application was easier in this loose form than the pressed, yet the rating was 4.5 (same as the pressed). What would you consider a 5 rating then?

Christine Avatar

Easy to get far more product than you’d like, just because of the nature of loose powder πŸ™‚ Only a few brands seem to have nailed packaging enough where they make it easy to only get a little out at a time (by memory, bareMinerals’ has only a few holes for the product to come through and you can click it closed).

Ivy Avatar

Which one is better for mattifying? Laura mercier loose setting powder, vs mufe super matte loose, vs mac prep+prime loose setting powder, vs this product?

blueraccoon Avatar

I bought the pressed version of this but now I’m wondering if I should have gone for the loose version instead with my combo/oily skin. But I generally prefer pressed powders, I tend to overdo it with loose powders.

On a different note, I’m wondering how the Hourglass ambient powder brush would work with either the loose or pressed versions of the NARS powder. Anyone have a thought? (Yes, I caved and bought the brush. I own three Hourglass brushes now and I think my goal is to own them *all*. Softest things I’ve ever used and so much better than my previous brushes!)

Lucia Avatar

Hi Christine, would you mind posting the ingredients for this product? Are they the same as the pressed version? As somebody with an ingredient allergy, I find having the ingredients posted as part of a review to be extremely helpful =) keep up the good work!!

n8ivebeauT Avatar

Hi Christine,
In reading your review it read that application for this was easier than the pressed form. That would lead me to assume the rating for application would be higher then. However this loose and pressed form were both rated 4.5 for application. I was curious as to what characteristics of a product would then deem it a rating of 5??

n8ivebeauT Avatar

I think when companies make a loose powder eyeshadow, foundation, finishing powder, etc. they all pretty much use the same packaging. Bare Escentuals, MAC, Laura Mercier, Tarte, L’Oreal, Maybeline, the list goes on…… So it’s all in the user’s experience and knowledge of how to be careful with these loose powders.

Jenny Avatar

I have this and have been using it for a few weeks. Overall, I am satisfied with it; my only complaint is the odor. It has a very strange smell that is hard to describe…almost like cornstarch, maybe? Anyway, I only noticed it during application and not afterwards, but if someone is sensitive to smells they may want to note that.

Rachel Avatar

I’m debating over the Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder (not the translucent version) or this! I’ve dry skin!

What do you think of LM’s?

n8iveBeauT Avatar

Hi Christine,
I was curious about something. In reading your review you indicated that the application on this loose form was easier than the pressed. Yet, the application rating for this loose form was the same as the pressed, a 4.5. What application characteristics would then make a product a 5 rating????

Alexa Avatar

In the half and half pictures, is the pressed powder on your right side when we’re looking at the picture, or the actual right side of your face?

Joan Avatar

Had already purchased this loose powder & the pressed/compact form prior to your review. Your review is consistent with what I believe to be true, based on my first hand experience with it.

Sandra Avatar

Hi Christine. First let me say, I love your blog and have been reading it for some time now. I am curious what foundation you are wearing in these photos? Your skin looks amazing! Also, how would you say these compare to Mac’s MSFN? I love the dewy look, as matte just makes me look dull and aged. Thanks for all your reviews and wonderful advice!

Marianne Vitug Avatar

Hi, Christine!

Do you think that these NARS Setting Powders photograph well overall? No white cast or color alterations in pictures? If so, which one do you think would photograph better? Thank you! πŸ™‚

Ellen Avatar

Have you tried Bobbi Brown’s brightening powders? The two that are pressed, Porcelain Pearl and Nude? I was encouraged to buy the Porcelain Pearl for my very fair skin. I’ve been having a problem with my loose setting powder (Clinique’s Blended Face Powder in Transparency Neutral). It seems to make my foundation look yellower. Unfortunately, I believe that the same thing happens with the Porcelain Pearl, despite how white/green it appears on a cotton ball. I don’t see much glow, but it does exagerate fine lines a little. Do you think the Nars loose powder is the answer to the problem, or do I need a traditional setting powder?

Christine Avatar

I don’t think I’ve tried those – I know Bobbi Brown released new loose ones recently, and I have those (but I haven’t photographed, so I also have tested or swatched!).

I think NARS’ Loose should work for you, though! It definitely shouldn’t emphasize lines.

Arlene Avatar

Bought this powder after reading your review and I love it! My under eye concealer was creasing really bad with other powders (rimmel stay matte, mac skinfinish natural) but since ive been using this it hasn’t. Thanks for the review!

Azreen Bhai Avatar

Hi, would you mind telling me which brush you prefer to use for this powder? The SA at the NARS counter tried to sell me the NARS powder brush but I want the best possible applicator! Thanks for this review by the way.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!