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.).