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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Swatches + Comparison: Luxury and Mid Range Setting Powders (Dior, La Mer, Charlotte Tilbury, Mac)


La Mer Dior MAC Luxury Loose Pressed Powder Collection Review Swatches

Generally, oil-controlling white powders, such as the Nars Light Reflecting (review) and MAC Prep + Prime (review), work best for those with extremely oily skin. Luminous powders, such as the La Mer one, work best for those with dry and mature skin. I personally love using all types of powders because they serve different purposes and some work better than others depending on the type of foundation that I'm wearing underneath. (For reference, I have an oily t-zone and normal skin on the rest of my face.) 

I find that mattifying powders can emphasize dry patches and can cause the skin to look flakey when paired with a mattifying foundation, such as the Dior Forever (review), while powders with a natural finish are not oil controlling enough when paired with semi-matte foundations, such as the MUFE HD and L'oreal True Match (review). Also, semi-matte foundations can make my skin look too dewy when worn alone, while mattifying foundations can be too drying to wear during the winter time. Therefore, I find that powders with a natural finish pair better with mattifying foundations as it prevents the skin from looking too flat, while still keeping oil at bay. On the other hand, mattifying powders pair better with luminous & semi-matte foundations as it provides oil-control, while still giving life to the skin.


MAC Pressed Powder Collection Comparison Review Differences Medium Dark NC30

MAC Pressed Blot Powder Medium Dark Review

MAC Pressed Blot Powder in Medium Dark ($26 for 12g/0.42oz) - It comes with a powder puff that feels a little bit softer and thicker than the one that comes with the Pro Longwear powder. I personally prefer to use a fluffy brush, such as the Sonia Kashuk #19 (review), to apply my setting powder because it lays down product more evenly and wastes less product. However, powder puffs can come in handy when I'm on the go or for touching up throughout the day.

The powder comes in 5 shades, including Light, Medium, Medium Dark, Dark and Deep Dark. The formula runs lighter than the other MAC powders, which is why I chose Medium Dark for my NC30/35 skin tone. It provides just enough tint to prevent my skin from looking chalky without changing the color of my foundation.

The product is very sheer in terms of coverage and does not look cakey even when applied heavily. It's ideal for setting makeup and is more suitable for normal to oily skin as the powder can be very mattifying. When compared to white translucent powders, I find that the MAC Blot powder is less oil-controlling. So, I'm able to use it with all types of foundations and in most weather conditions. It provides enough oil control when paired with luminous foundations, but at the same time, it doesn't provide too much oil control where it would cause mattifying foundations to look dried out or flat. It also works well for absorbing any excess oil that your face produces throughout the day without adding texture to the skin or feeling heavy.

Ingredients: Mica, Dimethicone, Silica, Kaolin, Water, Methicone, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Coconut Acid and Phenoxyethanol. [May Contain +/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides, (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499). Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ultramarines (CI 77007)]

MAC Pressed Blot Powder Medium Dark Swatches

MAC Blot Powder Puff vs Pro Longwear Compact Review

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder Medium Plus Review

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder in Medium Plus ($26 for 11g/0.39oz) - I reviewed this powder in the shade Medium recently and bought Medium Plus because it's a closer match to my skin tone. They may look more beige and slightly pinkish when compared to MAC's Studio Fix powder in NC30, but they actually work fine as a setting powder and don't change the undertone of my foundation or leave a white cast. It also comes in 9 other shades.

The texture of Medium feels smoother, while Medium Plus feels stiffer. The powder is suppose to provide sheer to medium coverage, but I find that when layered and even when I use a dense natural brush like the MAC 109, Medium Plus provides light coverage at best. Therefore, it's more suitable as a setting powder rather than foundation. If you want a powder that feels lightweight and provides more coverage than the Blot powder, but less than the Studio Fix, then the Pro Longwear one is ideal for you. 

Ingredients: Mica, Silica, Boron Nitride, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Zinc Stearate, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Isododecane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Silylate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Squalane, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Ceramide 3, Hydrolyzed Soy protein, Methicone, Cholesterol, Water, Sodium Lauroyl Aspartate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Zinc Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Linoleic Acid, Coconut Acid, Phenoxyethanol.

[
+/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Carmine (CI 75470), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Ultramarines (CI 77007) and Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).]

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder Medium Plus Swatches

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder Medium Plus Review Comparison Swatch NC30 NC35

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation NC30 Review

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC30 ($27 for 15g/0.52oz) - Out of all the pressed powders, this one has the thickest packaging, mostly because it has a separate compartment for the sponge, which also makes it more sanitary. There are also holes in the bottom compartment, which allows air to pass through and prevents the sponge to be a breeding ground for bacteria. Just like other sponges, it absorbs alot of product and doesn't provide as much coverage as a dense brush does unless you apply multiple layers or use a heavy hand. I recommend using the sponge for touchups and if you prefer lighter coverage.

The powder is available in a wide range of colors with 4 different undertones and a total of 46 shades. I'm between an NC30 and NC35 in MAC liquid foundations. The Studio Fix powder in NC30 is slightly too light for me. I wonder if NC35 might be a better match since the shades aren't consistent across formulas. One thing that is a perfect match for me is the warm, yellow undertone that NC shades have. 

The powder has a silky texture and glides onto the skin smoothly. It also provides buildable, medium to full coverage with a natural brush and is best used alone as a foundation or paired with a light liquid foundation. When wearing medium or full coverage liquid foundation, I recommend using a light hand and a fluffy brush to apply the powder because it can feel heavy on the skin if you over apply it. 

I prefer to use the powder as a foundation alone and with a dense brush, such as the MAC 109, for maximum coverage. It's great for those days when I need to quickly run out the door, but still want to look put together. It's also not as oil-controlling as other powders. So, I tend to reach for it when it's not too hot or humid outside and when I'm only going to be out for a few hours like when I'm at the park or running errands.

Ingredients:  Talc, Silica, Isostearyl Palmitate, Methicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol and Phenoxyethanol. [+/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides, (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499). Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ultramarines (CI 77007)]

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation NC30 Swatches

MAC Studio Fix Pressed Powder Plus Foundation Sponge Review

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation NC30 Compact Packaging Review

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation Sponge Review

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish 2 Medium Review

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish in 2 Medium ($45 for 8g/0.28oz) - This one has the sleekest packaging out of all the powders mentioned in this post. I also love that the compact is coated in rose gold. 

It comes in 3 shades, including 1 Fair, 2 Medium and 3 Dark. 2 Medium slightly darkens the color of my foundation. So, 1 Fair would have been a better choice for my skin tone. (I can still make it work by using a lighter color foundation.)

The powder has a very silky and slightly creamy texture. It can be worn sheer or layered for light coverage without causing foundation to look flakey, separated or patchy. I find that it also builds up slightly easier than the Pro Longwear powder. 

The finish looks matte right after it has been freshly applied, but as the day progresses, the skin looks more natural because the product contains "nourishing actives," including rose wax and almond oil that hydrate the skin. It also provides a soft focus effect by blurring fine lines & other imperfections. I use it to not only set my makeup, but also for touching up throughout the day, especially around my nose area, where my foundation usually fades. I also like pairing the powder with mattifying foundations and tend to reach for it when my skin isn't as oily. 

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Polymethyl Methacrlate, Dimethicone, Silica, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Zinc Stearate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pei-10, Propylene Glycol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Rosa Multiflora Flower Wax, Tetrasodium Edta, Water/aqua/eau, Dimethiconol, Tilia Cordata Flower Extract (Tilia Cordata Extract), Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.

[
May Contain +/-: Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499)]

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish 2 Medium Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder Medium Review

La Mer The Powder 05 Translucent Review

La Mer The Powder in 05 Translucent ($65 for 25g/0.88oz) - The jar is made of plastic and has a frosted coating, which looks more luxurious than plastic alone. I just wish the lid looked more pleasant. It also has the bulkiest packaging out of the bunch and is more suitable for home use. 

The powder puff that's included is thick & soft and has a convenient ribbon on the back for ease of use. Even if you don't use powder puffs, I recommend leaving it in the jar to prevent the product from spilling out and getting all over the place. (There are 20 relatively large holes in the sifter, which causes too much product to fall through. So, you can apply scotch tape over the entire sifter and then poke just a few holes. Before applying tape, make sure there are no powder sitting on top. Spray rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and then wipe the sifter. Wait a few seconds to allow it to dry, then apply scotch tape. I've done this with my other loose powders and I have never experienced the tape getting loose or coming off.)

The powder contains airspun seaborne particles, which feels ultra light-weight on the skin. Because the formula is sheer and doesn't provide any coverage, it's ideal for setting makeup. It's also more suitable for those with normal to dry skin. 

The product may look too shimmery to be a setting powder when heavily swatched. It also leaves a pink iridescence if you over apply it and is especially noticeable in natural lighting. However, when applied using a light hand, it leaves the skin looking healthy and glowy rather than shimmery or frosty like a highlight. If you find most powders on the market to be too drying for your skin, but still want a powder to set your makeup, then look no further. 

Ingredients: Talc, Polyperfluoroethoxymethoxy Difluoroethyl PEG Phosphate, Calcium Stearate, Lauroyl Lysine, Malachite, Tourmaline, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylene-Methacrylate Copolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Tin Oxide, Calcium Carbonate and Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate.

[
+/- May Contain: Mica, Iron Oxides
 (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510) and Red 30 Lake (CI 73360)]

La Mer The Powder 05 Translucent Luminous Swatch

La Mer The Powder 05 Translucent Swatches

Dior Nude Loose Powder Puff vs La Mer Review

Dior Diorskin Nude Air Healthy Glow Invisible Loose Powder 020 Light Beige Review

Dior Diorskin Nude Air Healthy Glow Invisible Loose Powder in 020 Light Beige ($56 for 16g/0.56oz) - It comes in a plastic jar with a powder puff. Just like the La Mer one, I recommend leaving the puff in the jar or taping up some of the holes to prevent the powder from creating a mess.  

The powder comes in 4 shades, including 010 Ivory, 020 Light Beige, 030 Medium Beige and 040 Honey Beige. 020 Light Beige is slightly darker than the La Mer powder and has a more neutral undertone. Yet, both shades work well for my skin tone because they are sheer and do not alter the color of my foundation.

The name "Healthy Glow" fooled me into thinking that the powder provides a luminous finish, but it's actually a powder that mattifies the skin without over drying it and without leaving a hint of shimmer. It pairs well with all types of foundations and is suitable for all year round. 

I over applied the product using 3 layers just for test purposes and it did not cause my skin to flake or emphasize dry patches like white translucent powders tend to do. I can see this working on all skin types, but those with dry skin should use a light hand to prevent the skin from looking too flat. 

(The Dior Forever Ever Extreme Perfection & Matte Finish Loose powder (review) is more oil-controlling and suitable for those with extremely oily skin.)

Ingredients: Talc, Diphenyl Dimethicone/vinyl Diphenyl Dimethicone/silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Nylon-12, Lauroyl Lysine, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Boron Nitride, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Magnesium Myristate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Hydrated Silica, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Dimethicone/methicone Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Peg-6 Isostearate, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Parfum (Fragrance), Copper Gluconate, Hesperetin Laurate, Aqua (Water), Linalool, Sericin, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Rhodochrosite Extract, Sorbic Acid,

[
+/- May Contain: CI 15850 (Red 6, Red 7, Red 7 Lake), CI 15985 (Yellow 6, Yellow 6 Lake), CI 19140 (Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 45410 (Red 27, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake), CI 73360 (Red 30, Red 30 Lake), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)].

Dior Diorskin Nude Air Healthy Glow Invisible Loose Powder 020 Light Beige Swatches

La Mer vs Dior Nude Air Healthy Glow Invisible Loose Powder Review
Dior Diorskin Nude Air Healthy Glow Invisible Pressed Powder 030 Medium Beige Review
Dior Diorskin Nude Air Healthy Glow Invisible Pressed Powder in 030 Medium Beige ($55 for 10g/0.35oz) - The compact is lightweight and travel-friendly. It comes with a mini kabuki brush that's made of natural bristles and feels soft. It shedded a few hairs during the initial wash and fluffed out afterwards, which is normal. Kabuki brushes, especially those made of natural bristles, tend to pick up and pack on more product, but because the powder is sheer, you don't have to worry about over applying it. The brush also works well for buffing out over applied product like blush. The only issue is that it's not convenient for travel because you'll have to find a sanitary way to store it.

The powder comes in 3 shades, including 020 Light Beige, 030 Medium Beige and 040 Honey Beige. 020 Light Beige works best for my skin tone, while 030 Medium Beige works better for those who are darker than NC35. 

The pressed version provides a more natural looking finish to the skin compared to the loose version. I tend to reach for this during the dry winter months and when I'm wearing mattifying foundations.  

Ingredients: Talc, Nylon-12, Lauroyl Lysine, Magnesium Myristate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Boron Nitride, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Isostearyl Isostearate, Aqua (water), Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Tocopheryl Acetate, Peg-6 Isostearate, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Parfum (Fragrance), Sericin, Phenoxyethanol, Hesperetin Laurate, Rhodochrosite Extract, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate and Sorbic Acid. 

[
+/- May Contain: CI 15850 (Red 6, Red 7, Red 7 Lake), CI 15985 (Yellow 6, Yellow 6 Lake), CI 19140 (Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 45410 (Red 27, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake), CI 73360 (Red 30, Red 30 Lake), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)].

Dior Diorskin Nude Air Healthy Glow Invisible Pressed Powder 030 Medium Beige Swatches

Dior Pressed Powder Mini Kabuki Travel Brush Review

Dior Nude Mini Kabuki Travel Brush Pressed Powder Review

Battle of the Pressed Powder Collection Comparison Review Swatch

Scent: None of the powders have a noticeable scent or fragrance. Hallelujah!

Recap:
These are generalizations and act as a guideline to help you find the powder that's most suitable for you. I find that it's more about the combination of products rather than just the powder itself. Therefore, when choosing a powder, don't just focus on the skin type that the powder was designed for. Take the foundations and other products that you pair the powder with into consideration too.

Note: The MAC Blot, Pro Longwear, Studio FixCharlotte Tilbury, and La Mer powder are available at Nordstrom. The Dior Loose & Pressed powder are available at Sephora and Nordstrom


This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.
 
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