Which Translucent Powder is For You? NARS & Laura Mercier Reviews


I’ve had a bit of a translucent powder mare recently, and ended up buying way more powder than I intended to (I took some shop assistants advice, then they didnt’ have the powder in stock so she sold me a slightly different one, but i wasn’t happy with it so I bought the original one anyway, then I used it wrong so I bought ANOTHER DIFFERENT ONE). Long story short, I now have an arsenal of various translucent powders. If nothing else, it gives me more ~powder knowledge~ to transfer to you lovely babies. I know that I was confused about which powder to buy for which area of my face and my needs, so I thought I’d pass what I’ve learnt (from my own stupid mistakes).

If you want a powder for oil control on the go:

Laura Mercier Oil Control pressed powder


Do you see that kind of ‘blue’ undertone to the powder? Yeah, you don’t want to go setting your whole face or under eye with this or you’ll look a bit ill (mistake number one from me). It comes with an amazing little sponge (looks innocuous enough but legit one side of it is life changing, like a tiny microfibre sponge? it’s not just a regular compact pad) that you can use to dab at your oily bits during the day as and when needed. It takes away the shine without disturbing or removing the makeup under it, and doesn’t give you a big powder splotch on the middle of your forehead. Pricey for a dabbing powder (*dab*) but if you’re v oily it’s worth it. You can also use it to set the parts of your face you know get oily with a powder brush before you go out to keep oiliness at bay.

If you want a powder for setting and highlighting your under eye:

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder


It’s me: the girl who feels stupid because I bitched about this product on Twitter but actually love it now. I finished up my Laura Mercier classic Translucent powder (you know, the one all the YouTubers use) and I was dissatisfied with it, because although it set my under eye amazingly, the packaging had broken (I had to transfer it to another container a few months in), and it left my under eye feeling rock hard and cakey AF. It didn’t look it, but it felt soooo dry. The lady in Space NK recommended this one, a talc free under eye setting powder with no flash back. She told me only to use what came off in the lid, and to apply it with a tiny brush. Me, knowing I wanted that ‘full glam’ look, went straight into this (tiny) pot with my beauty blender like I used to do with the regular powder, and hated how it looked. It was massively white, and felt like I had applied nothing to my under eye. I was like ‘wtf this is absolutely going to crease, what a waste of money, what a tiny pot, I hate you’. I even tweeted about how much I hate this and thought about trying to return it, as I had bought it on a Space NK’s staff member’s absolute 100% recommendation.

ANYWAY then I realised I was stuck with it, so tried out the tiny brush method (using a MAC 217 I already had). It’s soooo good. Using a brush to set my under eye took a while to get used to (mainly because it’s more precise than dunking a beauty blender and hoping for the best), and I thought it wouldn’t cover/stop creasing but it absolutely does. It feels like nothing on your delicate under eye skin (it feels like I have no powder on, but instead a little angel has blessed my eye area with baby kisses), and it massively brightens any dark circles you might have. It also stops creasing immediately, with the tiniest amount of powder necessary. I don’t use this for my whole cheek area (that’s where I blend my concealer down to), just to literally stop the creasing right under my eye. It doesn’t cause flashback but be aware it’s very white as it ‘brightens’ so I’m not sure how this would go down on very dark skin. HOWEVER if you do have dark skin maybe the next one is for you.

If you want to see how brightening and smoothing it is, this is a low quality photo of me wearing it, really far away from the camera, in the dark with flash:


If you want that ‘Instagram’ baked look, without feeling cakey – and you want it in your exact ‘translucent’ shade:

NARS translucent powder in ‘Snow’ (for my complexion – ‘translucent’ is never actually ‘translucent’ is it, but there’s a whole shade range for the right ‘translucent’ for you, which is cool).


This powder is basically a more lightweight version of the classic Laura Mercier translucent powder – but with the same coverage – and I use it to set my whole face, or my whole face and under eye area if I want to properly ‘bake’. It’s lovely and I definitely recommend it over the LM version. Only thing is (but this is my issue with most translucent powders) the sifter is so small it’s hard to get product out. This is great for travelling (no powder flying everywhere), but for every day I might have to try and get the sifter out, unless anyone has any other suggestions.

If you want your loose powder to be so shimmery it’s basically a highlighter:

Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Powder (I have mine in ‘Starlight’ but probably should have got ‘Candlelight’).


(With my spotlight angled on it, in an attempt to show you the sparkle. An attempt that failed)

This can be used as an all over setting powder, in a similar way the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders are ‘glowwy’ setting powders. I would not recommend this for under eye setting, as it’s far too sparkly for that. This is what I use to ‘set’ my highlighted areas if I really want to amp up the glow. It’s oil free, so that’s great if you have oily skin and wear a lot of matte makeup but still want some luminosity. ‘Candlelight’ is a rose gold/pinky colour whilst ‘Starlight’ is more of a true gold.

As much as this post looks like it’s sponsored by Laura Mercier, it’s not, they’re just really good at powders.

Do you have any recommendations?

Amelia XX

3 thoughts on “Which Translucent Powder is For You? NARS & Laura Mercier Reviews

  1. Ooh wish I saw this the other day. I just brought the bare minerals one. I’ve never used one before and I’m pretty pleased with it so far!


    1. ooh last time i tried bare minerals powder it made my skin itchy but this was like 7 years ago and considering their mascara is my holy grail they’ve probably improved their formulas loads, i might need to try it again. let me know how it goes for you! X


  2. V interesting! The Laura Mercier one makes my skin look amazing but it’s so drying I could feel my skin tightening under it! Will need to try for under eye! Kiko actually do an amazing one I would seriously recommend! Works really well and makes your skin super soft x


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