I know I have been missing in action – a lot has been happening on the personal front which kept me occupied. I’m back from my mini hiatus with hopefully a slew of reviews – let us hope it stays this way 😛 Today’s review is on a fairly recent product from Laura Mercier. I have been experimenting with it for a month and a half and now and I am finally ready to review it for you.
What it is: A multi-purpose, modern pressed powder sets, perfects, and finishes, leaving skin with a diffused, luminous glow.
What it does: This silky and pressed, Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder delivers just enough sheer color to create the perfect, subtle glow, while brightening up the complexion with a soft-focus finish. Featuring six shades that range from light to deep, the lightweight powder sets your makeup for lasting wear, perfects the look of your skin with sheer coverage, and gives skin a natural, soft, and radiant finish. Amp up the effects by applying with different brushes to customize your finish and coverage. For a barely-there glow and a light veil of coverage, use the Finishing Brush. For a perfected finish and slightly more coverage, buff in with the Bronzer Brush. It is formulated without parabens.
The compact is quite similar to Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact. The compact is plastic, but unlike the Hourglass one, this has a bit of heft and feels more solid. The compact has a full size, good-quality mirror. There is a plastic insert which separates the powder from the mirror. There is no velvet sleeve or applicator.
My Experience with Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder:
The product in question is a setting-cum-finishing powder. So, in effect, it is vying for space with other products like Laura Mercier’s own Translucent Setting powder and the likes of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder or even Guerlain Meteorites Voyage. Hence, while discussing this product, I will be doing a brief comparison to the other products mentioned above as well – to help you decide what will work for you.
The product consists of a baked powder. Unlike other finishing powders which come in a variety of shades to depict different lights, this one actually comes in a variety of shades to match your skin tone – just like a compact powder or powder foundation.
I selected the shade #2, which is a good fit for my NC 30 skin tone. However, considering that the powder does not have too much pigmentation – it will not give you any coverage – a shade up or down would probably not make too much of a difference. However, a couple of shades darker would definitely add distinct warmth.
The one thing which hit me when I first swatched this was that though the product was extremely soft and finely milled, it wasn’t too powdery – like most baked powders tend to be. When you generally swatch a baked powder – it comes off extremely easily onto the skin and kicks up a fair amount of powder in the compact. This powder, does not do that. How does it make a difference?Considering that this is a setting-cum-finishing powder – you are likely to use a large fluffier or denser brush with it – depending on the effect you want. If the product is too powdery, it will come off too easily onto the brush and you may tend to go over board with it. The texture of the product does not allow you to do that. Don’t get me wrong – it is not stiff by any means. It is just that it isn’t powdery.
You can use it in 2-3 different ways:
1. Post application of foundation / concealer / BB cream – to set it.
2. Post all your makeup, you can apply with a dense brush using the buffing technique.
3. A light dusting of this post all makeup application – as a finishing powder.
I have used it in all 3 ways and found that it works well always. There is a caveat though, it will set your makeup, but it won’t really mattify your skin (if that is what you expect from your setting powder). Instead, it will give your skin a gorgeous luminous “real-skin” finish.
I generally use it for point number 2 – for buffing technique. I also use it in a 4th way, which is for touchups. I have oily skin. So, post the 4-5 hour mark, when my skin starts to shine, I generally take this and buff it in with dense brush. This takes care of the shine and oiliness and my makeup looks put together, again. And my skin has this gorgeous amazing skin like luminosity.
Just one point to note here – the Company does mention that the product can be buffed in with a dense bronzer brush to give desired coverage. Well, it cannot. It can definitely be used for buffing as I have mentioned already; however, it will not give you any coverage. So, if you want your setting powder to give you additional coverage, I suggest stick with a powder foundation instead.
The product has a satin finish – there are no specks of glitter – not even the minutest hint of shimmer. Nothing! Just a beautiful satiny sheen and I feel it translates very well to the skin. It makes skin look luminous without feeling shiny or greasy.
So, overall, I really like the product and enjoy using it and would totally repurchase when this gets over.
Comparison with other setting powders:
A quick comparison with some top setting powders. Generally, for setting, one recommends loose powders – there are less binders involved, it is generally less discernible. This one works well for setting. However, for someone with oily skin, you might want your setting powder to be mattifying as well, which is not the case here. If mattifying isn’t on your agenda, this works well.
Comparison with other finishing powders:
The products up for conversation are the Guerlain Meteorites Voyage and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. Yes, there are a lot other finishing powders in the market. I am discussing only these two brands because – one – these have iconic products in the category under discussion. And also because these are the only finishing powders I have with me for comparison! So, if I compare it to the Guerlain ones – firstly, the effect of the Meteorites is much more subtle. Plus, I feel they are geared more for the Caucasian skin tones. I know, there is not much pigmentation to any of these products. Still, I feel Guerlain ones are more suited to the fair skin tone. Also, if you take the price into account – well, the whole conversation dies there itself. You can probably buy 3 of these in place of one Guerlain Meteorite Voyage!
Let us take up the Hourglass Ambient lighting powders, which I would say are probably he most iconic finishing powders in the market. These come in a variety of finishes – more satiny one, more luminous one and everything in between, whereas, Laura Mercier Candleglow comes in only one finish – though in different skin shades.
So, on the positive side, this is fab – you get a satiny finish and you basically just need to pick a shade depending on your skin tone. On the flip side – you don’t have the option of picking what kind of finish you like – do you want just satiny finish or would you have preferred more luminosity, etc. Also, a couple of the Ambient lighting shades – like Luminous Light, can actually be used as a highlighter – if used with a heavy hand. However, this is not an option with the Candleglow powder. The LM Candleglow, is strictly a setting-cum-finishing powder. It cannot double up as your emergency highlighter!! (like you need a highlighter in an emergency!!! 😉 Anyway!) But there is a major positive note here – because of the texture and finish of the Candleglow powder, you are unable to go overboard with it. And trust me, I actually tried! I tried it with a heavy hand, I tried using too much product – it does not show up, it does not cake up. The only thing which shows through – is the beautiful skin-like luminosity! I totally, totally love this. If I were to try to find parity in the Hourglass line – the closest dupe of this would be Hourglass Dim Light Ambient Lighting powder, but considering the price and the effect, I would go with this Laura Mercier one than the Hourglass one!
To sum this up for you:
Pros of Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder:
- Extremely finely-milled and smooth.
- Gives a “lit from within” look.
- Blurs imperfections.
- Makes skin look like skin – but better!
- Brings back life to the skin, especially if you have been using a lot of mattifying products.
- Can be used as a setting powder, or a finishing powder or for the buffing technique.
- It does not make the skin look dry, patchy, blotchy or white.
- Did not break me out.
- Paraben-free product.
- You are not able to go overboard with it – does not cake up. Will work very well for novices as well.
- Excellent solid packaging.
- The effect is discernible. You have to peer into the mirror to check whether it is working or not.
Cons of Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder:
I absolutely love this powder and cannot recommend it enough! Amongst all the finishing powders that I have in my kit right now, this is the one I will happily repurchase in a jiffy! If you are in the market for a setting powder or a finishing one – do check this out. you will not regret it!
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