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The holy grail of powders, Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder is hands down the most popular setting powder among celebrity makeup artists and beauty gurus. In general, translucent powder is ideal for setting concealer or foundation because it works for any skin tone, gives the skin a natural skin finish, and masks fine lines. I only recently started using this powder because every time I wanted to purchase it at my favorite makeup store, Naime’s, it was out of stock – evidence of it’s high demand! And I wasn’t going to purchase it at full price when I get a nice discount there – ya heard?! Another reason why I didn’t feel the urgency to buy it is because I was very happy with the RCMA No Color Powder. I’ve used it on most of my clients from light to medium-dark skin tone, and it has worked beautifully to set their makeup. But ever since I started using the Laura Mercier’s translucent powder, I wasn’t sure which one I preferred until I tested each product on my face at the same time. Before I share my favorite, let’s discuss each product separately, shall we?
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
An extremely lightweight, silky, sheer setting powder that leaves skin with a flawless finish…contains the finest French “cashmere” talc and a unique light reflecting ingredient that that creates a “soft focus” appearance for fine lines and imperfections.
Laura Mercier’s translucent powder comes in two sizes: 1) standard size 1 oz for $37, and 2) travel size 0.33 oz for $27 (only this size comes with a powder puff). The powder is so finely milled that it disappears on the skin, and a huge plus is that it doesn’t alter the color of your concealer or foundation. The result is a smooth, lightweight texture that doesn’t have a cakey or chalky appearance. Also, the powder is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t contain ingredients known to cause acne.
I can definitely understand the hype. Your skin looks and feels so smooth, and it doesn’t make your skin look dusty or dry. I would say that anyone with oily skin definitely needs to try this product. It makes your makeup last longer and does a beautiful job at oil-control. I haven’t tried it on darker skin tones, but I did some research and found that people with darker complexions have been very happy with the results. Also, this powder is great for flash photography because it doesn’t leave a white cast on your skin (also known as flashback). If you have dry skin, you can still use this product, but I don’t recommend that you use it for “baking” or “cooking” your concealer because it will definitely make your under-eye appear even more dry. It seems a bit pricey, but I’m pretty sure the standard size will last you for at least a year making it well worth the high price tag. TIP: I recommend that you not entirely remove the inner tape because you don’t need that many holes exposed to get a good amount of product. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly.
RCMA No Color Powder
Can be used for all powder purposes. Since it has no filler or pigment it will not alter the color of foundation bases.
I started using the RCMA No Color Powder on myself and my clients over a year ago. It’s not a commercial brand, so it hasn’t gotten the love it deserves until literally last week when a very popular YouTuber, Kathleen Lights, dubbed it her favorite setting powder (and she has dry skin!). Check out her video here.
It comes in 2 sizes: 3 oz for $10, and 10 oz $20 – a fraction of the price for Laura Mercier’s translucent powder for three times the amount! Although the color of the powder is white, it’s actually colorless with zero pigment. And like the translucent powder, there is no flashback and it doesn’t alter the color of your foundation or concealer. Also, you only need a very little to get the job done!
As you can see the packaging is not luxurious at all, it resembles a salt and pepper shaker. I don’t mind using no-fuss makeup products without any frills, however, they do need to improve the design. Often times too much product comes out even when you gently shake it. Making a mess is pretty much unavoidable so a great tip is to transfer the powder into a smaller, easy to use container with a lid similar to the Laura Mercier container. Another option is to cover the holes with tape and leave a few holes uncovered – easy breezy!
Is RCMA a Dupe?
So, are you wondering why you would even need Laura Mercier’s translucent powder??
Their similarities are:
- smooth, natural skin finish
- neither add texture to your skin
- work for all skin types
- no white cast or flashback
The only differences I found – one minor and one more defining – is that the translucent powder is more finely milled and does a better job at oil control. The latter difference is the reason why I think the translucent powder is a superior product, especially for those with oily or combination skin. I found that my skin was more shiny on the side with the RCMA powder within a couple hours of wear. And, that conversely, the translucent powder made my skin look more luminous rather than oily. With that said, if you’re trying to decide between the two and you’re budget conscious, I would try the RCMA powder first and see if it works for you. It’s a great product, and I think that as far as how it looks on the skin, I can see no difference in person or in flash photography.
Check out my video with a demo:
How hilarious is the thumbnail?!! YouTube is playing me and not giving me many options to work with. Let’s just say this screen grab is the best one, and yet still so embarrassing!!
Hope that helps my darlings! I’ll also post a photo on my Instagram with the RCMA powder on one side and the Laura Mercier on the other so you can compare for yourself, so pretty please give me a follow if you haven’t already @sarahnajafi. You’ll also find tons of styling and beauty posts. And don’t forget to leave any questions or comments below. xo Sarah