Some 15 years ago, Clinique launched a brilliant product called Gentle Light Powder. It was a loose finishing powder containing light-reflecting particles which, when dusted over a bare face or foundation, gave the skin a sort of soft-focus glow. It was disastrously ahead of its time and while popular in Britain, it failed to catch on in the US and was eventually scrapped, much to the dismay of many of you.
In 2018, loose powder is very much back, and the huge trend for glow shows no sign of dimming, and so it’s vindicating to see Laura Mercier (currently enjoying a major return to form) pick up where Clinique bailed out. A new Glow version of her Translucent Loose Setting Powder (the original, beloved by makeup artists, is going nowhere) is similar to the Clinique trailblazer, only it has a finer, more modern texture and feels imperceptible on the skin (£29). One can certainly see it, however – if you don’t like visible glimmer (not glitter), you won’t like this. But if (like me) glow is your thing, the noticeable pearlescence will impress.
For those who like the blurring, soft finish of glow powder but loathe even a hint of spangle (or who have acne or rosacea, on which glimmer is unflattering), I enthusiastically recommend Charlotte Tilbury’s new Genius Magic Powder (£33). This ultra-fine powder achieves the rare feat of locking makeup and mattifying shine, while still leaving skin looking alive, not caked. It blurs fine lines and can even be dusted under the eyes to deter mascara smudges. It’s a very clever piece of kit.
Finally, I’m excited to discover True Colour Finishing Pearls (£6) from Avon – not least because their solid, powder-balls format makes me nostalgic for my youth, when bronzing pearls were all the rage. There’s nothing retro about the finish here, however. Avon’s pearls are so tightly pressed that what seems like not enough product on the brush is actually the lightest, most natural-looking coating of glowy, glitter-free setting powder. It’s perhaps too light in coverage for the Instagram generation, but to my eye, does exactly as a powder should – sets, polishes and lasts. Everything here is ethnically inclusive. We’re getting there.
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