Feb 022013

Nars Translucent Crystal Loose 2

Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder in Crystal ($34 / .035 oz.) (now available at Nordstrom.com, Nars Cosmetics online and Sephora.com) is the loose powder version of the Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder previously reviewed here. Both sell for the same $34 price point. The loose version contains more product by weight (.035 oz. for the loose, and .24 oz. for the pressed), however the pressed has the convenience of the purse-friendly compact and mirror.

Nars Translucent Crystal Loose 3

I’ve found that, with the qualification that they be properly applied, both provide me with the same airbrushed-photoshop effect. I absolutely love it. By the way, you must, MUST see this comparison picture on Beautylish. Seriously, even if you don’t think you are interested in this powder…. well, you just should know about it.

Nars Translucent Crystal Loose

The reason that I’ve been delaying this review is that I’ve really been working with the loose vs. pressed question. When I first applied the loose Nars Light Reflecting Translucent, I used the same type of brush that I used with the pressed. However, I found that this gave me an overly powdery look.

Nars Translucent Crystal 4

I did not use quite this much, I swear.

After experimenting, I found that I’ve got to use a very light touch (sometimes, a duo-fiber brush), and then buff, buff, buff. This method of application gave me a seriously glowing-matte perfection finish that made my makeup last all day. The all-day effect actually got better as the day went along, as my natural oils mixed with the product.  Although this doesn’t prevent oil from coming from the skin, on me it did prevent me from getting the overly-shiny glow that becomes so prominent after 6-8 hours.

My application tip of the day, and I cannot stress this enough, is less is more. You need only the tiny, tiniest bit to really make your skin look amazing. And buff, buff, buff this into the skin so that it really melds with your foundation. Less. Is. So. Totally. More.

So, which to buy? Here are my thoughts:

  • The compact is for travel convenience and super-fast application. I seem to be able to pick up any random powder brush in my cup and whisk on the compact version with the greatest of ease. I haven’t had to re-apply this yet during the day as it is quite long-lasting. However, for travel there is something so effortless about tucking this into the pocket of a carry-on.


  • I had a slight–and I repeat–slight preference for the look of the loose. If I were going into a 16 hour work day, a wedding, or any event where I wanted my skin to be free of perceived imperfection, I’d choose the loose. If I had a less hectic travel schedule, I’d go with the loose as well.

Bottom line–I love these. Love. You must check these out. But don’t let someone layer too much on you. Properly applied, these really make my foundation and blush last all day and make my skin look a bit like luminous velvet. Or, as close as my skin can get to luminous velvet. There is a mattifying effect, but the lightness of the powder doesn’t look aging or layered so long as you use a very small amount and buff, buff, buff.

Available at Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com, and Nars Cosmetics.com and elsewhere.

 This product was provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This review contains affiliate links (please see About Cafe Makeup for more information)

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