New From NARS: Light Reflecting Setting Powder Review and Photos

With the new NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder, you might be wondering, “Am I finally ready for my close-up?”  Or, like many beauty lovers, you might be thinking, “But Hourglass came out with Ambient Light Powders…which one should I get?”  After buying and testing the NARS Light Reflecting powder, I hope to help clarify some apparent misunderstandings.

NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder

NARS created a new setting powder with a bit of a confusing name.  They’ve called it Light Reflecting Powder in Translucent Crystal.  It should really be named Light Diffusing Powder.  Here is the brand’s explanation of this groundbreaking formula:

Enhances the look of foundation without a trace of color and prolongs makeup wear. This invisible silky powder is infused with Photochromic Technology to diffuse light and adjust to new sources of light throughout the day. Fine lines, wrinkles and pores optically fade as skin is visibly smoothed. Soft, silky and luxurious to the touch, this weightless formula applies evenly and blends effortlessly. Ideal for touch-ups, it helps regulate shine and seamlessly sets foundation.Paraben-free. Fragrance-free. Non-Comedogenic. (I added the bold.)

So what is it really?  It’s an awesome setting powder.

NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder and Sponge

I’ll admit that at first I was extremely underwhelmed with my new “light reflecting” product.  A loose powder fanatic at heart, I wanted to try the new NARS formula in the pressed version because I felt it would give me a better idea of its nuances.  To the touch, this powder feels more like paper.  Or even a smooth block of chalk.  As powder transfers however, it simply feels like smooth skin.  And the more I played, the more I loved it!

NARS included a very thin and flexible applicator (that does not fit in the compact, it must be housed in an accompanying pouch).  Not a sponge, not quite a brush, the applicator has fine short bristles.  I don’t bother with the applicator as I find it too thin for use and prefer either a travel kabuki brush or the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to press the powder onto my foundation. NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder Sponge

The powder is white in the pan and white when heavily swatched, but it is completely invisible when worn.  The first couple days that I tried it, I didn’t notice a difference.  I even wore NARS on half my face and a traditional loose setting powder on the other half and I couldn’t find a single noteworthy difference in my skin.  Then I switched from a typical powder brush to a buffing brush and BAM! I saw a major difference.  Despite using what seems like a lot of product, I never experience a cakey look and the powder is never visible.  Talk about finely milled!

Bare Face - NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder

My bare skin doesn’t have many physical irregularities.  There is uneven texture at the center of my forehead, slightly visible pores on my nose, and the occasional breakout.

Before Powder - NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder

Immediately after foundation and concealer I am fairly pleased with my skin.  The bumps on my forehead are still visible, but everything else has been covered.  As the day continues, the pores in my nose become visible again.  This is why I like a setting powder.

After Powder  - NARS Light Reflecting Setting PowderCan you see the difference?  I didn’t change any settings on my camera and my lighting remained the same for this photo.  But there is a slight blur to my skin, mostly visible in this photo on my cheek.  After applying the rest of my makeup, my face has a visible softness yet retains the depth and dimension of bare skin.

Wearing NARS And God Created the Woman 2

That hazy appearance on my cheek, over the tip of my nose and especially visible on my chin?  That is NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder.  Anyone expecting a miracle product and a heavenly glow to their skin will be sorely disappointed because that is not what NARS created.  But for a setting powder that does a superb job of controlling oil and softening the appearance of the skin, NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder is the way to go!

  • Kristi C.

    I was going to ignore this product based on the name – it sounded suspiciously like highlighter. As an oily gal I don’t need help in the shine department! However, after reading your post & especially seeing the pics, I will be taking a look at this.
    Side note: Do you happen to recall what is on your eyes & lips in this post?

    • Alison M

      This powder controls oil better than LM setting powder, so definitely give this one a try. I’m wearing NARS Alhambra and Galapagos shadows (from And God Created the Woman and Too Faced La Creme Spice Baby Spice. Love their formula on dry lips!

      • Kristi C.

        So I went to Sephora & tried the NARS & the new Hourglass Ambient Powders. I left wearing half on one side & half on the other. Initially I really liked the Hourglass. However, after abt 4 hours the NARS clearly was the better option for me. The Hourglass will be better suited for those with dryer skin, I think. Perhaps I could make the Hourglass work if I used a mattifying primer, etc. Except I don’t want to work that hard at making my makeup work for me. I got the loose version. I am very pleased with its oil controlling properties. Far superior to my oil control mineral powder that I have been using.

        • Alison M

          I am definitely getting the loose version next. Nothing is wrong with the pressed, just a preference. What I’m about to say is blasphemous, but…….. I just don’t get the Hourglass powders :O Maybe I need to see them in person, but I don’t think they are all that groundbreaking. They remind me a lot of MAC MSFN or simply wearing a liquid highlighter under foundation.

          • Kristi C.

            I may get the pressed version once summer arrives for touchups. I am just beside myself that I get to the middle of the afternoon before I see any shine breakthrough! #unheardof I wanted to see the Moonlit one but they didn’t have a tester. Diffused didn’t add noticeable color or shine. The other colors looked more like highlighters/bronzer to me. I haven’t tried MAC MSFN so can’t speak to that comparison.

  • Appu

    I’ve been curious about this one but most white powders leave a slight cast on my NC37-40 skintone. Looks nice on you!! Will def. look in to and play around a bit when I’m at Sephora :)

    • Alison M

      I am the same skin tone and have that problem as well. This powder is most definitely invisible when worn.

    • Procrast1nato2

      Same for me, and I’m only about NC30 – 35. I find I have to buff really hard to get rid of the ashiness, but I can end up messing with my foundation underneath. This looks interesting though, a pressed white powder — I think it’d give off a lot less product.

      • Alison M

        You sooo have to swatch this! It is so finely milled it puts other powders to shame!

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