I ran across this powder when raiding my sister's makeup stash, and immediately went to Ulta to purchase my own. I'm NC25, and I chose the Fair shade, which matches nicely. I have used this both as a finishing powder and on its own as a foundation, the latter of which I prefer because I find it looks more natural--not to mention quicker. Using a primer underneath is essential, and Laura's Spackle works best with this foundation. I don't use her brush to apply--use a Real Techniques stippling brush--, but I find it lasts all day and doesn't feel like foundation (as all liquids do) or end up all over my vanity like BM. I put a little on a retractable blush brush to take with me for touch ups, but find I rarely need it. Even covers up the redness on my nose and doesn't settle into fine lines around my eyes.
My hope was this would be like Smashbox Halo in pressed form, or perhaps similar to MAC MSFN without the Bismuth I'm allergic to. I have normal to dry skin and wanted something in that genre, an "illumnating or brightening" powder of sorts in a compact for touchups when I can't haul around that ginormus Halo compact.
I have this in Fair (@NC20) and it matches perfectly but needs to be applied with a light hand if you have dry skin like I do or it can run to the chalky side. EDIT: make that the 'extremely chalky side' to the point of making me look 10yrs older and settling into every fine line I have, which isn't even that many. Not pretty Laura, sorry my friend but this simply will not cut it and I am sad. I tried to use a brush to apply instead of a puff or sponge to alleviate this problem; nope. Looks the same, just a lighter coating of chalk :( It can also illuminate any dry spots you've got if you haven't exfoliated well first AND you don't blend this well when applying. Also, I think it oxidizes orange on me after a couple hours which also is not attractive. However, it gets one point because I used under my eyes without concealer, over a primer (the new Revlon Photoready Perfecting) and was amazed at how well it covered the bit of darkness I had there without caking which allowed me to skip concealer. As for the rest, it just doesn't look good on me no matter what I do, primer, no primer, brush or no brush. I'm just too dry I guess, bummer. I saw no brightening effect, but no breakouts or allergic reactions either at least. I now know it will not replace my beloved Halo as a setting powder nor is it the powder foundation I wish it was so I'm taking it back to Ulta and going back to my Mark Powder Buff which somehow, looks really good on my skin where others don't regardless of how much they cost. Go figure.
I had extremely high hopes for this product, but I don't believe it works for my skin type. First, the color regular (which I bought) is a bit too dark for me, but the color fair is WAY too light. When I use this alone as a foundation it doesn't do much of anything for my skin. So I wear it after I apply my liquid foundation and concealer, and use it as a setting powder. To me it seems to do the exact same thing my cheap setting powder did. It doesn't brighten, or color correct my skin in any way. I certainly won't be repurchasing this product and only recommend this to those who don't need much coverage and have combination/oily skin, since it is very powdery, and I can imagine would accentuate any dry patches.
I love baked swirly things (I'm an absolute sucker for MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes) so I was pretty excited to try this out. I'm perhaps a tad lighter than a MAC NC/NW20 and I bought this in Fair.
The coverage is great - never looks cakey or unnatural but covers up unevenness and if you stipple it over blemishes it pretty much hides them so when I use this I don't need a separate concealer. Depending on how much you apply, it can give a low to medium coverage. It does look "glowy", but in a nice, subtle way and not a "shiny disco ball" way.
In terms of staying power, it's pretty good. My face eats up makeup during the day and usually gets reasonably oily on the T-zone by lunch time. When I removed this with a makeup wipe at night, a lot of it showed up on the wipe. My T-zone still gets a tiny bit oily with this on but a quick blot at lunch time with oil blotting paper does the trick.
The only complaint I have is that the colour is slightly too dark and ever so slightly too yellow for my skin (which has neutral undertones). Porcelain (the lightest colour in the range) looks almost white so I think it will be too light for me. I've been trying to remedy this by sweeping my Laneige pressed powder on top which seems to adjust the colour just enough for it not to look noticeable.
I've never really had the urge to write a review... until now. Wow! Do I love this foundation! I'm 41 years of age, with combination/acne-prone skin, STILL! At 41, needless to say my 'glow' is not what it used to be. But with this foundation powder, it's back!!! And without looking oily! It's the next step following my sunscreen. And following a day of wear, I still look great!, if I do say so myself! ;) I'm encouraged to try more of her 'baked goodies!' :) Drats, that HSN!!! Hope it works for you, too!!! :)
The color of this foundation was just off for me (I'm NC30 and I used the regular balance-n-brighten). I have fairly oily skin that tends to get shiny in the middle of the day and I could see the foundation deteriorating as the day progressed. It looked better after a layer of Mally's face defender but for $30+ I expect a foundation that will perform better. This product went back.
I use this peoduct every day. I have pretty fair skin and don't need a lot of coverage. I take a wide powder brush and swirl it all around face. Its is enough coverage to make me look awake and brigthen my skin tone. This is a great product.
For the price I am probably not going tp repurchase. It's okay, it is very light but it'a soo light that you really can't see a difference. Does it balance? NO Does it Brighten? NO. I have red on my cheeks and around my nose and it didn't even out the tone of my face. I use it as a setting powder. The good thing is . . this product didn't break me out or look cakey over the other products.
I tried the balance & brighten in medium that came with the Toast of the Town Kit (you can see my review for that). This powder matched my skin tone perfectly and did not cake on me at all. In fact, I layered it on under my eyes, and this is where most mineral powders will really accentuate any lines under my eyes and make me look 10 years older. Those are the pros for this powder. The major con is that it wears off very quickly. We're talking two hours and that's wearing it over LG's Spackle. At the end of the day, my skin looked naked and hardly ANY color came off on my cleansing cloth. The blush in mimosa also wore off completely just as quick.
Went in to Ulta today because I had been wanting to try this forever. I am fair skinned, oily most of the time, and I religiously use Jergens Natural Glow facial moisturizer, which gives me a nice, slight color. That being said, I think the Fair color matches very well. (If I didn't use the facial tanner, I think this color may be a bit too dark for me) I really love how this powder/foundation is chalky and airy when applied. It really does give me nice coverage, and I can control how much coverage I want in different areas. I use it with my favorite Revlon ColorStay powder in Light/Medium for a very polished look. I am very impressed with this product, and wil continue to use it.