Review of TheBalm Sexy Mama by gingerrama
Recent discovery--one of those snap decision purchases. And it's one of the best transparent pressed finishing powders I've ever used.
Finely-milled, applies like a dream (use a brush on clean fingertips), simply evens, smoothes out, and slightly mattifies skin without adding any colour. So long as you just add a rapid sheer once-over: yes, like anything, you can pile it on and overdo it. I'm pale (somewhere around NW05-10, can look NW15 when you take freckles into account) and this doesn't change the colour of my face.
No irritation, no clogging, and neither drying nor greasifying: I guess due to the cunning balance between corn and rice starch and cotton powder on the one hand, and silica and dimethicone on the other. Beautiful finish, anyway.
I'm really just using this as a finishing touch on top of sunscreen (Vancream 30: even once settled to its nice velvety finish, it can still look a bit greasy). I do use a mineral powder, but just for spot-concealing, and otherwise am not a big fan of loose powders cos I tend to spill them everywhere. The Sexy is great, as it's pressed rather than loose; yet is more or less "mineral" and lacks talc; and, unlike many pressed powders, isn't chock full of oily things to get the powder to stick together in pressed form. The sticky bits here are silica and dimethicone (yay for my skin's favourite 'cone--dislikes cyclomethicones which are everywhere these days) and the polymer-items. Otherwise, a minimal formulation, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free.
I don't get very greasy, but this stuff is also good for touch-ups at the end of the day, without looking like you've caked on extra layers of slap.
May seem slightly pricy compared to drugstore, but cheap as chips compared to "green" brands (that are often about as green as this stuff), let alone department store and high-end; and worth every cent as it works as well as the best translucent powders I've used, of any sort. USD 19.00, CAD 26.00 for 7.08 g. Ooh yes, and the packaging is ever so pretty! Little cardboard rectangular compact with mirror, magnetic closure, and an outer sleeve. With '50s pinup on the front of each. Don't be deceived by the cutesyness: this stuff works. UPDATE 05/2010: went over to Laura Mercier's much pricier stuff for a while, had some breakouts, now back on Sexy Mama. Which is--on me, anyway--much, much better.
INGREDIENTS: boron nitride, zea mays (corn) starch, polyethylene, silica, isoeicosane, zinc stearate, PTFE, styrene/DVB crosspolymer, polyisobutene, dimethylimidazolidiinone rice starch, gossypium herbaceum (cotton) powder, sodium dehydroacetate, dimethicone [+/- mica, iron oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]