The truth on Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty Radiance Powder. Does it manage to de-throne Laura Mercier’s setting powder as the gold standard?
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Greetings to my fellow makeup mavens! Last week I shared a review of the new cream bronzer sticks from Rare Beauty (read here) and today? I’m following up with review of yet *another* new release Selena Gomez is bringing to the table.
The Rare Beauty Radiance Powder is the first loose setting powder from the vegan and cruelty-free makeup line and is one I was SUPER excited to try out!
For years now I’ve been on hooked on Laura Mercier’s loose setting powder like you can’t believe and I haven’t yet been able to find an alternative option that gets the job done just as well. Many failed attempts later — the Radiance Powder sprung up on Sephora’s New Arrivals page and my eyes bulged quicker than my waistline over the holidays. It was in my cart faster than the speed of light and after a few weeks of testing I’m here to give a full report!
Can the Rare Beauty Radiance Powder de-throne Laura Mercier’s as the gold standard? Find out, below.
RARE BEAUTY RADIANCE POWDER
First off – we have to discuss the shade range. The Rare Beauty Radiance powder is not translucent. It’s currently available in five shades:
- LIGHT: Soft pink for fair to light skin tones
- LIGHT MEDIUM: True peach for the light-to-medium complexions
- MEDIUM: Warm honey shade for those with a medium tones
- MEDIUM/DEEP: Golden shade for medium to deep complexions
- DEEP: A deep mahogany
PICKING A SHADE
If you’re thinking the shade range is limited, I have to agree. I spent a fair amount of time staring at the images online before finally choosing the shade ‘Light’. I typically wear Light-Medium foundations but as this isn’t a translucent powder I was worried it might be heavy and overpower the rest of my makeup.
Upon application, though, I realized that the Rare Beauty Radiance Powder does have a bit of coloration to it but it applies with a sheer finish. With that in mind, I do recommend going for whatever shade most closely matches your foundation.
IS IT CHALKY?
Probably the million dollar question when it comes to any loose powder is just how chalky it is. We’ve all been there – splashing powder on our face only to end up in a coughing fit after you made an ill-timed inhale. And things continue to get worse when you watch your powder turn your complexion into crusty bread. No bueno!
Well, let you fears stand down because I’m happy to report the Rare Beauty Radiance Powder has a clean and smooth application that will allow you to keep breathing freely.
Let’s Talk Texture
Rare Beauty describes the Radiance Powder as having a “silky” texture and I’d have to agree.
Is it as “finely milled” as Laura Mercier’s powder? No.
It’s silkiness does help with setting your foundation and concealer but it’s not as smooth as I prefer so I apply the powder in targeted areas of the face rather than sweeping all over with a powder brush.
There’s a second powder that I use EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life and that’s Pat McGrath’s Blurring Undereye powder. It transforms the skin, making me go from perfectly fine to completely refreshed and well-rested in a matter of seconds. It’s the last step in my makeup routine and one I’m religiously committed to as someone who really struggles to get her beauty sleep.
So I was a major skeptic that the Rare Beauty Radiance Powder would live up to its claims of blurring the skin. Ultimately, I think it’s a moderately blurring powder upon initial application but that effect only lasts for a couple of hours.
If you’re looking specifically for a blurring product that is also long-wearing, I definitely suggest going with Pat’s instead.
Judging by its name it should come as no surprise that Rare Beauty Radiance Powder is one that is supposed to bring a radiance to your skin. I have to say, it doesn’t and I’m actually quite glad! Instead the powder has a natural finish that’s semi-matte and doesn’t add shine in places you don’t want it.
How Much Coverage Does it Offer?
Minimal. The powder will set your foundation and concealer in place and mattify any shine you may have that springs up — but if you’re looking for a powder that provides coverage for the skin? This won’t be the one for you. The product is sheer and your skin will still shine through.
Packaging that Locks for Life “On-the-Go”
The Radiance Powder’s sifter has a lid to it that locks in place for storage. I really like this feature and think it will definitely come in handy traveling where your luggage gets thrown about on a flight.
Do I think it’s an ideal product for “on-the-go” as the Rare Beauty team suggests? No. Toting this around and along with a powder brush would be a bit much for life around town but I do think it’s great for any future trips you may have planned.
THE RARE BEAUTY RADIANCE POWDER RUNDOWN
- Not chalky
- Natural finish
- Silky texture that smooths over and doesn’t exaggerate pores and fine lines
- Sets foundation and concealer nicely
- Lightness that works well “baking”
- Packaging that locks for mess-free storage
- Modestly priced at $22
- Available at Sephora
- Vegan and cruelty-free formula
- Limited shade range with no options for cool-toned complexions
- Doesn’t provide radiance as suggested
- Not long-wearing
- Limited blurring effect that fades shortly thereafter
OVERALL GRADE: B-
Is this a fine powder? Yes. The Rare Beauty Radiance Powder will set your makeup. The price is also great and I do quite like the packaging design.
That said, it’s not at all replacing my love for Laura Mercier’s loose setting and Pat McGrath‘s blurring powders. It’s also not an innovative game changer like Dior’s Backstage No Powder Powder that was one of my favorite 2021 makeup releases. While I have loved so many of Rare Beauty’s products, the Radiance Powder is overall just pretty average for me and definitely not a new staple in my routine.
If you are looking for a GREAT new product from Rare Beauty, I highly recommend the cream bronzer sticks she also released at the start of 2022. Those are fantastic and a product I see myself purchasing again and again!
— Rare Beauty Product Reel —
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