I want to warn you right up front that I don't have any before-and-after photos to share with you in this post. I apologize about that, but given that this product is so close to my true skin color, and the finish is not powdery, I couldn't accurately photograph what it looked like on my skin. So I'm afraid you'll just have my words for this review--I'm so sorry about that!
Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Airbrushing Pressed Powder SPF30 in Translucent
(retail: around $13, 0.26 oz)
When I first mentioned that I purchased this powder, many of you said you'd like to see a review. So now that I've been using this powder almost exclusively for several weeks over a variety of foundations, I'd like to share my thoughts with you!
This product was released at the end of 2011 (you can see my "spotted" post here for the other products in the range).
The powder itself is embossed with a neat wave-like pattern that of course erodes with continued use:
Inside the compact, you'll find what PF calls a "Buffing Kabuki Brush":
While this brush is nicely constructed with soft, dense bristles (I mean, very soft, like babys-bottom-soft), I find that the narrowness of the brush makes it virtually impossible for me to use for any real buffing. I've tried using it several times, and the best analogy I can give you is that it feels like trying to use a car windshield wiper to wash your kitchen floor. The surface area of this brush is just too small--it would take forever to go in little circles on my skin with this and use it for actual buffing.
But back to the powder itself:
The above swatch was taken after I layered, and then layered some more product onto my arm. It really took a lot of layering before I could actually see this product well enough on my skin to photograph it.
Texture and finish: The important thing to note about this powder is that it has a slightly creamy texture to it. It's not a "powdery" powder and it does not make the skin look flat. The shade Translucent isn't perfectly translucent, but it's such a close match for my NC20 skin that it might as well be. I find that, true to its word, this powder gives a nice, airbrushed quality to my skin. It slightly covers imperfections and it makes my enlarged pores look noticeably smaller. I also find that it doesn't settle into my fine lines.
Staying power: Now this is where it gets tricky. This powder does not play well with ALL of my foundations. As an example, I hated it when layered over my CoverGirl Tone Rehab foundation, which is a creamy liquid foundation. After only a few hours, my skin felt sticky and almost gooey when my natural oils came to the surface and mixed with the combination of this powder and my foundation. HOWEVER, this product worked quite well with my Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation. After a few hours, my breakthrough shine wasn't bad, and my skin looked luminous and glowy, without becoming sticky. And over my Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF50 Powder Foundation, my skin looked AMAZING. No surprise that it worked so well with another PF product, but what did surprise me was how much it increased the staying power of my foundation (which already has incredible staying power for me), and how it added just the perfect touch of dewiness and luminosity to my skin without adding any extra shine. My Healthy Wear Powder Foundation is great on its own, but this truly takes it to the next level.
Fragrance: Put your nose up this product and you'll get: burnt plastic. I even smell burnt plastic during application, which is probably the one thing I strongly dislike about this product. However, a few minutes after application and the fragrance is not detectable to me.
FINAL VERDICT: As with any face product, some people are going to love this powder while others will hate it. This is to be expected, and nobody's wrong here. It really depends on what OTHER products you wear on your face (moisturizers, serums, primers and foundations ALL play a role in how a powder is going to work for you). So my best advice is this: if you're looking for a setting powder that doesn't look powdery and can add a slightly dewy, airbrushed quality to the skin, this might work well for you. If you have dry or normal skin, I think your chances are probably a bit greater for success. If you have oily skin, then it's truly anybody's guess. I wouldn't consider this a shine-control powder by any means, but with the right products beforehand, I don't think it will add to or increase shine. It really depends on what products you use BEFORE you apply this powder, so just keep your receipt in case you need to exchange or return it after you've tried it (so buy it at CVS or Rite Aid, which both accept returns/exchanges on used products). I have very oily skin, and this powder worked nicely with some of my foundations, but it was kind of a disaster with others.
So...are you willing to roll the dice? Have you already rolled the dice and given this one a whirl? Thoughts?