Setting Powder Battle

July 15, 2016

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder vs RCMA No Color Powder

Setting powders can be a real challenge; not so much in finding one but finding one that performs well.

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder has been holding the No:1 spot for the best setting powder category for quite some time now. Recently however, another powder has been challenging its spot: RCMA No Color Powder

I have them both and use them both so I thought I’d do a comparison post and give you all the info you need if you’re wondering which one really deserves the top spot…

Laura Mercier vs RCMA Setting Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder / RCMA No Color Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder is possibly the most talked about and hyped about setting powder in the beauty world. So much so, that it’s featured in just about every makeup tutorial and most makeup artists have at least one pot in their kits.

RCMA, as a brand, is more famous in the professional makeup world. RCMA has been around for years and their No Color Setting Powder is one of their most renowned and widely used products.

Lets take a look at the differences between the two powders, discussing the pros and cons – based on my personal experiences with both:

Laura Mercier vs RCMA Setting Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder / RCMA No Color Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder: As the name suggests, being translucent, this powder is designed to set liquid base products without transferring any color onto the skin. Therefore it’s suitable for use on any skin color and tone. Cased in a traditional loose-powder pot with a sifter, it comes in a standard 1oz tub and retails at $38; or 0.33oz travel size at $23.

RCMA No Color Powder: As with the Laura Mercier powder, and again as suggested by its name, this No Color Powder is also designed to be used on any skin color/tone. It comes in a plastic sifter bottle. It contains 3oz of product and retails at $12.

Looking at the initial comparisons, what stands out is the fact that RCMA offers triple the amount of product at a fraction of the cost to the Laura Mercier powder. This is where many people jumped on the RCMA band wagon cos lets be honest, who doesn’t love a great product that’s also budget friendly. But of course there’s more we need to cover about each…

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder vs RCMA No Color Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder VS RCMA No Color Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder: As per the picture above, the Laura Mercier powder is slightly tinted compared to the RCMA powder. Don’t let this tint fool you though, as it does not translate onto the skin at all. The powder is super finely milled, applies really smoothly and disappears pretty much right away leaving behind a silky flawless veil.

This powder is also widely used in “baking” the face – meaning it’s applied as a heavy layer over highlighted areas of the face (mainly the center), left for a few minutes to settle in and the residue dusted off with a powder brush. I personally don’t use the baking technique so my findings/opinions are based on lightly dusting the powders over the skin with powder brushes.

RCMA No Color Powder: This powder has a very “corn-starch” look and feel to it. You know that really smooth, almost silicone-like softness which feels like silk to the touch. It leaves the skin with a matte, even finish which is great specifically for those with oily skin.

Below is a swatch picture of the two powders “somewhat” blended. Keep in mind, neither of them would look this obvious when applied properly. I left some residue on the skin to highlight some of the differences between the two powders:

Laura Mercier Translucent Powder vs RCMA No Color Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder VS RCMA No Color Powder 

In my personal experience, the most obvious difference between these two powders is the finish – which in turn affects performance.

Laura Mercier: I know this will sound strange considering we’re talking about powders, however the Laura Mercier powder feels more moisturizing and disappears with ease. It’s great at providing an even veil over the skin, with the added bonus of performing really well under the eyes too. How the powder looks after hours of wear is usually the same as how I first apply it. It doesn’t dry out my skin, it doesn’t collect or get patchy and it doesn’t settle into the creases or highlight fine lines.

RCMA: has more of a dry feel and tends to leave the skin more matte. This dry/matte finish becomes more apparent when I set my under eye area which is quite important for me. It almost sucks the moisture out of my skin and hence highlights fine lines that I never even knew existed. As I wear it throughout the day, I find the lines become more obvious. For this reason, if and when I reach for the RCMA powder, I only use it on my T-zone where I tend to get more oily, as it’s great at absorbing oils.

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder vs RCMA No Color Powder

With flash photography: Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder VS RCMA No Color Powder

Another important aspect of translucent powders is the flashback factor. A lot of HD or translucent powders can give off a white cast when flash photography is used.

Whilst the risk of powder flash back is mainly due to incorrect application, I can confirm Laura Mercier powder does NOT flash back at all. RCMA is pretty good in this regard too but it can create a white veil across the skin if not used in moderation or correctly.

Again, the swatch picture is an extreme case to highlight the differences but Laura Mercier definitely diffuses better over the skin, whereas the RCMA is more apparent.

TIP: In order to avoid flashback with translucent powders, it’s important to use a light hand during application. Dust a very light veil evenly across the skin, making sure there’s no product build up. Another guaranteed way to avoid powder flashback is to spray a fixing or setting spray over the face. This will ensure powders settle into the skin and hence prevent flashback.

IN SUMMARY

Despite the substantial price and size difference, I’ll have to crown Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder as the winner. From application to finish to overall performance, I can vouch for it being an all-round great product for all skin types and tones.

I would still recommend RCMA No Color Powder, especially considering the price and the generous size. I just find it performs better with oily or excessively oily skin types which can be restrictive and hit and miss in terms of overall performance.

SHOP 

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder                  RCMA No Color Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder   /   RCMA No Color Powder  

 

Have you tried these setting powders? What’s your go-to setting powder?

You may also like

10 comments

Bronwyn Sargeant March 1, 2017 at 3:15 am

I’ve only just seen this post and I’m so happy I found it. I have been agonising over powder for months. I have very crepey and dark under eyes and find concealer and powder really hard to apply as it always looks crap or settles into my lines so bad I’m better wearing nothing. After much researching I was down to these two powders to try and as Laura Mercier is $61 in Australia I was really hesitant to buy it. I thought the cheaper RCMA powder was the way to go but your post and explanation was all I needed. As I’m dryer I will definitely be buying the Laura Mercier powder from your post and photos it seems the way to go. So thank you for this because I probably would have still been sitting here in two months time trying to decide.

Reply
facebook-profile-picture
Sarah March 1, 2017 at 9:01 am

Hi Bronwyn, I’m so happy to hear the post helped you with your decision. Price point is definitely very different between the two powders, however you only need the tiniest amount so it will last a long time. I guess you can look at it as a long-term investment :)

You mentioned your under eyes are a tricky area for you. Are you prepping your under eyes before applying makeup? I find using a light textured eye cream and letting it settle into skin for a few minutes (before applying concealer/corrector/powder) really helps plump up the area and prevent dryness or creasing.
On that note, MAC has a product called Fast Response Eye Cream which is amazing as an under eye prep. It’s infused with caffeine which is known to tighten and plump the skin. It has a slight silicone feel to it but fills in lines and smooths the area beautifully. It might be worthwhile to get a small sample of it from the MAC counter to try. I hope this helps :)

Reply
Sam July 17, 2016 at 5:02 am

Definitely loving the new site!!!!! It looks absolutely amazing. I’m actually just on the lookout for a setting powder and will definitely try the Laura mercier

Reply
facebook-profile-picture
Sarah July 17, 2016 at 5:26 am

Thanks Sam :)

Reply
Kristen July 16, 2016 at 5:19 pm

OMG! What happened to the site? It looks amazing!! I just came to read about the powders and thought I clicked the wrong link lol. I love the new look.
I use Laura Mercier loose powder but mine has color, not the translucent one. I always feel it oxidizes. Would you recommend I try this translucent one instead?

Reply
facebook-profile-picture
Sarah July 17, 2016 at 5:29 am

Thanks Kristen, I’ve been meaning to revamp the site for quite some time so I’m happy you like it :) The translucent powder will definitely eliminate the oxidizing problem and it’s lighter than the colored powders on the skin too.

Reply
Jessica July 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm

I see the LM powder everywhere. I only use powder to set my t-zone. I never heard of the rmca powder but price and the product sounds like good value. I might give that a try.

Reply
facebook-profile-picture
Sarah July 17, 2016 at 5:30 am

Hi Jessica, RCMA is really good at soaking up oils and definitely great value for 3oz of product.

Reply
Bianca Miller July 16, 2016 at 6:38 am

I use the Laura mercier powder too and I love it! It hold up really good and no creasing. Btw the site looks great Sarah!

Reply
facebook-profile-picture
Sarah July 17, 2016 at 5:30 am

Thanks Bianca! :)

Reply

Leave a Comment