God really was on a role when he came up with me. Maybe he’d just lost on the scratchcards, or his wife was nagging him to get off his backside and do the washing up for once, or maybe people were beginning to doubt his creativity in creating girls of just one skin type. Yup, with dry skin that rivals the sahara in a drought, but a smattering of blemishes to keep my chin company and a natural ‘glow’ (read: sweat) inspired by Sunday morning’s frying pan, He really broke the mould with me.
Now, I am not a Complaining Caroline. Dry skin with a shine has its benefits; it looks a lot healthier than dry grey skin does, for one thing. It means I get to try out pressed powders like Matthew Fort tries out caviar, for another. Indeed, my makeup is not complete until I have dusted a fine layer of powder over my complexion. Although many beauty gurus have long sworn off the powdery stuff for the way it ‘dulls’ the skin, I find that the right powder is the cherry on top. Matte but not too matte, healthy without looking too healthy and glowy without needing to empty an entire bottle of Blanc de Chanel over my face (damn that thing needs a pump).
So when I saw Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder doing the rounds on the blogosphere and my Soap & Glory Kick Ass Powder shattered like a MOFO, I dutifully waddled on down to Boots and picked this up. At £8.99 it’s cheaper than my faithful Soap & Glory Kick Ass Powder (£12) but more expensive than my other favourite Rimmel Stay Matte Powder £3.99.
But maybe that’s an unfair comparison. Indeed, whilst all 3 are face powders applied at the same stage post-makeup application, the Bourjois offering is a completely different animal. Rather than being aimed at perfecting the skin whilst remaining pretty much unnoticeable on the skin, this one is a little heavier and more focused on oil absorbing. Yes, it gives a smidgen of coverage but unfortunately – and this is my main bugbear – it doesn’t mattify the skin.
I’ve seen this powder touted as a dupe for the ever-popular MAC Mineralize Skinfish Natural and I do agree with that in that you can comfortably wear this powder alone over moisturiser/concealer for a natural look without going completely barefaced. Used in this capacity, it doesn’t go cakey or orange (I use the shade ‘Beige Fonce’) and it does look rather lovely and make-up free. But when using as a setting powder? Oh God, I don’t like this at all.
For some reason, it’s the complete opposite over makeup. It mixes with your makeup so that your foundation kind of separates on your face and settles in the fine lines. All of them. Under the eyes, round the nose, chin crease… It’s just not a flattering look. Not to mention it doesn’t actually mattify the skin, so I’m still shiny. It’s not invisible like the Rimmel and S&G, either; in fact, it just makes it look like I’ve layered my foundation and powder on with a trowel. Even my mum has commented on the change in my look, commenting on the apparent product build-up on my face.
So, a conclusion? For those looking for a simple low-coverage powder for lazy days, this is great and certainly squares up to the MAC. But for use as a setting powder? Sorry girls, back to the drawing board.