Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – Is it worth the cash?

There are many beauty blogger favourtie cosmetics that if you look into them in a little detail, they don’t make sense. For example, the all time favourite MAC Fix+ is incorrectly used as a setting spray when the ingredients contained won’t really protect your makeup significantly. It is worth mentioning, that MAC doesn’t describe this product as a setting spray either! For more information check out: Showdown: Urban Decay All Nighter vs MAC Prep and Prime Fix+. Are They Both Setting Sprays and Which One is Best? In-depth Review and Ingredient Analyses

One of those examples is also the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder which although, it works very well indeed and definetely does what it should, it’s ingredient-price combination is dissapointing and dosen’t get enough attention.

Let’s have a look at it in more detail.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder 2



The Laura Mercier Translucent Powder packaging is typical for a setting powder. It comes with a simple silver looking outer packaging and the powder itself comes in a jar.

The jar opens by unscrewing the lid and the powder comes out by tapping the jar upside down, usually into the lid. There are 20 square holes that allow the powder to come through but there isn’t a way to cover them again.

Overall, the packaging is simple but elegant and it does the job.



This powder comes in two colours, the translucent and translucent medium deep.



One Laura Mercier Translucent Powder jar contains 29g and retails for £30. That’s almost £1 per g and given the somewhat cheap ingredients contained, like parabens, this is a dissapointing price.

For more info check out the ingredients section below.


Practicality of use – user experience

Powders are annoying to use in general as they easily create a mess. This powder is as easy to annoying as any and there isn’t anything special about it other than the fact that it is a little sticky.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder 5

You can see that some of the powder sticks on the walls of the jar which means that the powder is either wet or statically charged. This might mean nothing or it might affect your makeup, it’s hard to compare without a fully dry powder version.



This powder works well, sets makeup easily without caking it or changing it’s colour. It also doesn’t reflect light in flash photography and overall looks and works great.



This powder smells like…well powder. It doesn’t contain extra fragrance and the scent comes naturally from the ingredients contained.

Please not that it is advisable not to smell powders as inhaling some of the ingredients contained can be a health hazard.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder 3


The Laura Mercier Translucent Powder lasts for 12M.

Here’s what the brand says about this product:

Cult favorite and winner of multiple major awards, Laura Mercier’s “best in beauty,” #1 setting powder* is your go-to powder. Pros love the super smooth application, which goes on evenly, blends effortlessly and provides great wear. Sets makeup for 12 hours without adding weight or texture.

12 Hour Matte Finish
A touch of sheer coverage with a matte finish sets makeup flawlessly for 12 hours.

Weightless Texture:
This lightweight, finely-milled powder doesn’t add weight or texture to skin. Doesn’t settle into fine lines and never looks cakey.

No Photo Flashback
This no-flashback formula is perfect for photos and creates a soft-focus effect to subtly blur the look of fine lines and imperfections.

Two Shades for Virtually All Skintones:
Translucent: Perfect for fair to medium and tan skin tones.
Translucent Medium Deep: Ideal for medium-deep to deep skin tones.

Oil-free. Non-comedogenic. Non-caking. Dermatologically-tested.

Laura recommends applying with the Velour Puff (sold separately).

*Based on #1 US rank by NPD Group Inc in Prestige Retail, YTD 2019 through July.



It wouldn’t be ethical if we didn’t talk about the credibility of this section. It is very hard to impossible most of the time to verify the information or credibility of the sources, so please take this section with a pinch of salt unless stated otherwise. This section is not meant to be definitive and is most likely more about reputation around those subjects than credible information. If you have additional or more correct information please email:

No specific brand information.



The Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder contains 15 ingredients of which 11 can be a positive, 3 a negative and 6 potential irritants.

This powder contains talc as its main ingredient and so do most setting powders. Talc is safe to use, check out Is talc in cosmetics safe? for all the science information, however, powders such as talc and silica can be a health hazard if breathed in. As a result, be very mindful when using setting powders in general.

To keep this article short, I am only listing the ingredients that are skin or hair nourishing or positive/negative, while ignoring the ones that only play formulation or dye purposes. For the full list of ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.


Ingredient positives:

  1. Talc – An absorbent.
  2. Magnesium Myristate – Anti-caking and opacifying agent.
  3. Nylon-12 – Reduces shine and mattifies.
  4. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – A skin conditioner and replenisher. Can enhance the delivery of vitamins, pigments and other ingredients.
  5. Ethylhexyl Palmitate – Skin moisturiser.
  6. Zea Mays (Corn) Starch – A skin protector.
  7. Lauroyl Lysine – A skin conditioner.
  8. Polymethyl Methacrylate – Can act as a lubrication enhancer and make it easier to apply cosmetics smoothly while at the same time covering up lines and wrinkles. Depending on the type of particles it is, it can also be an absorbent.
  9. Methicone – Skin conditioner. Also forms a film barrier for makeup to stick to, which can prevent sweat and oils from coming through. Also prevents water loss. Anti-static agent.
  10. Ascorbyl Palmitate – Form of Vitamin C. Anti-oxidant, helps bind other vitamins. This form of vitamin C penetrates the skin faster. Collagen builder and free-radical scavenger. Anti-ageing. Works synergistically with vitamin E. For more details see post “Vitamins C & E – do they work in skin care?”
  11. Tocopherol – Refers to a class of compounds with similar activities to vitamin E. A skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and fragrance agent. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?


Ingredient negatives:

  1. Methylparaben – Love them or hate them, there is still not enough scientific proof to undisputedly prove that parabens are harmful. However, some people prefer to avoid them for “peace of mind” and some countries are now moving towards banning them. So, if you are looking for paraben free products, this one is not for you. For my thoughts on parabens check out: Coffee Chat: Q&A – You asked “As a Chemist Which Ingredients do you Avoid?”
  2. Propylparaben – See above.
  3. Butylparaben – See above.


This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.

If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.

Check out: What is sensitive skin? What are the causes and what can we do?

The following compounds present in this setting powder have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Methicone, Butylparaben.


Full list of ingredients:

Talc, Magnesium Myristate, Nylon-12, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methylparaben, Lauroyl Lysine, Propylparaben, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Methicone, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Butylparaben, Tocopherol. May Contain/ Peut Contenir/(+/-): CI 77491, Ci 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77007 (Ultramarines).


Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder 4



The Laura Mercier Translucent Powder works very well indeed and the jar lasts a long time, even with daily usage. However, the ingredients are dissapointing, especially when the price is considered.


Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!

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