Almay Smart Shade Balance Pressed Powder Review & Swatches

Ahh Almay they LOVE all that Smart Shade technology. Surprised they haven’t released a Smart Shade of lipgloss yet because they pretty much have all the other Smart Shade categories cornered.

Almay Smart Shade Balance Pressed Powder is a mattifying powder that promises to instantly transform into your ideal shade.


But let’s face it, we’ve been around the block, we know these things typically do not work.

Let’s get things straight this is basically a white, translucent setting powder with a small array of pressed pigments in the powder. So you’re getting more of a mattifying powder here than any pigment…

This is a good thing though as it means you won’t have to worry about it being a completely wrong shade for your skin tone. The Smart Shade technology probably doesn’t work but you’d never know it because you aren’t working with a terribly pigmented powder here.


I like it.

It’s a basic pressed powder that mattifies, evens out skin tone ever so slightly, and blends seamlessly into skin. The texture of the powder is quite silky and it sets foundation perfectly for longer wear. I didn’t have issues with it appearing too pale, pasty, or just not suitable for my tone. Overall, it actually fit just perfectly but really that’s because of the heavier base of white translucent powder in the mix versus the very small amount of beige pigment.

(Swatched: Light/Medium Shade)

Overall, this is a step above your basic setting powder. The smooth, silky texture blends beautifully and works a treat to set foundation and proves excellent for touch ups in between. It gives my face a fresh, flawless look without accentuating dry areas and mattifying the small amount of oily I do occasionally see on my nose or forehead.

I likey!

Price is a big iffy at $11.99 since that’s borderline med-range pricing and for a little extra cash you can indulge in MAC. But drugstores have so many sales you’ll easily be able to score it for less.

Well worth a pick up if you’re seeing a new setting powder.

Tried it?

Love it?

Left it?

Do share!

  • 4/12/12 23:49 Tinkibell:

    I love, love LOVE this stuff!

    I have very fair, rather sensitive, yet oily skin and this really helps keep the shine away, while toning down my mild Rosacea. I also feel like it brightens my face much more than any other powder I’ve tried. (And I’ve tried them all!)

    I now use this over Clinique’s BB cream and have gotten so many compliments! I do use a small kabuki brush to dust it on my face though. The brush that comes with it is useless…although it did make an o.k brush blush in a pinch once.


  • 4/16/12 13:00 Tammie:

    This sounds nice but you’ll have to rip my cute Japanese pressed powder out of my cold dead hands…this packaging is no match for my MajoMajo Pressed Pore Powder. I don’t think I would have the heart to replace it with this!!


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