January 10, 2013

NARS Reflecting Setting Powder Review

This was provided to me by a brand for review but all opinions expressed are my own

What magic is this new NARS Reflecting Setting Pressed Powder?! The new NARS Reflecting Setting Powders comes in a loose and pressed formula for Spring 2013 and I honestly didn’t give them a second thought after posting about it recently.

But now the pressed version has changed my life.

It’s been a while since I said YOU need this but dude, you NEED NARS Reflecting Setting Powder.

I’ve never tried anything like this in my life. I know what could possibly be so amazing about transparent pressed power right? But…but…it’s magic!

Unlike the finely milled powder you’d expect this has a smooth, pressed paper-like finish. Beauty Alchemist recently likened it to a skating rink…that is SO bloody accurate. It’s as smooth as glass and feels like NARS took some fancy heavy stock card paper and tucked it into a compact. It has a texture that is entirely difficult to explain but believe me it is NOTHING like a traditional setting powder.

I can’t swatch it unfortunately, it’s just something that doesn’t swatch…it also seems like it isn’t being picked up on the included sponge applicator at first but as you smooth it on you’ll instantly notice how it perfects your face.

The compact is larger than the typical NARS compact and contains 0.24 oz of product (see comparison to a NARS blush compact below). It comes enclosed in a NARS pouch with a sponge applicator for application. It’s not something you can use with a brush. You do have the use the sponge to apply it. It applies transparent but instantly soaked up access oil, blurs the look of finer lines under my eyes and smaller pores around my eyes plus sets my makeup for long wear. The results are almost on par with my beloved Mally Beauty Face Defender. It just perfects and creates the appearance of flawlessness.

Lately I’ve had a bit of an oily forehead…I think I’ve been using a little too much Hourglass NĀ° 28 Primer Serum! Anyway this soaks up access oil in that area and keeps it at bay for the entire day.

Although the powder has an iridescent, glittering ice finish in pan it applies transparently on my face without leaving behind a pasty or white cast so many skin tones will be able to easily use this.

Overall, it’s a magical product. It’s beauty innovation at its best….! I’ve used my fair share of setting powders but never tried anything like this before. Excellent! As good if not better than Mally’s Face Defender.

Loves it.

YOU need to try it.

On January 15 this will be available at NARS Flagship Boutique in New York as well as online at narscosmetics.com and the Pressed Powder will be available February 1 at Sephora and sephora.com with March 15 launch date at narscosmetics.com

Tried it already?

Do share!

Muse Approved!

This was provided to me by a brand for review but all opinions expressed are my own

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Tennyoceres

    As someone with an oil slick for a T-zone and desert patches for cheeks this intrigues me. I wonder if this will finally tame the hot mess that is my face this winter. Commence stalking the local Sephora locations!

    • the Muse

      tenny I’ve had the same issues lately…oily tzone patchy cheeks…it did great for me, tamed my mirror shine forehead plus it really perfected my entire face…made my foundation look even and smooth, eased minor flaws, quite gorgeous stuff and an interesting texture.

  • afrina

    how would this apply to skin that has liquid foundation and powder already on? wouldn’t the foundation and powder get on the applicator?

    • the Muse

      with the sponge, just smooth it on just you would any setting powder….and yes some of your foundation/powder may get on the sponge.

  • GK

    This sounds like what I’m looking for, a dream come true! So many powders settle into my lines, not the look I’m going for! I was ready to give up, but my skin needs that extra touch. I’m not sure if I can do the sponge though, so used to brushing on powder. Where do you get Mally?

    • the Muse

      typically qvc gk but her website also carries much of her products šŸ™‚

  • amy

    NO… I’m on a foundation & powder “no-buy” for the entire year, or until I get through at least 3 of each. Is this LE, or will it stay in the core collection?

  • Nadia

    Thanks for the review Muse :)Do you think this is good for dry skin as well?
    Since I haven’t commented in a while, I want to wish you happy new year and say that I really enjoy reading your blog šŸ™‚

    • the Muse

      I have dry skin Nadia and it worked great for me šŸ™‚ Aw thank YOU very much! And a happy healthy one to you!!!!!!!!!!

  • CHASE!

    This sounds FASCINATING! I’m going to have to give it a try when it hits my Sephora!!!

  • The Beauty Alchemist

    Thanks for the shout out šŸ™‚ That’s the best I could think of to describe this. It is so unusual but really nice and impossible to swatch. LOVE when beauty companies manage to do something so new that we haven’t seen before .

    • the Muse

      my pleasure ;-D I read your review and was like SPOT on that’s what it reminds me of, ice…! ;-D AGREED! It’s one of the most interesting products I’ve come across in a long time…

  • Tammie

    I NEED setting powder over any foundation or it will disappear, you bet your bum I am going to try out this stuff. Right now all I use is covergirl and/or neutrogena’s new one for oily skin…but this sounds like magic @[email protected]

  • blueraccoon

    Oh, I want this…I wanted it when I read about it, and now I *need* it. I will so totally be picking this up once Sephora has it!

  • Alex Jhocson

    Would this be too much for everyday look? LIke.. too perfect, unnatural skin in broad daylight or harsh fluorescent light?

    • the Muse

      it’s fine for daily use, that’s the point of the product to use as a setting powder šŸ™‚ I mentioned in the review no issues with pasty or chalky finish. hope this helps.

  • Janelly

    The word “reflecting” when it comes to a powder for my oily mess of a t-zone sounds like a bad idea. However I’m still intrigued…

    • the Muse

      don’t worry there isn’t any shimmer/glitter or reflection about it ;-D just pure mattifying/flawless joy!

  • Victoria

    I can’t wait to try it, I have oily t zone and patchy cheeks too and currently Mac blot powder is the only thing I use but this sounds interesting.

  • Aiste

    This is why I love nars. I’ve been disssapointed by some of their products but I still trust in the brand. Their great products totally make up for a dissaponting eyeshadow duo! Mexican rose, heat wave, Isolde–just the best…

  • Nicole

    I’m really interested in this but does it give a real glow to the skin or semi matte?

    • the Muse

      no color mentioned in the review nicole šŸ™‚ transparent, matte finish.

  • Tiffany Martin

    I remember how much you liked that Mally face defender, you like this better?!? I better upgrade my want list >_>

  • Ashley

    You’ve sold me. I’ll definitely be picking this up when it hits the stores!

  • Marie

    I wasn’t that interested in this, but after reading your glowing review, I will check it out. I prefer Loose Powder actually, so I hope you’ll review it too some day. šŸ™‚

  • Agata

    That looks very interesting, I will have to try it. Are you sure it will launch at Sephora in January?

    • the Muse

      sorry corrected agata, don’t blog when you’re tried things get effed up ;D

      • Agata

        Ha ha, no problem. The only reason I asked is because I cannot wait to get it šŸ™‚ How is the loose powder version?

  • Kimmwc03

    Better than Mally’s face defender? I have to try this. I hope this will also be at Sephora or Nordstrom at some point. I don’t want to order from Nars online. Thanks for the review.

  • K.B.

    I wish this was a review for the loose powder, but I’ll take what I can get. I hope the loose powder is as good as the pressed powder!

    • K.B.

      I hope that this doesn’t read that I’m ungrateful for your review! I know you put a lot of work into this site and you take the time to reply to almost everyone, which I appreciate. šŸ™‚

        • K.B.

          Okay, good! As soon as I hit the submit button I had a minor freak out because it sounded rude to me. lol I check (and recheck) this site numerous times throughout the day and I don’t know where I’d be without it, so I don’t ever want to sound discouraging. šŸ™‚

          • the Muse

            not at all!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-D <3! I'll try to get the loose powder review live soon ;-D You aren't at all I love talking to you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cj

    So you really can’t use a brush with this? How odd… It sounds pretty amazing, maybe ill pick up the loose version. I’m sure you’d be able to use a brush with that right lol? Btw how does it compare to the mally in staying power? Like with the mally I have to keep reapplying every 3 hours or so

    • the Muse

      nooooo! It’s a dense firm texture, a brush won’t pick anything up, has to be smoothed on with the sponge ;-D It’s GREAT! ;-D loose version I’m not sure how it is but this one is very unique ;-D you can def use a brush with the loose hehe ;-D staying power is great, mattified my forehead for my entire day…a touch up around hour five would be good to keep the smoothness but it seems to have excellent wear without! depends on your skin though, as dry as I am a single application in the am will get me through my day.

      • Cj

        Ehhhhhhh ok you convinced me, waiting for it to pop up on sephora :p Ill deal with using a sponge lol plus it’ll give me something to use my koh gen do sponges on šŸ˜€

        • the Muse

          it actually comes with a single sponge so you’re golden ;D see how easy it is for me to decide your purchases?!

  • Susan

    Is it a powder? Or is it a gel like solid as the Mally’s is? How much money? Oooh, this sounds good; I love NARS! And you Muse!! šŸ™‚

    • the Muse

      it’s solid but not a gel susan. it’s $34 šŸ™‚ love ya back!! <3!

  • Sil

    this intrigues me. i’v been wanting to buy some sort of pressed powder for touch ups during the day, because i have really oily skin, but i hadn’t made my mind until your review. i think it would only be more perfect if it’d had SPF.
    i’ll have to check if my local NARS carries this product

  • Viv

    I only put make up around my eyes, will it work if I use this product on the eyes area only, but not the rest of my face? I wonder if it would work on Asian’s skin

  • Angel

    You’ve officially broken my wallet. It’s laying on the floor sizzling with smoke coming off of it šŸ˜‰
    I can’t wait to try this now. It sounds like what I wished MUFE hi def powder was. And I can’t use Mally Face Defender because of all the silicone. I have high hopes for this! Thanks for the review.

  • Smidge

    I LOVE that this comes with a case so that rubberized surface doesn’t get gross in your bag. AWESOME.

  • Gina

    This sounds exciting! I’ve been on the hunt for a setting powder, but I feel like I’m going to be disappointed when they finally reveal the ingredients. I have a huge silica allergy (talc is also iffy), and it seems to be a popular ingredient in powders these days… Still hopeful!

    • Kim

      Hi, if you are allergic to silica or talc, I suggest you try serecin (silk) powder or arrow root powder. You are also most likely allergic to rice powder, corn starch powder, and bismuth oxychloride. I had great success trying and loving (no breakouts!) Origins all and nothing sheer pressed powder. I have super sensitive skin. Sometimes, you may be less sensitive if the ingredients are in a different order. Try it, I am sure you will love it. Their other powders I am not crazy about the ingredients. But this one I think you may love. Silica is toward the very end of ingredients. Keep in mind that there are different types of silicas. I think this one won’t bother you. I have tried other brands with silicas and they were terrible. It all depends on the (type) some have diffrent particle size and shape. As well as the grade type. I am allergic to most talc, accept the types that are highly sifted…Don’t be scared to give it a try.

      • Gina

        Wow, thank you for the suggestions <3! I'm really happy to hear more about how others are dealing with this problem. I don't see the silica reaction come up often.
        I agree about the ingredient ordering. Most makeup with talc and/or silica listed early aggravates my skin. It got to the point I was tired of waiting out the reaction. I did notice skincare with low amounts of silica seemed to be OK. It would be nice if manufactures detailed more on the types used. Anyways, this comment really gave me a boost. Much appreciated!

  • Jody

    This looks so fantastic. I’ve been anxious for a while to try it. So much so that I ordered the loose version from Barney’s today. They only had the loose available, and some of the spring color items. Thanks for the review!

    • the Muse

      my pleasure jody do update when you get the loose, curious what you think!

  • Rose

    I recently went to sephora to find a new foundation and the gal that was helping me used the MUFE hd setting powder. I got a sample for it since i can only really afford to buy one product at a time. I was not yet convinced i should get the MUFE hd setting powder. Do you think this one would be a better choice than the hd powder?

  • Alaine

    Thanks so much for reviewing this product. I’ve been wanting to try it and with your positive review, I’m going for it!

  • jody

    I’ve been using the loose now for about a week. I keep waiting for something to not love about it. I’ve used mufe hd powder, ud’s razor powder, etc, and this is similar, but I am not getting that dry look. In the last year my skin has gone from oilslick to desert (yay hormones), and is super prone to looking like the cryptkeeper’s when I use powder. But honestly my skin isn’t looking dry with this. It does diminish my pore appearance which is huge for me.
    I do think there is a tiny amount of a sparkle to it. But tiny amount. Not enough to bother me. Not Edward sparkle. But I know some really hate any trace of it.

    I’m more happy with it an I’ve been in a while about a product. When I was in Sephora Monday, I asked the SA about the pressed version and she brought out their sample from the back. Now that was cool! It did feel like ice. I am so getting it when available. I hope I like it half as much as the powder.

    • the Muse

      jody I was waiting soe someone to tell me what think think about the loose version! sounds good! I was deeply impressed with this version, it’s quite unusual and really does perfect very well! after you try I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • dawn

    Love your website btw! Does this have any silicone in it? If thats the same Mally product I tried, I loved it but unfortunately it had too much silicone in it for me and it made me even more oilier. šŸ™ The Nars sounds wonderful if its silicone free. I tried one of BBs new powders and wasn’t at all impressed. I’m hoping this one will do the trick! Thanks for the review.

  • Cj

    Heeeeeey Wifey! Been using this a couple days and I’m inlove! This is the best “powder” I’ve ever used. When I set with this I literally don’t have to blot halfway through the day. The loose version is nice it’s like a upgraded silica powder but the pressed is on a whole nother level. And you CAN use brushes with it! It doesn’t show on the brush but what I did was put on a real glowy foundation (naked skin) and then used my new pretty hourglass brush (you totally need lol the ambient powder one) and it completely mattified it.

  • lily

    I’ve never applied setting powder with a sponge before. I’m a big fan of NARS but dont own any of the their face products, just cheek and lip stuffs. Their lipstick collection is like candy to me, so many cool colors and I want them all!

  • Simone

    Oh jeez. This sounds so amazing.
    I don’t have credit cards, nor am I “allowed” to go into a Sephora…
    I’m thinking of sneaking to Sephora for this! It sounds like something I NEED!!!
    Hmm… Maybe if I bribe my sister, she’ll pick it up for me! Lol! Yeahhh!!

  • Nat

    OMG Muse. I know I’m commenting on this late, but I bought this a month ago, and just started using it regularly. It creates such a beautiful, slightly air-brushed look…..I LOOOOOOOOOVE this stuff! I think I might already be a quarter of my way through it, lol…I’ll def buy more! Next I’m buying that Young Blood dupe of the Mally Defender (because I can get Young Blood in Canada but not Mally, boo-erns). Can’t wait! šŸ˜€

    • the Muse

      yayyayayaya! isn’t it amazings!? I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-D so glad you liked it Nat! TGIAF (almost)!

  • PrettyPls

    ATTENTION all face sweaters… not the sweaters you wear but the sweat that ruins a perfect face. For the love pretty!!! I am extremely picky and use a 2000x (or close) magnified mirror just to perfect my concealer and this pressed powder has changed my life (literally). I use a (cheap white round cosmetic)sponge and press this on my t zone and under eyes right after moisturizing and bb cream. then conceal and powder foundation…then another sponge layer of this nars powder all over my face (probably more on the tzone too) then add color products and radiance and all that. Before this magic powder came along I used to touch up the powder on my forehead and around my mouth at least four times a day bc my face sweats so much. And I’ve tried every setting powder and talc and and and….that I could find. Now I can blot the tiny bit of moisture that appears with any old tissue and my powder stays put all day!!! For the love of pretty!!! (worth repeating!!!!) In addition it makes the fine lines under my eyes (press it on, don’t swipe) and (dare i admit) deep lines across my forehead pretty much disappear (even under 2000x magnification). I’m almost bummed that I don’t need a second powder for my purse! It has been in the 70’s the week I’ve been using this and I haven’t need to touch up…. may in the dead heat of summer I’ll need one in my bag :)))).

  • Kat

    Hi Muse, is this okay for touch ups as well? AHHHH, your review makes me want to get it now. As in right now ahhhh.

      • Kat

        I finally bought it last Monday. The surface really feels like a smooth skating rink. And the dear thin sponge, I’m too afraid to use and ruin it. How do I wash it without ruining its texture?

        • Nat

          I used the soap that came with my beauty blender sponges and that did the trick nicely. I would think that any makeup brush shampoo should be okay, just keep in mind that once it dries it does curl up a bit on the edges – but it still works great for me like that. šŸ™‚

          • Kat

            Thanks for the tip! I’ll try it tomorrow! :> Does it curl up because of its thinness?

          • Nat

            Yah, I think so – maybe you would have better luck than me if you placed it between some paper towels and weighted it down while it was drying? That might help keep the shape. Then you could just give it a light rubbing with your fingertips after it’s dried to fluff up the little fibers again. šŸ™‚

  • eileen

    I own it, tried it, LOVE it and apply with the Elf tapered contour brush. It is simply amazing. Def a game changer for me and a holy grail product! Woot woot!