Translucent powder is a product I find it pretty hard to live without. I can hardly remember the days before I used to “bake” my concealer. I dread to think of the oily and creased mess my face used to be before I discovered this powdery goodness. I’ve been using Laura Mercier translucent powder for years and it has been a firm favourite of mine. Recently I was looking into other options though, with so many dupes for holy grail products around these days I wondered if there was a cheaper alternative that was just as good of a performer. So today I present, the translucent powder showdown.
The powder I opted to compare to Laura Mercier’s bestseller is RCMA translucent powder. RCMA is not a brand I have used before but it stands for the ‘Research Council of Makeup Artists’. It was established in 1962 for makeup artists in film, television and stage. I have seen the name mentioned around the blogosphere before but never thought to try it out. The amazing difference with this product to the Laura Mercier powder is that you get 85g worth of product for £13. The Laura Mercier alternative gives you 29g of product for £29, so pricey.
The packaging is one thing that differentiates these two brands. The RCMA powder is basically a plastic tube with a white sticker on it and a black lid that pops up. The Laura equivalent comes in a sturdy pot with the classic purple toned dark lid. This probably accounts for the difference in pricing.
Unfortunately I found the RCMA packaging super annoying. I really struggled with getting the product out of the container, and once it was out I didn’t really know what to do with it. There was no little platform for the powder to collect on and for me to deposit my beauty blender in. It basically went everywhere anytime I used it. My clothes were covered in the powder.
I do like the Laura Mercier packaging. Inside the tub there is a clear plastic platform with holes in it. You shake the pot and once opened your powder is sat waiting on the platform for you. It minimises mess and makes it much easier to take travelling etc.
What I ended up doing in the end with the RCMA powder was finding a smaller pot to deposit the product in and using it from there. While it wasn’t ideal it meant less mess and easier application.
The Laura powder has a beautiful formulation. As you can see above the powder has a bit of a yellowy tone, but that does not carry over to the face. The product contains French cashmere talc, fancy. It never feels heavy on the face and leaves a beautiful blended and soft focus appearance for fine lines around the eyes, lips and so on. It has no white cast or flashback in pictures and my face always feels super comfortable when wearing it.
The RCMA powder is finely milled and I would say it has a more peachy tone to it. Again none of this colour transfers to the face and it is truly translucent. It doesn’t feel heavy and keeps my face looking as matte as it can look, given it’s usually like an oil slick!
To be honest I can’t fault either powder. If you are looking for an effective, mattifying and soft focus translucent powder either of these will tick the boxes.
The price and the packaging is what it comes down to. Laura Mercier is just so expensive for what you get when you have RCMA giving you nearly 3 x the product for half the price. However the RCMA packaging sucks. When I’m trying to get ready in the morning I just can’t be dealing with depositing the product into another container to try and use it, whilst not spilling any over myself. I think I will continue using Laura Mercier day by day, but when I have a bit more time I know I’ll be reaching for the RCMA powder as it gives just as much of a beautiful finished look than its pricier counterpart!