Monday, November 21, 2016

Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre loose powder swatches & review // 20 Clair (translucent 1) on dry pale skin

  • $52 for 1 ounce / 30 grams, which is a pretty good price considering that many loose powders contain less grams of product. If you use up loose powders regularly, it pays to shop in price per gram. 
  • Comes in a huge mouth jar with a puff. The puff isn't great, I only used it a few times. I love the packaging for home use, but I wouldn't recommend traveling with loose powders.
  • This powder is talc, nylon-12, and silica based, making it one of the most finely milled and delicate of the 'traditional' loose powders. The texture is more substantial feeling than the 100% silica powders or corn starch based formulas on the market.
  • Soft matte finish, great for setting foundation. Not as good for touchups.
  • It can be applied to look natural on the skin, but you will have to pay special attention to application to achieve a truly invisible look. If you are heavy handed or tend to sweep powder on with a brush, it could look dry or visible on the skin. 
Can fair skin use 20 Clair?
 One of my concerns was if the shade 20 clair was appropriate for very light or fair skin. I'm neutral and very fair (L'Oreal True Match N1 or Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 2) and was worried 20 clair would be too dark. As you can see in the swatch below, 20 Clair works for fair skin. I tapped the powder on heavily for a swatch because a sheer swatch is translucent on my skin.

How long does the Chanel loose powder last? 
I use loose powder every single day to set my foundation / bb cream and I bought mine in April 2015. I have used up 95% by November 2016, so between a year and a half and two years. The Chanel powder has 30 grams, which is more than most loose powders.

Swatches & Comparisons:

Compared to the yellow toned Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder, the Chanel is more beige. The Laura Mercier and Chanel have very similar textures and performance, as both are heavy in talc and nylon-12. The Chanel powder features silica high on the ingredients list while the Laura Mercier powder uses corn starch. I use these interchangeably, but I prefer the Chanel because the yellow tone of the Laura Mercier isn't my cup of tea.

The Chanel loose powder is very different from Bare Minerals mineral veil. Mineral veil is peach toned and is basically just corn starch. Corn starch based powders do a great job blurring and looking natural on my skin, but they have poor longevity on me. I prefer mineral veil for cake-free touchups, but the Chanel is better for setting foundation in the first place.

As you can see in the blended swatches, all 3 of these powders are basically translucent on my skin. The Chanel and Laura Mercier can look powdery on the skin and don't blur or smooth the way mineral veil does.

Would I repurchase?

After a year and a half of regular use, I don't plan on repurchasing. The Chanel poudre universelle libre is a solid workhorse formula, but it doesn't have a refined texture that disappears on the skin. I prefer the newer HD silica based powders that are more invisible on the skin while still mattifying. I see why this is such a popular cult product and I like it more than most of the powders I have tried, but it isn't my favorite.

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