Product Review: Marcelle Pressed Powder in Translucent Medium

Marcelle Pressed Powder in Translucent Medium, 14g, CAD$13.95
Marcelle Pressed Powder in Translucent Medium, 14g, CAD$13.95

Sometimes good things come from places you don’t expect. Take Marcelle’s Pressed Powder, for example. After the fiasco with Revlon’s PhotoReady Translucent Finisher, I had become wary of any more drug store cosmetics. I generally don’t mind so much about the point makeup (eyeshadows, mascaras, lipsticks, etc.) from some of the drug store brands; but when it comes to base makeup, it has to be good. Revlon’s PhotoReady had already scarred me from any trust towards another drug store brand, but thankfully, Marcelle, a Canadian hypoallergenic and perfume free beauty company, surprised me with its simple but good pressed powder.

Marcelle is probably unknown outside of Canada. I can remember when I first came to Canada as a late teen and wandered into a Shoppers Drugmart and bought some toner and lotion from Marcelle; I love the fragrance-free products even back then. The products looked and felt good for me back then as a teenager. Of course, years later, after acquiring more spending power, I had moved onto department store brands and later on, Japanese and Korean brands.

I needed a simple sheer translucent pressed powder for my trip to Disney in a few days. Initially, I wanted Origins All And Nothing Sheer Pressed Powder (or loose – same price anyway) which is CAD$31 (US$25) for 10g, but I don’t have time to go all the way to Yorkdale mall (or at the Bay on Queen Street downtown), so I had to find something quick. Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Finisher didn’t work out, and I had already wasted $14 (plus taxes) by then. I ended up getting Marcelle’s Pressed Powder in Translucent Medium at Shoppers Drugmart for the same price I spent on Revlon PhotoReady.

When I came home, I found out that Marcelle Pressed Powder earned a 4.2 out of 5 on makeupalley, higher rating than even higher end brands. I instantly felt better. And then, I tried it on against my bare face, and that’s when I realized what a little gem this is.

Unlike Origins All and Nothing, this is talc-based, so expect it to be drying like most talc-based powders are. I didn’t mind it because I use very rich moisturizers and sunscreen underneath anyway. The matte finish actually stays all day. I have had oily forehead usually with my Koh Gen Do by midday so this is a very nice surprise.

Secondly, the shade is excellent. I have fair skin, so when I tested the testers, I tried on the Translucent (this pressed powder comes in Translucent, Translucent Medium and Translucent Dark). I found that to be a little white and chalky. After hating on Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Finisher so much, the last thing I wanted was another too-white flour powder on my face, even though Marcelle’s pressed powders don’t have glitter/shimmer in them. The Tranlucent Medium is slightly more beige (not by much). The Translucent was white, and the Translucent Medium was slightly more beige-tinted, if that makes it easier to describe. I was a little concerned about the medium shade being too dark – but when I try it on at home, it really isn’t. It’s just slightly (I’d say about 5%) darker than my natural coloring, but it is still preferable to the translucent, which would have looked white and chalky on me.

The quality of the finish – it’s super silky – is almost unreal for a drug store brand at this price. You aren’t getting just a little – you are getting 14g for $14! After years of spending at least $50 on a powder, this is a nice change, especially when the powder is good. The only gripe – very minor – is the sponge that comes with the powder. I washed it before use and it completely fell apart. But the shape of the sponge is easily replaceable so I won’t hold that against the product.

All in all, I am very happy with Marcelle Pressed Powder. If you have oily skin, this is going to mattify your skin all day. Just be careful with the shades, though there are only 3. Unless you are fair like Nicole Kidman, the medium shade will work just fine. I have heard someone using the Translucent Dark which oxidized (turned orange) on her, but I didn’t experience that with Translucent Medium, probably because it has so little pigment. This is a sheer finish powder – if you need coverage, you need to use a powder foundation instead.

Bottom line: a good, affordable setting powder. 5 stars out of 5 (price, packaging and quality).

Marcelle is also cruelty free.


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