Mattifying compact: A quest for love

All that glitters is not gold
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgement old
Your answer had not been inscroll’d
Fare you well, your suit is cold.

Or so says Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice. Basically it means do not judge by appearance, or that the best mattifying powders can be enclosed in the shiniest packaging.

Ok, I may have added that last part. Most of the time, you can find the most gorgeous packaging for luminizers and blushes. But being an shiny faced girl with a healthy flush, they are the last thing I need no matter how pretty they look. I’ve often lamented the lack of gorgeous mattifying powder, and I don’t like the current Clinique Stay Matte compact as much as I did 7 years ago. Unlike my last one, this formed a hard layer on top soon after I start using it. And if you reapply midday you can feel the layer of powder with the oil underneath, so it kind of mattifies by covering up the oil but not absorbing it. Guess it’s time for a change. =/

Clinique Mattifying powder

Well, it looks like my wish for pretty mattifying powder have been answered. I was first persuaded to jump on the Guerlain meteorites bandwagon by a band of loyal BeautyTalkers and got myself the old version of meteorites. I love it, it ignited my passion for high end makeup as well as sat fire to my wallet and turned my attention to Guerlain, which is when I found Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Compact powder.

Guerlain Les Voilettes

I know that the powder is good from all the glowing reviews, it does mattify and blurrs imperfection (altho I suspect that’s partially due to the mattifying effect) and feels weightless on the skin compare to Clinique (of course, it’s double the price!). It’s velvety, buttery and the powder picks up easily….but once I dip my brush in there, that beautiful little pattern will be gone forever. After one use with a fluffy brush, the pattern is already faded in the center as you can see here:

Guerlain Les Voilettes

…and I’ll just be left with a plain gold compact with plain mattifying powder inside and reminiscence about the old days every time I apply it……*sigh*. Well, not long after I got my Guerlain, I somehow stumbled upon Clarins makeup. Just like most pressed powders, the engraving on the powders are gorgeous but the compact is pretty plain……until I happened upon this little beauty, my heart skipped a beat, and I HAVE to order it:

Clarins Odyssey face palette

The shipping was slightly faster than expected, you get your choice of 3 deluxe sample from a very wide array of products, and there is a point reward program. I loathed dipping my brush into the compact, for I know the gold embossing is only on top and after one use/a couple of swirl, the embossing is gone, leaving me with a….ok fine, still very pretty matte powder.

Clarins Odyssey inside

And there you have it. That is how I ended up with 3 mattifying compact. Alongside their gold packaging and velvet pouch, my old Clinique is looking a bit….

Yes, the Guerlain is reflecting off a Sephora Box.

I briefly contemplated getting Dior compact, which was the only thing I originally planned to try, but my inner voice of reason says “are you crazy?!?! you barely wear makeup once a week and you want four of them in addition to the loose powders you already have?”. So my resolution is to use Clinique Stay Matte like crazy this summer, and when I hit the pan on that, I will get Dior. For now, I’ll *just* have to satisfy myself with these three:

I ran out of corny inspirational/motivational calendar pages to use as background.

I am not as well versed in makeup as I am in skincare, so for a thorough review of Guerlain Les Voilettes and Clarins Odyssey, Temptalia is what you want. If the skin is too matte, it can look dull and flat, so Guerlain and Clarins will mattify but also provide a healthy skin almost-glow look instead of an oily skin look. If you are looking for a serious mattifier, you will be disappointed (try Tarte Smooth Operator or Urban Decay Deslick). One problem I have with mattifying powder is that it sometimes dries out my skin and emphasizes dry patches, which the Guerlain and Clarins don’t do so anyone can use them except for the exceptionally oily or dry. While Clinique and Guerlain don’t provide much color at all, Clarins do give you some color. It is still very sheer since I have to do 10 wipes with my finger to get it to show on a tissue, and it looks lighter on the skin. I have light/med complexion and Clarins is basically a finishing powder and exactly my color:


There are some great loose finishing powders, but they are not quite travel friendly and I really prefer a compact much better. With that said, my only disappointment in Clarins is—the compact did not came with an applicator. T.T Sure, I can carry an extra brush, but a compact is designed for touch up and should have an applicator included, period! Clinique and Guerlain also have a click closure while Clarins have a magnetic closure:


What this means is that if you ever accidentally drop your powder, the Clarins compact may or may not fell open depending on how strong the impact/magnetic force is, especially since it’s pretty heavy (Clinique is .27oz, Guerlain is .22oz, and Clarins is .3oz). That combined with the fact it doesn’t come with an applicator in the compact means I won’t be carrying it out of the house. Beauty-wise, Clarin wins. Practicality-wise, Guerlain wins. When I hit the pan on Clinique, I will get Dior and then maybe I do a comparison of those three. I did try to capture the mattifying/blurring effect of the powder with before/after pictures, but it’s kind of impossible with a cellphone camera, so that’s all I’ve got for now. Hope y’all enjoyed the eye candies. =)


5 thoughts on “Mattifying compact: A quest for love

  1. Gorgeous compacts! But too much moneyz for me for a sheer pressed powder. I use setting powder to lock my foundation into place and to mattify the “dewy” liquid foundations. The fanciest one I have is Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Powder, translucent tulle. I *love* it, the powder is amazing, the packaging is so so pretty but I’m not paying full price for it. I got it on sale ( half off) and it was still more than I like to pay for setting powder. My holy grail setting powder, believe it or not, is Rimmel London Stay Matte. It comes in transparent and different shades and I always make sure to have at least 3 colors around. It locks in my foundation all day and mattifies like no other. It doesn’t come in fancy packaging but its *works* and its only 4 bucks at Target. I’ve used up several compacts already 😀

    1. Hmm! Might have to take a look next time. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, lol. I figure if I were to splurge for pretty packaging, it better me a powder that I use rather than a blush or bronzer that I never use. =P

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