I picked up this Barbara Daly loose powder as an emergency face powder when I was in the UK for Christmas and had run out of my usual Urban Decay Razor Sharp Finishing Powder. The only shop within reasonable driving distance was a huge Tesco.
I love shopping for cosmetics in supermarkets... It's the thrill of browsing lesser-known brands, mixed with the convenience of being able to pick a little something up with my groceries. Barbara Daly Make-up is exclusive to Tesco, but it's rare to find a Tesco that stocks it, so I was excited to finally see it out in the wild.
The description of this powder is:
Our ultra-light, non-caking, non-drying finishing powder gives a natural, translucent finish.
Barbara Daly Super sheer loose powder is ultra-fine and silky smooth, containing light-diffusing particles to give skin a flawless finish. A must-have for your make-up bag, its soft formula is great for setting your make-up, reducing the appearance of pores and giving a flawless, professional finish.
The packaging is very... compact. At only 3.5g, it's pretty small for a powder. It comes with a mirror in the lid, and a small, square-shaped puff which is too small to be effective. I did try, but it was literally impossible to get any powder on my face with it. I might as well have been dabbing powder on using two fingers... that's how tiny it is.
The powder is dispensed through holes which can easily be covered and uncovered by twisting the stopper.
The powder feels ultra-light, as described. It's not quite as fine as Urban Decay Razor Sharp Finishing Powder but it is still notably fine and silky. The powder is pale to the eye, but is designed to be translucent (although I think it may be more visible on dark skin).
This powder goes on invisible on my skin with no chalkiness. I just lightly brush it on for an immediate mattified and airbrushed finish. The description mentions "light-diffusing particles" but I was happy to find that there are no shimmer particles in this powder.
It works really well over my Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream, and doesn't leave an obvious "powdered" look.
While this powder stops my face looking full-on shiny for most of the day (it diffuses the shine so it doesn't look as "oily"), I find that I need to blot with a tissue around my nose within a few hours if I want to maintain a truly matte appearance. It doesn't hold up to oil as much as a silica and silicone-heavy powder (e.g. Urban Decay Razor Sharp, or ELF HD Powder), but I still think it performs well.
I find I can re-apply this powder later in the day without it caking or changing colour.
This powder was only £7, but I'd put the quality up with any premium branded loose powders. I would say it's perfect for anyone who wants a finishing powder that doesn't leave a powdery or cakey finish, and who doesn't need aggressive oil-control.
I only wish the packaging was better. Although at a glance it's perfect - neat and tidy, contains an applicator and has a mirror - it's difficult to get enough powder out of the little holes, and the puff is just too small to be useful. I find it easier to just move the powder to another loose powder compact. I have a really old refillable loose powder compact from Bare Escentuals which I use all the time for loose powder.
Other than the packaging, this loose powder is fantastic and I'd recommend checking it out next time you're in a big Tesco or on Tesco.com.
The full ingredients of Barbara Daly Super Sheer Loose Powder are:
Talc, Silica, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylene/MA Copolymer, Mica, Zeolite, Methylparaben, Iron Oxide Yellow, Iron Oxide, Sorbic Acid, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylparaben, CI 77499, Orchis Mascula, Cyclopentasiloxane, BHT