Should I swap my setting powder?


I’ve been swearing by the NYX HD Finishing Powder for ages, and hooked a few of my friends on it as well (looking at you, Polly) so what possessed me to pick up something else this time is beyond me.


But here we are. I’m a proud owner of a Barry M Ready Set Smooth Loose Powder and I’m damn as well going to try it.



First things first. It’s £5.99 in Boots, which might have influenced my decision to give it a go (NYX is £9) and the packaging is kinda sleek and stylish. It does remind me of its NYX counterpart with its simplified black and white design but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.


Instead of a “screw on” lid, the Barry M sports a compact structure with a mirror and an applicator. I’m loving the idea of the “apply on the go” option, but unfortunately adding loose powder on the go isn’t as simple as it sounds – it’s not like swipe off and on like the compact ones, there’s a lot more shaking involved. And, to be honest, the sponge cushion isn’t the best applicator for the powder – not just this specific powder but any powder in the universe. Brush rocks OK guys, trust me on this. The applicator makes the powder blotchy and it steals some of my foundation upon application so just leave it.



It’s a tad bit tricky to get the powder on the brush but this might be just me; I’m used to popping some powder on the lid of me NYX HD for easy application and fishing it from the Barry M container just seems overly complicated. Anyway, once applied it does look sleek and the finish looks fine.


Barry M hasn’t got the silky smooth feel that NYX HD gives you but it does set my foundation alright. The product promises a “smooth, brightened complexion with a soft-focus effect” and I’m not arguing, but I find the effect a little short lived. With some help from a setting spray the powder sets significantly better but that’s probably because my skin is oily AF. If your skin isn’t oil central you might be fine with just the powder. I do need to keep topping myself up every 4 hours or so but hey, here’s where the compact structure and the mirror come in very handy.



I really want to like the Barry M finishing powder more than I do. The price is great, the packaging is inviting and Barry M stuff is usually top notch (their Illuminating Strobing cream is da bomb, y’all). And the Ready Set Smooth isn’t a bad setting powder – it’s just not as good as NYX HD, especially for super oily skin like mine.


Have you tried Barry M Ready Set Smooth Loose Powder? Tell me all about it in the comments.

  • Lauren Jones

    I think the idea with applying loose powder is that you pat it all over your face with the powder puff, and then use a fluffy brush to kinda dust the excess off. That’s how I do it, and it leaves a much more natural finish than just packing it on with the puff and leaving it. I guess a two step puff then brush process isn’t ideal for top ups during the day but it’s a good application method for the first application in the morning!

    I will try the NYX at your suggestion next time I’m looking for a loose powder, thanks for the review!

  • Such a good price, but a huge disappointment that it wasn’t what you had hoped for!

    I had a similar experience with the W7 Banana Dreams powder, it just goes everywhere when you open it, and the little ‘shaker’ doesn’t release enough as I’d like. I will check out that NYX one though!

    Alice | Dainty Alice

  • The compact looks lovely! My favourite setting powder is the NAKED SKIN Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder from Urban Decay 🙂

  • Phaytea’s Pulse

    Ahh….I’ll be tempted too…seems like a good bargain…love your flat lay pictures too

  • I’ve never tried any Barry M cosmetics but I heard a lot about them and this setting powder has such a nice packaging and I like their promise, I might try it! Also because it’s not expensive and nowadays most of makeup products are.

  • It’s crazy how much NYX costs now and days. I remember when drugstore makeup was drugstore prices. They keep raising them! 9$ for a finishing powder is a bit much, but I guess it’s better than 20+ for the higher end makeup.

    I use the cover girl translucent power and I love it!! I’m not sure the price, but I don’t think it’s 9$! Lol 🙂

    • I know right, it’s not that I’m getting tighter it’s that makeup, even drugstore ones, are getting more expensive!

  • I swear by NYX too. While I love a good deal, I love when a product works for me better. It might just be worth paying a little extra.

    • For sure – gonna stick to what I know works from now on 🙂

  • I agree that the price is really good and very tempting. Love this post. Love the photos you have used. May have yo give it a try.

    • Try it – it’s not a bad product it’s just not as good as the one I normally use 😀

  • I haven’t tried it but after reading your review and at £5.99? I sure would love to try it! A pity I just left London not too long ago, if only I found out about it before I had left…

    P.S. Love your photos!!

    • Definitely give it a go. I think it doesn’t suit me so well on account of my super oily skin but it’s not a particularly bad powder.

  • I agree that the price is really tempting and I also like the packaging, but I guess once you find a product that really works for you and set your benchmark, it’s hard for other products to beat that. I am loving Rodial Banana Powder right now. It’s bananas, for sure. LOL

    • I totally agree – it’s not that it’s a bad powder BUT it’s just not as good and so I’ll just skip it next time. Shame, really.