If you're going to do a product review, I feel like you should have a proper, informed opinion of it. You know what I mean: test it over a couple of days or a week or two, under different weather conditions, all that shiraz. I feel like I should, anyway. A proper Beauty Master (i.e. pretty much anybody who is not a Beauty Padawan) might not need that long. Maybe they do take that long and I'm a Padawan enough to think they don't.
I first spotted Benefit's The POREfessional: Agent Zero Shine Powder (available for $44) in a beauty magazine that Myer sent my about a month ago or so. It seemed perfect. I'd been using the pressed powder in my How To Look The Best At Everything face kit (available in light | medium | dark for $46) to put on over my foundation, but the whole thing was cumbersome to lug around and it was starting to run out. The travel-friendly packaging of the Agent Zero Shine Powder attracted me immediately -- it has a little brush inside! How much easier would it be to have that in my handbag to touch up my makeup with?
I must admit, at first I enjoyed using it. I still had the pressed powder from my face kit, so I wasn't usually relying on it too heavily. I thought that sometimes it looked a touch cakey if I was applying it to my face during the day, but I more or less ignored that.
My issues with the Agent Zero Shine Powder began after my pressed powder ran out. I realise now that the former is probably supposed to be some sort of translucent finishing powder, but I was still expecting it to matte my skin a little bit -- more-or-less do the same job as the pressed powder. Unfortunately, this didn't happen.
With the pressed powder, my skin was left feeling powdery and silky -- as my skin is, I think, naturally on the oily side, that's how I like it. Agent Zero Shine did this, but not to the same extent. I also felt like I needed to use more product in order to get closer to the silkiness that I wanted, but it didn't last anywhere near as long as the pressed powder. My foundation melted quicker and Agent Zero Shine just made my skin look a little cakey when I applied it to get rid of any shine.
Then there's the smell. I've only really noticed it in the last week or two, but the product definitely as a "makeup" smell. I'm not quite sure how to describe it. Do you know that smell when you've dipped your liquid foundation brush in extra virgin olive oil to clean it and you're squeezing the product out? It's a bit like that. I can put up with that when I'm cleaning brushes but, let me tell you, I just cannot handle smelling it on my face.
Even the packaging has come to bother me a little. The little powder brush takes up half the space, so you don't have as much powder as you might think you do -- and you don't even truly know how much then, because it's dispensed from a shaker and you can't see inside (at least, I haven't tried to open it up). I have no way of knowing if I'm about to run out and I really don't want to wear liquid foundation by itself.
If you can get past those flaws, however, it does have its good points. It really is very convenient to keep in a handbag, and the little brush in the bottom of the packaging is soft and very good at applying the product. Perhaps this is a product better suited towards people with drier skin than mine. I'll be going back to a pressed powder.
Padawan Product Rating: C
Have you tried Benefit's Agent Zero Shine Powder?