Sunday Riley Powder Swatches

My Sunday Riley swatching frenzy continues with an overview of the Soft Focus Finishing Pressed Powder, available at Barneys for $40. I initially ordered this online sight unseen (the lack of blog-generated swatches for this particular was troubling) and settled on the 105 W, which appeared to be a light powder with yellow undertones. Upon receipt of my order and much to my surprise, the 105 W (there are three powders each for warm and cool skin tones) is quite light, almost white in tone, and definitely too pale for my NC 20-NC 25ish skin.
This mistake prompted me to peruse the powder in person and I am glad I did! I discovered that I am much better suited to the 125 W, a light shade with yellow undertones that I think will work even into summer.

Evident in the image above:
1. 105 W is a very light shade (suitable for very fair, alabaster skin or an extremely light dusting on everyone else)
2. 125 W (my shade) is lovely and yellow-based for light skins–this does not oxidize!
3. 145 W is a huge leap from the 125 W (something between 125 and 145 would be excellent for many women, I would presume)–this is great for those with deep golden-based tans.
4. 105 C is a very light shade with pink undertones.
5. 125 C is the lateral sister of 125 W with just a bit more pinky-beige undertone.
6. 145 C is a true beige tan for those with darker beige-based tans.
**I think that the 145 W and C would make fantastic bronzers and want to play around with this prospect in the future!
Super finely milled and nestled in the same lucite-like square and sturdy compact as the Prismasilk eye shadows and the SR blushes (both to be reviewed soon), this powder purports to act as a “second skin” upon application, blurring imperfections and providing a matte finish while still maintaining radiance. This behavior sounds too good to be true, but I am happy to report that this unscented paraben free multi-tasker actually does manage to do all it promises.
While this power does not provide as much coverage as the Koh Gen Do Triple Lightening Powder (one of my favorites…to be reviewed soon), which also pulls off the feat of making one’s face simultaneously matte and radiant, its ability to smooth and refine without the dreaded powdery finish is remarkable. I prefer to apply a light veil of this over my By Terry Cover Expert foundation (reviewed here) with a powder brush rather than the sponge included in the compact…I find that if I use the sponge for a touch up and I am in a hurry, I can accidentally apply too much because it is so finely milled. I stay matte for hours and notice a lovely gleam in the sunlight that is neither shimmery or frosty…just radiant.
As I have previously mentioned, the powder does NOT oxidize–this, in combination with its skin-like texture and added ability to provide radiance make this a rare gem indeed.

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Comments (8)

  • Jennifer Reply

    Hi Beauty Professor! Wonderful review, as always. I was hoping you could recommend a shade for me. I have neutral undertones and wear 3 in GA Maestro and 2 in By Terry Cover Expert. Thank you in advance!

    March 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply


      Thank you so much…I suggest the 105 W! This powder runs quite light, but I am a 125 W and am a few shades darker than you foundation-wise ; )

      Hope this helps…take care and keep me posted!


      –The Beauty Professor

      March 30, 2013 at 3:39 am
  • Anonymous Reply

    This looks very tempting. How does it compare with Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin when used over foundation? I have the Teint Si Fin but am curious about this. I just ordered the Hourglass Immaculate and am wondering what powder would work best with it if I chose to wear one.

    August 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Drzeka,

      Thanks for the question! It is a lovely powder but I find that the Serge Lutens Teint Si Fin offers slightly better coverage and a much better shade spectrum. The Hourglass Immaculate is so wonderfully matte on its own that it doesn't need touching up for hours…when it's time to touch up, I prefer the Serge Lutens overall…it is a bit creamier in texture!

      I hope that helps…xoxo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      August 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm
  • Anonymous Reply

    Thank you! That is exactly what I needed to hear! 🙂

    August 28, 2013 at 8:54 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      My pleasure!


      –The Beauty Professor

      August 29, 2013 at 1:37 am
  • IslandBeauty Reply

    Hi Beauty Professor,

    Im just wondering if i need to use powder at all, i have normal/combination skin, i just moved to Chicago so at the moment my skin is quite dry with a couple dry patches (winter-spring)

    Thank you!

    April 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply


      It sounds to me that powder would only be necessary for touchups (if you get oily later on in the day). I wouldn't recommend it until you find yourself getting too "glowy!"

      Hope that helps…xx,

      –The Beauty Professor

      April 6, 2014 at 5:05 am

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