Review: The Balm Sexy Mama Anti Shine Translucent Powder

This was one of my random Sasa purchases, together with 2 of their Instains (staining powder blushes) in Argyle (for Spring) and Toile (for Fall). I’ll talk about those another day, but I’m not even sure if they’re still available anymore. Are those blushes limited edition? I checked my Instagram photos, and noticed I bought them 32 weeks ago. That’s beginning of the year, but I haven’t really been using any of them until lately.


The Balm Sexy Mama


Sexy Mama is an anti-shine translucent compact powder which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. It looks a little peachy in the pan, but it goes on the face without any colour or coverage at all. Hence, translucent (duh!). I like to use my big kabuki brush to swirl around the pan before dabbing it on my face. I use this powder to set my liquid foundation or BB / CC creams and it works great. I find the product in the pan is a little stiff but it’s good in a way because my brush doesn’t pick up or kick up a whole lot of powder at one go. The powder just goes on the face leaving it semi matte instead of 100% matte, which I like. It definitely takes all shine away but maintains a certain glow.


Sexy Mama The Balm translucent powder


It is rather pointless to swatch this powder, since it’s translucent and it suits everyone. The packaging, as all The Balm products, is a little cutesy and vintage, with all those cardboard magnetic box. I’m not a huge fan of packaging like this, but I don’t hate it either. Good thing is it is very light so if you need to travel with it, it doesn’t add bulk. My skin has been on the normal side, and I don’t need to powder my face after a few hours. So, I’m not the best person to tell you how it works on oily skin.


Sexy Mama powder


All in all, a very functional basic setting powder that suits all skin tones, and it promises just that. Nothing fancy schmancy 😛 Have you tried this before? Do you use setting powder on top of your liquid or cream bases? What’s your favourite?


xoxo Lily



  • Paritashah26

    I too have been wanting to try this one for a while ..good to know it works for normal skin..does it causes any flashback in camera? btw the instain blushes from thebalm are permanent not LE 🙂

    • Lily

      Thanks for letting me know about the Instain blushes, Parita 🙂 I think the good news is, many products work on normal skin! I tested this powder when using flash photography, and it looked OK.

  • I’m trying to get more into setting powders — I’ve been using Ben Nye Banana powder on a damp beauty blender lately and I LOVE.

    • Lily

      Banana powder! Interesting name 🙂

      • It’s because it really is yellow! It’s awesome because it doesn’t leave the ashiness that some powders can leave me, and it really brightens up my skin

        • Lily

          I have to check this out 🙂 I’m all for yellow bases!

  • I always set my base makeup with a loose powder. Haven’t tried many of them though, since I’ve been using the Dolly Wink one ever since I bought it, which is several years ago, lol!

    • Lily

      I know what you mean! I still have this huge tub of Chanel loose powder. It’s going to take me ages… but I’m still curious about other powders. LOL!

  • Isn’t Instagram helpful/horrifying when you check it to see how long ago you bought something and realize it’s been 8 months and you’ve yet to crack into it?! This looks like a nice powder. I always set my base with powder due to oily skin. I’ve been pretty loyal to the YSL Mat + Radiant Powder I’ve been using for months, but I’m probably going to try something new when I finish it. And I’m actually close to ACTUALLY finishing it which is thrilling! I think the YSL powder works great to give a matte-but-not-flat finish, but I’m still on the hunt for a powder that sets and combats the oily t-zone (and CHEEKS – wtf…this is new) for a whole day. It must exist! 😉

    • Lily

      YAY to finishing a product!! And yeah, the timeline on Instagram is great for scaring us… AND reminding us it’s about bloody time we use the products we bought. Hahaha! When I used to have oily skin, I’d just powder throughout the day (after blotting). I gave up on looking for a powder that kept my face shine free the whole day. It does not exist!

  • Lily

    I’m glad you like this too, Kate. I haven’t heard of Rivecow before. Thanks for the rec 🙂

  • I use Guerlain Les Voilettes, which isn’t exactly translucent! I have to set MOST foundations with a powder, especially on my T-zone. I think those cheek stains are permanent, so I’d definitely like a review! I actually get theBalm in my town and I have checked some of the stuff out. I realize what bothers me about the brand is the packaging… I have the same issue with Benefit box powders. If I buy something, it has to be SO good that I’m willing to look past it 🙂

    • Lily

      Oh, it’s good that those cheek stains are permanent! I’ll definitely talk about them 🙂 I know what you mean about the packaging. I really love their eye shadow texture, but I depotted them because I didn’t like the packaging. Those Instain blushes are nice, but once I get sick of the packaging, I have a feeling I’d just depot them 🙂 One thing about the Benefit box powders is they are huge! That’s the reason I don’t even own a single one >_<

  • My skin is quite oily and I definitely have to reapply powder at least once a day. I wonder how this powder would do on my skin.

    • Lily

      Hey Melissa, the good thing is even though your skin gets oily, the powder doesn’t oxidize on your skin. I hate how some powders make you look more dull after your skin’s natural oil starts to break through. I prefer pressed powder compared to loose powders, and another one I’d like to try is the one by NARS. One day perhaps, after I used up this one 🙂

  • I don’t have oily skin, but I do set foundations with a light dusting of meteorites usually. Glad this works for you! I like theBalm, but don’t have a lot of their products.

    • Lily

      You just reminded I have a tub of meteorites sitting around. It’s looking pretty but not getting much love!

  • I have a dry skin but when it’s hot outside this might be handy!


    • Lily

      Well, if your skin gets greasy when it’s hot, then setting with powder helps keep the skin look fresher 🙂

  • I prefer The Balm packaging to Benefit actually. 😉
    This reminds me of the NARS HD pressed powder that I recently started using. This one also gives a slightly glowy finish yet keeps the T-zone relatively shine free (but it is NARS. Lily hates the packaging, so;;)
    And you’re so right! No point swatching products likes this. I am personally weary of strong swatches of certain types of products. I’m like, “what for?”.

    • Lily

      LOL yeah… I AM looking at their light reflecting powder, because it’s got so much rave. But I need to use this up first, so I can just use that exclusively, and finish the product before the packaging dies on me. LOL! Erm, and yeah, no point swatching this 😛

  • I def need to powder, espeacially when it’s hot ans humid. Used to want matte matte matte, but now see the beauty of a good glowy finish. Will need to check this out, though nothing is translucent on me. Maybe it’s my redness or something, but whenever I use something that’s labelled as translucent, it pulls very pink toned, so I prefer the option of picking a yellow toned powder.

    • Lily

      I think Bobbi Brown has a loose powder in Pale Yellow. That one worked quite well on me. My first loose powder actually 🙂 However, I find that if I really want to control shine, I’d just use a light base, and set with powder foundation instead of setting powder!

  • Jaa

    I have this one! I don’t think I have opened it, though. You’ve just inspired me to try it tomorrow. 😀 I like thebalm packaging for its super light weight. 🙂

    • Lily

      LOL beauty blogger problems!!

  • Liz

    I used to be all about theBalm but now I can’t stand the sight of their packaging. Got rid of all of my theBalm except for a concealer and one solo eye shadow! As for this powder, even when I liked the brand I was never very tempted because it swatched chalky. Could have been the dried out groady testers though. 😡

    • Lily

      I swatched it at the counter before purchasing it, but it just went on translucent, even though it looked really peachy in the pan. Maybe the tester was a little too old, or just too eeky 😛

  • I used up one of these before – it worked pretty well. Translucent and didn’t chalk me up despite having to powder regularly throughout the day 🙂

    • Lily

      I’m hoping to use up this one as well. I usually use powder foundation to set if I want more coverage, but this will do for days I want super lightweight feel 🙂