I was given a sample of Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Powder Sun Protection SPF 30 ($50) in Fair Shimmer to try. For your reference, I am a 21-year-old with dry, sensitive very fair skin. I burn very easily, even while wearing sunscreen. I recently went to a family reunion near a lake and got to test this product (my first powder sunscreen) in a variety of situations.

I tried it first without makeup on a light sun exposure day. The instructions say “Apply liberally [and] reapply every two hours.” Immediately upon application the powder felt obvious on my face, which I didn’t care for. Also, although I didn’t see much pigment, I could see some obvious and sparse/random sparkling. This isn’t a product that will give you an all-over candle-lit glow. I didn’t care for the look or feel – but no sunburn.

Then I tried it over makeup. The powder on top of my light coverage BB cream was visible, and it caused a slight change in color, but nothing too drastic. This time I barely saw any sparkle – I’m not sure if this was because it looked less obvious against a made-up face or if there were just less shimmer particles in this application. Again, I had no sunburn with light sun exposure.

Finally, I decided to try wearing the product while canoeing, with no makeup again. I got quite a bit more sun exposure this time, and I did get some slight redness after about three hours in the sun (one hour over the prescribed reapplication time). I tried it in the water, and it washes right off. Colorescience doesn’t make any claims that this product is waterproof or water-resistant; I just wanted to try for curiosity’s sake.

In all, I won’t purchase the product and probably won’t even finish my sample. I think for everyday sun exposure, this will do the trick as long as you reapply as directed. But I didn’t care for the feel of the powder on my skin or the pigment effect (over makeup) and shimmer. If you are allergic to many liquid sunscreens or prefer to wear a heavier powder on your face, then you may want to try this, but I would recommend skipping the “shimmer” version and just getting the regular formula that would match your skin tone. Also, go for the SPF 50 if you burn easily, like me.

Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 12%, Zinc Oxide 12%, Mica, dimethicone/vinyldimethicone crosspolymer, corallina officinalis, calcium silicate