The character Norma Desmond from the 1950 movie Sunset Boulevard is the ultimate Grande Dame of Hollywood, getting older and still clinging to a long-gone era. In the movie, she preens around her museum-like mansion, oblivious to the fact that the world has changed and she has not. No makeup product screams Norma Desmond to me more than loose face powder. It is a product that looks great on younger women, but as skin ages, it begins to work against them: it settles into fine lines and dries the face out, creating a mask-like appearance. Norma must have loved it.

The fact is that aging skins needs more moisture, not less, to look its best. Smashbox Halo Powder is billed as a technological breakthrough, due to its patented hydration system. It also contains 48 minerals, 11 amino acids, and peptide, which all give long-term benefits to your face. Smashbox claims that in its own clinical trials, 10 minutes after application there is a 33% decrease in the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes. And after 6 weeks of use, there is a 67% decrease in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles overall. I began to hope that “anti-aging powder” wasn’t actually an oxymoron.

My results? Fantastic. It added moisture and glow to my skin, something I didn’t think was possible. After application, my skin felt cool and refreshed—like it had been sprayed with a mist of water. The powder gave medium coverage, setting my makeup without caking, drying, and highlighting my lines. My skin looked smoother, its coloring imperfections were minimized, and I felt radiant. Friends told me that my skin looked great, and I believed them.

The innovative packaging is another reason to pick up this powder. I fear the Great Powder Explosion that inevitably occurs when a container of loose powder is my makeup bag. The Halo Powder is actually a compressed cake that you shave off by twisting the compact, so you only sift out the amount you need at one time, no more.

An interesting ingredient in the Halo Powder is peat extract, a natural anti-inflammatory detoxifying agent. Peat is essentially a compound made of a variety of decomposed plants found all over the world. It sounds unappetizing, but it has been used in Central Europe for centuries to treat skin conditions and rheumatoid arthritis. In clinical trials, it has been proven to be rapidly absorbed by the skin.

For people who are sensitive to wheat, be aware that this product also contains Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein. It retains water and tightens skin, but it can be bothersome to some people with allergies.

If poor Norma were really alive and around today, I would recommend that she get first get into therapy, and second: lose the old talcum powder and switch to Halo. It really gives new appearance to older skin.

Mica, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Isopropyl Linoleate, Synthetic Wax, Polymethyl-silsesquioxane, Water, Zinc Stearate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Barium Sulfate, Dimethylacrylamide/Acrylic Acid/Polystyrene Ethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Ethoxydiglycol, Sodium Dehydroaceatate, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract (Goji Berry), Trisodium Edta, Peat Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14, Dimethicone, Gold. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides