I chose Real Sand, as the shade up (Natural Beige) seemed too dark and orange-leaning. For my skin tone, Real Sand is a touch too light, but given the choice between too light or too dark, I'd go with the former. The finish of this mineral powder is brightening and almost glowy — I'm not sure whether it's entirely due to the SPF, but it definitely lightens the complexion. It's especially noticeable in direct sunlight when first applied.
I use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply it, and it works well enough that I haven't wanted to try any other brushes. I find the loose powder quite fiddly, in that I periodically have to turn the jar upside down, shake it a little for a bit of the powder to fall through the holes, and then open it up slowly once it's back upright, making sure to position it flat so powder doesn't spill out. It also hasn't cut down the time I take to apply my foundation. It probably takes just as long, if not longer, than my liquid foundation, as I have to make special effort to dip my brush in the powder evenly, and buff the powder into my face so I have seamless, even coverage all over. It's easy to get too much on the brush (as you really only need the smallest amount on the tip), which means more blending if some parts of the face have more powder applied than others.
What's really impressed me has been the oil control, the coverage and the staying power. It doesn't get greasy and my face doesn't need blotting in the middle of the day, unlike my liquid foundations. There is slight shininess after a while around my T-zone, but it doesn't really bother me. The coverage that the powder gives is unexpectedly good. It really can cover up a whole array of imperfections and unevenness (short of large blemishes) while still making the skin look natural. It also lasts longer than my liquid foundations, which tend to slip off my face and fade by the end of the day. I like the fact that it feels completely weightless on the skin. There's none of the tackiness or dampness that can come with liquid foundation. I can buff this over my whole face, including over my eyelids, and it feels like nothing.
I still need to moisturise before using this, as I find that it can cake around the edges of my nose if my skin is particularly dry. I've primarily been applying it on the weekends if I'm going out, as I prefer the greater ease and speed of liquid foundation on weekdays. My only major complaint is the fact I don't think Real Sand is a perfect match for me, and the powder has a slight but noticeable whitening effect on my skin that I'm not convinced looks entirely natural. If there was the exact shade for me, and the loose powder was a bit less fiddly, I'd be completely enamoured.