How To Choose The Right Face Powder For You

A light dusting of face powder is the perfect finishing touch to a flawless made-up face. This little, often ignored product, is in fact very versatile: it sets your makeup, helping it last longer, evens out the skintone, hides minor imperfections, can absorb excess oil and even boost sun protection.

But to get all of these benefits, you need to choose the right powder for your skin colour, type and needs. How to find it among the thousands of face powders on the market? Here’s what you should look for in a good powder:

A powder should be the same colour of your skin or you’ll like you’re wearing a mask. Avoid shades with too orange or too pink undertones and opt instead for neutral beiges, rich browns or tan browns. If you can’t find an exact match for your skintone, opt for a translucent powder.

Choose a powder with a subtle shiny finish that will give a nice, natural glow to your complexion. If you have oily skin, a matte finish would be a better option. Instead, avoid very shimmering powders as these can make you look like a disco ball.

A good powder has a lightweight, silky texture that glides smoothly on the skin and blends evenly without looking cakey nor accentuating fine lines. Powdery textures should instead be avoided.

Oily skin
If you have oily skin you should opt for powders with absorbing ingredients, such as silica or talc, that will help keep the oil and shine at bay.

Dry skin
It doesn’t matter what the label says, powders aren’t moisturizing. Because of this, many women with dry skin prefer not to use them, fearing they will accentuate every dry patch and fine line they have on their skin. To avoid this from happening, you should use a powder with a satin, almost creamy texture.

Although you shouldn’t rely on your powder as your only source of sun protection, it can help touch up your sunscreen throughout the day (if you don’t spend too much time outdoors, that is). Make sure you choose one with broad-spectrum sun protection (ie one that contains one or more of these ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Avobenzone, Mexoryl SX and Tinosorb).

Although there are lots of good loose powders on the market that give skin a beautiful flawless, porcelain-like finish, they can be somewhat messy to apply. Because of this, if you plan to carry your powder around with you for touchups or to bring it on holiday, choose a pressed one. Pressed powders are both mess-free and travel-friendly.

Some powders come with sponges that absorb too much product or brushes, but these tend to be either too small or too scratchy. That’s why it’s best to invest in a good powder brush. It should be big, fluffy, very soft and pick up just the right amount of powder (not too much to make skin look heavy and unnatural but not too little not to get enough enough product on your face).

Do you have any more tips on how to choose the right powder for your skin?

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  1. says

    I have a rather full face, lots of cheek, lots of jiggly jaw, and find it vital to use a matte powder. Luminous products used all over make my face look even more round and chubby, I think it’s much better to go matte with carefully placed highlighter.

    Also, I’ve noticed a drastic reduction of the sheer amount of powder I use since I switched to a duo fibre brush (like a MAC 187) and hardly any powder being flung into the air and onto my shirt.

    Since going loose I haven’t looked back. It’s usually a lot cheaper, you generally use less and therefore a pot lasts forever. For portability I use an old ‘compact’ I got from my grandmother with a small well, covered by a very fine mesh sifter and another lid.
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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      CucumPear, I think when it comes to powder a matte, or very subtle shiny finish is best. You want to highlight only certain areas of your face; having shimmer all over is rarely a good look!

      I’ve never attempted using a duo-fibre brush to apply powder, but if it’s that good, I’ll try it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip. And I like loose powders a lot, but I rarely use them because they’re not that practical to carry around. But your solution to this problem sounds great. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Trisha, I agree. Applicators that come with powders are useless. It’s much better to buy a powder brush, it’ll give you much better results.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Nikki, thank you! And I agree. Much better to always use a sunscreen under your powder. Powder alone won’t keep your skin well protected.

  2. Janessa says

    I don’t own any functional face powders for an every-day basis. I have some but they’re for use on other people or for playing around with. I’m enjoying the years when I don’t need much makeup to head out.

    This is such a great post and without a doubt, very helpful to all!

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