Powder: all the secrets to know and use it at its best

Want a makeup that lasts all day? Find out how to choose your powder. We have selected the best formulas on the market.

Powder is one of the most important products to use in order to create a perfect makeup that enhances your face, minimizing imperfections, and its use is therefore an important step in the makeup routine.

This product has two main functions:

  • Fix cream products such as foundations and concealers
  • Avoid the much-hated shiny effect, especially for combination or oily skin

Powder is one of makeup's most precious allies, an essential product for a bright makeup, perfect and long-lasting.

The secret is to recognize which product is best suited to you, your needs and skin type, both in terms of color and texture.

Choosing the right product is therefore the first step to use the powder at its best: there are in fact corrective powders that help, for example, to minimize redness in case of couperose or to illuminate a dull complexion, or bright and matte powders, more or less mattifying, and for every skin type.

But be careful: some foundations have a mattifying and powdery effect. In this case, the powder is useless.

In this article we explain the various uses of powder, which product is best to choose for a given purpose, how and where to apply it according to your taste or needs.

We'll also point you to the latest releases and the most viral ones on the web, like the Etude House Zero Sebum Drying Powder.

Powders Etude House Zero Sebum
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This all-purpose powder can be used as a powder to mattify the skin, reduce excess sebum, minimize hair oiliness, or it can be used as a makeup primer.

Powder: what it is for and how to apply it

Powder is one of the least talked about cosmetics, and yet its purpose is very important: it is essential for the success of makeup.

Its main purpose is to absorb excess oil and fix makeup, so that it does not fade during the day.

In addition to mattifying the T-zone, the right formula can also blur blemishes and help you achieve an airbrushed finish.

If you take the time to pat and blend your makeup to perfection, then it's worth adding an extra step to your makeup routine.

The term "setting powder" is a broad term that refers to any type of powder used to set makeup, including translucent powders and tinted powders that are perfect for trimming your complexion.

Translucent or setting?

Despite belonging to the same family of powders, translucent powder and setting powder serve slightly different purposes in application.

  • The translucent powder is perfect for a wide range of skin tones. Finely ground, it is typically colorless or lightly tinted and can be applied over foundation or concealer to set makeup and reduce shine.
  • The setting powder, usually luminous or pearlescent, is a purely aesthetic one, with an illuminating function. In this case, it will be applied when the makeup is finished.

For additional coverage, you can also opt for the color powders that also help even out the skin tone for a more polished look, available in different shades and that suit specific skin tones.

If, on the other hand, your aim is to minimize pores, clear loose powder can be useful, which also often has a high sebum-absorbing power.

For the T-zone, the powder should be chosen from the mattifying ones and applied with a brush.

"Loose powder is the key to keeping your makeup in place all day long," says makeup artist Flynn Pyykkonen.

In general, a tinted powder offers maximum coverage, helps the foundation stay intact, and adds a thin layer of pigment, which can make the skin appear brighter, tanned, or more even, depending on the formula you choose.

"Sometimes, a pop of color is needed during the gloomy months when you're looking for a healthy glow," says Pyykkonen.

Finally, to set your makeup and create a glossy, blended, and "filtered" finish, Pyykkonen recommends using a finishing powder.

Thanks to her pro tips, you can choose between cheap setting powders and luxury brands that are worth the expense!

Whichever you choose, our roundup of products will help you find the powder that best suits your face and needs.

Where and how to apply powder

Powder is usually preferable to use especially in areas prone to creases or where makeup tends to fade more quickly, such as the area of dark circles, the contour of the nose and the forehead, but this is still a personal preference, so you can do as you like.

There are several methods to apply powder: the most used is certainly the use of a cushion: the touch must be light without exaggerating.

As an alternative to the cushion, you can use a powder brush, a tool with soft bristles perfect for applying a light veil of product, fixing the foundation and evening out the complexion without risking creating too dense layers of powder.

The powder should generally be applied after the foundation and possibly after the concealer. Use very little and gently dab it on your face with a feather or brush and take care to shake the cushion or brush well before applying it, in order to remove excess dust.

If you want to increase its durability and sebum-absorbing effect, you will have to replace the brush with a damp sponge.

Every skin has its own powder!

Looking for a product that sets liquid foundation and also gives you some color? Or do you want to have a glowy effect?

When you understand what you need the powder for, you can choose the one that best suits your needs, but also for your skin.

As always, you need to take into account the price and reviews.

The powder, whether mattifying or fixing, should be chosen based on the color of your complexion and foundation. They come in different shades.

How to choose the right color? There are two factors to consider: the undertone of your skin and the shade of foundation you are going to use.

You will first have to identify your skin tone: if it is very light, opt for ivory powders, if you have a medium-toned complexion, opt for rosy powders, while if your skin falls into the medium-dark color category, opt for beige powders.

If you have oily skin or simply want your foundation and concealer to last, setting powder is the right product for you.

You can use it to give oily or combination skin a more matte finish, while the pore-softening or pore-filling properties help to create a smoother appearance on the skin. In the case of oily or combination skin, the choice of powder is essential: those who have skin that produces a lot of sebum will have to choose a mattifying powder, ideal for fixing their makeup and at the same time absorbing excess sebum, making the complexion matte, uniform and luminous.

On the other hand, if you have dry skin, you may want to use powder more sparingly to avoid emphasizing dry areas.

Or, if you prefer a matte finish, you can pair the powder with a moisturizing setting spray.

Discover MAC's setting sprays:

Among the new setting sprays, there is the SETTER CEO Hydrating & Dewy Biphasic Setting Spray by Mulac.

Not sure which powder to use under your eyes? Fortunately, both loose and pressed powders can be used effectively to fix the dark circles area, and the choice between the two often comes down to personal preference and specific makeup goals.

The finer, lighter texture of loose powders can be beneficial for the delicate dark circles area, as it is less likely to settle in fine lines or appear as a scab. If you apply with a makeup brush or sponge, loose powders for dark circles allow for more precise positioning and controlled application. Their ability to provide a matte finish and help absorb excess oil is an added benefit.

We suggest you choose a lightweight compact solution that remains soft on the face while giving light and uniformity.

To help you narrow down your choice, we've selected the following powders by evaluating each formula based on its absorbency, appearance, feel, hold and shade range.

In this selection you can't miss the iconic powder of CHARLOTTE TILBURY - Airbrush Flawless Finish, the No. 1 luxury compact powder in the UK!

It is a complexion-enhancing micropowder for flawless skin. It contains perfecting smoothing powders for a sensational SOFT FOCUS effect, minimizing shine and brightening the complexion.

And finally, Airbrush Brightening Flawless Finish Powder, a compact translucent powder with micro powders that perfects the complexion for glowing, airbrushed-looking skin in seconds!

Whether you have oily skin or just want your makeup to stay untouched, makeup setting powder has a place in every beauty kit.

This is all the information you needed and the tricks to use the powder in the correct way. By following these tips, you will be able to choose the powder that best suits your skin type and needs and apply the product in the right way, to be perfect on all occasions and have an even and radiant skin!

Whether it's a simple look or a dramatic look, choose a product that will ensure a smooth finish and long-lasting hold.

Visit our full selection of powders for even more options.

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