A Quick Guide to Powdering Your Face
Look in any makeup junkies’ bag and it’s a guarantee that there is a setting powder in there. Just laying in wait for your forehead to get as greasy as that pizza you ate for lunch, or your foundation to wear. Powder is the waistband that holds up your cream products. From compacts to full on bottles of powder, it’s become a staple in anyone’s makeup routine.
It’s also become increasingly complicated. Do I want yellow toned pressed powder, or a white translucent powder that claims it’s high definition? See, it’s more complicated than it seems.
Here’s everything you didn’t know you needed to know about face powders.
Why You Need It
Even just the slightest bit of powder can help smooth your skin, set your makeup, mattify your skin, and give your makeup a longer wear. And not just your skin… face powder can be used to “bake” areas of the face, set concealer, mattify lip color and encourage staying power, set cream eyeshadow, and even as an emergency dry shampoo. If you’re a contouring queen, powder will help you sculpt angles in your face like an architect. Using an eyeshadow with lots of fallout? Apply a lot of face powder beneath your eyes so you can swipe the fallout off without ruining your foundation.
The powers of face powder are quite seriously endless. So are the options for which kind of powder to use.
Face Powders for Dummies
Honestly, they could have their own book. Face powders usually include setting powders, finishing powders, HD powders, and color correcting powders.
These bad boys are great for going directly on top of your foundation. They’ll set the longevity of your foundation or base, and provide a mattifying effect. They can be translucent or in a shade that matches your skin tone. If you need some extra coverage, you can choose a setting powder that’s the same shade as your foundation. It’s important to apply these with care, though, as they can be a little heavier than their powder cohorts.
These guys will be translucent or white with the goal to smooth all lines on your face. They’re great for blurring complexion for photographs, so think special events when reaching for finishing powders. There is a Public Service Announcement important to relay here: they can cause a white cast on your face. No one wants to look like Caspar, so blend well beauties and you’ll have some model-perfect skin.
Newer to the market, HD powders gained popularity because they’re *high definition*. Exciting, right? Wrong. These powders are just finishing powders with fancy names. If you’ll be under a camera or on film, they can be incredibly forgiving to your skin.
Color Correcting Powders
Remember that Ben Nye powder which was “banana” colored? Color correcting powders like that can have some serious benefits. They’re used to neutralize tones in your skin. Have a lot of redness? A color correcting powder with green in it will help to neutralize the redness in your skin. Feel like your skin is looking dull? Yellow can help brighten the face and give it some life.
Pressed vs. Loose Powder?
This is a pretty personal decision. Most powders you’ll find in a makeup bag are pressed. They’re fantastic for on-the-go application. Pressed powders also offer a little stronger coverage than their opponents. If your skin is irritated by additives, pressed powders might cause your skin to revolt. OK, maybe not revolt… but protest.
Loose powders have finer particles, meaning that they’re lighter on the skin. They do have the tendency to become messy, though, so they might be better off left on your makeup counter at home.
Powdering Your Face
You’ve made it all the way to applying the powder on your face. But how do you do this in a way that will yield the best results?
First, you get rid of that puff the powder will come with. These little puffs are pesky and always deposit way more powder than you intend to put on your face. Get rid of them and never look back! The best way to apply any face powder is with a fluffy powder brush. It’s important to use a brush with loose bristles because it’ll distribute the product better. Blend the powder into your skin using a flat or stiff kabuki brush. There are many retractable kabuki brushes out there so you can toss one in your makeup bag with your powder and you’re set for the day.
You’ll thank us later.
Powder should be applied to the T-zone, with care to blend outwards. Take care not to apply too much powder to the edges of the face because that will take away some of the natural brightness or radiance of your skin. Let your natural skin shine through!