Previously, on xoVain: I explained everything there is to know (and I do mean everything) about face powders, from the different types to how to apply them. Today, we’re getting into product recommendations. Hooray!
Now that I’ve convinced you that powder is very necessary, here are my FAVORITE powders. I’ve broken them up into two categories (tinted and translucent) so that no matter what you’re looking for, you’re bound to find something here that you love!
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural
This powder comes in 15 shades, so you WILL find one that works with your skin tone. I love the compact that it comes in--sleek yet sturdy, with a good sized mirror in the upper lid.
The pressed powder is soft, without being insubstantial, and very comfortable to wear, which is exactly what you'd expect from the Mineralize line. It set my liquid BB cream and added a teeny bit more coverage to the dark circles under my eyes. Unlike other tinted powders, this one does not change color with perspiration, which is a must for super-hot days. It gives matte yet natural coverage that easily builds--but the mineral formula stops it from looking too flat.
Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder
I haven't been super-impressed with most drugstore powders. They're either very cake-y, flash back weirdly in pictures, or they give my complexion an odd tint. Stay Matte is free from all of those problems and gets my wholehearted seal of approval.
This powder really does mattify your complexion, and because it’s so lightweight, you can touch up without feeling like a frosted cake. I’m not quite sure it lasts the five hours that it promises (at least not in summer), but at this price, a re-application trade-off is definitely worth it.
The ONLY thing that could make this better is if it came in a compact with a mirror, rather than a pancake tin. I'd also like it in a wider variety of shades.
Clinique Blended Face Powder
For more mature skin, there is nothing better than this loose, lovely powder from Clinique. My mother has worn this ever since I can remember, and she loves the way it gives her buildable yet natural coverage, even when worn in place of foundation.
“I have some wrinkles and uneven skin,” said my mum. “But this doesn’t sink into them and make me look like The Old Woman of the Hills. It isn’t fake looking. And one jar lasts me a year, easily.”
My mum is not a makeup person, so this is the highest praise imaginable. I found it a little heavy for summer, but it definitely gives amazing coverage with a comfortable feel. An excellent choice for uneven skin.
Since the main problem with translucent or white powders is chalky flashback, I'm including photos both with and without camera flash. This is so that you can see how well these work after being well-blended.
Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
I love anything Tarte makes with Amazonian clay in it, and this is no exception. This finishing powder has SUPREME mattifying capabilities in both loose and pressed forms.
If you’re looking for a product that neutralizes shine like a champion, this is your Huckleberry. Loose or pressed, nothing works as well to get rid of oil on my face and keep my skin looking totally gorgeous.
Though it wears beautifully, I did notice that because of the intense oil-nixing properties, it made a couple patches of post-zit skin look a little dry in my trials. I stepped up my exfoliation game and it wasn't an issue again.
NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder
The product I’m least likely to leave home without, this gorgeous setting powder somehow manages to illuminate my skin, get rid of shine for an entire day, blur out my uneven skin texture AND look totally natural. Plus, NARS makes some of the best compacts in the beauty game.
This is so light and smooth that at first you might not realize that you’ve put any powder on your face. It's good at oil control without making skin overly matte, and equally good at smoothing the look of pores and wrinkles on my face. If you want a product that does some of everything (and does it brilliantly), this is the one for you.
With the tiniest bit of subtle shimmer that never becomes SPARKLE, it’s the perfect, easy way to add lightweight dimension to your skin. Perfect for radiant girls on the run.
Make Up For Ever Microfinish HD Powder
Everything you've heard about it is true. The softest, finest texture. The most hardcore shine-removing and optical blurring abilities. The longest wear. This is truly the creme de la creme of translucent powders, and it comes in both a loose and pressed version.
This is like a real life Photoshop tool. Blended on top of my normal makeup, it almost totally erased small acne scares and pores. It feels so amazing on my face to the point where I can’t wait to touch it up--but I don’t need to touch it up very much, because it easily lasts eight sweaty hours in the Chicago summer heat. It’s THAT good.
In case this hasn't convinced you, take a close look. The pores on my cheeks and around my nose are pretty big, but with this powder on top of my BB cream, they legitimately vanish.
Used on top of the MAC Skinfinish Natural as a finishing powder, it’s even better. I look like I’ve Perfect365-ed my skin in real life.
I can see why so many makeup artists in film and TV swear by this stuff. Not only does it refuse to reflect camera flashes or melt off in extreme heat, you can apply layers of the stuff without it getting cake-y. It’s like magic in a jar (and a compact). Believe the hype.
And now we talk! Have you tried out any of these powders? Which is your favorite? What face powder would you hoard if you ever found out it was being discontinued?