Yes, I have nine favourite powders. I was trying to find the perfect powder for my wedding day and ended up collecting a few favourites that are ideal for multiple different situations. Powder is the last step for complexion makeup, so it’s what makes or breaks how your skin looks, and I guess that’s why I ended up trying so many. Let’s powder up, buttercup.
Best for Mattifying Normal to Oily Skin: Seventeen Natural Silky Compact Powder & Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder
I have combination skin and these two are my day to day powders. Seventeen is a greek brand and I got this powder on my trip to Santorini, during my honeymoon. I have it in the shade No7 Ivory. This powder is amazing and I regret not going back for more before I left. It’s mattifying, controls oil pretty well throughout the day, and does not look dry at all. There is a subtle luminosity to it that prevents skin from looking flat and dry. It has a bit of SPF in it which I appreciate in a daily wear powder.
The other favourite I have in this category is Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder (shade Medium). Now this is very mattifying. There’s no luminosity to it, but instead, this has a blurring effect on the skin. It smooths out pores and lines, and even though it has a matte finish, is does not make skin look dehydrated. It’s also super long lasting – it makes your makeup stay on and stay well, regardless of mask, sweat and tears. Plus, this gives a bit of extra coverage since it’s not translucent.
Best for Mattifying Dry Skin: Chantecaille Perfect Blur Finishing Powder
The Chantecaille Perfect Blur Finishing Powder came out as a limited edition powder in 2020 and has been made permanent this year. That’s how popular it was. I use it occasionally, usually when my skin is drier or I’m using a drying foundation, but I know it works great for drier or more mature skin types. This does not accentuate fine lines or dry patches, it smoothes skin texture and prevents foundation from transferring, making it last longer. It’s not the strongest at controlling oil, but someone with dry skin won’t need it to.
Best for Adding Luminosity: Nars Light Reflecting Setting Pressed Powder in Translucent Crystal, Milani Prep+Set+Glow
When I need my face to have a bit of life added back to it (hello all nighter my old friend) or just want to look more glow-y, there are two powders that I turn to. The first is Milani Prep Set Glow. I have it in shade 02 and it’s everything I wanted the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders to be. It adds a subtle shine to the skin without emphasising texture or making me look like a disco ball. I’m not a fan of the Hourglass powders, they are too shiny for me and make my pores more visible. Milani’s offering is better, and it’s the most luminous powder I own that doesn’t behave like a highlighter.
My other favourite is NARS Light Reflecting Setting Pressed Powder in Translucent Crystal. The main difference between this one and the Milani powder is that NARS’ controls oil better and for longer, but it does has some visible micro shimmer through it. It’s nothing too gaudy, the particles are only visible up close in a mirror, and it does not emphasise texture on the skin, but they are there.
Best with Extra Coverage: Diorskin Forever Extreme Control SPF 20 Compact Foundation
Sometimes, just foundation doesn’t cut it, and I need a bit more coverage from my powder. That’s when I turn to powder foundations. My favourite is the Diorskin Forever Extreme Control SPF 20 Compact Foundation, and I liked it so much this is a repurchase (I have it in shade 020). I will be giving my opinion on this as a powder, because I never use it as foundation.
It’s a dense and creamy powder, almost velvety to the touch. It has nice coverage, enough to make it go from light to medium if you’ve used a sheerer foundation, but the best thing about it is how smoothing it is. For a powder that’s so dense, my skin looks smoothed over and pores disappear. It can turn a bit cakey if I’m not careful with how much I apply it though.
Best Loose Powders
I find that pressed powder can be two of three things at a time: smoothing, oil controlling, and luminous. If you want the best of all three worlds, you will have to get a loose powder. They’re not as practical, but if I want a truly flawless finish to my face I know I just have to deal with the mess of a loose powder.
My absolute favourite all in one powder is the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. It’s nothing new, people have been raving about it for years, but it’s still the best. And the one I chose for my wedding day, along with Guerlain Météorites (but we will get there). Laura Mercier’s powder has that ability to perfect the skin without looking flat matte or cakey. In fact, I’ve used it to make a foundation look less cakey, that’s how natural looking this is. I wouldn’t say it is luminous but it’s not matte either – it has a skin like finish, satin maybe? And even though it doesn’t turn your skin fully matte, it looks at oil and says “you shall not pass”, and pass the oil shan’t. This makes your make up last the entire day (and night), looking fresh the entire time.
Another favourite loose powder, for a different reason, is the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder. This is probably the most finely milled powder you’ll ever find. It’s hard not to inhale it when you open the lid. The consequence to that is that your skin looks extremely smooth (consequence to being finely milled, not inhaled- I don’t want to think too much about what the consequences of that are). It’s like magic. It does not control oil as well as some other powders in this list – and it’s not supposed to, since it’s supposed to be hydrating – but if you have dry skin or want something to make your skin look like it has a filter on it, this is the powder.
And at last, we’ll talk again about my long term lover, Guerlain Météorites. That powder has been in my life for longer than my husband. I’ve raved about them in so many occasions (I have several shades) I’m sick of hearing myself talk about them. Anyway, this is the powder to use on top of any other powder. It’s not meant to control oil at all. It’s a finishing powder, not a setting one, and it’s meant to make your skin look perfected, softly lit, healthy and with no imperfections. And it does all of that. If you are looking too powdery, blend this into the skin. If your blush and bronzer aren’t mixing well, blend this into the skin. If your credit is bad, blend this into the skin. It won’t solve anything but at least you’ll look better.
And that is it. Who would of thought that I would have more powders to talk about than palettes? Dust me up, baby.