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How Do I Choose the Best Face Powder?

A woman has face powder applied to her cheeks.
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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
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When choosing the best face powder for your needs, you should take into consideration your skin type and tone, as well as your budget. Evaluate the various types of powder that are available to you, and if possible, try out samples of the powder before buying it. It also is a good idea to think about what cosmetic and skincare needs can be met by your choice of powder. In some cases, you can rely on it to give you some protection against sun damage. You might also be able to choose a powder that does double duty as a foundation.

Before making your face powder selection, remove your makeup and have a look at your facial skin. Contrary to what some cosmetic companies might want you to believe, powder is not for everyone, because it might cake, accentuate lines or highlight very dry, flaky skin. When talking to cosmetic counter representatives, mention these concerns and try finding a face powder that works with your skin type. It also is important to make sure that the powder you choose matches your skin tone.

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Read ingredient labels before making a purchase. If you know that you have sensitivities to certain cosmetic and skincare ingredients, check the label to make sure that the powder doesn't contain these triggers. If your skin is extremely sensitive, ask for a sample of the powder to try at home, or make your purchase through a retailer that has a liberal return or exchange policy. You also should pay attention to the powder's "finish," because some products might give your skin a slightly shiny look, and others are very matte. It is up to you to decide which type suits your face better.

Consider your skincare and cosmetic needs. An ultraviolet (UV) face powder can provide you with some sun protection, although it generally is a good idea to wear an additional sunscreen or UV foundation with this type of powder. Mineral face powder often provides sun protection, as do other formulations.

If your skin isn't in particularly good condition, you might not need much coverage and might choose to forgo wearing any additional foundation. If you do feel that you need to wear foundation but don't like wearing too many products on your face, look for a face powder that doubles as a foundation. This can remove a make-up step for you and allow you to use one item for two purposes.

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Discuss this Article

orangey03
Post 7

I have always used a translucent face powder over my liquid foundation. This combination gives me the most smooth coverage and hides my blemishes best.

The foundation covers things up well, but once I pat on the compact powder, my face suddenly looks flawlessly smooth. It hides my age spots so well that I sometimes forget they are there until I wash my makeup off at night!

I use one of the cheapest translucent powders available, and it works great for me. I carry it in my purse and reapply it about twice a day, and this controls the oil on my nose. If I don't reapply it, then my nose will start to shine.

seag47
Post 6

Shimmery face powder is not for everyone, but I love it. My best friend bought some and hated it, so she gave it to me, and I use it all the time.

I have very fair skin, so the shimmery effect makes me glow. It is very apparent out in the sun or under colored lights. I have a blue light bulb in my bedroom, and my skin looks magical under it.

I think that shimmery powder makes me look healthy. It adds life to my pale skin, and I use it on my arms and neck, too. I'm glad my friend decided she hated it, because it is the best cosmetic product I have ever found!

StarJo
Post 5

@Oceana – It sounds like a mineral powder foundation would be your best option. I was finally able to start using this after I got rid of my acne, and I'm very happy with how natural it looks.

When I had severe acne, I had to wear a heavy foundation and compact powder. This actually clogged my pores further and worsened my condition, so I went to a dermatologist for treatment.

After about six months, my acne was gone, and I was able to switch to a powder foundation. The mineral powder matches my skin tone, and it basically just smooths out my complexion. It really makes it seem like I just have naturally beautiful skin, because many people can't tell I'm wearing makeup.

Oceana
Post 4

I have tried a couple of powder foundations, but they just seem to make me look strange. Even when the shade of the powder matches my skin tone, it seems to sit on top of my face and appear as a separate layer. It doesn't look natural, in other words.

Can anyone recommend a good type of powder that will offer enough coverage so that I don't have to use a foundation? I would love to be able to do touchups at work, and I don't want to carry a bottle of foundation and a separate compact of powder in my purse. It's just too much trouble.

fify
Post 3

This might sound funny to some, but I have two face powders, one I keep at home and one in my purse. The one at home has ugly packaging but it works really well. It's translucent and I use it to set my makeup in the morning and I never take it along with me.

Then, I have another one, a small little compact of pressed powder foundation. It has a vintage design and looks gorgeous. It's not the best face powder I've used but I use it because it looks very pretty and elegant.

I don't want to take out an ugly plastic compact out of my purse in public. The vintage pressed face powder I have has been designed to look like face compacts from the 1950s. I get lots of admiring looks when I need to powder my face in public! When other people are seeing my makeup, the packaging is very important to me, even more than the product itself!

SteamLouis
Post 2

I think the most important thing to find out about before getting a face powder is if it has been finely milled or not. If it is very finely milled, it applies on the face much more evenly and provides more coverage if it's tinted. If it's not fine enough, it doesn't blend well and it doesn't absorb face oils well.

I also hate it if face powders look chalky and white. It should either be translucent or blended with my face color. I don't want to look like a ghost!

I've tried many different brands and have wasted a lot of money. The products I've liked the most are Anna Sui, Clinique, Mary Kay and Coty face powder. All four of these are very finely milled and blend very well into skin.

burcinc
Post 1

Ideally, I need to use face powder with sun protection, as well as mattifying and healing effects because I have acne-prone oily skin. I also don't like to use too many products like the article said, so I want it to double up as foundation too.

However it's so hard to find all of these qualities in the same product. Some products provide really good coverage and absorb excess oil but don't have sun protection. Some have sun protection but look too cakey and settle into fine lines on my face.

On top of all this, the price and amount of product is an issue too. There were several products I was really pleased with but the face powder compacts were so little for the price that I couldn't afford to purchase them again.

Finding the perfect face powder is very difficult. I've yet to find one that works for my face and fits my budget.

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