You may choose not to use facial powder every day, but when you really need to boost your look, powder will give that final touch to your overall appearance.
Powder is used not only for setting your foundation in place or taking shine off oily skin. More importantly, good-quality powder reflects light in flattering colours and diffuses it over the surface of your skin. Coloured matte or slightly iridescent lightweight powder will give your complexion a special glow and an impeccable matte finish while evening out your complexion.
To choose the right shade of powder, you will need to know:
European complexions with pink undertones look best with yellow-based powder that illuminates the skin and neutralises ruddiness. For a sun-kissed look on a pale to medium complexion, choose golden-brown powder. Use a shade that would be your natural tanned skin colour after a few days in the sun; a darker shade on fair skin would look dirty.
Asian or mature European complexions with undesired yellow-grey undertones require pink-based powder to balance the hue. For tanned skin, the best choice would be a powder with copper undertones.
Hispanic, Arabic, or light Indian skins are neither pink nor yellow, and are fantastically amplified by apricot-coloured powder. This same hue also looks great on European complexions with freckles. To enhance a tanned face, try darker powder with subtle orange undertones.
Black or dark Indian complexions will glow through dark brown powder with bronze (for almost any dark skin) or copper (for slightly greyish skin) undertones. To enliven a tanned complexion, you may add some iridescent powder to your normal facial powder, or use bronzer instead.
Choose shades that suit the lightness of your skin. Don’t be misled by the word “translucent” that appears in the name of many products; every powder has some colour, and it should be a flattering shade for your particular complexion.
Facial powder may come in a loose texture, or be pressed into compact form to be more portable, which makes sense since it’s the only product you should use for retouching your makeup. There is no difference in the texture of loose or pressed powder. Don’t confuse pressed finishing powder with compact powder foundation; the latter is a more concentrated and heavy product that gives good coverage and usually contains oil.
Apply loose or compact powder with a large slightly-flattened powder brush for sheer and even application. To get the right amount of loose powder on your brush: in one hand hold a tissue with some powder on it, dip and spin your brush, shake off any excess powder, then apply it on your face.
Choose a velour puff to increase the amount of powder for better coverage, or to balance oily or uneven skin. With a puff, apply the powder by patting your skin; don’t sweep it. Use a large soft brush to remove any excess powder applied with the puff.
Apply matte or slightly iridescent powder all over the face, eyes, lips, and neck. Start with the T-zone and finish on the neck. Iridescent powders and bronzers should be applied sparingly along the top of the cheeks and the bones of the face, shoulders, and décolleté.
To avoid powder gathering in the wrinkles, stretch the area you are working on with your facial muscles, or open wrinkles around the eyes with your thumb and index finger.
Always use blotting paper first, before retouching, otherwise powder will stick to the oily zones of your face, giving you heavy and uneven application.