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Powder, The Unsung Heroine of Your Makeup Bag

Posted by Julie Hafer on

Far be it from me, but...how are you using powder? What kind are you using? Where in your makeup order-of-operations does it fall? How much are you using? The answer to those questions matter more to your overall makeup look than ALMOST ANYTHING.

Powder is one of the most under-appreciated tools in a makeup bag, and it just stresses me out that people seem to not know its importance. They just slap it on, reapply throughout the day, whatever, never knowing their face could look so much better if they just honored the potential power of powder.

And frankly, the pitfalls of powder. Of which there are many. In this post, I will outline the pitfalls and the power, and tell you your ideal powder strategy, based on your skin type. I will also debunk some powder myths. Your makeup game will change forever!

First Powder Pitfall: Using Mineral Loose Powder

I know, I know. It's so easy and provides so much coverage. Boom, you're done. HOWEVER, what you gain in efficiency you lose in naturalness. One shade all over for your coverage is not the greatest approach (see this blog post about how that can go wrong with foundation), but it's especially not the greatest with powder. You end up looking dry and dull, and throughout the day, as you produce oil, all that mineral powder is going to absorb it and will not only change colors slightly (it can turn orange!), it will also thicken. By the end of the day, you look like you're wearing a mask. So my advice is just to ditch mineral loose powder entirely. Bye-bye.

Second Powder Pitfall: Using Powder too Early

Some people do their foundation, then their powder, then their blush. I disagree with this approach. I like blush to seem like it's coming directly from the face, like it's color emanating from your person as opposed to plopped on. Therefore, I think blush should go on before powder. Then, when you apply powder, you soften the appearance of the blush and it's hiding behind it shyly. It's BLUSHING! You see what I did there?

Third Powder Pitfall: Using too Much

You want to use powder to absorb oil and to set your makeup. That's it. If you over-powder, you look dry and chalky. We don't want that! And besides, you don't have to get all your powder upfront. You can reapply during the day. I'd just recommend not using too much of the colored, high-coverage variety. You might want to just use blotting powder for touchups, especially during the summer. It only absorbs oil, so you won't be gunking up your pores and creating layer after layer. The powder + oil + powder + oil + powder look is so not great by end of day! Save your real powder for a final evening touchup, when a little more coverage will be okay.

Fourth Powder Pitfall: Using too Little

Weren't expecting that, were you? Well, I do believe powder, as the final step, is your assurance that your makeup efforts won't go to waste. A small amount on the t-zone helps so much with preventing slippage, and a dusting of the excess from your brush or sponge over the entire face will unify your makeup look and add a last little bit of coverage. Even on older skin, a little powder will help makeup look better. It won't entirely destroy the dewy look if you don't use too much, I promise. Oily-looking skin doesn't look younger, it just looks oily and too much shine actually draws attention to lines and again, if you've applied foundation or concealer, not setting with powder will mean it slips right off. An even complexion looks younger. But yes, totally, don't use too much!

And those are my powder recommendations! I love powder. Never disparage it around me! I carry it everywhere:)

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