One of the most difficult things about buying makeup is finding colors that suit your skin tone. Choosing the wrong shade can make you look more like you’re wearing a mask rather than giving you the natural, flawless finish you were hoping for.
Thankfully, there are a few easy ways you can find a compact powder that will suit your complexion and skin type. Remember, you should also pair your powder with a perfectly matching foundation - see find my foundation shade.
In this guide, we’re going to tell you exactly what to look for when choosing a face powder.
Choose a Shade Based on Your Skin’s Undertones
Of course, you have to find a shade that matches your skin tone, but did you know that it’s also important to consider your undertones? There are three main types - cool, warm, and neutral. Someone with a paler complexion can have warm undertones, while a person with darker skin can have cool undertones, so determining your skin’s undertones isn’t as simple as it first seems.
However, don’t worry if you’re not sure what undertones your skin has - there are a few tests you can do to find out.
One of the quickest ways to check is by looking at the veins on the underside of your wrist. If they appear blue, you probably have cool undertones. If they appear more green, this means you most likely have warm undertones. On the other hand, you probably have neutral undertones if you can’t really pick out a green or a blue tinge on your veins.
If you discover you have cool undertones, it’s best to go for a powder with a more pinkish hue. Those with warmer undertones look best in a more yellowish powder.
Pick the Right Finish and Coverage Level
Depending on what you want to achieve with your compact powder, there are a few different options. If you’re looking to mask any imperfections or fine lines, opt for medium to full coverage for a flawless look. On the other hand, if you want a more natural look, try a translucent powder.
If you have oily skin and are hoping to make it appear less shiny, a matte finish compact powder is what you should be looking for. You should look for a face powder that will finish off your look nicely, leaving you with a healthy, natural glow.
Choose the Correct Texture
There are loads of different types of powder to choose from, including pressed powder, loose powder, mineral powder, and more. The type to go for depends on your skin type and the look you are hoping to achieve from your powder.
A loose powder is ideal for light coverage, while a pressed powder is perfect for easily reapplying touch-ups throughout the day.
Test the Powder on Your Face or Neck
While it might be more hygienic to test powder on your hand or inner arm, this won’t help you tell if it will look right on your face or not! So, the best way to test a new compact powder is on your face or along your jawbone. By testing the powder here, you will be able to see whether or not it blends in smoothly with your skin tone.
Try and see if you can access samples in-store, or you may be able to find small sample-sized products online. If this isn’t possible, try simply holding the product next to your face to check if the shade is a good match for your skin tone or not. This is a good starting place, although it won’t give you a completely accurate result.
Check You Can Blend the Powder
Your powder should blend seamlessly into your skin or foundation, so you can barely tell it’s there. Often, more expensive products blend better, so be prepared to spend a little more if you want a truly flawless look. After blending, you might find the shade changes slightly. So, for this reason, you might have to try a few different shades before you find one that suits you perfectly.
Another popular technique is ‘baking’ your powder. After applying your foundation and powder, apply some finishing powder. Then, wait for ten minutes or so before brushing off the loose powder. This will help set your makeup, ensuring that it doesn’t gather in any lines on your face.
For Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, you should choose a face powder that will reduce shininess. Look for matte finish powders with added oil control, and try waterproof or sweatproof powders as these will stay in place better throughout the day. When applying the powder, try adding an extra layer across the T-zone, where oiliness is likely to be more noticeable.
For Sensitive Skin
Choosing makeup when you have sensitive skin can be difficult. In this case, it’s best to go for powders that are free from fragrances, oils, and waxes, such as a mineral-based powder or one marketed towards those with sensitive skin.
For Dry Skin
Those with dry skin should avoid matte compacts, as these will make your skin look and feel even drier. You should apply moisturizer before using a compact powder if you have dry skin, and try to avoid applying the powder to the driest parts of the face, such as around the nose. The best choices for those with dry skin are mineral-based powders and highlighters, which will give the skin more of a healthy glow.
Additional Tips for Choosing the Perfect Face Powder
Once you’ve found the perfect shade, there are a few other things you might like to consider. For example, does your chosen powder contain SPF? While compact powder shouldn’t be your only source of protection in strong sun, it does help keep your skin safe, especially when reapplied throughout the day.
You might also like to consider the packaging and ease of use. For example, if you want to touch up your makeup when out and about or take it when traveling, you’ll want to look for a powder that isn’t too messy to apply. Pressed powders may be the preferred option in this case.
Finally, even if the powder comes with its own brush, you might prefer to invest in a better-quality one of your own. Make sure it is fluffy and soft and holds the right amount of powder for easy application and a natural look.