In my experience, there's no faster way to ruin a layer of level foundation or a coat of imperceptible concealer than by introducing excess oil to the mix. What was once a smooth canvas of a complexion is now caked and creasy and honestly a waste of (sometimes very expensive) makeup. That's why I swear by blotting papers (any standard set will do) and powders, since they offer a quick and easy way to dial back shiny, oil-slick skin. I use both products in conjunction—blotting papers first, then powder afterward—to soak up excess sebum on my skin, do away with any tell-tale shine, and mattify my complexion.
For many people, matte is a synonym for dull or flat. That's not always true. Just because a powder takes away excess shine doesn't mean it's taking away radiance. In fact, I love the way my skin looks after my ritualistic midday touchup—blurred and smooth, almost like velvet. Keep scrolling to see the 10 mattifying powders I swear by for preventing excess oil and shine from wreaking havoc on my makeup.
Even though the point of this powder is to set makeup directly after application, I stash it in my bag when I'm on-the-go, using it to touch-up my oily T-zone throughout the day. Not only is it mattifying, which fulfills my basic needs, but it also has a whole host of good-for-skin ingredients, like lactic acid to exfoliate and hydrate, peptides to boost collagen production, and vitamin C to brighten and protect against free radical damage. It belongs to that rare breed of product that combines makeup and skincare.
I have two different powders I bring out when I need all of the extra mattifying power I can get, and this is one of them. It's less silky than other powders I've tried (probably because it's purportedly waterproof?), but it keeps shine at bay for hours at a time. I reach for this one if it's a particularly hot day in LA (during which I'm more prone to excess oil moving my makeup around), or if I'm going out for a long night of dinner and drinks.
This is the other mattifying powder I reach for when I need long-lasting anti-shine results. It's unlike any others I own; instead of a single container, it's separated into individually wrapped packets. Each packet contains a small dose of mattifying powder along with a sponge-like applicator. Simple rip the package open, shake the powder loose, then dab it into your skin with the applicator. It smoothes makeup and takes away shine for hours. Again, the actual powder isn't a lightweight as others on the market, but it's worth it for the long-lasting results and velvety-smooth finish it offers.
This mattifying powder is actually a foundation mix-in. The direction say to add a dime-sized amount of the powder into a liquid foundation before you apply it for added coverage and a full matte finish. That's all well and good, but my favorite way to use it is as a traditional setting powder. I swirl a fluffy brush around the lid and sweep it across my skin wherever I need to cut back on shine and oil.
Fenty takes the power of a blotting sheet and puts it in a powder. We like the fact that it's made with inclusivity in mind, in that it's formulated to be traceless on all skin tones.
Soap & Glory's pressed blotting powder is translucent, yet once its applied, it offers a little bit of coverage to disguise redness and dark circles—let's call it a filter effect. Take it from a customer who writes "I keep this in my purse for I tend to get oily through out the day and although I already have makeup on I'll blot my face and touch up with this translucent powder and it does a great job. Definitely an inexpensive powder that works great."
Tarte is one of the only brands that combines a matte blotting powder with a set of (discreet) traditional blotting sheets. It's an all-in-one anti-shine compact that's easy to toss into a a bag or a desk drawer for daily touch-ups.
Seeing as RMS is one of team Byrdie's favorite natural brands, it's only fitting that its anti-shine powder makes the list. Although it comes with a puff applicator, which is designed to provide an even veil of powder, I like to use the brand's skin2skin Blush Brush ($34). It deposits just enough of the product to take away shine without adding any weight or chalkiness to my skin.
If I'm opting for a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream instead of a fuller coverage foundation, I'll reach for this mattifying powder. It's tinted, so it provides a little bit of extra coverage without any weight. Because I have a minor case of rosacea, I like the fact that this product takes away excess shine and redness, simultaneously.
Usually I prefer a pressed blotting powder, since loose powders can be hard to control, but this one was love at first try. The finely-milled powder is exceptionally light and silky without compromising on an oil-absorbing ability. I just tap the powder out into the lid, swirl my BH Cosmetics Vegan v11 Deluxe Round Powder Brush ($8), and dust it across my t-zone for major shine reduction (I just have to make sure not to pour out more than I bargained for and create a small dust storm in my bathroom).
Next, in the name of perfect makeup, check out our review of Pat McGrath's first ever mascara. Hint: it's good.