These days, face powders can do so many things. They can act as primers for foundations, they can make your face brighter, and they can still do their tried-and-true calling of cutting down on your shine. All of these amazing things aside, I'd have to say what I love most about face powders, overall, is their ability to set and extend the life of your makeup. I mean, when you find a good pressed or loose powder, it can seriously make all the difference in the world in terms of your makeup's longevity, locking it in no matter how humid the weather, or how oily your face may get.
The product, which once carried a bad reputation for its tendency of making skin look dry and cakey, has some really amazing benefits when it comes to perfecting your makeup game. Newer versions are even packed with nurturing ingredients such as vitamin C and E that moisturize your skin, leaving it with a noticeably smooth and flawless finish during and after wear. To prevent your look from appearing caked-on or dusty, it's important to find a powder that suits your skin and needs. The best powders will offer a sheer and translucent application that won't settle into fine lines or make you look ghostly in photos.
Here's a rundown of a few of the best face powders for all skin types and purposes. Find one that's right for you.
L'Oreal Paris True Match Powder ($8) is a great drugstore buy. It works to set foundation or concealer without leaving a cakey or chalky finish. Plus, there are a ton of shades (about 20) to choose from. When it comes to a drugstore buy, you won't find a better product.
Make Up Forever's Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder ($36) goes on silky and won't sink into fine lines, leaving behind a wonderful matte effect It's super lightweight so it's awesome for oily skin but is also good for dry skin, just be sure to start off with a moisturizer so it doesn't emphasize dry areas. Offered in just one universal shade, this powder is a suitable option for all skin tones.
This brightening powder from Laura Mercier ($28) is a miracle worker when it comes to making a tired face look un-tired. It works by setting your concealer into place and adding a bit of pop to those naturally dark spots on your face. You can also use it to conceal your under-eye circles. The #1 is for fair to medium skin tones and the #2 is for medium to dark skin tones. Makeup artist Genevieve Herr says, "I apply it wherever I've applied concealer: under the eyes, laugh lines, and above and on top of the lips with a little bit of a bigger brush. I use very little. Then, after I apply that powder, I apply the face powder."
If you wear powder foundations instead of liquid foundations, there's actually a wonderful primer available. Who knew? This Pure Canvas Primer from Laura Mercier ($38) works by filling in pores and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles so the powder doesn't settle in.
Bare Minerals Foundation ($32) is a tried-and-true favorite for mineral powder lovers. It's laced with light-diffusing mica and is completely talc-free. You can get a sun-kissed look by sweeping this powder over the spots where the sun naturally hits—the temples, the cheeks and on the bridge of the nose. Apply with a medium-sized fluffy powder brush.
These days, powders aren't just used to set foundation and concealers, they can also add color to the skin, making it appear sun-kissed or healthy and pink. This tri-color powder by Revlon Color Stay Mineral Finishing Powder ($25) does just that and what's better is you can find it in your local drugstore aisle for about 1/3 the price of the department store powders.
In 1994, Supermodel Iman launched a much-needed cosmetics and skincare line designed for women of color. All of her products are gorgeous, but her pressed and loose powders ($16) do a great job of keeping your makeup in place for longer periods of time. They come in many shades, which are well-suited for people with darker skin tones.