The Panel: Best powders
If you aspire to this season’s flawless-complexion look, then you must learn to love a puff of powder.
For some reason, though, that’s not as simple as it sounds. Despite what we know about powders and their ability to preserve and perfect a make-up look, they are notably absent from many make-up bags. We associate them with ashy, cakey cosmetic overload; imagine that they’re going to clog our pores and regard them as a little bit old-fashioned.
But pass on the powder at your peril if you’re looking to create this season’s chic and seemingly simple look of a super-clear complexion, sharp eye liner and matt lips.
Today’s powders are a million miles away from those hard, dusty cakes of old, and application is as key as finding the texture and shade that works for you. Even when using a pressed powder, a brush is preferable to a puff, which can get clogged and dirty very quickly. A brush will lend more sheer cover, too, and when it comes to choosing a colour, don’t think of the powder as something to add colour to your complexion, but to match it. And go lightly, or the whole thing could go granny very easily.
Clarins Colour Definition 3D Radiance Face Powder, €37, Clarins counters nationwide If you’re after subtle complexion enhancement and just can’t face the traditional powders, this is a fabulous alternative. A mosaic of shades that range from pale sand through purple and pink to peach, which blend to put a bit of life into your winter cheeks. “This is very sheer, but nicely glowy,” said one panellist. “It has all the benefits of a highlighter, without the bling glimmer, and it set my make-up well, without being drying or heavy.”
BEST SECOND SKIN
Revlon PhotoReady Powder, €16, available nationwide Available in three shades, this is a nice, finely milled, classic pressed powder that does exactly what it says on the compact. While photochromatic elements catch the light and blur imperfections, this is not at all shimmery, but has a gently semi-matt effect. Oil- and fragrance-free, it also includes SPF14. “Smoothed out any flaws my foundation missed, without being too cakey,” a panellist said. “Good size for a make-up bag, too.” BEST TOOL Catrice Powder Brush, €4.99, available nationwide Obviously, a huge selling point of this product is its price, but as with a lot of the products from this brand, the quality is impressive, too. It’s soft, fluffy, picks up powder well and is the perfect size for a make-up bag and the touch-ups that a flawless finish demands. “I far prefer this to a mucky old puff,” said a panellist. “It lends a sheer veil rather than a lumpen layer and it also withstands a regular wash with shampoo and water.”
BEST FOR GLOW ADDICTS
Sisley Sun Glow Pressed Powder, €71, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork For those who simply don’t feel dressed without a little off-season tan in their cheeks, this might help to wean them off their too-dark foundation. We can but hope. “The pale powder is peach perfection, while I felt the darker one saved me from looking too washed out and wintry,” said a panellist. “It feels very luxurious and the shades are gorgeously subtle, but finesse the skin fabulously.”
BEST TRULY TRANSLUCENT
Essence Fix and Matte Translucent Powder, €3.99, available nationwide It looks ghostly white in the pot, but this super-fine powder applies to leave a layer that is extra-smooth but entirely invisible, which makes it a great option for the powder phobe. “I expected to get a dull, ashy caste from this product, but au contraire,” one panellist said. “It set my make-up fantastically and really prolonged its life, without feeling heavy, which is what I always fear from powder.”