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Tried & tested: Pressed Powder

If you're not a fan of the shine, then you must be very much a fan of the pressed powder.

I used to be quite obsessed with having a matte appearance, but I'm starting to like the effect of reflected light on my face. I still use pressed powder, but lightly, and the issue of coverage is the big thing this week. The challenge: to have enough 'body' to repress egregious instances of shine, but not so much that all the light in the atmosphere gets sucked away.

DR HAUSCHKA Compact Powder, €20.60 * * * Probably the worst pad ever supplied with a powder. I was delighted to toss it away with abandon. The powder is surprisingly scented, given that this is a natural brand, and it is as light as a feather -- almost too light. However, if you're looking for a powder that will not, under any circumstances, make you look like you're wearing a mask, then you won't find one better than this.

L'ORÉAL True Match Super-Blendable Powder, €11 * You can see the colour of the powder through the clear top of the container. Spotted the problem? Where's the mirror? Well, they've concealed it behind the powder itself, so that you flip open the top, flip again, and there's the applicator sponge and the mirror. So you need to flip it back and forth between applications. And the powder does not provide powerful coverage.

ESTÉE LAUDER Aeromatte Ultralucent Pressed Powder , €34 * * This was definitely not ultralucent. Eschewing the application pad included, I used a powder brush, and the finish achieved was shockingly patchy. Matters improved somewhat with use of the supplied pad, but the heavy coverage was not what I wanted.

BENEFIT Hello, Flawless! SPF 15 Powder for Face, €34 * * * * You get two applicators, and, unlike almost every other manufacturer in the world, Benefit's brushes are great. They do the flippy-top thing correctly, and the brush, along with an optional sponge, tuck away beneath. The sponge is preferable to the brush, simply because the powder is really, well, powdery. Keep it on your face, not your sexy black top.

BARBARA DALY Ultra-light Pressed Powder, €6.92 * * * * I don't think this came with a pad, so someone at this Tesco brand is using their head and cutting out the middle man. Anyway, I thought this was a fine, economical powder with good coverage, and not too flattening. Can't say better than that.

All products are tested over the course of four weeks