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Life With & Without Face Powders ~ A Guide

How I Fell In Love With Powder:
I had this flatmate/friend in college. She had a dusky skin tone, and her skin was flawless! Smooth and spotless, albeit major dark circles around her eyes. She loved taking care of her skin. Even before brushing her teeth in the morning, she would make a paste of besan (gramflour) and grounded nuts to wash & exfoliate her face with. I'd never have the energy for such things that early. Her mom would send her these containers of powdered nuts mixed with other powdered stuff specially made for her skin. Read between the lines here. So this girl used to put on a Lakmé Compact Powder when she went out - the puraana (old) one that came in a green packaging - and her skin would look even more flawless! I could stare at her skin for hours. I was a simple eyeliner & lipstick gal then, and that's when I decided to try out powders.
And.... a perpetual habit was born.
I've never talked about powders before, so I thought I'd do it today. Below are some of the powders I have with me right now, and I'll just talk through them and let you know my favorite and the not-so-favorite kinds, for your reference:
Loose Powders:
  • Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ~ If you feel this powder, you'll fall in love instantly. It will haunt you, until you go back to the store to buy it. That's what happened to me in Kuala Lumpur. It makes skin feel like silk. It's white because it's meant to suit all skin tones. The reason why I don't use it much is because if you use too much, it'll definitely show patches of white, especially in photos. Let's not forget it's rumored to have caused a lot of makeup mishaps for many celebs
  • NARS Loose Powder in Beach ~ It's a nice setting powder, but I wouldn't buy it again.
  • The Body Shop Loose Face Powder in 01 ~ This is my 2nd container, so you can imagine how much I like it. I always seem to go back to it.
  • I couldn't find my Maybelline Dream Matte Powder (pics here), which is a pretty good handbag compact
  • Also, MAC Blot Powder (pics here), which I'd somewhat forgotten I have until now, this moment! =\

Compact Powders:
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Sandstorm 004 ~ It's a nice inexpensive drugstore compact, but it's not as silky as I'd like it to be.

  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Medium ~ I like this one when I'm not wearing foundation, and I want a little bit of coverage.

  • Lakmé Perfect Radiance Intense Whitening Compact in Ivory Fair 01 ~ This is too yellow for my skin tone. It's also heavier than most of the compacts I've used. I was quite disappointed with it.

  • Majolica Majorca Pressed Pore Powder ~ This was from a Limited Edition collection. It's my current handbag compact powder. Just a translucent compact powder. More pics and swatch here

Compact 'Vs' Loose Powders ~ I personally prefer Loose Powders, because they feel lighter and look more natural over foundation. I only use compacts for touch-ups, when I'm out.

THE BEST Loose Powder I've Ever Used: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder. It costs around Rs.2600, and I get why it's won most beauty awards. It contains the finest French cashmere talc, hence very smooth and lightweight. A mini version came with the Undercover Pot that I have, and I've already used up the powder before the duo concealers. It's been on my wishlist for years.

Best Way To Apply Face Powders: I prefer using a fluffy powder brush when using both loose & compact powders, because I only want a thin veil to set my foundation. When I use a powder puff, I dust off excess with a brush- preferably a soft synthetic one, like the Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush.

Picking Powder Shades: My skin has a golden undertone, so I like using powders with some yellow in them, and I avoid pinkish-looking ones. I usually go for 'Translucent' (transparent) or natural beige shades. If you have a neutral skin tone, pick beige shades. You could always mix 2 powders, if you can't find the right match. Kryolan makes a yellow loose powder that suits most skin tones, and can be mixed with beige & tan powders.

Life Without Powders: One weekend at the in-laws, I noticed that I didn't pack my The Body Shop Loose Powder + I'd also switched handbags and left my makeup pouch where my compact was at home. I felt a very withdrawal symptom kind of feeling. Clean & Clear Oil Blotting Sheets to the rescue, thankfully.

If you don't want to wear foundation, but want your skin to look radiant and fresh, try powders and see the difference!

Hope you found this post helpful. Would love to know which powders you love.


  1. i like using powders .
    else i end up looking like "drop of oil" esp in delhi weather

  2. Lovely post dear..I m using rimmel stay matte one n loved it :)

  3. I have tried applying only loose powder without foundation but that only made me oil up even more!! I have a kind of phobia towards loose powder now... Ugh!

  4. I loved the piccys and the guide :D I liked the Lakme Radiance Compact, though :D

    1. I would have liked it had the shade suited me, too :)


  5. I use something called a two way cake but I don't know the brand name..

    1. Some of those are pretty good and convenient!


  6. Nice compilation CZ :) MUFE has been on my wishlist for so long. Cant trace it..........

  7. Awesome stuff...I agree that Lakme Perfect Radiance feels very heavy and Maybelline Dream Matte Powder works for me :)

  8. Great post, as always. I have a question. Do we get blotting paper in India?

    - Neha

  9. can u pls post correct way of using pressed powder via puff , i m new for makeup , i dont have any idea about basics , pls post video or tutorial for beginners


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