The Power of Powder

Which powder should you use

Despite the rise in trend of finishing powder, many people still have questions on exactly what it does, the different types, and how to apply it, so here is why you should consider incorporating finishing powder into your makeup routine.

What is finishing powder?

Finishing powder, like many other things in life, has a variety of names that are thrown about in reviews, tutorials, etc. However, whether you call it finishing powder, translucent powder, or setting powder… it’s all the same substance that does the same thing: set your makeup.

What does it mean to set your makeup?

Setting your makeup with powder means applying powder so that your makeup does not move, smudge, or fade throughout the day and/or night. It also helps to make your skin look smoother and appear more flawless by minimizing pores, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Setting powder is especially useful when it comes to photography. A matte powder will help to absorb flash instead of reflecting it, making your skin appear less oily and again… more flawless.

How do I know which product will be best for me?

The best way to know which type of makeup fits you best is through trial and error. However, the average person cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on “name-brand” makeup. If you decide to try different kinds, start with drugstore products that range from around $8-10. Then, later on, you can splurge on a higher end product if you feel like it.

Don’t have the time or funds to test every type of product? Never fear! Here is a basic breakdown on two different types of setting powder, how to apply each type of product, and the pros and cons of each:

Loose Powder:


The finer particles in loose powder allow for easier blending with your skin, but makes it messy with a lightweight coverage.


Using a large fluffy brush or loose powder foundation brush, gently dust the powder over your finished makeup to set everything in place.


Easily available

Easy blending

Easy coverage

Not too “cakey”

Less irritating on skin (compared to other types)



Lacks portability

Difficult touch-ups

May lack necessary coverage depending on preference

Pressed Powder


Pressed powder is most often found in a convenient, portable compact, making it perfect for on-the-go application. It also offers a more full and potentially pigmented coverage. However, ingredients in pressed powder may irritate your skin or make it appear more “cakey.”


Pressed powder can be applied using either brushes or sponges, depending on your desired coverage and overall preference.


Beauty blender – lightly wet the sponge by running it under water and squeezing as much of the excess moisture out as possible: the sponge should only be slightly damp! Dab on the powder gently, blend, and repeat until desired coverage is reached. *Best when applied UNDER makeup or as foundation substitute*

Compact sponge (often included with product) – take the dry sponge and press gently in the powder and apply it like you would with the beauty blender (see above).

Brushes – use a stippling brush, fan brush, or large fluffy brush and apply in a similar fashion to applying loose powder (see above), dabbing and using circular motions.


Fuller coverage



Range of pigments

Easy touch-ups


Possible skin irritation on sensitive skin

Possible “cakey” finish

More blending required

I hope this breakdown has helped you gain a better understanding of what finishing powder is, the benefits of using it, and the overall power of powder! Stay beautiful!

Bio –

This guest post contribution is courtesy of Mineralogie, a company specializing in the highest grade mineral makeup with complete UV protection and made to exacting standards by the founder, Mary Van.

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