Up your pressed powder game with our curated line-up of the premium dusty performers, designed to perfectly cover any skin type – or let your glow shine!
Where would we be without some modern-day beauty advances?
Slathering ourselves with deadly and gross concoctions to achieve the perfect complexion, of course!
Not too long ago, beauty diehards would subject themselves to a toxic medley of lead, chalk, paint and ‘organic’ rice flour to get that flawless, white-porcelain look so trendy in Ancient Greece, Japan and France.
Since the start of written history, powder has been touted as the go-to beauty fix to make one’s face look youthful and ‘upper-class’. Paler was always better, and only in the last century did the bronzed look we so covet became synonymous with windswept luxury.
While we’re now after a more natural look, the polished effect of a pressed powder cannot be underestimated.
So why pressed over loose?
Fact: the technology in pressed powders has come a long way. The finish, coverage and overall versatility and convenience of the classic compact far outweigh it’s looser, crumbled cousin.
Pressed powder is so much more than talc on steroids – it can serve as a highlighter, mimic a foundation and camp in a handbag for touch-ups on the go.
Best of all, a pressed powder is so much easier to control your coverage, saving you from that ashen, dull and mime-like complexion old formulas could achieve.
Powder atop your liquid or cream foundation helps it set, prevent migration into any lines or sliding down your face – and certain powders can even reduce the look of fine lines and pores. Pressed powders can also be used to set creamy eye shadow, tone down a super-zealous blush and used as a dry shampoo (but only if you’re blonde and slightly desperate).
In short, a powder is a major power player to finish your look and help it stay in place!
Convinced that you can’t do without this all-round crush in a compact? Look no further than this list for some product inspo…
If you like to touch-up your make-up with a powder – without clogging your pores – Dior’s Nude Air compact is the perfect choice for the gal who still wants a little glow. The super-light formula banishes shine while leaving skin lookin’ luminous, making it ideal for light-to-medium skin tones that fit the normal-to-oily profile. Tip: use with a brush to touch up shine throughout the day, and with a powder puff to set foundation and concealer.
Guerlain Météorites Compact
Colour-correct while you touch up with this sweet-smelling and tres-jolie chic compact by Guerlain. While colour correction is the main focus here, this compact is also ideal for those of us who would like to diffuse excess shine levels without turning too matte. Rush out and get this compact if you crave to brighten dull skin – three perfectly balanced shades (light, medium & golden) brighten, mattify and correct any skin tone. Tip: for best results, use a powder or blush brush to blend evenly over the skin – and due to these active light particles, less is more.
Like its liquid form sister, Pressed Luminous Silk has a radiant matte finish with light to medium coverage that builds on application. Boasting pretty much every conceivable skin shade, this compact is the king of all powders, perfect to use solo, to set foundation and concealer, or highlight and contour every possible complexion. Just choose your tools according to your coverage or task at hand – this product is a serious must have. Tip: I use a large brush for setting, the featured sponge when applying solo product, or a pointier tipped, medium size brush for more detailed contouring and highlighting of the skin.
Prefer a matte, shine-free finish to your make-up? Then this is the compact to complete your routine with an effortless sweep. Rimmel’s pressed powder is the perfect compact to keep in your desk drawer for fuss-free pre-meeting touch-ups. My favourite shade is Peach Glow for its well, peachy under tone – which is a winner for olive skin tones or for setting under-eye concealer and brightening under the eyes (goodbye, dreaded dark circles!). Tip: use a fluffy powder puff to set concealer or foundation when you first apply, then a large powder brush for touch ups.
Now here is pressed powder that lives up to its glamorous legend! These cashmere-smooth specks mattify skin in a radiant retouched effect, fit for that beauty icon who strives for an enviable ‘no-make-up-make-up’ look. It’s our top pick for the super light feeling on the skin while giving a formidable weight of coverage. Simply use a powder puff or a smaller detailed brush to control your layering. There are three shades in the range: #1 is a light, slightly pink under-tone powder, #2 is a more yellow-based colour, and finally # 3 is a delicious opaque latte shade for more olive/darker skin tones. Tip: my favourite way to use this powder is actually as more of a highlighting setting powder, sweeping it across the areas I want to brighten and lift: think under the eyes, top of the cheekbones, just above the jawline and in the centre of the nose. Its like contouring the face, minus the effort.
Becca Blotting Powder Perfection
Unsurprisingly, blotting is the hero in this everyday legend. The lightweight formula absorbs oily shine on contact, without adding that noticeable ‘layer’ to the skin. This product best used with a thin blotting-like pad to harness it’s mighty mattifying power. There’s no coverage in this baby, so this is my choice when it comes to controlling shine on-set. It never changes the coverage of my foundation or concealer, and ensures the natural glow of the face comes through – without extra grease. Tip: this is the perfect handbag/touchup compact for the girl that is practical with her skin – it’s coverage that’s light and fresh all day!
Sensitive skin? This pressed powder is ideal for delicate or rosacea-prone complexions due to its fragrance-free formula and mineral sunscreen. The neutral, flattering shades are limited to light skin tones, (although there is a “translucent” shade that is good for light-to-medium skin). Revel in sheer coverage that works well for setting makeup, touch-ups, and boosting sun protection throughout the day. Tip: while I wouldn’t rely on this SPF as my sole sun protection, I love the fact I can top up my coverage when I’m shooting outside.
Written: Alina Berdichevsky | Product Review/Hair & Makeup: Max May | Photographer: Emily Abay at DLM for Maxmade.com.au | Stylist: Nadene Duncan @DLM | Model: Emma Macgowan @IMG Aus