How To

Tips! Tricks! Techniques!

How to use setting powder without looking like a crazy cakey mess of a human

Thu, 27 October 2016 5:59PM


Source: Pinterest

I spent my first, formative makeup-using years thinking dewy skin was the devil. I would PACK. ON. THAT. POWDER. If matte skin had a poster girl for the years of 2001-2004, it was my teenage face. The particular product I had was also two shades too light for my skin tone, so not only did I look like a chalky, overdone terror, i also looked like I was celebrating Halloween all year round. Special s/o to Mum for not telling me I looked ridiculous!

Thing is, because my introduction to powder was go hard and fast and take no prisoners, I was pretty put off by the product once I worked out that the all over the face look was not good. So for a few years I refused to touch the stuff. But the reality was, powder wasn’t the enemy here. It was a) how I was using it, and b) the product I was using wasn’t right for me. Now, over a decade later, powder is a mainstay in my beauty bag and I use it every single day.

Plenty of people are still put off by it though. Or using it in the completely wrong way. So I figured I’d try and convince powder cynics that, if you use the right product the right way, you’ll find your makeup lasts longer, you’re shine free and – biggest benefit – it all looks incredibly flawless.

Choose wisely

In my opinion the best powder from a suit-anyone perspective is one that’s translucent, loose, and has a sort of soft-focus finish thanks to some light illuminating elements. You honestly can’t go wrong with one along these lines. Translucent powders can vary in colour – many are white, but don’t be put off by that. They don’t apply white unless you pack it on like crazy (we’ll get to that in a sec). Others are beige, or slightly pink/peach. But generally if it says translucent it should go on without depositing any noticeable colour.

Now, I say loose because I find loose powder is more versatile than a compact. Compacts are FAB for a party clutch or your handbag, like on the go stuff. But loose powder can be used more heavily on top of concealer, as well as to set makeup in general, so that’s why I prefer it.

If you’ve got really oily skin, you can skip over my ‘soft focus’ suggestion and go for the heavy duty mattifying powders if you like. The reason I’m pro a soft focus finish is because you lose that tell-tale “dull” effect of powder, and it lets the texture of your foundation shine through. Basically, you can still look dewy and glowy. But anyone with oily skin who really needs some control would probably say their skin is glowy ENOUGH thank you very much.


Nars @ Mecca Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder, $53

Don’t go mental with it

The biggest mistake I was making as a teen was literally wiping that powder across my face with the complimentary powder puff. Which, side note, was never meant to be used as a bloody FACE WIPE. It’s to pat powder on – and while it’s not my tool of choice (more on that in a sec!) when you use it properly it can still give a good finish. Basically, powder doesn’t need to be applied and applied and applied until your face cracks when you smile. Think of it as more of a little added extra as opposed to part of your base coverage. Some swear by only adding it to oil prone areas like the t-zone. I personally apply it all over my face, because I have a weird thing where all my foundation disappears in like, 2 hours if I don’t really set it in there. But one thing everyone who uses powder effectively will tell you is – start light. Only use what is absolutely needed! And don’t buff it in, powder is meant to be dusted on gently. Patting it on your loose powder, tapping off excess, and lightly dusting what is left across your face should do, to be honest. With maybe one more go over the t-zone.


Australis Ready Set Go Finishing Powder, $13.95

Go get yourself a big, fluffy brush

The bigger and fluffier the better! Well, not really but there’s no strict rules here. Something titled a ‘powder brush’ will generally do you well. The overall rule is the bristles should be spaced enough that it’s soft and moves easily when you brush it along your hand, unlike say a buffing or foundation brush which will have very dense bristles. You want the fluffiness so the powder doesn’t go on super concentrated, which’ll leave you with a cakey finish. My personal favourite is It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Jumbo Powder #3, but there are plenty of great ones out there!


It Cosmetics @ Sephora Heavenly Luxe Jumbo Powder #3, $78

So there you go! Convinced yet? You totally are. I’m honestly such a fan of setting powder now – it’s like I’ve come full circle, except instead of ol’ Casper the friendly ghost, now I’m this gently mattified, glowing angel and everyone can’t help but stop and stare at my flawless, poreless skin… or you know, just walk right on past me. NO WORRIES EVERYONE IT’S NOT LIKE APPLYING THIS FLAWLESS BASE DIDN’T MAKE ME MISS A WHOLE EPISODE OF MCLEODS DAUGHTERS OR ANYTHING.

Honestly it should be a rule that instead of greeting people with ‘hi’, we compliment their makeup.

Posted by:

Comments (0) Print

Tags: , ,

Share How to use setting powder without looking like a crazy cakey mess of a human



Be the first to comment.

Learn how to do the latest


View all

Look what we've got for you, Primpers.

The Latest Perk

We want to reward you for your awesomeness and say a big, fat thank you for interacting on PRIMPED. Thanks to De Lorenzo, we have 5 x Instant Series Packs to give away, valued at $39.95 each. This great reward will go to the most active Primpers from now until the end of July 6th 2016. So, what are you waiting for? Get playing, make comments, post reviews and score FREE beauty products.

The Latest Perk

About the Brand

De Lorenzo

Instant Series Pack. The series incorporates intelligent paraben free formulas with ingredients that offer conditioning, moisturising, smoothing and volumising capabilities. Staying true to the brand ethos ‘inspired by nature’, the hero ingredient is Baobab Protein, a natural sustainable ingredient derived from the iconic African tree known as the ‘tree of life’. Baobab Protein repairs, increases strength, protects from UV damage, moisturises and nourishes hair from root to tip. The all-new Instant Series consists of Instant Rejuven8 for coloured hair, Instant Allevi8 for frizzy hair, Instant Accentu8 for fine hair and Instant Restructurant Treatment.