How to Use Powder and Not Look "Powdery" | Melissa Alatorre
How to Apply Powder Makeup
A variety of different makeups come in powdered form, whether as pressed powders or as loose "pigments" and "minerals." Although common, many people aren't sure how to use powder makeup properly, especially when it comes to powder foundation and loose eyeshadow. Additionally, setting powder is a powerful tool that often gets skipped over altogether in daily makeup routines. While powders may seem difficult to work with when you're used to creams, they are actually very simple to apply.
Using Powder Foundation
Pick the right powder foundation.Like other types of foundation, you want to match the skin tone of your face as closely as possible. If you're having trouble picking the right shade, try asking a beautician at a department store or beauty supply shop for assistance.
- Powder foundations generally work best with oily skin. However, there are now hydrating powder foundations on the market for people with drier skin.
Apply a makeup primer.Paint a thin layer of primer across your face using your fingertips. You should only use about a pea-sized dollop. Primer will give you a smooth canvas to work on and will help powder makeup adhere for longer.
Load the powder onto a brush.Avoid applying too much foundation at once, as this can create a "caked on" appearance. How you load your brush will depend on whether you're using loose or pressed powder foundation.
- If you are using pressed powder from a compact, gently press the tip of the brush into the powder and gently move it back and forth.
- For loose powder, start by tapping a small amount of your powder out onto the lid of its bottle. Dab your brush into the powder and tap it to remove any excess.
Dust a light layer of foundation all over your face.Use a rounded kabuki or foundation brush for best results.Make sure the layer is evenly applied across your face. Use long, light strokes to apply.
Add more foundation to problem areas.Look for any blemishes or areas of redness that are not totally concealed by the light layer of foundation. Apply more foundation to these spots until they disappear. For these areas, load the powder onto thesideof your brush. Roll the loaded brush directly onto these spots, pressing down slightly into your skin.
Pick the right color.If you feel that your skin is looking a little dull, some blush will brighten your complexion. Like other types of makeup, it's important to find a color that complements your skin tone. Try to find one that creates the same color your cheeks make when your face flushes. Some general guidelines are:
- If your skin is very dark, you can use vibrant reds, apricots, and berries as your blush. These colors look bold when in a compact, but they will blend in well when brushed onto your skin
- Many different colors work well with medium skin. Apricot, taupe, bronze, and coral are examples of the most popular blushes for medium skin.
- Fair, pale skin looks best when paired with classic pink blush.
Load your makeup brush.Start with a clean makeup brush, preferably a blush brush. Blush most often comes in the form of a pressed powder compact. However, loose pigment used as blush has been gaining in popularity. Keep in mind that you want only the slightest hint of color; avoid overloading your brush.
- For pressed powder, run your brush lightly across the compact once or twice. Flick your wrist with the brush over the pressed powder to remove any excess if necessary.
- For loose pigment, start by placing the lid of its container flat on the table with the inside facing up. Shake a tiny bit of powder onto the inside of the lid. Dip your brush into it and tap against the edge of the container to remove excess.
Smile while looking in the mirror.Many people struggle with blush placement, and applying blush to a relaxed face can be a gamble. Smiling will make the apples of your cheeks prominent and easy to brush blush onto without overdoing it.
Dab on the blush and blend backwards.Dot the tiniest bit of blush onto the apples of your cheeks. Make buffing motions with your brush to blend your blush's edges. Try to work it back slightly towards your temples, following your cheekbones.
Start with a primer.Pick an eye primer or eyeshadow base to help your eyeshadow better stick to your skin. Special eye primers work best, but a general makeup primer will also be fine.Use your fingertips or a fine brush to add a thin, even layer on all skin you plan on adding eyeshadow to. This will generally be your entire eyelid and the area slightly below your eyebrows.
Pick your eyeshadows.In general, you will want at least two shades: a lighter base shade and a darker lid shade. These can be similar or completely different colors. As with other types of powder makeup, eyeshadow can come in compacts as pressed powder or in small jars as a loose powder. Loose eyeshadows tend to be more vibrant but difficult to work with. These often contain pigment without binders and are therefore also called simply "pigments."
Use an eyeshadow brush.Picking a fine pencil brush will be easier to work with. However, wider brushes can be used when shading a large area, such as your entire lid. Shadow brushes with a rounded tip are generally best when working with loose pigment.You may also choose to use a sponge applicator instead, but blending with these takes a lot more time.
Load your brush with the lighter color.Be careful not to overload your brush. Too much powder can cause eyeshadow fallout on your cheeks. Remember that you can always easily add more eyeshadow, but removing it without ruining the rest of your makeup is much more difficult.
- If you're working with pressed powder, simply run your brush back and forth over your eyeshadow once or twice.
- If your lighter shade is a loose pigment, tap a small amount into the lid of its jar. Dip your brush into the smaller amount of pigment. Tap your brush on the side of the container to remove excess powder.
Apply the lighter shade all over your lid.Generally, you will want to use this lighter shade as a base. To do so, start with the bottom of your lid and sweep up. Stop somewhere below your eyebrow.
Load and apply the darker color.Load your brush with darker eyeshadow the same way as you did with the lighter color. In general, you will apply the darker shade across your entire eyelid, stopping at the crease. Do this with a single sweep of your brush, starting from the outer corner of your eye towards the inner corner.
Blend your colors together.Using your brush, sweep the border between the two colors back and forth a few times. Try to make the blended area as close to your eyelid's crease as possible. Avoid pressing down too hard by using light strokes. Repeat until the two colors have blended together seamlessly at their border.
Applying Setting Powder
Apply foundation first.Setting powder should be added after foundation and concealer but before lip and eye makeup. Setting powder is most important when using liquid or cream foundations, as it will reduce shine and help to keep your makeup from sliding off your face. It can also be used to extend the wear time of powder foundation.
Choose the right powder.Pick a powder that is either translucent or close to your natural skin tone. Make sure the product is advertised as a finishing or setting powder and not powder foundation.
- Powder that matches your skin tone will give extra coverage when concealing blemishes. However, it has the tendency to look thicker than translucent powders.
- Translucent powder can match all skin tones and looks less caked on compared to tinted powder. Just be sure to blend translucent powder extra well, as flash photography can make it stand out.
- Like most types of powder makeup, setting powder can be either a loose or pressed powder.
Load the powder onto a brush.Take a large, fluffy makeup brush and dip it into the powder or brush it across the compact. Tap or flick the brush lightly over the container once or twice. This will remove any excess powder from the bristles.
Dust your face with powder.Apply with light movements, focusing on the center of your face. Take care to go over your T-zone, the outer corners of your nose, your chin, and your cheeks. Avoid the outer edges of your face.
Blend the powder into your face.Use a kabuki brush or some other type of densely-bristled makeup brush. "Buff" the powder using small circular motions all across your face. This will keep your skin looking less pale and more natural.
QuestionMy friends got me a sponge, do I use that instead of the brush?ShinShin2017Community AnswerYou use the sponge applicator for applying liquid foundation; it works great leaves it looking lightly airbrushed. Just remember to keep the sponge clean and dry.Thanks!
- Consider using loose powder at home and carrying a pressed powder compact for midday touch-ups.
- Apply setting powder over pigments if you want to mute blush or eyeshadow that's too bright.
- Lightly spraying your face with hydrating mist after you're finished will create a more natural, less powdery finish.
Video: BASICS: HOW TO APPLY LOOSE OR PRESSED POWDER MAKEUP TUTORIAL
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