Translucent Loose Powder – A Makeup Artist's Secret Weapon

Translucent loose powder is one of the foundations of good makeup practices. If you’ve never used it before, you are really missing out. It is designed to be very light on your skin, and is preferred by most makeup artists to give a finished look.

It also has much more staying power than pressed powders, to give a flawless, smooth result.

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It also works much better at blending than pressed powders, which used to be the staple for many shiny noses. If you’ve ever watch an old ‘I Love Lucy’ show, Lucy and Ethel were consistently excusing themselves to go ‘powder their noses’. Back in those days, pressed powders were the only makeup available to decrease shine and smooth out makeup away from home.

When translucent loose powder hit the stores, it changed the way women felt about their makeup. Its got a variety of uses and feels light and airy on your skin, which allows your skin to breathe much better. It was also a stage setter for minerals, which took powders to the next level.

It helps conceal flaws, minimizes pore size, and lays a foundation for makeup application. It also allows for glide on application of mineral foundations especially. Over cream makeup and liquid makeup, it helps to set it in place.

In many ways, loose translucent powder is one of the best choices you can make. Translucent powders don't really add color to your foundations and helps to blend blush and foundation colors together. If you’ve ever seen someone who didn’t bother to blend their makeup, you know how bogus that can look. When makeup isn’t blended, colors stop in place and prominently stand out. That’s not how makeup’s supposed to look.

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Choosing Translucent Powder

Translucent loose powder is designed to give you a finished look and help your makeup stay in place longer. It also helps to stop that mid day shine that can appear on the forehead, nose, and chin.

Normal skin types should always choose a translucent loose powder. It helps to absorb any excess oils that may accumulate on your face.

It is also ideal for oily or combination skin types because the powder absorbs oils on your face. Use a talc-based powder, which closes pores and allows less oil to surface and collect on your skin. Rice and cornstarch based powders may cause breakouts. When choosing a loose powder that’s right for you, look for ‘oil absorbing’, or ‘oil free’.

Combination skin types should apply loose powder to oily areas only, which are usually the T-zone on your face. It compliments natural skin on your chin and cheekbones and gives you a more blended look.

If you have dry skin, you will need to take into consideration that your face can look dry around your eyes and on your forehead. Use a moisture infused loose powder if you can find them. The moisture in the powder helps replenish moisture to dry areas. You might also choose to keep powder away from these areas, as they can collect in the creases of your face and form unwanted lines in your makeup application.

Sensitive skin types should choose a hypo-allergenic translucent loose powder, since your skin is more prone to allergic reactions from cosmetics. A hypo-allergenic powder will decrease the chances that you have a bad reaction. Since sensitive skin can be normal, dry, oily, or a combination of all the skin types you will have to choose your powders accordingly.

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Application of Translucent Powder

Before you apply any makeup, be sure your skin is fresh and clean. If you apply moisturizers and/or sunblock first, allow to dry thoroughly before powder application. Use a brush or powder puff for the best results.

  • No Foundation - Apply to dry skin. Use a large brush to brush off residual powder.

  • Mineral Foundation - Apply to skin before and/or after you apply mineral makeup. Use a large brush to brush off residual powder.

  • Cream Foundation - Apply after you apply cream foundation. Use a large brush to brush off residual powder.

  • Liquid Foundation - Apply after you apply liquid foundation. Use a large brush to brush off residual powder.

    Know Your Loose Powders!

    If you’ve ever purchased translucent loose powder, you know that not all brands are created equal. Some just work much better. The delivery of loose powders is also vital. You can either apply them with a powder puff, usually provided by the manufacturer, or use a makeup brush. If you use a brush, dip, tap, and brush on, just as you would minerals.

    Right below, is a picture of 2 loose powders I've recently used. I generally buy Cover Girl, which is a wonderful, highly superior product and the powder puff is so soft and fluffy. I couldn't find it at the store, so I bought Maybelline, thinking the two would be about the same. Wrong! Maybelline's powder puff fell apart after only a few applications, and the powder was a strange, yucky color and an under performer. (Both were labeled 'translucent light powder'.) I just didn't like the Maybelline brand at all.

    loose powder comparison image



    You might have to try a few brands till you get it right, but that's the other great thing about translucent loose powder. They're all fairly inexpensive but different brands will either delight you or appall you.

    Know Your Skin Type!

    There are five basic skin types, which are normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive.

  • Normal skin - Your skin is soft, supple, with small to medium pores.

  • Oily skin - Your skin type tends to be shiny from excess oils which cause pimples, blackheads, and/or whiteheads with some large visible pores.

  • Dry skin - Your skin tends to be flaky, and feels dry most of the time. Pores are generally not visible.

  • Combination skin - Your skin is the most common skin type. It is characterized by dry cheekbones and an oily T zone, which consists of the forehead, nose, and chin.

  • Sensitive skin - Your skin is sensitive to the elements and many ingredients in cosmetic products. It can normal, oily, dry, or a combination of all skin types.

    When choosing a translucent loose powder, remember to keep it light. Light translucent powders generally blend with most foundation colors, if you have fair to medium skin tones. If you have tanned skin or are dark skinned naturally, choose a medium or dark translucent loose powder.

    Related Pages on This Site

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    Make Up Primer - So Your Makeup Lasts Longer Than You Do!

    How to Choose the Right Foundation Make Up

    Best Make Up Foundation for All Skin Types

    Foundation Makeup Buying Guide – More Tips for Choosing

    Determine Your Skin Tone to Choose the Best Makeup Colors

    How to Correct Skin Tone – Steps for a Flawless Complexion!

    Magically Conceal Facial Skin Discoloration

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