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Think way back to the first makeup products you ever used—maybe playing around in your mother’s vanity or with an older sibling. Whatever your memory, we’re betting that there’s a solid chance that powder makeup was involved—whether it was face powder, blush, or powder eye shadow. After all, powder formulas seem pretty easy to use and they’ve also been around forever. And yet, there’s still a lot of room for error. A single slip up and your face of makeup could end up looking overdone or poorly applied. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little know-how, you can expertly apply powder face makeup (and eye makeup!) like a pro. Go ahead and break out your fluffy powder brush; we’re sharing five powder makeup application tips below.
Powder makeup formulas can sometimes accentuate dryness and lines—so, it’s a good idea to apply a moisturizer and primer first. Doing so will also help create an even canvas on which to apply your powder face makeup, so you’ll end up with a smoother and more even finish. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal to Dry Skin after cleansing, then follow up with the L’Oréal Paris Studio Secrets™ Professional Magic Perfecting Base. In addition to helping create a smooth base for the rest of your face makeup application, using a primer will also help allow your makeup to wear more evenly—and last longer.
Packing on too much powder is one of the quickest ways to mess up your makeup. Piling on more powder makeup won’t necessarily make your look last longer or look better—but it could leave you looking like you caked on your cosmetics. Really, all you need is a light layer of powder, focusing it on your T-zone, where your skin is more likely to be oily. As you work toward the edges of your face, use a light hand to apply only a touch of powder. Voila!
Adding a cream or liquid product overtop of your powder foundation is another big makeup no-no. When you mix and match totally different textures, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with splotchy application or products starting to pill up. Instead, leave your cream blushes and contour products for days where you’re wearing liquid foundations, and stick with powder formulas like the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Blush and the L'Oréal Paris Paradise Enchanted Fruit-Scented Blush Makeup when you wear powder foundation.
If you want to help ensure your makeup stays put during the day, the key is to learn how to bake. No, we’re not talking about delicious desserts or savory snacks—we mean your makeup. When the pros want to make sure a look lasts, they often use the makeup baking technique. Baking makeup requires layering setting powder over foundation and concealer for an end result that looks flawless and doesn’t budge.
Here’s how to do it: After applying your foundation and concealer, dip a fluffy makeup brush into a loose setting powder and load it up with product. Try the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder. Dab a thick layer of powder onto your forehead, chin, and under-eye area. Now, it’s time to wait. Give your makeup a moment to “bake,” letting the powder sit for about five minutes. Once that time is up, use your makeup brush to sweep away any excess powder. That’s it! You—and your makeup—are all set.
Don’t just blindly pick up any old powder. When choosing a face powder, look for one that’s formulated for your specific skin type. That’s because what works for oily skin may not necessarily be the best option for dry skin.
If you have an oily complexion…try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Powder. The long-lasting powder offers a matte finish, controls shine, and won’t look cakey or fall flat.
If you have a dry complexion…try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Powder. The air-light powder offers a lasting demi-glow finish and a built-in highlighter for an all-over glow.
If you have combination skin…try the L'Oréal Paris True Match Powder. This face powder matches skin tone and texture, allowing you to build up to your desired level of coverage.
In the same way that using a face makeup primer can help set your complexion up for a smoother and longer-lasting powder application, eye shadow primer can do the same for your lids. Simply swipe a light layer onto your upper eyelid, then go about applying your powder eyeshadow as usual. This tip is especially useful when you’re building up to trendy or intricate eye makeup looks that involve layering shades of eyeshadow. Don’t have an eyeshadow primer on hand? No sweat—dab on a bit of concealer instead.
Those who are still afraid of powder makeup resulting in a cakey makeup look haven’t discovered the magic of makeup setting spray. In our opinion, using a setting spray is an absolute must—whether you’re headed out with a simple daytime makeup look, or you’ve done yourself up for a night out. Once you’re finished applying all of your makeup, spritz on the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray, which locks in makeup for a “just applied” look all day (or night) long.
Want more makeup tips and tricks? Check out our article, How to Make Your Makeup Look Smooth.