I’ve been asked a couple of times in the last week or so, which is best? Pressed powders, or loose? In all honesty, it’s mainly a personal preference thing (isn’t everything in makeup?) so it’s worth having a go with both. I’m going to do my best to lay out the differences in the simplest of terms, so that next time you reach for the powder, you know exactly which to pick and why!


As the name suggests, it’s a finely milled powder, that has a loose and none set texture. With no setting agents included it’s definitely better at creating a natural finish, and doesn’t create a cakey base. That being said, it’s quite buildable and depending on the brushed used, you can get quite a different finish (a big fluffy brush will get rid of excess oils, but with a lightweight finish. A denser, smaller brush will give a heavier look.) I reach for this 99% of the time in my makeup work (very rarely will I use a set powder, but there is 1 definite benefit…more on that later!) This is also the powder that will be best for oilier skin types because none of the usual key ingredients used to ‘set’ a powder (waxes and silicones) are found, meaning you don’t end up piling on more and more product.

Downside? Bloody tricky to transport in a small bag and apply in the ladies toilets after a few drinks…


ByTerry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder

-Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

– Illamasqua Translucent Powder


These are the powders that you’ll usually find in your compacts. As mentioned above, they’re almost identical to a loose powder, but with an added setting ingredient like wax to keep everything together. These are great if you want to be a little bit more precise with your application – on a spot for example. They’re also far easier to transport and take with you for top ups throughout the day. Gotta be honest though here…I personally find they cake reeeeally quickly if you’re not careful, and provide too much of a ‘flat’ finish. I use them strictly for a night out to keep the oil (or sweat, who knows by that point…) at bay and that’s it. Not great for oiler skin types after continued application as they’re prone to splitting.

-Mac Cosmetics Translucent Pressed Powder


Always translucent guys! Buying a powder the same colour as your skin is all well and good on the first application. Looks smooth, not adding too much colour. BUT (and it’s a big but) after a few layers of applying, you’re going to find yourself changing a few shades darker as you build that colour up, more…and more…and more. Get your colour right with your foundation, and then set with a translucent powder if needed! If you absolutely can’t step away from a coloured powder then I reckon Bare Minerals have got it right by creating illuminating products that don’t make your base look flat and heavy (which i’ll be honest is my main gripe with most products!)

Which are you currently using? Tempted to switch it up a bit?


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