Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: 5 top tips for applying powder

Paddy McGurgan is one of Northern Ireland's best-known beauty experts and over the coming weeks he'll tell you all you need to know about the latest make-up techniques.

By Paddy McGurgan

For a perfect finish loose powder is a must-have.

For sheer versatility loose powder is a stand-out product in your make-up bag. Taking time to apply powder and, more importantly, choosing the right one for your skin has many benefits, from creating a blurred effect to the skin, to setting foundation, combating shine or oiliness, or mattifying in a seamless way.

This is one beauty product you need to brush up on.

My top products:

Hint of colour

​Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, £29, House of Fraser

This is one of my favourite loose powders — it has a small hint of colour which helps to blur areas with heightened redness or blemishes. With its extremely lightweight formula, this sheer and silky setting powder contains the finest French ‘cashmere’ talc and a unique light-reflecting ingredient which creates a soft-focus appearance for fine lines and imperfections.

Finally, because it’s oil-free, it sets make-up to prolong wear, leaving a natural look without appearing caked or powdery.

Feeling fine

Make Up Studio, Natural Silk Perfection, £22.50,

Expect a finely-milled, lightweight loose powder for setting foundation for a soft, silky finish. While there is a slight bit of warmth (of colour) in this powder, it doesn’t change the tone of foundation. Suitable for all skin tones.

Matte magic

Make Up Forever Super Matte Loose Powder, £28.50, Make up Pro Store, Belfast

Super Matte Loose Powders are ultra-fine, ultra-transparent powders that can be applied directly to the skin or over foundation. Thanks to a non-drying formula

it is suitable for all skin types. There are several shades, but my personal favourites to use are 12 and 14. This is a very beautiful powder to work with and you can see it working its magic on application.

Versatile choice

NYX Professional Finishing Powder, £9, Boots

Having used this powder recently on a shoot, I was impressed by the matte finish it gave to the skin. It’s not rich in talc so doesn’t sit in any creases or fine lines like a lot of other affordable powders sometimes can. The luminous white powder gives a neutral base so works on all skin tones. Looking for radiant and luminous skin? Then this could be your best buy.

Soft focus

Barry M Ready, Set, Smooth Loose Powder, £5.99, Boots

This new loose powder offers a great solution for setting make-up. With anti-shine, oil-absorbing ingredients, the translucent powder works to mattify the skin and create a flawless, light-weight finish that’s suitable for all skin tones. Apply over foundation for a smooth complexion with a soft-focus effect.

Less is more

Inglot Loose Powder £19, CastleCourt, Belfast

This powder leaves skin perfectly matte, helping to set foundation with excellent adherence thanks to the sponge gourd oil and treated pigments. There is a small amount of coverage with this product so if this is the effect you covet, then this is the one for you.

5 tips for applying powder:

  1. If you have sensitive skin, it’s really important to choose a hypo-allergenic powder. This will reduce irritation to the skin and will not contain any parabens which could cause a problem.
  2. Personally, I prefer a large powder brush for application to ensure the skin is buffed equally with the same amount of product. This way the skin looks equally flawless.
  3. Make sure your powder is finely milled, so the texture should be thin. This prevents creasing or a chalky or dry appearance.
  4. The lighter the powder, the more natural the skin will look.
  5. Ensure foundation is well blended in — if not the powder will tend to stick or appear patchy in certain areas. Use a smaller blending brush and add powder specifically to areas which are oily or prone to shine to combat breakthrough.

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