Cosmetics: Powder Foundations

I was recently asked by a friend about different powders available in the cosmetics industry. So I decided to do this (very) delayed post of an introduction to makeup powders.

There are 2 main categories of powders: “Pressed/compact powder” and “loose powder”
– Compact powder: easier to carry, portable, often using a sponge for application
– Loose powder: MUST have a brush for application, not very practical for touchups on the go

Under each of the above category, one can further sub-divide them into “translucent powder” and “foundation powder”
– Translucent powder: helps to set liquid foundation, blot, and absorb oil. Usually very sheer, minimal color applied.
– Foundation powder: variable coverage – sheer to moderate-full, quick application

My personal preference? Compact foundation powder! I usually use a tinted moisturizer or BB/CC cream (currently I’m mixing Guerlain’s BB cream with La Priairie’s Advanced Marine Biology Lotion), then apply compact foundation on top to help set and add more coverage.

My personal favorite has always been Chanel’s Double Perfection, which is rare to find (I know many retailers say it’s discontinued, but it’s actually still available in some countries!). When I’m running out of this, then I use Chanel’s Mat Lumière, which is supposed to replace Double Perfection. It’s less airy light, more chalky and less pigmented in my opinion compared to Double Perfection. Lastly, to add to the confusion, when I’m in Asia, I also stock up on Le Blanc Essentiel de Chanel (Light Mastering Whitening) compact foundation – a mouthful to pronounce… I would classify the latter as the least pigmented of the 3 Chanel products and actually more oily due to the higher SPF25 (the others are SPF 10 or 15).

Recently I just purchased Dior’s Diorskin Nude Compact. I used to use Dior’s products a decade ago but stopped when I felt like it was making my skin break out more. I was also uncomfortable with the fact that the packaging never say dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, or non-comedogenic. Nonetheless, I decided to give this a try since the online reviews seem to rave about their products over the last few years. I do like the mirror-effect packaging and the double sided brush for a more sheer application.





Here’s a comparison of the shades:
1. Diorskin Nude in Light Beige (20) – More yellow toned… I think it makes me look a little sallow. I’ll use it in the summer as I don’t think it’s the right shade for my fair skin.
2. Chanel Le Blanc Essentiel in Beige Pastel (B10) – Fairest of them all, but deposits little pigment
3. Chanel Mat Lumière in Lumière (10) –  Slightly pink toned, despite having the same color coding as Le Blanc.



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