What's the Best Way to Apply Loose Powder?

Applying loose products definitely takes a certain amount of practice. At first, you may end up with more powder on your clothes and vanity than on your face. But once you've nailed down the technique, the results are lightweight and natural.

 

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Prepping your skin beforehand

You should prep your skin the same way you would for a pressed powder. Nourish your skin with a moisturiser and then apply a primer to make sure your makeup applies evenly and lasts all day.

It's particularly important to use a primer with loose products. The adhesive texture ensures that your powder really holds to the skin and stays in place. Check out some of our top rated moisturisers and primers below.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

The Ordinary Deciem is known for its treatments, serums, and acids. The brand tends to stay away from the traditional three-step cleanse, tone, moisturise skincare routine. However, Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is a nod to traditional skincare that incorporates the same high-performance, no-frills approachof The Ordinary. This moisturiser uses a blend of hydrating ingredients to help nourish dehydrated and dry skin for both instant and long-term hydration.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Moisturiser 75ml

There is a reason this product is often referred to as ‘the 24-hour miracle cream’. This versatile moisturiser not only hydrates dry skin, it also protects skin from moisture loss, restores elasticity, and primes the skin to create a smooth and moisturized surface under makeup.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Moisturiser 75ml
Skinstitut Moisture Defence - Normal Skin

Skinstitut Moisture Defence for Normal Skin is a lightweight moisturiser developed to hydrate and smooth rough complexions. Formulated with unique Peptides that refine and reduce the appearance of fine lines, this moisturiser is a great addition to any age-preventive skincare routine for normal or combination skin.

Skinstitut Moisture Defence - Normal Skin

Benefit POREfessional

This silicone-based primer works to fill in pores and even the texture of the skin, making a perfect makeup base for flawless foundation application. Pores are minimised, and your skin is refined without clogging. POREfessional is oil-free and acts as a second skin to even out your own complexion. This primer also seals off excess oil from rising to the surface, so oily skin types do not have to worry about their makeup sliding off or becoming patchy. Skin types with an oily T-zone will really benefit from using POREfessional over those problem areas before applying foundation.

Benefit The POREfessional Primer 22mL
Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD

The perfect choice for dry or dehydrated complexions in need of a primer that does more than just prep. Infused with tons of nourishment and skin-perfecting ingredients, this primer goes much further than skin deep. This conditioning, soothing primer is enriched with calming botanicals that minimise irritation, inflammation and redness. The lightweight formula perfectly preps and primes skin, smoothing lines and creating a beautiful canvas for your favorite complexion products.

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer - GOLD
M.A.C Cosmetics Strobe Cream

A lightweight formula that promotes luminosity and radiance. This brightening face cream is infused with antioxidants, botanicals and nutrient-rich vitamins. Designed to banish dull, flat or tired skin, this unique brightening moisturiser will smooth, improve clarity and hydrate skin. Available in pink, peach, silver and gold, this cream can be used on all skin types.

M.A.C Cosmetics Strobe Cream

Choosing the perfect brush

With a pressed powder, you can get away with using most any powder brush. However, with loose powder, it's always best to use a kabuki brush. Kabuki brushes have a large surface area and long but dense bristles that can really buff that powder into your skin.

Kabuki brushes come in all different shapes and sizes, with synthetic or natural bristles and rounded or angled tops. Choosing your kabuki brush is all down to personal preference and what feels most natural on your face. Round tops are generally easier to work with, but if you prefer a flat top, then go for it!

We recommend:

Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish Kabuki Brush

Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish Kabuki Brush is a luxuriously soft vegan makeup brush ideal for applying finishing powders, blushes and bronzers. The short, sturdy handle makes even and controlled application easy, and the compact size makes it perfect for travel. The fluffy synthetic fibres are suitable even for sensitive skin. Not just for the face, this brush is also perfect for applying bronzer and highlighter to the body.

Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish Kabuki Brush
Inika Kabuki Brush

Achieve a perfectly airbrushed, even finish with the Inika Kabuki Brush. This vegan makeup brush features soft, thick, luxurious bristles and sweeps across the face with ease. Perfect for use with your favourite Inika Mineral Powder, this natural makeup brush will quickly become a staple item in your beauty bag!

Inika Kabuki Brush
Nude by Nature Kabuki Brush 07

The large domed shape of Nude by Nature Kabuki Brush 07 adds a polish to all powder and bronzer applications. When used to buff in a circular motion, this multitasking tool leaves behind a beautiful, airbrushed finish. Nude by Nature Kabuki Brush 07 has a short handle that makes it easy to hold in the palm of the hand for a perfect control and it is made of ultra-soft high quality synthetic fibers. Perfect to use with Nude By Nature Mineral Powders, and mineral bronzers.

Nude by Nature Kabuki Brush 07

Applying your loose powder

To avoid spilling your loose powder everywhere, gently shake some product into the lid and work from the lid as opposed to the actual container itself. This way, you can control exactly how much product you use without getting it everywhere.

When applying loose powder, ensure the product isn't sitting on top of the kabuki brush but has made its way into the bristles. Either tap excess product back into the lid or hold the brush vertically and tap the handle on a hard surface to move the powder into the bristles. This is a great way to avoid wasting product. 

Pressed powder has a heavier consistency than loose powder. If you try to buff pressed powder into your skin, it will only disturb the makeup underneath and settle in lines. However, loose powder is finely milled and should be buffed into the skin for an airbrushed finish.

Concentrate on the centre of your face, especially if you have an oily T-zone. Use the product that's left in your brush to powder the edges of your face towards the hairline; don't add more powder. Buff it all in until there are no lines or patches and you have a velvety finish.

Jurlique RoseSilkFinishingPowder 1Jurlique RoseSilkFinishingPowder 1

Topping up loose powder

Loose powder isn't the easiest to top up with, and it might be worth investing in a pressed powder for on-the-go use. However, if you want to use loose powder wherever you are, a retractable kabuki brush with a lid is a viable option.

Always remove excess oil before topping up powder, using blotting paper or tissue. Work in the same way as before, buffing the powder in for a flawless finish.

Loose powder isn't the easiest cosmetic to work with, but it gives you a more natural finish than pressed powder, so it can be worth the extra effort.