Traditionally, a finishing powder is an invisible way to set makeup. It can reduce shine while minimizing the look of lines, imperfections, and pores. People can wear it over makeup or on bare, moisturized skin. Some use a translucent loose powder for setting their foundation, as many find that it will prolong the wear of makeup. Or some, like me, dust it over a foundation-less face to get a “finished” look.
You’ve probably heard a lot of marketing hype about powders that are mineral-based. Mineral makeup is generally made from all natural, finely ground minerals from the earth (which is good!). Most of the time, it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals, dyes, and preservatives found in traditional makeup. But in order for a makeup to call itself mineral, it has to do”¦exactly nothing. Like many “green” industries, there is no regulation as to what ingredients make a mineral cosmetic. You’ll want to do your homework. Here, we put several leading brands to the test.
Best All Around: Lavender Silk Finishing Powder by Jurlique
This product really is fantastic. I started using it months ago and dread the day it runs out. I generally wear it without a foundation and it gives my face a nice, even tone. The best part? This powder has a lovely scent of lavender that is almost like a light perfume for your face. (And as a person who hasn’t worn a drop of perfume in 20 years – hi, allergies – this is a treat.) This product comes from the Australian natural product powerhouse Jurlique. Best of all it is certified biodynamic by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia.
Best Dash of Color: Certified Organic Flora Foundation by Zuii Organic
This product provides a smooth, even finish- think bronzing powder. It is free of talc, synthetic chemicals, parabens, petro chemicals, and genetically modified ingredients. It could also get the title of “most organic,” as it has a number of certifications, including USDA Organic, Australian Government Certified, and more.
Provocateur Pressed Mineral Powder with SPF 8 by Tarte
This mineral powder goes on light and gets high marks for the SPF8. (Most mineral-based makeups do have an SPF factor to them as minerals naturally protect from the sun.) It claims to have vitamins added to the powder – frankly, the said vitamins did not make my skin feel or look any different than the other powders. Paging marketing!
It does earn points for a cool, quilted case that has a magnetic closure (hmm, made in China from “man made” products – which means it is animal free but probably not petro free). It is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, petro-chemicals and phthalates. Skin Deep gives it a rating of 4 out of 10. (10 being the most hazardous).
This product gives you a nice smooth finish, and it is available in different shades to add a bit of color. It works well if you want to forgo a cream foundation and just leave it up to powder. It is free of talc, parabens, preservatives, genetically modified crops, and petroleum. NVEY ECO Make-up is OFC Certified Organic (Organic Food Chain Certificate Number #0464) and Australian Government Certified. It gets a 4 out of 10 rating from Skin Deep.
Transparent Loose Powder by Lavera
This gave my skin a nice, creamy tone and seemed to last for an extended period of time. It is a mineral product, so it’s also rocking an SPF. It does contain talc (some experts warn talc can be problematic). It is BDIH certified and contains some organic extracts. It is an excellent way to “finish” your makeup but not a foundation by any means.
Finishing Powder by Lauren Brooke Cosmetics
This product is effective for what it is – a finishing powder that doesn’t pretend to be a foundation. It does even out your complexion, but it doesn’t give you any color. In fact, it creates a bit of a whitening effect. It is a bit grainier than the other products and more like an old-school powder. Skin Deep gives it a 0-2 rating, making it one of the safer products on the market. It has a simple composition comprised of organic Arrowroot Powder and natural clay powders.