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Best Pressed and Loose Powders

My Top Picks for All Skin Types


These days powders can do so many things. They can act as primers for foundations, they can make your face brighter and they can still do their tried-and-true calling to cut down on your shine. Here's a rundown of a few of my favorite powders. Find one that's right for you.

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Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder

Allure Magazine loves this superfine, lightweight powder because it "gives an airbrushed effect and feels like wearing nothing." Users report it goes on feeling silky and won't sink into fine lines leaving a wonderful matte effect. It's awesome for oily skin, but is also good on dry skin, just make sure to moisturize skin so the powder doesn't highlight any flakes on skin. There's just one universal shade for all skin tones. This is the last powder you'd put on to set your makeup. Use in small quantities. Talc-free! It's also an InStyle Magazine best beauty buy for 2009, 2010 and 2011.

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L'Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder

This is a great drugstore buy. Works to set foundation or concealer without leaving a cakey or chalky finish. Plus, there are a ton of shades (about 20) to choose from. When it comes to a drugstore buy, you won't find a better product. An Allure Magazine Best of Beauty 2011 pick.

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Estée Lauder Mineral Rich Loose Powder Makeup

An Allure Magazine Best Beauty pick for 2011, this mineral powder foundation evens out the skin without settling into fine lines. Users overwhelming adore this product, which gets 4-5 stars on almost all review sites I checked. Plus, Allure says it's "neither too shimmery nor too flat."

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Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

This brightening powder is a miracle worker when it comes to making a tired face look untired. It works by setting your concealer into place and adding a bit of pop to those naturally dark spots on your face. Use it to conceal your under-eye circles. The #1 is for fair to medium skin tones and the #2 is for medium to dark skin tones. Makeup artist Genevieve Herr tells the Website Jane XO how she uses it: "I apply it wherever I've applied concealer: under the eyes, laughing lines, and above and on top of the lips with a little bit of a bigger brush. I use very little. Then, after I apply that powder, I apply the face powder."
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Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation Primer

If you wear powder foundations instead of liquid foundations, there's actually a wonderful primer available. Who knew? The primer works by filling in pores and fine lines and wrinkles so the powder doesn't settle in. Turns out Laura Mercier has a mineral primer specially formulated for women who wear powder. It's pictured here.

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Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation

A "Best Beauty Buy" 4 years in a row in InStyle Magazine, this mineral powder is tried-and-true favorite for mineral powder lovers. It's laced with light-diffusing mica, is talc-free and, according to InStyle, "whisks away imperfections as well as pallor." You can get a sun-kissed look by sweeping this powder over the spots where the sun naturally hits -- the temples, the cheeks and on the bridge of the nose. Apply with a fluffy powder brush, medium-sized.



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Revlon Color Stay Mineral Finishing Powder

These days powders aren't just used to set foundation and concealers, they can also add color to skin making it appear sun-kissed or healthy and pink. This tri-color powder does just that and what's better is you can find it in your local drugstore aisle for about 1/3 the price of the department store powders.



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Iman's Pressed and Loose Powders for Dark-Skinned Women

In 1994, Supermodel Iman launched a cosmetics and skincare line designed for women of color. Her products are gorgeous and her pressed and loose powders come in many shades to suit the many varieties of dark skin.



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