Do you like to use finishing powder?

I’m wondering if finishing powder is a common item in your slate of makeup products. As the name denotes, it is the final step to setting our makeup. I keep reading that it prolongs the wear of makeup, protects the skin, controls sebum production and visually minimizes pores, lines, and imperfections. In fact, some finishing powder are supposed to give our skin subtle luminosity. However, strangely, it doesn’t really work that way for me.

I find that whenever I use finishing powder, my face does become more shiny, but the shine is from the sebum! So finishing powder makes my skin more oily and I rather not use it. I’ve tried a few brands but they all give me the same result. While I do get that subtle luminosity, but I don’t really see a huge difference when I use such powder vs times when I don’t. In fact, I often find my makeup turning streaky as a result of the oil.

So I like to hear your experience with finishing powder. Do you use finishing powder? If so, does it make your makeup look better? And do you wear it in the day, in the night or both?

* Yes, I’m wondering if I’m using finishing powder correctly!


  1. Suz says:

    I haven’t had good results with foundation powder. I always want to use it but it makes my face look weird and it’s cakey like. My plan is to try mac translucent powder and get my hand on la mer foundation powder to see if higher name brands work better than say like bare escentuals.

  2. AtelierGal says:

    could it be due to your skincare products or foundation you’re using that causes the secretion? Do they provide adequate oil control? It took loads of trial and error to find the perfect moisturizer that have good oil control, for me, that is. Maybe you should get a primer too! Maybelline Angelfit! Great oil control for hours! I keep promoting this to my friends all around the world, they need to do something about it lol

  3. Nikki says:

    oil control finishing powder that has matte finish or transparent? I’m not sure, but I do use finishing powder too clients and so far, it does help “set” the makeup and no matter how oily they are, they didn’t oil up much, probably, I primed their skin prior to the whole makeup shebang?

  4. Yiting says:

    Mine’s been alright too. I just have an over tendency to apple too much powder which makes my face look extremely haggard. But if I happen to take a nap with the finishing powder on, I’ll look a little too shiny.

  5. sesame says:

    Yes, they are more cakey than mineral powder. But my experience is that if you apply with a kabuki brush, the effects are better.

  6. sesame says:

    My moisturizer is fine…well, at least without using finishing powder, my face doesn’t look that oily. In fact, my face was oiler before and now is better.

    But no, I don’t use primer…I hate the idea of layering too many stuff. I only use primer for eyes if I have to.

  7. Audris says:

    Yup, I use my Lumiere cosmetics Silk Powder as a finishing powder over my Silk Naturals or Lumiere mineral foundation. Works fine for me when applied with a light hand and keeps the oilies away reasonably well for a few hours. If you don’t need that much oil control and prefer something lighter, Silk Natural’s Perfecting Powder is good too (I like them tinted such as Love Lure or Tempt Tryst).
    All in all these finishing powders I use don’t look over the top and on most days when I’m stuck in the office I don’t even reapply or touchup.

  8. pf1123 says:

    I use the Skinfood buckwheat loose powder (it is nowhere near finishing since I started using 2 yrs ago!)

    I didn’t think a finishing powder really help me a lot to keep my makeup (powder foundation) long lasting. I think a well moisturised and well primed face would keep the makeup from sliding better.

    The more significant use is when I just slap on sunscreen. I need to put on finishing powder to eliminate the shine. And it does work for about half a day.

    Today I use it with a cream foundation. Its ok. Not too bad.

    In general, it doesn’t make me more oily compared to I don’t use. But I like to put the finishing powder (since I have it, I might as well finish it).

    Oh, a tip I learnt from an SA in taiwan. Use a powder puff to press the finishing powder to the face to make the makeup adhere better. But I find that I will over powder if I don’t use a brush, so…I guess depend on individual’s preference.

  9. Stephanie says:

    It’s been a while since I used the “mineral veil” finishing powder from Bare Minerals. But I did like it. I stopped wearing Bare Minerals and switched to Physician’s Formula Mineral makeup since it was cheaper and I didn’t have a whole lot of money to spend on things like that.

    Currently, I’m using the Skinfood Peach Sake Finishing Powder and it really helps with oil control. It is a very white powder, so it will leave your face looking geisha white at first, but then it wears off.

    I would like to try Everyday Minerals, since I’ve heard such good things about them, but international shipping and customs will make it pretty expensive.

    I really enjoy your tips and your blog. I am going to do the cucumber juice, oatmeal yogurt, and cinnamon nutmeg for a couple months and see if that will help, since I am more fond of natural skincare. Then I will go to a doctor again if this regimen doesn’t work.

  10. sesame says:

    Yup, probably cos I was missing out the primer. But I wonder why it makes my face more oily when I do use it, as opposed to when I don’t.

  11. sesame says:

    Same here…if applied with a heavy hand, I can see lines around my eyes!

  12. sesame says:

    Actually, it’s nice when initially applied. The finishing powder is quite light so it gives that subtle luminosity. But don’t know why…my face just gets more oily after a few hours.

  13. sesame says:

    I have that loose powder. Used it a couple of times but it’s really light.

    So you use finishing powder to eliminate the shine? Hmm…interesting. For me, it’s just the mineral powder or cream foundation.

    Maybe I’ll try the powder buff in future. Maybe the brushing is not working!

  14. sesame says:

    Stephanie: Are you eating lots of cheese or milk? Stuff that contains iodine can contribute to acne so check your diet too. See if there’s any culprit that is also triggering. I’m frustrated with my acne too…it’s recurring and really getting on my nerve. Now, I want to test if it’s the makeup that’s causing the breakout.

  15. CT says:

    Not only finishing powder…any form of make up i guess. End of the day, my nose is shiny and sometimes my makeup turns greyish.

  16. AtelierGal says:

    Primers aren’t that thick, so to me layering doesn’t count. I use it only when I’m outdoors for at least 4 hours so that my face doesn’t shine under the sun.

    My face does shine, but after 6 hours later. In your case, maybe it’s the skincare product or the foundation, definitely not the finishing powder’s fault, imo

  17. Stephanie says:

    Sesame, no I am not eating hardly any cheese or milk. I am fairly healthy in my diet, although I have not noticed breakouts related to something I eat.

    I stopped my birth control shot last July, and that has not seem to make an improvement. I started breaking out again consistently for the past 2 years. Prior to that, when I first started my B.C. shot 5 years ago, my face was pretty much acne free, with an occasional pimple here and there.

    I also notice that when I really sleep 8 hours or stay in bed for 12 hours, my acne goes down substantially. Maybe I just need a sleeping pill. ?

    Stress can no longer be a significant factor since I am not working or have school anymore. I exercise some, do jumping jacks or play ping pong sometimes, but it’s so cold outside I rather be staying it. Conversely summers here are really hot too, so I also try to stay in then.

    Makeup does clog my pores from time to time, even though I wore the mineral kind (liquid Physician’s Formula). I think for me, powder foundation clogs less, but they offer less coverage than liquid. Now I’m using BB cream, jumped on the band-wagon, but a bit late into it. I did come across your article suspecting the beneficial claims of BB cream, i.e. polymers are smaller cannot be absorbed into the skin. But I had already bought 4 different kinds to try, since the SPF, whitening, etc. were all in one cream. I figure they are just like liquid foundation.

    I will most likely get my hands on Everyday Minerals and start using that again, since any liquid makeup, including an expensive $50 bottle of La Roche-Posay, can clog my pores.

  18. pf1123 says:

    Oh my finishing powder = loose powder. Its that dreaded 1 tub which is never finishing. hahahahaha….but check out the LRP Uvidea. It says that its a good makeup base.

    So, using the loose powder with the sunscreen is quite ok for me. Evens out the skin tone little bit and reduce pore size.

  19. Yiting says:

    pf1123, can i check with you if Uvidea contains avobenzone??

  20. flym says:

    I use a silk finishing powder from Lumiere over my Lumiere MMU. I’ve tried finishing powders from other brands as well. I find that generally, my makeup looks just a tad softer and pores are less obvious when I brush some on. They also help to set the makeup and control the oilies..not a great deal, but they do keep the makeup fresher for longer.

  21. sesame says:

    So your face is probably quite oily causing some of your makeup to oxidize.

  22. sesame says:

    Hmm…why are you so sure it’s my skincare products or foundation? Like I mentioned, my usual makeup doesn’t make my skin that much oilier but when I do add the finishing powder on top of my makeup, my skin turns oilier a few hours faster. So logically, I would think the finishing powder doesn’t work for me. It could also be the luminosity making my face look a lot oilier…but well, it does feel so too.

  23. sesame says:

    It’s really hard to put a finger to acne. Looking at your case, I can sense your frustration cos that’s how I feel…wondering why in the world am I still having breakout when I’ve cut down on those triggers.

    LOL. I cannot remember writing that bit about BB cream although I remember that I’m not comfortable with the many ingredients. But if it works for you, it’s good.

    I’m going to change my powder and see what happens. I recall that mineral foundation may cause acne for some pple after awhile so I’m not sure if that could be the reason for mine. I’ve been happily using this current one for many months now…

  24. sesame says:

    Hey, you mentioned that Maquillage is good. Do you still use it? Thinking of changing my foundation powder. Not sure want to go back to P&J, try Maquillage or use Zuii.

  25. sesame says:

    I took a quick look at the review PF wrote and it doesn’t seem to contain that ingredient. You can check it here:

    just in case I missed it out.

  26. sesame says:

    I agree about the softer look too…but for some funny reason, I feel that my face look oilier than usual. Do you use a primer?

  27. Losangtsomo says:

    I am using Beautymaker products and I find that it suits me better actually. Currently using the Trans Aqua foundation and loose foundation. At the end of the day, think my face still looks fresh. Recently I have been using HadaLabo products especially the face lotion (or some might call it toner) and really moisturises my skin face. In the afternoon, even my skin is oily ( I blot it) but it does not seem oily at all.

  28. pf1123 says:

    Oh I mentioned MQ? No, I tried and raved to everybody about Coffret D’or powder foundation. You can try it!!! Its great!!!

    Your skin is dry isn’t it? Then get the autumn/winter version that comes with beauty essence. It helped me a lot to disguise my dry skin recently.

    The P&J powder one is a failure on me. I will give it another go one of these days when my skin is better.

    Today I wore the P&J light cream foundation. Its fab too! But very minimal light coverage.

  29. pf1123 says:

    Yiting, I don’t think so. But I’m done with the LRP uvidea. No box or product on hand. Using the new Vichy one currently. ?

  30. Natalie says:

    I am also questioning the need and benefits of finishing powder.The book ‘Spotless’ by Elaine Mummery suggests that modern foundation formulas are so advanced that they don’t need an extra layer to ‘set’ them.She recommends using a water based foundation and then letting your skin breathe.Sometimes I think the extra layer is more like a ‘security blanket’ for oily skin sufferers and we use it because we think we have to.I have tried L’oreal mineral powder to set but I felt it made the make-up on my face look ‘thick’.However I am still tempted to try Origins Mineral Powder and Mac Skinfinish Natural to set but it could be a costly mistake!

  31. Dee says:

    I only use finishing powder when I know I’ll be a little more oily on that particular day. I don’t wear it during the winter much though. It makes my skin look patchy even after using a setting spray. Boo.

  32. sesame says:

    Oh HadaLabo! I would like to get my hands on that one! Too bad we don’t have it here…yet.

  33. sesame says:

    Oh sorry…I must have mistaken and mixed up the brand. Goodness…yes, it was Coffret D’or you wrote about. Okay, I’ll check it out and see if I should get it too. My skin is combi – dry on the cheeks – so I’ll find out from the SA if the autumn/winter version will work for me. Thanks for highlighting that.

  34. sesame says:

    That’s true…what you wrote about advanced foundation formulas. You’re also right that in some cases, it could be like a security blanklet. I think if one’s skin is problematic, then it’s best to avoid layering too many products/powder.

  35. sesame says:

    Okay…so it works to help you control the oilies too. I’m wondering why it makes mine oilier.

  36. pf1123 says:

    Is it because the powder you use is too dry for you? Or does it suck up the moisture? Then your skin went into sebum over production?

    Just thinking out loud.

  37. Amarise says:

    For me, most of the finishing powders I tried did not fare well with my oily skin. Now that I curbed the problem using the Oil Cleansing Method, my skin is not as oily in the t-zone, forehead, cheeks. So while the OCM regulated my skin’s sebum flow, minerals performed better.

    I use mineral makeup now a good brand, and always finish with a facial spray. I find it works far better than a finishing powder to set your makeup without a powdery look. I’ve been using Jane Iredale Balance Spray, there are others but I prefer this ingredient list better. It leaves me with a dewy look that lasts through most of the day. There’s a big difference between a dewy face and a shiny oily face! ?

  38. Mi says:

    I don’t like using foundation, so I use a translucent finishing powder on my T zone to take the shine out while leaving my cheeks unpowdered for a natural highlight. I find this works best for me and my skin does not get oily or shiny for most of the day. However, mineral powder is a foundation and this is a lot heavier on the skin, I don’t like it because it settles in the lines around my eyes and can make them more obvious, also does make my skin feel and look oily. Can this be why your skin looks more oily?

  39. sesame says:

    Don’t know. Everything I use mineral foundation, it’s okay but my skin gets oiler when I top up with the finishing veil.

  40. sesame says:

    Yeah…dewy is nice…not oily. I like it at first cos it makes my face dewy then after a couple of hours, my face looks like an oil slick!

  41. sesame says:

    Hmm…when I use finishing powder, it does give my eyes more lines. Maybe the extra layer is a burden for my skin. So the balance for me is to leave it without the finishing powder I guess.

  42. flym says:

    I don’t use a primer. And I forgot to mention that a very light dusting of finishing powder is more than sufficient. I’d say perhaps a fifth, or even less, of what you would use with regular loose powder. If the finishing powder makes your lines look more obvious, you’re using too much.

  43. pf1123 says:

    MAYBE its THAT particular finishing powder? How about trying a different brand?

    My face gets a bit oily after lunch. But I thought thats expected. But not oilier than if I don’t use.

    Come to think of it, I now do not try to control oil. My skin had a dry spell and looked like its crumbling like an apple crumble! I’m glad its almost over now. hahahhaa… ?

  44. Losangtsomo says:

    HadaLabo – if you are going to malaysia by chance, you can get it there at guardian. I got mine there as well.

  45. sesame says:

    Ah…maybe it’s cos I applied too much then! Cos it’s transparent/translucent, I don’t really notice that I’m dusting quite a bit. Thanks for pointing this out! I’ll try it again and see if it works better.

  46. sesame says:

    I tried a few…especially for the mineral makeup, I tried most of their veils. Always nice initially but after awhile, makes my face more greasy. But maybe I’m wearing too much as flym pointed out. They’re so translucent I just brush as per normal. So could be why…

    I’m like you too…I don’t control the oil. But now, my face is quite okay except during exceptionally hot days. Otherwise, the cheek areas are also not so dry and tight.

  47. sesame says:

    Yeah, read that it’s available in M’sia. Hope they’ll bring it into Singapore soon…

  48. flym says:

    Hi, I’m wondering if this is the right place to ask for your thoughts on the mica concern in MMU.

  49. kk says:

    Try ettusais Day protect powder. (name for loose powder) It’s really good and it works for me in controlling sebum ! Can’t live without it! ?

  50. sesame says:

    Thanks! It’s been awhile since I’ve tried Ettusais though. Will keep a lookout for it.

  51. jessica says:

    I have used different brands and I finally found one that is marvelous its called primed and poreless by “Too Faced” products! luv luv luv it! but u have to apply it with a Kabuki brush it makes it look and feel better. I use it with the “LAROC” foundation.. it has SPF and antioxidants in it as well.

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