Finishing powder, also known as translucent or face powder, is a facial cosmetic. Many people use powder to set their makeup, reduce facial shine, and create the appearance of even skin tone. It is available in several forms, including pressed powder, loose powder, and mineral finishing powder. Depending on the ingredients used in its manufacture, finishing powder may also provide some protection against sun exposure. A finishing powder is usually lighter in texture than pressed powder foundation, which is a combination product that incorporates both a foundation as well as a powder.
The reasons why a person may use finishing powder vary. Some people feel that using a translucent powder after applying makeup softens any harsh edges and helps keep the makeup in place throughout the day. Individuals who have oily skin may also appreciate finishing powder, as it can absorb oil, reducing shiny areas on the face. For individuals who have skin tone issues, a well-formulated powder can conceal redness, sallowness, or dark under-eye circles.
Loose powder is typically sold in a tub or jar. A user can dip a powder puff or brush into the powder, tap off any excess, and then apply it to his or her face. While loose powder can give wearers a great deal of control over how much powder they apply, there is always the risk of spilling the powder. This makes it difficult to carry in a purse for touch-ups.
A second type of finishing powder is pressed powder. This powder has been compressed into a cake, is carried in a compact, and is typically applied with a powder puff, though it is also possible to use a powder brush as well. Unlike loose powder, the risk of spilling pressed powder is minimal, although there is always risk of the powder cake breaking if the compact is dropped. The advantage to using pressed powder is that the powder can easily be carried and reapplied during the day. This is important for those who rely on their powder to provide sun protection or reduce facial shine.
Some finishing powders come in shades that can match the wearer's skin, while others are formulated to work on any skin shade. Some manufacturers also produce what are known as corrective color powders in shades that can address skin tone problems such as excessive redness. Some beauty experts are divided on whether these corrective powders actually perform as their manufacturers say they do, so individuals who are interested in trying them should test them first to make sure that they do not exacerbate a skin tone problem or look peculiar on the skin.