Best Powders

The right foundation is just as important as a good powder. You can read which is the best foundation in another test report.

A good powder should primarily mattify the complexion reliably. Excess oil should be absorbed immediately but also throughout the day and the skin should look even. Shine from skin care, sunscreen or foundation is also reduced, so that face powder is also popular if you don’t put on make-up. For use in front of the camera, for example on television, powders are indispensable. At best, no one should be able to tell that face powder has been applied. One of the trends we probably don’t want to see back from the ’90s is a bold face powdered absolutely matte.

However, powder is also used to fix make-up and creates an even base for rouge and bronzer, for example. As a finishing powder, it can give the skin variable finishing touches. Powders are no longer just matt. Fine, light-reflecting particles can give dry skin more dimension or conceal lines and pores.

Loose and pressed powders for the face.

As with our eyeliner test, good news first: A lot of positive things have happened with powders in recent years. The textures are formulated in a modern and versatile way. Anyone who has had bad experiences with powders in the past because they may have become heavy, collected in pores or accentuated small hairs: with the right choice of powder and good technique, the routine can also be enriched on dry skin.

The desire to cover unevenness in the complexion with powder at the same time is understandable, but not a requirement for our test – not least because pigmentation can stand in the way of a natural result. We therefore recommend powder make-up for this purpose because it is optimized for use.

quick overview

test winner

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

Baked compact powder that mattifies reliably while still leaving a natural finish. Available in many colors.

We named the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural the test winner because it can work for both oily and dry skin. It has a very fine baked texture that melts perfectly into the skin and, in the finish, reflects the light as naturally as healthy skin. The powder is available in many colors and can also be applied wet for a little more coverage.

For dry skin

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Baked compact powder with natural light reflections. The skin does not look powdered with it.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder is recommended for all skin types, but especially for dehydrated skin. Although the baked powder has the ability to mattify, it never leaves the skin taut and gives it dimension with fine shimmer particles. The complexion appears optically beautified, softened without settling or appearing striking. The modern production method results in an almost non-dusty powder stone, which is used up slowly and justifies the price. However, be careful when choosing the nuances: the six available shades are not graded in colour, but have different effects.

For oily skin

Chanel Loose Universal Powder

A luxury experience for skin and dressing table: Chanel impresses with long-lasting matting and a natural finish.

The price of the Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre is steep, but we are also offered something in return: it has the best matting effect in our test and optically refines the complexion. Loose powders always have a disadvantage in terms of comfort, but Chanel makes the best of it and offers us packaging that is appropriate for the price. The new version dispenses with talc without sacrificing performance. Also available in the update in a colorless version, so our previous criticism of the nuances is superfluous.

Good & cheap

Catrice True Skin Mineral Loose Powder

Refined loose formulation that creates fine reflections on the skin.

The Catrice True Skin Mineral Loose Powder offers a sophisticated formulation at an affordable, if not dirt cheap price and is particularly recommended for combination skin or only slightly oily skin that also wants to benefit from subtle reflections. The powder has a medium matte finish with an unassuming, natural finish. Dry patches or lines are not accentuated. A cheap alternative to hourglass powder that could use better packaging. Fortunately, decanting is not a problem.

For powdering

NYX High Definition Finishing Powder

Colorless compact powder for a natural matt finish without leaving any residue.

We would like to recommend the NYX High Definition Finishing Powder especially for powdering in between, because it doesn’t build up any color that could settle unsightly over the course of the day. A nearly neutral product that reduces excess shine and retains it for a long time. In terms of function in particular, we would wish for a mirror. However, the box is compact enough that there should still be room left in the bag for brushes and mirrors.

comparison table

Show product details

All information on the topic

What you should know about face powder

A usable powder can be produced with just one ingredient. It is therefore not surprising that many products are formulated and work in a minimalist way, such as the RCMA No Color Powder: It consists only of talc and silica. However, this does not mean that all powders are identical. The quality of the raw materials varies greatly, e.g. B. the degree of grinding of the minerals or quality of flours. Rice and corn are also often used in addition.

By the way: When brands advertise with slogans like “mineral-based”, you can smile about it immediately – because that applies to almost all powders on the market. This is not a remarkable property.

The more problematic the skin, the greater the demands on the final look of the complexion and the performance throughout the day. Other, partly synthetic components can contribute to this. In particular, pronounced pores, wrinkles and aging skin benefit from sophisticated formulations that cleverly conceal instead of emphasizing.

Powder depending on skin type

The right choice of powder depends on your skin type and current condition. Most will either tend to be dry, have excess oil, or have combination skin. Together with normal skin there are only these four skin types.

Oily skin can also be dehydrated

But even with oily skin, the skin condition can be “dehydrated” and present similar challenges as dry skin. Strongly matting powders can settle despite sufficient sebum and the complexion can appear dry. Unlike your skin type, you can definitely change your skin condition. In the case of dehydrated skin, work towards strengthening the skin barrier so that it becomes and remains plump in the long term.

Again, previously used products like moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation can also affect the finish. Those who cream their dry skin with rich textures will certainly also want to control the remaining shine.

You cannot actively change the skin type, but you can influence its characteristics. The skin’s sebum production is determined by hormones, so we can observe significant changes during puberty or pregnancy, for example. Lifestyle and diet also have a significant impact on the amount and quality of sebum. Fine adjustments can be made with cosmetics, for example improving the quality of the sebum so that the pores are less clogged. Irritating products, on the other hand, can make the skin oilier due to sometimes invisible inflammatory reactions.

Irritation can make oily skin even oilier

Many components of cosmetic products, especially for impure skin, have a high potential for irritation that goes unnoticed. Fragrances, high levels of alcohol denat. or potent active ingredients that are definitely good for the skin, but also have side effects. Sunlight or too cold or too warm water when washing can also irritate the skin. All small adjustment screws that you can turn to reduce the need for powder in the long term.

The controlled use of chemical peelings can prove to be successful not only for acne-prone skin. In particular, BHA (beta-hydroxy acid) in the form of salicylic acid can promote the removal of sebum from the pores and result in fewer breakouts. Another ingredient that we would like to recommend for a finer complexion is Niacinamide – all of course just to make powders look beautiful.

Loose or pressed

Loose and compact powder differ more than just the “dosage form”. Some effective powder ingredients cannot be pressed alone, such as silica. In particular, talc (talc) ensures stable powder stones that do not immediately disintegrate in the event of a fall. With pressed powders, a compromise is therefore always made in favor of the convenience of use. Loose powders are less practical, but at the same time offer more control over the result.

Loose face powders in our test.

However, one cannot claim that one is better for that skin type and vice versa. There are both successful loose and pressed face powders for all skin types. It is important to work with the right technology and “tool” for the product.

The technique of application is more important than loose or pressed

If you dust loose powder with a brush, you can achieve a similar effect on dry skin as with pressed powders. On oily skin, it may be beneficial to apply the powder generously, wait a little, and brush away the excess. With a lighter powder on selected areas, this technique is called “baking” and is particularly suitable for special occasions.

Loose powders tend to have a larger filling capacity than pressed ones, which could tempt you to think they’re a better deal. But you have to keep in mind that you also tend to use a lot more product and sweep away the excess. A part is also lost due to a stronger dust mist. In the case of loose powders in particular, the filling quantity is also closely related to the fillers used. These should loosen up the texture and are lighter in weight. You should therefore not rigidly compare the filling quantities.

Pressed powders in our test.

Baked Powder

Baked powders, which are represented by the two recommendations in our test, are comparatively new compared to loose and pressed powders. Baking allows for a compact powder without the need for a large amount of compressible bases, which always tend to be difficult to behave on dry and dehydrated areas of the skin.

These powders are first mixed into a paste and then baked on clay plates. It is therefore easy to underestimate the remaining amount of such products, because there is no metal pan in sight the emptier it gets. The porridge uses ingredients that would not work in a dry powder, but dry out when baked, resulting in a different type of powder stone that has different properties than pressed one. The texture is usually silkier and the finish is finer and more radiant.

Attention dusty! The rule here is: circle more carefully than with traditional powders!

Some baked powders tend to be a bit dusty, but you soon get used to the fact that you don’t have to circle as much as with traditional powders.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in our test is again a special feature among the baked powders because it doesn’t dust at all. The stone itself is also much harder than powders often categorized as “Mineral Baked Powder” such as MAC Mineralize Skinfinish. This not only makes it extremely easy to dose, but also very efficient.

Powder brush or puff?

Disadvantages of using powder for makeup can be largely reduced with a suitable application technique. For example, if you are annoyed by the fluff on your face, you can just pull the powder brush from top to bottom instead of circling it and you will certainly see an immediate effect. One should not give up an unloved powder immediately, but maybe try it with another tool.

powder brush

Finding the right powder brush is a science in itself. While it’s quite common to use large, round-shaped tassels, they can sometimes be counterproductive. The initially intuitive circling can lead to the powder settling on the fine down and not optimally connecting with the substrate. In combination with coarser bristles, the skin can flake a little due to the friction and also contribute to an uneasy complexion.

It can be better to imagine the powder as a tassel alternative and to dab powder gently and press it into the skin. Rather than round brushes, flat-bound brushes or heavily stepped ones can be more controllable. Powder brushes do not have to be big. Especially if the skin is only slightly oily, a small brush can be sufficient, sweeping it at certain points.

powder puffs

Whether it’s made of velor velvet, plush or feathers – if you apply your powder with a tassel, you automatically feel a bit “vintage”. In order for it to be advantageous, you have to deal with the technology a bit.

While big, fluffy puffs really only work with loose powder, dusting the complexion with a layer and having to sweep away the excess, compact puffs are included with many products for on-the-go touch-ups.

The enclosed tassels should be cleaned and replaced regularly. Because if you powder, you remove sebum, which is then transferred to the powder stone – acne bacteria’s happy.

Professionals, on the other hand, also use large, flat tassels (in pink in the photo above left), which they “saturate” with powder, rub it in and dab it into the skin. This usually ensures intensive, even and long-lasting matting, but can also quickly appear a bit artificial. Just try.

makeup sponge

Actually, the sponge eggs have become popular primarily for their use with foundation, but the porous surface has also proven itself for many for the application of powder. This type of tool is typically applied wet (soak and squeeze well), which can help prevent a dusty finish. Through the dabbing motion, many also experience that the entire makeup is rounded off again.

Newer versions of the “eggs” are also available in a flocked microfiber version, they have very fine fibers on the surface. They can also be applied dry, especially combined with powder for a more opaque but natural looking finish. It may be too uncomfortable for large-area use and a bit too much of a good thing on dry skin, but it is a very good tip for the eye area and T-zone.

Powder puffs, makeup sponges or brushes: all tools have their advantages.

Tinted or transparent?

Iron oxides and titanium oxide are added to tinted powder, as well as, less commonly, other colorants. In small amounts, they prevent a white haze from being seen on darker skin tones. The more you add, the more they can hide imperfections. At the same time, however, the risk of tinted powder creeping into lines and visibly emphasizing dandruff increases over the course of the day. For dry or mature skin, doing without a tint can often be the better choice.

Some pigment is needed to even out unevenness

Tinting pigments tend to be a bit drying and dull the finish. This can be counteracted by using lighter fillers. It’s also important to test tinted powders under realistic conditions, or choose the color knowing that it may darken. On the one hand, the dry powder stone usually appears lighter than the result on creamed or oily skin. In addition, it can also get darker again during the day.

Tested powders on creamed skin.

Subtle shimmer particles in the powder may be off-putting at first, but can be the missing piece of the puzzle for a more even-looking finish on dry or mature skin. If the shimmer is of the right size, it can scatter light diffusely and thus distract from fine lines, for example.

A slight pearlescent shine may give a little more depth to a made-up skin. However, one should not overdose here: As we have experienced with so many powders, too much mica (mica) leads to lines and pores being unattractively accentuated.

Experience has shown that “a little bit of everything” has proven to be a good strategy for choosing the best powder.


Even the best powder does not protect against partial shine during the day. Depending on the situation, powdering may be necessary. Basically, you can use the same powder for this, but we recommend keeping an eye on it. In particular, powders that contain a lot of pigment could create an undesirable look with each additional layer.

If you often feel the need to powder, we would like e.g. B. recommend so-called blotting powder. These are special powders that are designed for powdering on the go. They usually don’t build up color unnecessarily and only focus on the shine. For example, the NYX High Definition Finishing Powder is suitable for this: It is compact and colorless.

Alternatively, we recommend blotting papers instead of powdering. They work like blotting paper, absorbing excess oil. This also works with porous sponges. Of course, the downside to dabbing is that it’s not as long-lasting as another coat of powder. Another advantage is that even droplets of sweat can be removed – a great recommendation for the summer.

Complete makeup powdered with our test winner – rounded off with highlighter (chin, Cupid’s bow, tip of the nose).


In recent years, a professional technique has also gained a certain popularity among end users: applying powder before foundation. The aim is to absorb the oil before it reaches the surface. In addition, lines and pores are filled in like a primer and provide an even base. Of course, this does not work with all powders. But since you can quickly remove and reapply makeup, you can try it out at any time. We especially recommend it for smaller batches that tend to stand out throughout the day.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

SPF in decorative cosmetics is by no means a substitute for full-fledged sun protection, which should be applied before make-up and allowed to dry thoroughly. The amount required to achieve the declared sun protection will never be achieved with makeup (2 milligrams per square centimeter of skin), let alone be complete. In addition, the protection is unstable throughout the day and has to be renewed regularly, especially if you stay in direct sunlight for a long time – see “Repowdering” for the problem. The products are also unlikely to provide adequate protection against the entire UV spectrum.

While it can certainly be seen as a booster, used as a supplement and is always better than nothing anyway, we do not recommend relying on powder in any form for sun protection.

Our favourite

test winner

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

Baked compact powder that mattifies reliably while still leaving a natural finish. Available in many colors.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural is a baked powder affectionately known to its fans as MSFN. When it was launched more than 10 years ago, it caused a great deal of enthusiasm and today it still impresses with a good balance of oil absorption and a natural finish that subtly reflects light – similar to skin. The intensity can be varied very well and therefore works just as well on dry areas in a thin layer as concentrated on oily ones.

A slight tint corrects the complexion and fine shimmer particles additionally conceal. If you want even more coverage, you can also use the powder with a damp sponge (difficult with pressed powders because they can harden).

Thanks to 15 nuances, there is something for every skin tone

The powder is now available in 15 shades with an even distribution from light to dark, which not only appeals to customers with light skin tones. Darker tones can also be used as a bronzer with the texture, because the powder can be distributed so finely and evenly.

Although the matting is not as intense as some other products, it does last a long time. The fine, loose texture also makes powdering easy and ensures a beautiful complexion, even in the evening, when only a few have collected in pores and lines.

On the left in the picture a matt complexion with MAC Mineralize Skinfiish Natural – on the right beforehand with a light foundation on sun protection.

The packaging was changed not too long ago and a mirror was added, which also snaps into place and does not fold away. Unfortunately, it cannot be opened to 180°, but the angle is quite comfortable. The can closes with a magnet, so that no “nose” can break off or unsightly product can accumulate. The packaging is valuable and stable, so it also protects the product on the go, but it is also quite heavy and has no separate compartment for a tassel or sponge, and none are included.

It is also positive to note that perfume is not used. Nevertheless, the powder has a slightly sweet smell that is not transferred to the skin.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in the color “Light” with a mirror in the lid, but without a tassel.

Since we already knew the powder before the test, we can attest to an average consumption that tends to run out quickly depending on the preference for coverage. When my skin used to be dehydrated, I found the powder a bit too dry. The powder is also capable of emphasizing facial hair, so it is worth trusting our application tips when applying.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in the test mirror

So far there are no official test reports for our favorite. If that changes, we’ll post it here.


For dry skin

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Baked compact powder with natural light reflections. The skin does not look powdered with it.

We would like to explicitly recommend the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder to everyone with (partially) dry, dehydrated and mature skin who finds their complexion too dull after powdering, but still expect a matt finish – that doesn’t have to be a contradiction in terms.

It is also a baked powder like the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, but the quality is different and so far unique on the market. Although it also absorbs oil surprisingly well, the powder may end up being too reflective for very oily skin. On the other hand, it brings dimension back to dull-looking skin without the highlighter-like shine. The light-reflecting particles are remarkably well dosed, always look natural and also conceal uneven skin without contributing significant opacity.

As productive as hardly any other

The hefty price is certainly difficult to argue away, but we can still provide a pragmatic argument: It is productive like no other we know. Due to the hard stone, it is dosed efficiently and only as needed, while powder almost never flies into the air and is wasted.

The matting lasts for a long time – powdering is also possible here because of the controllable dosage without compromising the overall picture. The tin is quite stable enough to take with you, offers a large mirror, but it also contains neither a tassel nor storage space for it. The design is quite chic, but due to the gloss it is quite susceptible to fingerprints and scratches.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in the shade “Ethereal Light” with mirror. A brush is sold separately.A major downside of the powder is a somewhat confusing selection of shades, as it’s not sorted linearly by skin color. Although the powders vary in lightness, they all have different finishes – some are semi-matt, like the Ethereal Light we use, others have more shimmer particles, others more pearlescent. I recorded details about this and how you can use four nuances at once in an hourglass application video, among other things. You can also get the powders in a mini version for traveling (or trying out) and occasionally as a limited version as a palette.

For oily skin

Chanel Loose Universal Powder

A luxury experience for skin and dressing table: Chanel impresses with long-lasting matting and a natural finish.

If matting oily areas is not enough for you, you might consider investing in the famous Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre. For the 2022 test update, we tried the powder in a new formulation without talc. We chose the new nuance without tint in white because we previously criticized the lightest nuance as being a bit too dark. The scent was also changed away from a rather heavy scent to something fresh and floral.

In our test runs, in direct comparison to other powders, it was the only one that clearly had a duller effect at the end of the day. To do this, it complements the same reliable base of aluminum starch and silica with additional components that enrich the wearing comfort and the finish.

Optically finer complexion thanks to light-reflecting particles

The loose powder also contains fine light-reflecting particles that are particularly flattering on mature skin. The appearance of the skin is slightly refined and, despite the matting base, it does not appear dull, so that it also works on dry areas. For completely dry or very dehydrated skin, however, it could be too much absorption.

Chanel Poudre Universal Libre in new version. Big tassel is at it again.

Originally we had complained about the color selection at this point. With the new white nuance without tinting, however, it was positively retrofitted. The high-quality packaging, which is appropriate for the price, has remained. The classic Chanel aesthetic has a charm per se. You also get a thick-walled vessel with an embossed, shiny lid. The can opening is wonderfully large and the sieve sits quite deep, which makes it easier to use. You can easily tap the powder off the brush without powdering the table. Alternatively, a large velor tassel is included, which is best kept separately.

Good & cheap

Catrice True Skin Mineral Loose Powder

Refined loose formulation that creates fine reflections on the skin.

New among our recommendations in 2022 is a positive surprise from the Catrice drugstore: True Skin Mineral Loose Powder. A loose powder in a rather small plastic box with a closable sieve, which in practice is one of the few disadvantages of the product. It is best to open the slider only slightly from the start. Once the powder is out, it is difficult to get it back into the can. There is very little space up to the edge, so product is always lost when opening and dusts the table. A tassel is not included.

The other downside is that at 4.5 grams for a loose powder, it’s not the bargain you might think it is. For comparison: Chanel contains 30 grams and the brim is high, so that hardly anything is lost. However, the formulation is very fluffy and economical.

But now finally to the praise: a great powder for combination skin that looks natural even on dry areas and pleasantly mattifies slightly oily areas. It does require a powder, but the initial finish is so natural that we still recommend it as an alternative to Hourglass.

Catrice True Skin Mineral Loose Powder ohne Quaste.

Subtle shimmer particles loosen up the finish and ensure a texture that is not too dusty. A subsequent look at the ingredients confirms our impression: efficiently matting aluminum salt is loosened up with fluffy silica and mica. Synthetic Fluorphlogopite ensures light reflections. Hyaluronic acid salt with a little water is also included. This does not necessarily provide a significant moisturizing kick, but depending on the weather it could contribute to a longer-lasting, beautiful finish. This sophistication in the formulation in the drugstore is not yet a matter of course and is absolutely commendable.

For powdering

NYX High Definition Finishing Powder

Colorless compact powder for a natural matt finish without leaving any residue.

We would like to recommend the NYX High Definition Finishing Powder especially for touch-ups on the go, which should not build up pigment unnecessarily, because the pressed powder is completely colorless. Although it also works directly on foundation, the performance is not quite as pronounced as other face powders in our test.

The matting is there immediately and can be easily dosed as needed. It doesn’t last quite as long as with other powders, but as mentioned, re-powdering is unproblematic.

NYX HD Finishing Powder without tassels and mirrors.

Anyone with normal, balanced skin might find the perfect compromise in this powder. Despite the “High Definition” title, we could not observe an optically refining effect, at least under everyday conditions. However, the matting is more reliable than with Alverde compact powder, which is also colorless.

In the compact tin it is great for on the go, but offers neither a tassel nor space for it. It’s definitely annoying for some. For those who prefer to pack a full-fledged tool or just powder at home, it can definitely come in handy.

Also tested

Manhattan ClearFace Compact Powder

Universal from dry to oily skin, we’d like to point out a powder that might be a little hidden: the Manhattan Clearface Compact Powder, which you won’t find in the Manhattan Makeup display at the drugstore, but on the skin care shelf for pimples, where it is paired with the compact -Makeup and concealer is offered (it contains panthenol and zinc). A young target group is so explicitly addressed here that over 30 might feel deterred – but it is actually a very inexpensive pearl that does not have to hide behind the powders of other manufacturers in the drugstore.

The compact powder with a sponge puff reliably mattifies, provides light coverage and does not leave a dull finish even on dry areas, as long as you do not dose it too intensively – preferably with a tool other than the one provided. If you get too much, the powder can collect in pores and lines over the course of the day, but this is a characteristic that all tinted powders have in common and it also performs for a similar time.

On the negative side, the color selection, which is only aimed at light to medium skin, and a perfume that is out of place, especially in the target group with acne. Unfortunately, the typical Manhattan note (you might know it from her lipsticks) isn’t particularly nice either. You could have saved yourself and made sensitive users happy.

The sponge is quite small to match the can and somewhat stubborn to use. Although it is produced in a high-quality manner with an imitation leather side with an embossed logo and a flocked application side, the solid back keeps it buckling and makes the application more difficult when you need such a tool beyond your make-up station. It may sound vain and this aspect is not important to everyone, but on a festive occasion, a special evening, this jar would not necessarily be what I would want to pull out of the clutch for powdering.

Manhattan Clearface Compact Powder – A tassel is included.

Max Factor Ellen Betrix Loose Powder

The Max Factor “Ellen Betrix” Loose Powder still features the old Ellen Betrix logo, although the brand was taken over by Max Factor and Coty many years ago. From this we conclude that there are so many fans who still buy the powder, although there are many alternatives. We were a bit skeptical at first because products that have been available for decades are often simply obsolete, but the many positive reviews made us curious – we understand the success!

The powder has a texture that doesn’t have to hide behind many high-priced ones. It mattifies reliably and gives loosening light reflections. The pigmentation is not too high so that product does not accumulate conspicuously. If you are definitely looking for a loose, tinted powder that doesn’t necessarily have to have a strong matt effect and if Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre is too expensive: it’s worth a test.

Unfortunately, the packaging doesn’t give much, on the large opening of the round tin there is a sieve that can be removed and washed – an alternative to the plastic inserts with holes that are otherwise used. In turn, a transparent plastic bowl is placed on top of it, in which the tassel is located. That’s a lot of fiddling, so that you can safely remove the intermediate piece in the long term, then you should avoid shaking as much as possible. In the long run we would just transfer it to a better can.

On top of the Max Factor Ellen Betrix Loose Powder is a round mesh to detach the flat tassel.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder

The Maybelline Fit Me Matte Poreless Powder is a pressed, tinted powder in numerous shades that has a wonderful immediate effect: the skin’s appearance is adjusted in terms of both color and texture immediately after application. It’s matte but not dull.

If it had stayed that way, we would certainly have included it among our recommendations. Unfortunately, the refining effect wears off quite quickly. The downside of color correction is the accumulation in pores and lines, which are quite noticeable because of the more intense pigment. At best, you have to rework it more carefully. Powdering might not be a big challenge on young, oily skin, but beyond that we would recommend something lighter.

The packaging did not impress us. It’s chunky and sharp-edged—the corners poke a little. Since the sponge and mirror are in a compartment under the powder pan, the frame rattles. The sister brand with the L’Oréal Paris Perfect Match Powder shows that there is another way.

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte Poreless Powder hides tassel and mirror under one flap.

L’Oréal Paris Perfect Match Powder

Speaking of which, we would like to commend the packaging of the L’Oréal Paris Perfect Match Powder – this is how a COMPACT powder has to be: not too big, not too small, above all flat, with rounded edges so that it fits in a pocket or case perfectly classified. It has a mirror and a compartment on the bottom of the pan with a soft, huggable tassel. Nothing rattles here.

However, since we subordinate the packaging to the performance in the evaluation, this powder ranks behind the Maybelline Fit Me Matte Poreless Powder for us. The two products are quite similar. Perfect Match doesn’t perfect and mattify as well as the previous one, but it looks a bit more natural and doesn’t stand out quite as prominently in skin textures. We think it’s a little too powdery for dry skin, but if you’d like the Maybelline powder to be a pinch lighter, we can recommend this powder.

Incidentally, we would most likely see these two powders as makeup substitutes in the test.

With the L’Oréal Paris Perfect Match Powder, the mirror can be found on the underside under a folding mechanism.

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder

The By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder has become quite well known due to the hyaluronic acid used and also offers a remarkable immediate effect. The skin looks as if it has been ironed, as the super-fine silica base evens out all unevenness and mattifies it immediately. Unfortunately, we have two problems with this, which are also typical for many silica powders from other manufacturers: 1. the effect does not last long and 2. a white haze. Yes, you can dose it less, then it melts invisibly with the skin, but you also lose the special effect.

By Terry doesn’t let us know from the can that we’ve invested a lot of money. It may be the high-priced, water-binding ingredient that gives it its name, but we could not observe a positive effect from it (we have been using the product privately for a long time). Theoretically, it should prevent the skin from drying out, but the powder tightens and attracts fine lines, especially on dry areas.

It’s not a bad powder and probably suitable for a certain target group, but considering the many alternatives, we don’t see a successful price-performance ratio here.

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder dosed with a rather flat plastic sieve and unfortunately dusty.

Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder

The Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder is similar to the Max Factor Ellen Betrix Loose Powder: the brand is no longer officially available on the German market (but still abroad), but the powder has had so many fans for many years that that you can still get it easily online. The demand is there, although the same product was available under a different name on drugstore shelves for a long time in the form of the Astor Anti-Shine Mattitude Powder. Unfortunately, the Astor brand has also disappeared from the scene.

Back to the powder: Very “old school” it provides a long-lasting matt finish and, for a powder, also provides color coverage. Here you have to be lucky that one of the eight colors fits, because the higher the opacity, the more suitable the nuance has to be in order not to stand out visually on the neck. Partial order is then also difficult. Unfortunately, you have to do without a “refinement” of the complexion here. It is unsuitable for dry or dehydrated skin, even if it is not too tight in a thin layer.

Incidentally, the powder is a refill, i.e. a refill unit in a standard size for old powder compacts. Of course, you can also use it like this, after all, such pieces are rarely found on the market. But the can is very rickety, prone to breakage and the lid falls off quickly. So while it’s compact, it’s not necessarily portable.

The Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder is originally a refill for traditional powder compacts and is therefore packaged very rickety.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

The Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder has actually been considered THE powder against oil shine recommended by makeup artists for many years. It certainly fulfills the simultaneous promise of also appearing natural, but the matting left a lot to be desired. In our opinion, it ranks with the performance of successful drugstore powders. We admit that it looks a bit nicer, but so minimal that we can only recommend it with reservations considering the price.

There may be a little disappointed expectation, but in contrast to Chanel and Dior, it is striking how little effort was put into the packaging. The plastic is thicker, but no one has thought about user-friendliness here.

The Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder includes a tassel.

Manhattan Soft Mat Loose Powder

Actually, you can’t accuse the Manhattan Soft Mat Loose Powder of anything negative, but in comparison it doesn’t stand out with a notably positive performance – it’s a cheap basic that has a slight matt finish and actually looks colorless despite the tint. Unfortunately, it minimally accentuates the pores and needs to be powdered a little earlier than others. But for the low price, you can definitely try it out.

There appears to be a new version of the powder – although we ordered it fresh for testing, this is still the old version.

A flat tassel is included with the Manhattan Soft Mat Loose Powder.

Manhattan Soft Compact Powder

The Manhattan Soft Compact Powder has a matting, covering texture, which unfortunately tends to crumble and settles quite obviously in pores and lines. The powder contains, among other things, lanolin oil and paraffin oil, which are probably responsible for the crumbling and the somewhat “heavy feeling” on the skin. They could be the reason the powder is so popular as a foundation alternative.

The drawer for the supplied sponge is certainly meant to be nice, but makes the can quite clumsy and rickety, overall the pan is relatively small compared to the packaging, which is impractical. In addition, there is the intense scent, as does the Manhattan Clearface Compact Powder, but here even more intense.

The Manhattan Soft Compact Powder sponge is hidden in a (rickety) drawer.

Lavera Fine Loose Mineral Powder

The Lavera Fine Loose Mineral Powder is a cheap loose powder with a natural cosmetics certificate. It contains many nourishing substances, such as various butters and oils, which probably do little in the small amount, but certainly make a small contribution, which is unfortunately offset by various fragrances that have to be declared. Nobody will probably be able to explain to us why these absolutely belong in a powder. Unfortunately, the penetrating scent also put a strain on the test because its composition was not successful and it was not present for a long time.

The powder mattifies pleasantly and leaves a pleasant finish, but feels a bit heavy if you can speak of powder like that. But it is present and visibly settles over the course of the day. Unfortunately, a fairly large amount is dosed without being able to tap it off in a targeted manner because the jar is so small. Even without the unpleasant smell, the performance unfortunately could not convince us.

An annoyance that we first became aware of through this powder: you have to turn the lid three times to close the jar. Suddenly we can appreciate better packaging much more. We also noticed the adhesive residue from the hygiene tape around the can.

The Lavera Fine Loose Mineral Powder comes in a rather small tin with a flat tassel.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed

If you want an intensively pore-refining porcelain finish, you can try the colorless It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed. Even without talc, the texture creates an intensive matt finish and keeps it matt for a long time. Not quite as efficient as at Chanel, in a half-page direct comparison to the similar benefit Dr. Feelgood Powder definitely has the edge.

This is certainly also due to the fact that there are no color pigments that could not collect visibly. However, the powder is not completely neutral: due to the clear softening when applied, the complexion immediately appears a shade darker. On the other hand, the finish resembles a porcelain complexion, at least for a while. It’s a bit borderline on drier areas, but it can definitely work. The included latex sponge takes care of that. This allows the product to be worked into the skin in a dust-free and controlled manner. If you choose a brush, significantly more powder will be stirred up and wasted. It is then much more likely to settle on scales and hairs. The powder is particularly suitable for touch-ups during the day or as a supplement to a more neutral setting powder.

The box offers stable protection, a mirror and a compartment for the included sponge. It is optically neutral but a bit rickety due to the movable compartment. A velvety coating shows white streaks that cannot even be wiped away. With the quite high price one wishes it a little rounder.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed hides a latex sponge underneath the powder stone.

Benefit Dr. Feelgood Powder

Many years after the mattifying balm of the same name, Benefit recently launched the Dr. Feel good powder. A loose, minimally tinted and very fine powder to mattify and soften the complexion. It immediately absorbs excess sebum intensively and leaves the complexion soft.

The packaging is functional and well thought out, but also clumsy and awkward to “use”. First the outer metal box has to be unscrewed before you can fold up the inner plastic lid under the enclosed tassel. Apparently, an attempt was made to pack a loose powder practically for on the go, but that didn’t really work out and ultimately makes it annoying for use at home. We would have liked the tassel to be bigger and flatter so that it was easier to wrap it around your finger. Then the powder would be at least partially more convincing.

We might be more merciful with the criticism if the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder didn’t achieve a comparable finish without the frills. Because it looks even better in the evening. We compared both side by side because of the similarity. Although the benefit Dr. Feelgood Powder is initially matted very intensively and pores are softened, but unfortunately the effect wears off earlier here. The subtle tint is immediately noticeable on our tester’s fair skin, but is especially noticeable in fine lines in the evening.

The Benefit Dr. Feelgood Powder comes with a tassel.

NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Mattifying Powder

With its heart-shaped pressing, the NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Mattifying Powder immediately catches the eye – certainly also due to the large color selection of ten skin nuances, a rosy tone for the eye area and an untinted version in white. A versatile powder from the drugstore at a fair price: without fragrance, but also without a mirror and tassel. Pretty stable for the handbag, but also quite angular.

The powder visibly mattifies without tinting the skin appreciably despite being available in so many colors. There’s no titanium dioxide, which is usually responsible for opacity but always makes powders look a bit dry and can help it collect in lines throughout the day. The finish is not mask-like and makes the complexion pleasantly soft. It is more suitable for oily skin and works on combination skin. It looks a little too lifeless for dry skin. The matting needs to be refreshed depending on the challenge, but the tinted version works well. That’s why we like it better than Maybelline Fit Me!, for example.

NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Mattifying Powder is available in 12 shades.

Rodial Glass Powder

From a combination skin perspective, the Rodial Glass Powder performs very well, appearing natural and not emphasizing lines even if you get too much of the loose texture. The skin is pleasantly matted and slightly softened. However, we miss the big AHA effect that social media suggested to us.

We were particularly excited about the eponymous glass beads that the powder is supposed to consist of. It’s logical and at the same time disillusioning that you don’t “get” anything from them. Not that we were expecting marbles, but maybe a cooling effect or a special reflex… However, it could be precisely these that ensure that the powder never looks dull, even though it has a matt finish. However, the effect should last a little longer at the price.

The can design fits the brand, but is certainly a matter of taste. At the higher price we would have expected more luxury or sophistication. Dior has delivered better at a lower price. However, despite the large openings, the sieve always dispenses an appropriate amount and the high rim protects against spilling it too quickly. The powder also produces little dust. In a direct comparison to Catrice, we couldn’t notice a big difference on two halves of the face.

Rodial Glass Powder contains tiny glass beads.

Sulfoderm complexion powder

The Sulfoderm complexion powder contains sulfur as a proven antimicrobial agent against inflammation and pimples. To what extent this effect is actually useful when applied to skin care and make-up is difficult to assess. We only expect an actual benefit if it is applied directly to the skin. It makes more sense to use a suitable care product than to rely on a powder. The extremely intense perfume, which also includes fragrances that have to be declared, is likely to be counterproductive for impure skin. Not only can these unnecessarily irritate already sick skin, the heavy grade is also not exactly suitable for the masses and unfortunately gave our tester repeated headaches.

The texture is surprisingly fine and light, but the plastic jar makes it difficult to dose. The small-hole strainer is “integral” with the can and does not provide a rim to prevent overflow or allow for stripping. A sponge is included in the box for protection. It is quite coarse and rigid and less suitable for application.

A pink tint is hard to understand, especially in the case of a powder for a target group with inflammatory pimples. Sulfur is sulphur, so we actually expected a neutralizing yellow. But it probably doesn’t contain enough for that. After all, the matting is very reliable, but does not offer any refinement in the finish. The skin looks dull, so it is rather unsuitable for combination skin. The price is fair for the large capacity but not unrivalled.

Sulfoderm Teint Powder smells intensely of stale perfume.

L’Oréal Paris Infaillible Fresh Wear Foundation

As the name suggests, the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation is actually a compact make-up and not a powder for the finish. Due to the hype that arose around the product in 2021, we still wanted to test liquid foundation. Could it possibly partially improve the opacity and at the same time bring a long-lasting matte finish?

Unfortunately, it quickly becomes clear here that there is a reason for the difference to powder. In such a constellation, too much substance is simply layered for a nice finish. In addition to a lot of pigment, there are also consistency-giving components. Bottom line, the Infaillible Foundation isn’t mattifying enough to keep sebum at bay throughout the day either. We are convinced that it offers no equivalent alternative to a “real” powder and can play to its strengths in its true category.

A sponge is included with the powder, which is located on the underside of the pan. There is also a mirror hidden here. In practice, you have to repeatedly open and close the center piece, which is quite annoying. Unfortunately, when removed with a brush, the texture creates a lot of dust and consumes product unnecessarily. It is also subtly perfumed and contains fragrances that must be declared.

Actually a make-up: the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation is unfortunately not really suitable as a powder.

Alverde Setting Powder

Contrary to our expectations, the Alverde Setting Powder of the natural cosmetics own brand of the dm drugstore turned out to be zero. Even the affordable price is put into perspective because a visible amount is consumed with each use. This could also be because we had to keep catching up on powder in the hope of seeing something. Small lumps have formed on the surface and the foundation has rubbed off the brush so that after a week of use the powder looks like it has been in use forever.

Although the colorless powder has a very subtle matting effect, a slight shine can be seen again after just a few minutes. It became particularly clear when we applied it to one side next to the also colorless NYX High Definition Finishing Powder and could see a clear border to a still matt side.

The hope remained that it would be an option for rather dry or mature skin. Unfortunately, the complexion is not refined. You have to be careful not to unnecessarily emphasize dry areas. To be fair: The name “Setting Powder” promises no effect on the finish. Maybe it’s actually enough to set more matte make-up. It wasn’t enough for our products including sun protection. After all, no perfume is used. Mirror and tassel are not included.

The ALVERDE Setting Powder is used up very quickly.

This is how we tested

The powders were tested on combination skin in the mid to late 30’s that tends to be shiny in the T-zone and tight on the cheeks. The skin is prepared with sufficient moisture and with a sunscreen that also requires matting. It is also always combined with a light foundation with a maximum of medium opacity.

We have always used the same soft goat hair graduated brush to apply each powder, as well as the included applicators where available.

Each face powder was observed for a whole day and later similar powders were compared on one side for direct comparison.

The most important questions

Which is the best powder?

For us, the best powder is the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. It is universally suitable for both oily and dry skin. The very fine, baked texture blends perfectly with the complexion and conceals discreetly without appearing like a mask. It mattifies reliably with a natural finish.

What do you do with powder?

Face powder is used to (partially) mattify the skin by absorbing excess oil. But it also extends the durability of other make-up products and protects against discoloration. Depending on the product, the complexion can also be made to appear finer or slightly covered.

How do you apply powder correctly?

There are several methods of applying face powder, depending on whether it’s loose or pressed and the effect you want to achieve. Traditionally, a tassel is used to dab the powder into the foundation. A powder brush is suitable for a more natural look, eg directly on the skin.

Do you need powder for dry skin?

Powder is primarily intended to mattify. Dry skin is usually not shiny. In addition to make-up and care, powder can still help to achieve a finer look and, if necessary, increase durability. However, modern foundation and concealer do not make this step absolutely necessary.

Puder ohne “cakey” Finish?

When makeup collects in lines and pores, or looks uneven on the skin, it’s called a “cakey” finish, where products mix and collect as excess. This can be prevented with powder by choosing a colorless product, using it more sparingly and changing the products used underneath if necessary.

Subscribe to the newsletter and win!

With our newsletter you are not only always up to date, you also have the chance to win current test devices every week. Register now!

If you subscribe to our newsletter, we will send you information about news and prize draws from AllesBeste once a week, free of charge and which can be revoked at any time. By subscribing, you agree to the analysis and storage of your click and opening behavior. You will find detailed information in our data protection declaration.

We have a complete study of the best powders.

Learn what is pressed powder, very important knowledge to understand later how to use and apply pressed powder to your face.

We have also curated the best drugstore pressed powder products and the best drugstore powder foundation products from the ones that we have tested.

We discuss if pressed powder is the same as setting powder. Also, what happens if you use pressed powder as setting powder, by mistake, or because you find out that you do not have setting powder with you. I compare loose powder vs translucent powder.

I have a recent review of the new Hourglass Elephant palette, a limited edition now also available also in Sephora, so it will be included soon in their typical gift packages.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *