5 Tried-And-True Face Powders For Effortless Airbrushed Skin

Of all the beauty products in the world, powder probably gets the worst rap. Just the name conjures images of chalky, pasty texture and little puffs and getting it all over your clothing… but it doesn’t have to be that way! Not anymore, at least — I can’t vouch for my grandmother’s generation, but the newest incarnations of powder are silky and sheer and, used as a base or patted over finished makeup, give a refined, soft-focus finish that blurs imperfections and pulls your whole look together. These 5 powders (3 loose, and 2 game-changing holy-grail pressed versions) are guaranteed to change your mind, once and for all, so put down the puff, pick up a fluffy powder brush, and get started (yeah, it’s that easy)…

1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder: These powders are a revelation: they’re a completely unique product that doesn’t exist on the market otherwise. Those Hourglass creative directors must dream big. Six universally flattering shades “capture, diffuse, and soften” the way in which light reflects on your skin, using “photoluminescent technology to filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the complexion.” Seriously! And I totally believe it. I love Ethereal Light, a cool, pale white-ish tone that eliminates shine without mattifying and mimics a “moonlight glow,” but there’s a shade for any desired effect you can imagine. [$45, Sephora]

2. Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation: We’ve testified on behalf of Jane Iredale’s famous mineral powder foundation before, and we’ll do it again. (We are doing it again.) For sheer, semi-matte coverage that conceals redness, covers blemishes, and lasts all day while providing sun protection and actually benefitting your skin (!) in the long-term, Jane Iredale is the only way to go. You can sleep in it. [$52 for product and compact (refills for $40), Jane Iredale]

3. MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder: The O.G. colorless powder is all but found-out, but that doesn’t make its magical pore-blurring, makeup-setting properties any less magical. Lightweight, sheer, and silky (not to mention that the full-size jar lasts forever), wear it over your base to keep foundation on all day, or on bare, moisturized skin for a semi-matte finish that makes everything seem, well, a little more perfect. [$34, Sephora]

4. Tarte Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder with PM20: When Tarte says this powder is colorless, they really mean it — you’ll never experience that chalky, obvious “I’m wearing powder” effect with this super-fine silt. It contains PM20 which, you know, I have no idea what that means, but it’s apparently a “breakthrough proprietary pore-minimizing compound that is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of pores by 20% after 4 weeks.” Sounds good to me! Amazonian clay acts as a balancer to remove dryness and flakiness and combat surface oil for a soft-focus finish. [$29, Sephora]

5. Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Mineral Finishing Powder: If you’re a five-minute makeup type of lady, this powder from the professional coverage experts is the easiest way to get yo face done in, like, 15 seconds flat. A touch of concealer, and you’re good to go — this finishing powder is full-coverage but doesn’t look like it, and helps to absorb oil and control shine all day while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and pores. [$25, Dermablend]