Last updated: September 1, 2021

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Translucent powders are one of those makeup products that not everyone uses, and that is because they either don't know what they're for or they don't know how to apply them correctly. Which is unfortunate because they are key to having a flawless look. It is no wonder that the people who decide to try them cannot do without them after. They are a must for all make-up artists and now you too can learn how to use them.

Although their main function is to mattify and fix makeup, making them ideal for people with oily skin, the truth is that they are a very versatile product that should not be missing in any toiletry bag. With a few touches of translucent powder, the look of your makeup can change completely for the better, do you want to know more?


  • Translucent powders can remove shiny skin, increase make-up life and provide a more visually polished result.
  • Contrary to what many people believe, they do not whiten the face and they do not have to reflect the flash in photos: it all depends on what type of powder you choose and how you apply it.
  • When you decide to purchase a translucent powder, you will have to take into account its composition, your skin type and the format in which it is presented.

The Best Translucent Powder: Our Picks

Since translucent powders are not the most popular cosmetic product, it is normal to think that all the options available for purchase are similar: a whitish powder that is applied to the face with a brush or pad, can they really be so different from each other? Well, we do, actually. Here are some options:

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Translucent Powders

We are aware that even those who use translucent powders on a daily basis have serious doubts about their function or their mode of use. The truth is that, as we have already told you, they are a very versatile product and it is a pity that you do not take full advantage of them for simple ignorance. Next, we will try to resolve some issues.

Translucent powders finish your look.
(Source: Drobot: 49340133/

What are translucent powders and what are they used for?

Although for the general public they are still an unknown or expendable product, translucent powders cannot be missing from the toiletries of any makeup artist or makeup lover. Not only do they prevent the appearance of glitters, but they also seal and set makeup, prolong its life and give a polished appearance to the face.

It is of little use to spend half an hour or more in make-up so that after our "work of art" disappears in a short time, don't you think? You can use it both in day and night make-up looks, since, if you don't overdo it, they don't have to stiffen the skin or become unnatural. As if that weren't enough, they can also be used for:

  • To make the eye profiler practically permanent if we apply on these small touches of translucent powders with an eye brush.
  • To lighten the skin tone or lower the color of a blush that is too intense.
  • To make a lipstick fixed or matte a glossy finish bar by applying a small amount with a small brush.

What types of translucent powders are there?

We can differentiate between the translucent powders available on the market according to their finish or the appearance they leave on the face after application. Although all of them have the primary function of mattifying skin, not all do so to the same extent and there are options that are even able to subtly illuminate. Let's look at the differences:

Type Characteristics
Mate Leave a matte finish on the leather.

They are perfect for people with oily skin, as they prevent the appearance of glitters for longer.

They can further mark facial imperfections, such as pimples or expression lines

Satin They leave a satin finish on the leather.

More suitable for people with dry skin, since they maintain better hydration.

A good choice for more mature skin, as it conceals imperfections and wrinkles.

In addition, we can distinguish translucent powders by their format: loose or compact powders. We're not going to tell you which of the two options is better since it depends a lot on the use and your personal needs. In case you're afraid to overdo it, you might want to start by trying some compact ones. These are the differences:

Type Characteristics
Loose powders The type of powder is finer than in the compact.

To apply them you need a large brush with very loose hair.

They can spill, so we do not recommend that you carry them in your bag for touch-ups.

Compact powders They keep the glitters at bay longer than the loose ones.

Their format is clean and convenient, and you can easily transport them if you need to apply them during the day.

They have greater coverage than loose powders.

Why should you use translucent powders?

By now you may have figured out why translucent powders are such an important step in makeup ritual. If your skin is dry, you may have never thought about it, but if you have oily skin you will have noticed that, with the humidity and heat, it produces more shine that makes the makeup last less and is not so polished.

This type of makeup will even help you achieve natural tones.
(Source: Daria Minaeva: 60728835/

The glows are natural and normal, but there are certain moments when we would all prefer to avoid them. Do you know how presenters or artists who appear on television get their faces spotless? Exactly. They use translucent powders. Even if you don't wear makeup, you can also use them to improve the appearance of your skin. Check it out!

  • As mentioned before, eliminating excess oil is important.
  • Avoid unwanted glitters that give an imperfect look to your makeup look.
  • Homogenize both the tone and texture of the skin, with or without make-up.
  • They keep makeup intact all day long.
  • If they have a sun protection factor, they can protect you from radiation.

How are translucent powders applied?

This type of powder, due to its function, is generally applied to the oiliest area of the face: the so-called T zone, where more sebum tends to accumulate throughout the day, with the consequent appearance of brightness. It is not advisable to use them all over your face, especially if your skin is dry, as they could cause dehydration.

They can also be used in other areas such as the eyelid or eyelids to seal the corrector or eye shadows respectively. If you want to mattify lipstick you can also use them on your lips, once you have applied the color, of course. With just a few touches of the product, you can see a huge difference.

Although the powders are white, they do not alter the color of your skin.
(Source: Rido: 65157914/

When is translucent powder applied?

Translucent powders are usually the last step of makeup. Since we apply them with the intention that they prolong the life of the rest of the products, they go after the others. To set, or "bake" the makeup, the only difference is that we will apply more powder and, after a few minutes, we will remove the excess with a large brush. Let's see the steps:

  1. First neutralize the dark color of the dark circles with a suitable corrector.
  2. Then apply the makeup base or the colored moisturizer to the rest of the face.
  3. Lastly, seal and mattify the make-up with translucent powders.
  4. Once this is done, we can proceed to use blush and bronzer. This step can also be done earlier, but we run the risk that translucent powders slightly lower the intensity of the tone of these.
  5. An extra coat of translucent powder can be applied to the T-zone from time to time to avoid the appearance of glitter. Carrying a small powder box in your bag is a good trick.

What make-up tools can be used to apply translucent powder?

To obtain a polished and perfect finish, the quality of the translucent powders we use is very important, but the tools we use to apply them are also crucial. Using a clean, quality brush is not the same as using an unsuitable, dirty brush. The best options for applying translucent powders are as follows:

  • Sponge: A Beauty Blender sponge works better with compact powders than with loose powders. The sponge melts the product perfectly. However, it is important to wash them frequently.
  • Brush: This is the most common option. You're gonna need a big brush with a lot of loose hair. They work well for both compact and loose powders. Don't forget to dispose of the excess product by tapping the brush before placing it on the skin!
  • Pad: These are usually included in the powers themselves. They are not so precise and do not offer such a perfect finish, but they are very practical for out-of-home touch-ups. Remember to wash them often.

Can translucent powders be used on any skin type?

Translucent powders work particularly well on oily skin as they absorb excess sebum. Normally, drier skins either don't need them or are better off without them, since they can generate more dryness. Today, however, products specially designed for dry skin that keeps the skin moisturized can be purchased.

Our advice, in any case, is to always apply a moisturizer as a preliminary step to the entire makeup process, especially if you have mature skin. Remember that, being translucent powders, they also adapt to all skin tones without whitening them, from the lightest to the darkest skin.

Not only the quality and perfection of the finish is important, but also the durability of the finish. (Source: Seprimoris: 11714192/

Is it true that translucent powders bleach the skin?

No, that's not true. The belief that translucent powders whiten the face or are only suitable for very light skin tones makes many people not even interested in them. We propose a very simple challenge: put a small amount of powder in your hand, spread it and see what happens. We'll tell you the result: absolutely nothing will happen.

Although at first glance they look whitish, they are also translucent, so they do not alter your skin tone at all. You can relax because they're not gonna make you look like a geisha. In any case, keep in mind that, if you apply too much, they could bleach slightly by a mere accumulation of product. Go little by little.

Shopping Criteria

As mentioned throughout this guide, translucent powders have evolved so much in recent years, and at the same time remain such an unpopular product that it's normal for you to feel confused when you decide to buy one. We cannot solve all your doubts, but we are going to talk to you about certain criteria that you must take into account:


It is very important that you always check thoroughly everything you are going to apply to your skin. You should read the label carefully, understand what each ingredient is and check whether or not they are suitable for your skin. Translucent powders often base their formula on talc, but can also be made from cornstarch or other minerals.

If your skin is particularly sensitive, we advise you to avoid certain ingredients that could cause adverse reactions, such as perfumes. Of course, if you're vegan, you can also opt for products that don't include any animal products in their formulas and haven't been tested on animals.

Skin Type

Another of the first questions you should consider when purchasing a cosmetic product is your skin type, as it will determine the type of powder you will need to use. There are translucent powders that suit all skin types, but there are also others that are designed to address specific needs and characteristics.

For example, those with dry skin should not use translucent powders that promise very long-lasting effects, as they are likely to end up drying out the face and even causing peeling. It is also not a good idea to use powders that are very satiny or that have moisturizing properties on oily skin itself because they could accentuate the shine.

Format and Presentation

As mentioned above, it is important to consider the format and presentation of translucent powders. Basically, these are available in a compact form or as loose powders. The compact ones are more covering and easier to transport, while the loose ones offer more natural results.

It is also worth considering the accessories included in the powder box since there are many that have a small pad or travel brush to retouch makeup when we are away from home. Both the format and the accessories are characteristics that you must evaluate according to the use that you are going to give to the powders.

Lasting Finish

Not only the quality and perfection of the finish are important, but also the durability of the finish. Translucent powders are a product that, although it can be used daily, is especially useful when we need to be perfectly made-up for hours - at celebrations, events or simply when we want make-up to withstand a hot summer's day.

For example, if you're going to have to make up for a wedding and want to be impeccable all day, we recommend that you look for a product that offers a maximum lasting effect. If your skin is dry, we recommend that you only apply it to the forehead, nose, and chin, otherwise it could cause excessive dryness.


All the products we have mentioned in this article are colorless, but there are also translucent powders that have a touch of color. When purchasing a translucent powder with color, it is essential that you consider your skin subtone -yellow, pink or neutral-, since, otherwise, you could obtain very unnatural results.

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Translucent powders are a product that, until recently, was only used by professional make-up artists and beauty addicts. Today, their use is more widespread, but there are still many women who reject them thinking that they will be noticed a lot of photos are taken or that they will not be suitable for their skin tone.

As you have seen throughout this guide, this is not the case at all. Translucent powders are a product that should be indispensable in any makeup routine since they significantly improve both the appearance and the durability of the makeup, and they also adapt to all skin colors, even the darkest!

And you, do you use translucent powders in your everyday makeup? Tell us in the comments and do not hesitate to share our article on your social networks if you find it interesting.

(Featured image source: Puhhha: 78447256/