Last updated: August 19, 2021

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Good make-up says a lot about anyone, as it is not easy to achieve. If you are reading this article, you have probably gone through many videos and tutorials on how to apply foundation, blush, contouring, and others.

Today we're going to tell you about one of the most important and revolutionary products in makeup application: The translucent powder. These powders are incredible because they are used for several things, such as mattifying and fixing our makeup.


  • Translucent powders are powders without a specific shade that serve to create a soft, matte texture on your skin, while setting the previous layers so that your makeup lasts all day. They're amazing because, although they're lightweight, they can work miracles on your face.
  • There are several types of translucent powders, the biggest difference being whether they are loose or compact. These powders have similar functions, but their presentation will facilitate certain types of uses.
  • If you are thinking of purchasing a translucent powder, there are several factors to consider to make your purchase a success. Some of the factors we present to you are the finish of the powder, your skin type, the type of make-up you will be applying and the tools you will be using.

The Best Translucent Powders: Our Picks

Buying Guide: what you need to know about translucent powder

Although not many people are aware of it, translucent powder is one of the most important layers of your make-up, as it will make your make-up look stunning and last longer. In this buying guide, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about translucent powder, so you'll know that a translucent powder is a great investment.

Translucent powder is one of the best make-up fixers (Photo: Olena Yakobchuk /

What is translucent powder?

Unlike coloured powders or foundation, translucent powder has the main characteristic of not having a specific shade. Translucent powders are used to seal in previous layers of make-up, and have no colour.

Many people are unaware of the advantages of this type of powder, as it takes makeup knowledge to know that this product is magic. Translucent powder seals, enhances, blends, and mattifies your makeup. However, if used incorrectly, it can look whitish, dry out the skin, or over-blend.

  • Seals makeup
  • Enhances tones
  • Blurs contours
  • Mattifies the skin
  • If not applied correctly it can look whitish
  • If not used correctly it can dry the skin
  • It can over-blur our contours

Translucent compact or loose powder - what should you pay attention to?

When it comes to translucent powders, one of the most important characteristics is whether they are compact or loose, as these two types have similar functions, but are applied in different ways. Some techniques, for example, can only be applied with certain types of powders.

Loose powder. This type of powder is easier to use, as it is applied using a large brush that allows it to be blended over the face, although sponges can also be used. This powder is used for techniques within the make-up routine, as well as to seal it when finished. It is very fine.

Pressed powder. These powders are less suitable for make-up techniques, as they are more difficult to blend. They come with a sponge with which they are applied, and are mainly used to put on the "T-area" of the face throughout the day to remove oil and shine. It is less fine than the loose one.

Loose powder Compact powder
Difficulty of application Easier to apply than compact More difficult to apply than compact
Tools Apply with brush or sponge Apply with sponge, although brush can also be used
Techniques Good for techniques, used during and at the end of make-up Used mainly at the end of make-up and for touch-ups
Texture Very fine, talcous Fine, more like a regular powder

How do you apply translucent powder?

Depending on the look you want to give to your make-up, translucent powder can be applied at two different times: After foundation, i.e. before blush and contour, and at the end of make-up as a sealer and blending aid.

People who only use translucent powder before blush do so because translucent powder can blur the contours of the cheeks too much. However, it is recommended that the blending process be done with all the translucent powder and the translucent for a more natural looking finish.

What is baking using translucent powder?

Some people choose to only apply translucent powder to the "T-zone", or forehead and nose, which is where oil accumulates the most. However, translucent powder is being used more frequently in a technique called "baking", which is used to perfect your make-up.

This technique involves applying a thick layer of translucent powder over liquid foundation and concealer. The powder is left on for 10 minutes, and then removed with a thick brush that has a little coloured powder on it. In the end, your skin will be completely free of imperfections, and your foundation will be sealed for the next step.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different translucent powder models

Finally, we provides you with a list of buying criteria, which includes the factors you should consider before purchasing your powder. These factors will basically help you find the right product for you.

  • Powder finish
  • Skin type
  • Make-up type
  • Tools available

Powder finish

One of the powder features to keep in mind is the finish, as there are translucent powders with matte finishes and others with satin finishes. This will be important to know where to place them, and will determine what kind of look they can give you.

Matte. Matte translucent powders are excellent for baking, for removing oil, and for achieving a fresh, flawless look. Most translucent powders are matte, so they can be used on any area of the face.

Satin. Satin translucent powders, although they have no colour, are noticeable because they create a shimmering effect on the face, making the skin look super moisturised. They're great for dry skin, but also look amazing when you want a glittery, glamorous make-up look. You can use them as a highlighter.

Skin type

One of the most important things to consider when buying your translucent powder is the type of skin you are going to apply it on. There are different skin types, ranging from skin that produces a lot of oil to skin that doesn't produce enough moisture.

Oily. If your skin is oily, we recommend that you purchase a loose translucent powder, as you can dust it all over your face as much as you need. In addition, you can purchase a pressed powder for touch-ups throughout the day.

Dry. If your skin is dry, we don't recommend you apply several layers of translucent powder, but instead buy a pressed powder to apply only on the T-zone. You can buy a loose one to set your make-up, to be applied at the end. Satin powders are an excellent choice.

Combination. Combination skin is the most difficult, as it's mostly dry but with oil-producing spots. If you have this type of skin, we recommend using a translucent mattifying powder, but only on the T-zone and after your make-up.

Did you know that "translucent" means that the powder allows light to pass through and therefore does not reflect any discernible colour to the human eye?

Type of make-up

The powder you buy will also depend on the type of make-up you want to achieve, as different finishes and formats have very different results. Here we divide the types of make-up into everyday and party make-up.

Everyday. If you wear everyday make-up, we recommend that you don't use too much powder - smaller amounts of make-up are always better for your skin. However, with loose translucent powder with a matte finish at the end of your routine you can achieve a fairly natural look, as long as you brush off any excess with a brush.

Party. For a more dramatic make-up look, you can use several layers of translucent powder, as described in the previous sections. If you want to add a glamorous touch, use a powder with a satin finish, which will give you plenty of illumination.

Translucent powder is used to seal in makeup, but can be used to enhance imperfections (Photo: Olena Yakobchuk /

Tools available

The last aspect to consider is the tools available. By "available" we mean the ones you have at home, but also the ones you'd like to buy. Some tools are better for applying certain powders, which we explain below.

Brushes are best for applying translucent powders

Brushes. Brushes are best for applying loose translucent powders, they are excellent for blending and applying techniques such as baking. With these tools you can do a lot of things, such as blending and contouring. For powder we recommend a large one.

Sponges are best for compact powders

Foundation sponges. Foundation sponges are the ones we find in compact powders, they are flat and are used with small touches on the face. They are perfect for touching up translucent powder, to carry in your bag.

The blender or egg type are perfect for blurring

Blender" or "egg" sponges. These sponges are great for blending, so they're usually used for contouring or blending concealer. However, you can also use them to remove excess translucent powder, although more experience is required.

(Featured image photo: puhhha /