Friday, July 19, 2013

HELP: Pressed or Loose Powder - What's the Difference?!

I think at one stage or another, all of us have been a little bit bamboozled over the what form of powder to invest in. What actually is the difference between a pressed powder compact and a tub of the loose stuff? This is my first HELP posts, which I hope will shed some light to those umm-ing and aah-ing over  powder puffs..

Pressed Powder.
I've chosen to photograph two of my Clinique products for this, so you can get an idea of the difference between powder types within one band. Ok, so first of all I'm going to look at pressed powder, which is bought in the form of a compact. As you can see I've just hit pan on mine and it's looking a little bit messy!...
I think the main difficulty that people find when using pressed powder, as opposed to loose, is that it can sometimes appear cakey. However, this is sometimes more a result of the way in which this powder is actually applied onto the face, rather than the product itself. To avoid this, I would always recommend staying clear from the sponges or puffs that are included in the compact as these become saturated very quickly and when used, can give you the appearance of having too much make up on. Instead, if you use a powder brush, you can mostly achieve similar effects from using pressed powder, as you can with loose powder. This pressed powder from Clinique is their No.1 Best Selling Powder product and is great for Summer as it removes excess oil and shine, when the skin's sebum levels are high.

Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder, £23 available here.

Loose Powder.
The main difference between the more compact version and this flour-y stuff, is that loose powder is much more finely 'milled'. In other words, the actual physical particles are smaller and more refined. For this reason, it is a favourite for a much more flawless look as it's fine texture creates an even skin tone by 'filling in' fine lines and wrinkles. This 'Blended Face Powder' from Clinique even claims to 'make pores disappear'! Also, the difference in texture means that it is much more build-able on the face and so is a staple to red carpet and camera make up. I personally prefer using powder in this form as it feels much more light weight and natural to wear. In terms of application, use a big powder brush in order to achieve full, even coverage. I use my Illamasqua 'Kabuki' brush, which is actually brand new this week. I picked it up in their amazing flagship store in Soho for £15 - from £39!! Get to Illamasqua girls!!

Clinique Blended Face Powder £21, available here. | Illamasqua 'Kabuki' Brush, £39 available here.

My final tip when it comes to powder, would be to go translucent! I find it difficult to match a powder to my skin tone, especially when I like to very between foundations and tinted moisturisers day-to-day, which can be slightly different in colour. Translucent loose powder will mattify your skin, set your make up and create that soft focus appearance by 'filling in' fine lines and wrinkles, but without changing the entire colour of your face. Laura Mercier's Loose Setting Powder is my absolute favourite and a hugely popular product amongst many beauty bloggers.

So there you have it! I hope this has helped some of you out, especially if you've been having trouble deciding which form to buy your powder in recently. Let me know if you enjoyed this post by leaving a comment below and also any suggestions for other topics you would like me to cover in my HELP post category, I would love to know!  

What's your personal favourite type of powder?




  1. Great post. I enjoyed reading it (:


    1. Thank you sweetie I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Xxx

  2. Hey there thanks for following, I'm now following you back.
    Looks like some really lovely products here! much love, Sarah x

  3. Really enjoyed reading this! I love a loose powder as well, I find it gives a fab flawless coverage that looks more natural.

    Kylie @

    1. Thanks Kylie I'm glad you enjoyed it :) xxx


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