Product watch: Illuminating face powders

Illuminating face powders are having a bit of a moment, possibly because makeup brands realise how down we feel about summer’s end, says Rachel Marie Walsh.

  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder,€42

Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury has been in the business for 20 years.

Her experience, together with the perfectionism its wrought, shows in her products.

This super-silky powder is one of her best.

It has a refined, sheer texture, so can be reapplied frequently without any cake-y deposits, even when patted on with a sponge.

I prefer using a large fluffy brush but each method creates an effortless, even glow.

This is definitely one for those with fine lines or large pores, as the light-reflecting pigments really do fulfil the soft-focus, airbrushed promise of the title.

That said, the finish is not at all shiny and free from glittery particles.

The formula is fragrance-free and sensitive-skin safe.

Despite the emollients on the ingredients list (which give the product great slip), it is a great choice for oily and combination types.

Product watch: Illuminating face powders

  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Compact, €45

I am a long-time fan of Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation, which was one of my first major makeup purchases and brightened me up for many a 9am lecture.

To celebrate the brand’s 15th birthday, this signature sheer makeup is reborn as a powder compact with dual-use applicator.

The powder is as silky and blendable as you’d expect of an Armani product, with a non-shiny luminosity very similar to that of the foundation.

Further, while the liquid is best suited to normal or oily skin, the powder works well on all types. It won’t highlight dryness or uneven tone.

The strong mix of illuminating and colour pigments neutralises imperfections.

With eight shades to choose from, you can make the overall look extremely natural.

The entire product, with its sleek packaging and mirror, is designed to make on- the-go touch-ups effortless.

Ellis Faas Glow Up, €22

I love to see illuminators tailored to skin tone, as fair skin in yellow-gold or copper powders look so tacky.

Dutch makeup expert Ellis Faas (celebrated by Vogue Paris as “one of the most influential artists of her time”) rescues light-skinned ladies from metal face with Glow Up.

This powder comes in three shades, ranging from porcelain glow to deep bronze.

As the name suggests, the look is more glowing than glittery.

The fine-milled fibers show no trace of glittery particles.

The ingredients list is free from potential irritants, and contains tiny quantities of emollients that oily types shouldn’t worry about.

Glow Up is best distributed with the swirl of a large brush and, as the day progresses, does not cake or settle in unflattering places.

Product watch: Illuminating face powders

  • Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre in Beige Lumiere, €44.50, Limited Edition, available October 2

This is an extremely fine loose powder, so imparts the most subtle glow of the lot.

Fans of the brand will already know and love Poudre Universelle Libre.

That powder is talc-based and comes in several natural-look shades.

It also gives a soft-matte finish.

The differences in this limited Autumn 2015 version are the gentle radiance and single shade.

It creates a beautifulm polished look but darker skin tones should certainly check the colour before purchasing.

Light blending helps it suit light-to-medium complexions.

Product watch: Illuminating face powders

  • Diorskin Nude Cosmopolite Illuminating Face Powder, €45.50

Dior’s Autumn 2015 illuminating powder is the polar opposite of Chanel’s.

This is part of the brand’s colourful Cosmopolite collection, the first designed by new Creative Director Peter Philips (formerly of Chanel).

This beautiful powder looks like gold satin on the skin.

Porcelain types should certainly limit use to the cheek and brow bones, for fear of looking gold-fingered.

The colour should look more subtle on warmer skin.

The powder is lovely, as silky and light as Dior’s signature eye shadows.

Blending is effortless and the powder is non-glittery.

The look stays fresh and unfading all day.


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