Guest Author - Kimberly Williamson
For those who wear makeup, a good powder is a mainstay in their cosmetic bag. Especially for women with oilier complexions, powder is a must-have product. But as with foundation, an array of choices in available products often makes it difficult to choose the right one.
Furthermore, different powders serve different purposes. Some work well to finish or set makeup, while others absorb oil and give skin a matte finish. Some powders provide light-to-medium coverage. Others can be used for touch-ups throughout the day, while some need only one application each day.
One of the problems with using powder is its tendency to make the skin look dry, even lifeless. Or it may look caked-on and obvious. Heavy powders can emphasize flaws like large pores, lines and wrinkles. But now HD (high definition) powders eliminate the problems some often experience with other products.
High Definition (HD) Powders
HD powders are fairly new on the market compared to other products. They first appeared with the advent of high-definition television and films. Because HD cameras pick up the tiniest of flaws, it became important for makeup artists to choose products that give actors a flawless complexion while remaining undetectable on camera.
HD Powders Go Mainstream
The popularity of HD powders in the consumer market stems from their ability to set makeup and give the complexion a flawless look. They provide skin with a somewhat matte finish, but without the dry, thick or caked-on look of other products. When applied correctly, they are undetectable. So skin looks fresh and beautiful without the heavy look of other products.
What to Expect When Looking for HD Powder
Most HD powders come as loose powders, usually in a round container. Made from finely milled silica, they are pure white in color. They are translucent and designed for use on any skin tone, from the lightest to the darkest.
How to Apply HD Powder
Use HD powders only once during the day and apply them with a light touch. They work best as a finishing powder or to set makeup. Apply them after foundation, concealer, blush, bronzers, and other cosmetics. But skip using them for touch-ups during the day - they weren't designed for that purpose.
To avoid wasting the product, keep the lid on and turn it upside down. Make sure the lid is secure before trying this to avoid dumping the powder out of its container. Tap the bottom of the container so that the powder falls into the lid. Then turn the container over and tap the lid so that excess product falls back into its container. A small amount of the powder should be visible inside the lid when you open it.
Dip a Kabuki brush into the product remaining in the lid. Tap the brush once or twice to remove any excess powder. It should not be visible on the brush. Then apply a small amount of HD powder. Pat it on or brush it lightly over other makeup. It's important to use a light touch and blend well.
Problems with HD Powders
While HD powders provide a flawless-looking complexion, they can be problematic. When too much is applied, the white hue may become more obvious, especially on darker complexions.
Another problem occurs when HD powders are used with flash photography. That’s because silica is a reflective mineral.
A simple online search for “celebrity makeup mistakes” results in a slew of images showing A-list actresses with white spots or patches on the face where HD powder was applied. Because silica is a reflective mineral, it often doesn’t work with flash photography.
Those with oilier complexions or women who apply a good moisturizer prior to donning makeup may not experience this problem. It usually affects those with dryer complexions or women who have dry areas on the skin. Having said that, it’s best to avoid mixing HD powder and flash photography, especially for weddings or other special events. Why take chances?
On the other hand, HD powder makes an excellent finishing powder for everyday use. When applied correctly, its natural-looking finish reduces the appearance of flaws for any complexion. It can make skin look beautiful without the dry, heavy look of some other powders.