Georgia Gatsby, our resident 'pro-ager', puts face powders through their paces to identify those best-suited to more mature skin types...

Who knew that face powder had changed so much? Around 10 years ago, I started buying a niche brand that was sending beauty editors into raptures – so fine, so transparent, so silky! Well, it was, compared with the rough-and-ready stuff in my mother’s compact (she’d been going by even more ancient recommendations.) 

Anyway, I thought it was about time I tried some of the latest translucent face powders, and it’s just as well I did. They’re quite a revelation.

For one thing, they don’t smell. Remember how compacts used to whiff of sickly perfume mixed with talcum powder? And unlike their ancestors, these powders seem to skim over your pores rather than leaving nasty deposits.

Even the powders that didn’t make my top four are so fine that they disappear on the skin. Perhaps best of all, they add a subtle glow – which is entirely different from the shine you were trying to mask in the first place. Tip: the loose stuff is marginally better at this.

OK, I know a lot of younger women never use powder. It seems almost old-fashioned – certainly not the staple it was 70 years ago, when the very first Woman’s Hour broadcast ended with: ‘A light dusting of powder can do wonders for your look and the family morale.’

So why bother with it at 50+? It’s not going to do anything for family morale – not at today’s prices. But speaking for myself, I like to set my make up before I go out, so it lasts longer. Plus these new powders really do manage to blur imperfections and generally lighten you up.

Here’s the best of the bunch:

{Realist Invisible Setting Powder} by W3LL PEOPLE

Loose white powder in a small round box. My favourite, which surprised me as ‘green’ good-for-you cosmetics aren’t usually the most effective, in my opinion. (I’ll be exploring this brand further in future blogs.)

Incredibly fine. Does an excellent job of blurring pores. Leaves a youthful barely-there sheen. Sadly, no accompanying brush or powder-puff, but I guess that’s OK because you probably wouldn’t be lugging this around in your bag.

{Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder} by BY TERRY

Another loose white powder in a slightly bigger round box. Pause for a grouch: the tight-fitting inner plastic lid is dotted with what look like holes but aren’t. Are we supposed to be pushing pins through them? Did I get a defective lid? Who knows – but I’d advise you to leave off the inner lid if you value your nails.

Still, what’s a fingernail or two when you get a micro-fine powder that feels like silk velvet and whooshes a veil over wrinkles and pores. This particular formula contains tiny hyaluronic spheres that settle invisibly into crevices. Excellent for dry skin.

{Prime & Perfect Refining Powder Silk} by Studio 10

Two pressed powders in a rectangular compact with mirror. Sorry – another grouch. Compacts are for carrying, so why no integral puff?

The bigger palette here is white. Word of caution: use sparingly, except perhaps at Halloween. This isn’t a criticism – once you work out how to get the correct amount on a puff or brush, this powder’s beautifully translucent and excellent at eliminating shine. Unusually, you’re supposed to use it either on bare skin or after moisturiser and before foundation. Takes some getting used to, but it works.

The smaller palette is a pale fleshy colour which you use to add subtle radiance to the skin – after foundation. It’s also effective on cheek and brow bones.

{Blotting Powder Perfector} by {BECCA}

Round silver and brown compact with mirror and puff. It’s good-looking and quite weighty. Small grouch: unless you have the eyes of an eagle, the minimalist design makes it quite hard to work out which end the damn thing opens. (Or is it just me?)

But I mustn’t be rude: this is the pale flesh-coloured powder that lives in my handbag and always delivers. Micro-fine, all but invisible, and terrific for a soft-focus finish. You can even use it to set your lipstick. 

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