Got #Powdergate Induced Trust Issues? Trust Us, THESE Are the 11 Best Pressed Powders
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Recently, Mikayla Nogueira has found herself in hot water after being accused of misrepresenting the effects of two beauty products.
First, she was accused of adding false lashes over mascara. Then, of layering powder foundation over liquid, in order to make the powder look more full coverage.
If you want every gory detail of Mikayla Nogueira-induced TikTok mayhem, head to The Cut’s comprehensive history, but in the meantime, let’s discuss the latest controversy, #powdergate.
Why Does #Powdergate Even Matter?
Since the YouTube era, influencers have been accused of concealing paid partnerships and exaggerating product results. But as the beauty community has shifted to TikTok, beauty creators have less time than ever to stop a viewer’s scroll, drive engagement, and build an audience. As a result, the controversies are coming in thicker and faster.
Beauty gurus compete against each other, both for our attention and the favour of TikTok’s tricky, ever-evolving algorithm. Ultimately, what gets our attention is extreme looks and weird hacks — not the boring, practical stuff that actually makes our lives easier. It’s this tension between entertainment and information that leads to situations like #powdergate.
Mikayla Nogueira’s pressed powder review is a perfect example of this. While it may not have represented the actual product accurately, or been applied in a way any of us would ever apply foundation, it provided a strong visual that netted a cool 22.6 million views.
Some viral beauty “tips” leave our makeup disintegrating by 11am (check our tried and tested trends, we’re living it so you don’t have to). Some products, good or not, just don’t do what we hope they will. Ultimately, when beauty creators stretch the truth, they’re wasting our time, and our cash.
If you have #powdergate fatigue and just want some great, mattifying powders, we’ve rounded up some genuinely tried and tested pressed powders below.
The Best Pressed Powders (At Every Budget):
Australis, Fresh & Flawless Pressed Powder
With a lightweight texture and buildable coverage, Australis, Fresh & Flawless Pressed Powder ($16) is a fantastic option for oilier skin types. With eucalyptus and clove essential oils, the formula has gently astringent properties and keeps your complexion looking fresh all day.
NYX, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Powder Foundation
For a velvet-matte finish and close to full coverage, reach for NYX, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Powder Foundation, ($28). This formula can be worn on its own, or layered over foundation for a full coverage look.
Kosas, Cloud Set Baked Setting and Smoothing Powder
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Kosas, Cloud Set Baked Setting and Smoothing Powder ($58). A soft-pressed powder with a gauzy finish, Cloud Set is an excellent option for dryer skin types who want to set their makeup while keeping their glow. The formula includes ingredients like bamboo stem extract, passionfruit leaf and Chinese peony, which care for your skin throughout the day while keep things comfortable.
Pat McGrath Labs, Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder
One for the sleepless nights, Pat McGrath Labs, Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder ($52) has a gauzy finish and comes in four colour-correcting tints to lift and refresh tired under eyes.
Lys Beauty, Triple Fix Translucent Pressed Setting Powder
Finely milled, sheer and with a hint of tint, Lys Beauty, Triple Fix Translucent Pressed Setting Powder, ($26) is perfect for blurring pores and imperfections without adding weight to the skin. This powder mattifies while keeping skin comfortable with niacinamide, green tea extract and hyaluronic acid.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24-Hour Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder
We don’t want to put these 24-hour claims to the test, but L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Foundation, ($31) is waterproof, transfer-resistant and full coverage pressed powder. The secret to its staying power lies in ultra-fine adhesive pigments that grip onto your skin for dear life. You’ll be thankful on humid days, in torrential rain, or during a hot, sweaty night at the club.
Maybelline Fit Me, Matte and Poreless Powder
If you’re worried about pores and breakthrough shine, Maybelline, Fit Me Matte & Poreless Powder, ($11) is a budget-friendly option with many loyal fans. Blendable and never cakey, this pressed powder blurs the appearance of texture and adds a coverage boost to any foundation.
Armani, Luminous Silk Glow Fusion Powder
If you’re feeling the urge to splurge, Armani, Luminous Silk Glow Fusion Powder ($130) will make you look and feel as expensive enough to justify its bougie price point. This silky pressed powder is as clever as it is pretty. On contact with the skin, the super finely milled pigments melt, creating a thin film that holds makeup in place while imparting a silky radiance. When you hit pan, which you will, you can simply pick up a refill. We love a circular luxury beauty moment.
Charlotte Tilbury, Airbrush Flawless Pressed Powder
Smoothing and blurring, the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Pressed Powder ($70) is loved for its soft-focus finish. It mattifies while keeping your complexion looking soft, what more could you want?
Fenty Beauty, Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Powder Foundation
If you’re looking for full coverage and a perfect match, you’ll find it with Fenty, Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Powder Foundation ($59). With 50 shades, this formula provides buildable coverage. It can be used to set your foundation, or applied alone with a sponge for a mattifying, full coverage look. In Rihanna, we trust.
MAC, Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
An OG in the pressed powder universe, MAC, Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation ($59) serves full coverage, long wear and a matte finish. Perfect for on-the-go, it’s compact and comes with a mirror and sponge for precision touch-ups.