I’ve always had a tumultuous relationship with finishing powders. Finishing powder has, on occasion, single-handedly rescued me from intense, and intensely unwanted, forehead shine and has ensured my under-eye concealer stays in place for hours and hours. On other occasions though, finishing powder — like the one from NYX — has made me look super-cakey and matte and, even worse, caused major flashback in photos. In other words, I’ve long been on the hunt for a setting powder that isn’t too drying on my temperamental skin, and that leaves me with a nice, not overly matte, velvet finish. Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Finish comes close — it takes away pesky shine, and smoothes out my pores, well, flawlessly — but none of their shades are exactly the right color for my complexion.
I was recently watching an Instagram beauty tutorial with makeup artist Nam Vo (known for making her clients look like, as she puts it, dewy dumplings) when she mentioned in the tutorial that Hourglass’s Ambient Light Finishing Powder is her key to mattifying her oily skin without losing any of her natural radiance. To demonstrate, she took a big, fluffy brush and dusted the powder all over her skin — suddenly her complexion lit up like a lightbulb. I was floored. And I ordered it immediately.
When it arrived, I did my makeup, and, once finished, lightly swept the product across my whole face with Fenty’s setting brush. I focused on areas where my makeup tends to move around during the day — my under eyes, for instance, and my chin. I couldn’t believe what I saw — not only did the powder give off the most beautiful pearlescent sheen, but it also blurred my pores and left me looking like a baby cherub. I’ve since found that this product is especially incredible to use on nights out, because it makes my skin glow like crazy, and makes sure my makeup stays set, even if I’m dancing a lot and it’s 200 degrees.
There are six shades, but I personally use “Diffused Light” for a warm, pale-yellow sheen. Glow lovers and finishing-powder lovers alike: This product is major.
More of Rio’s favorite powders
Rio’s also a fan of this cruelty-free setting powder from Ohii: “It’s perfectly mattifying and velvety without making skin look cakey at all. I just wrote about a bunch of the Ohii products, so if you’re interested in learning more about it, check it out here. Whether I’m wearing just a little concealer or going in with the full Flesh foundation, I use this product to make sure it stays in place all day.”
This one’s for when Rio wants more of a bronzed look: “There’s a fine line between sun-kissed and orange, and there is no lighting worse for a fake bronze than the fluorescent glow of an office. But this powder never ever makes me look over the top, cakey, or like an Oompa Loompa. It’s super-light yet buildable, meaning you can give yourself the most subtle bronze or a more sculpted look.”
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