Road Test: Translucent Powder Alternatives


Ever feel like your makeup doesn't want to stay put? You can apply it perfectly in the morning and it looks great, but then—bam—two hours later it looks as if you never put anything on. This happens to me every single time I wear makeup. After an hour I'm already shiny, and after two I need to reapply most of my face! So I decided to try some face perfecters. A face perfecter isn’t like a primer. Instead of applying it before your makeup to prep your skin, you apply it after you've done your face, like you would a translucent setting powder. Using silicone as the base instead of talc, this gives your makeup a protective layer to stop your face from getting shiny, and makeup from sliding off.

Contestant #1
Contestant #2

I started with the Dior Natural Matte Skin Perfecter (why not start with the fanciest?) and felt a little strange applying it over my makeup. The product has a gel-like consistency rather than a cream, and you use a sponge to apply it. Although it appears white in the case, it goes on clear and was easy enough to blend into my skin (and my husband’s, which is much darker than mine). It goes on like a balm and dries like a powder, and contains silicone to leave skin matte. The initial feeling is that you will smudge everything everywhere, but that didn't happen. At first the product felt a little heavy, and it took about an hour for it to completely settle into my skin. My face did feel as smooth as velvet when I touched it, and I didn't see any shine or notice my makeup move for a good four hours (which was a huge breakthrough due to my shine issues!). The biggest test, however, was whether it would hold up under my bangs. This area gets shinier and oilier than all others, and I normally can't get it to stay oil-free for more than a few hours. Dior held up for a good four hours or so, and then I seemed to get a little shine. The rest of my face stayed oil-free and looked morning fresh all day long!

Next up was Mally. At a lower price point, this doesn't have the same pretty packaging as the Dior, but there seemed to be more product to go around so it's a better value. I applied the clear balm with the suggested sponge (which is huge) but found that a little too much of my makeup came off my face. The balm melted instantly into my skin, which was reassuring, and didn't feel heavy. The soft texture made it easy to apply, but didn't seem to prevent shine. I noticed an oily sheen after a few hours of applying the product, and my makeup seemed to disappear from my face after the usual two hours. Fail!

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