Super Face: The Secret Power of Natural Pressed Powder

marie-antoinetteFirst, a disclaimer: I’ve spent years discouraging women from using powder on their faces, and I’ve taken a good bit of flack about it from those women who feel incomplete without it.

My point? It is no longer the 18th century, Ladies. We don’t need to be surrounded by a dust cloud of powder to absorb our bodily and facial oils– we bathe! (The aristocrats who inspired over-powdering were the same folks who covered themselves in stick-on moles to cover up pock marks acquired from sexually transmitted diseases…and I seriously doubt stick on moles are coming back any time soon)

Furthermore, while a powdered face may indeed add a polished finish when you’re wearing a ballgown, it does NOT belong on your face when you’re wearing yoga pants, a jogging suit, or jeans and sneakers. It is unacceptable to powder our three dimensional faces into a two dimensional plane. It looks dry, fake, and completely cartoonish. While you’re at it, why don’t you shave off your eyebrows and paint them back on?

Let your skin breathe. Let your face glow.

–That said, I am going to recommend three brands of natural and healthy pressed powder. Why? Because there are some worthy new and natural brands out there, and because a good powder can make you look ethereal, softening your features by refracting a hazy angelic light.  And there’s nothin’ wrong with looking angelic.

One of the main reasons I’ve steered my clients from powder is because so many popular formulas are chock full of gross stuff that ends up settling in fine lines and wrinkles, not to mention clogging pores with extended use. If you’re going to wear powder, it should actually improve your skin.

My meters for great face powder include: Flexibility, Finish, and Fine Line-Proofness.

1. For Flexibility, you want a pressed powder.
Lots of mineral makeup lines have clean loose powders: Loose powder is a one time sort of thing, used to “set” your makeup. Women who use powder throughout the day (because they’re frequently oily, or because they’re intent on maintaining a polished look) need to be able to carry in their purses.

2. For Finish, you want powder that rests lightly upon the skin. You don’t want the powder to be so fine that it enters the skin. Look for non “nano-particle” lines. Nano particles are often present in makeup lines that require you to buff powder into your skin, rather than letting it rest above the skin, using dimethicone (a natural silicone). Steer clear of bismuth oxychloride, while you’re at it. This popular mineral makeup ingredient is an irritant for many women’s skin, causing itchiness and, in some cases, cystic acne.

3. For Fine-Line Proofness, you want a silky powder. You don’t want your face to look ashy, sparkly, chalky, or dry. When you find a great pressed powder, you should be able to roll the puff lightly across your t-zone to take off shine, or sweep it across your entire face for a smooth finish. Look at your skin 30 minutes after you apply powder. Are your wrinkles more or less noticeable? Does your skin appear softer or does it look dry, caked, or flaky? Touch your face. Does it feel smooth and silky?

Here’s my new favorite pressed powder, by the company that makes my favorite clean liquid eyeliner.
ZUZU LUXE Dual Pressed Powder & Foundation (talk about flexible!) comes in 9 shades, for every skin tone!


Use as a pressed powder for touch-ups, or as a foundation with a matte finish. Available in 9 shades for any complexion (see color chart, and and refer to brief descriptions below). 10g compact is $21.95 each.

Ingredients: Mica, Zinc Stearate, Octyl Palmitate, Squalane (vegetable derived), Lecithin, Dimethicone, Silica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Grapeseed Extract

Here are two other great powder choices:

100-percent-powder100 Percent Pure Peach Pigmented Healthy Glow Pressed Powder:

100% natural pressed powder made with rice powder, fruit pigments and light reflective pearl powder to make skin appear luminous. SPF 20 protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays while antioxidants protect against environmental damage. Does not contain preservatives, artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals or any other toxins. Truly, 100% Pure.

color: White Peach- fair skin tones
Peach Bisque – medium skin tones
Golden Peach – golden, deeper skin tones

Ingredients: Rice Powder, All of the following fruit pigments : White Peach, Golden Peach, Apricot and Papaya, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Lavender Flower Powder, Eucalyptus Leaf Powder, Silk Powder, Fresh Oyster Pearl Powder, Vitamin A (a-palmitate), Vitamin C(ascorbic acid), Pomegranate Seed Oil, Avocado Butter, Rose Powder, White Tea Powder, Grape Seed Powder, Silica (Natural Mineral)
SUNSCREEN ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: 12% Titanium Dioxide and 6% Zinc Oxide

larenim-powderLarenim Mineral Airbrush Pressed Powder:

Comes in many shades. The great thing about Larenim’s product, as well as Zuzu’s is that they can be used as foundations as well as powders! This company uses no bismuth oxychloride, nanoparticles, or any chemical fillers or preservatives.


6 thoughts on “Super Face: The Secret Power of Natural Pressed Powder

  1. I completely LOVE the Larenim mineral airbrush pressed powder! It is the holy grail of mineral powders in my quite opinionated opinion.

    It goes on light, smooth and lasts all day without caking or looking fake. Larenim also makes a fab kabuki brush that works beautifully for application. I like the brush better than the puff it comes with.

    Their blushes are also phenomenal.

    • Hi Cathy,
      You may find you’ll have to buy these products online if you can’t find them locally. Larenim, 100% Pure, and ZuZu are all available through their own companies’ websites, and you may find them in other online shops, as well., for example, oftens carries the 100% Pure line, and they also offer specials. Good luck!

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