5 Illuminating Powders

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powders OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I like my skin to look and feel relatively matte, but I don’t like to take all of the life out of it! Illuminating powders are a great way to set your makeup to make it last longer, but also give it some extra special qualities. My skin doesn’t naturally get too oily, but it can look dull so I always like to add a bit of magic dust (?) to my skin. Here are some of my favourites…

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders
The Queen of illuminating powders? I think so. Hourglass describes these as soft focus powders which diffuse and soften the way light reflects on the skin. After trying quite a few of these I have to admit that the original one I bought (Diffused Light) is still my favourite. I love the pale yellow tint which helps combat redness and I think it looks spectacular as a setting powder underneath the eyes. I also think the Ambient Lighting Palette is a great one to go for if you’d like to have a variety of shades at your fingertips.

NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder
NARS have also mastered the art of the illuminating powder and luckily for my fair skin it is completely translucent. I don’t think it’s as reflecting as the ambient lighting powders, but if you’re looking for a matte finish with some slight illumination this is the one for you.

Antipodes Translucent Skin Brightening Finishing Powder
Antipodes have great mineral makeup (review here), but for the purposes of this post I’m focussing solely on the finishing powder. Combined with mineral makeup this is fantastic and gives a glorious your-skin-but-better appearance, but you can use this with any foundation your heart desires. It’s one of these products that seems like it’s not doing anything and then out of nowhere your skin is looking gooood.

Chanel Natural Finish Loose Setting Powder
Why not throw a bit of Chanel into the mix? This is the one if you’re a loose powder lover and want to get a bit fancy. It’s the perfect middle ground between mattifying and illuminating, but let’s be honest…I use this to feel like Victoria Beckham.

I’d love to know what you think of these powders! Let me know what your favourite illuminating powder is.

Like it? Share it!

  • Natalie B

    These all look stunning! Consider them all added to my wish list! :) xx


  • http://www.balmainbeauty.com Karen

    I haven’t splurged on Hourglass but it’s gonna happen any day, it’s getting hard to resist.

  • Emily Knott

    I have diffused light and love it!


  • http://ujjainilahiry.blogspot.com/ Ujjaini

    Thats a great list. But how different are shimmering powders from illuminating powders? Could you do a video for the right application of an illuminating powder? My skin tends to get oily, is it a product that I should use?


  • http://cardiffbeautyblogger.wordpress.com Dina

    Great post! I haven’t tried illuminating powders yet, but maybe I should as my Rimmel Stay Matte is a little too matte for me at times which makes everything look a bit heavy…

  • http://www.mademoisellenature.blogspot.com Mademoiselle nature

    Would really love to try Antipodes…as I am really intrigued by their make-up range!x

  • http://ineedanothercloset.blogspot.ca Jessica Chauhan

    “I use this to feel like Victoria Beckham” You make me a proud Canadian! I like the idea of illumining my skin but have never really tried to. I’ve heard a lot of rave on the Hourglass ones, so I think I’ll give them a go!


  • M Kel

    I keep looking at Diffused Light, but my skin gets majorly oily through the day. I keep wondering if the redness correcting tint is worth the risk of looking like a disco ball.


  • Hannah

    Do you know of any good drugstore illuminating powders (that are available in the US)? :) I’d like to try one sometime!


  • http://thecasualwanderer.blogspot.com/ Jennica @ The Casual Wanderer

    Are any of these hypoallergenic? I have super sensitive skin and I quickly dry up when I use strong makeup. :(

    xx, Jen

  • chntl

    I also love my skin to look and feel matte but as you said it can get a little dull so these powders are great for illuminating the skin! I currently use one of the Balm ones but have yet to try out the Hourglass ones (that pricetag though!) but they sound fantastic, as does the NARS one!

    Chantalle x

  • Helena Popova

    I am using Guerlain Meteorites Powder, but cannot recommend it. The smell is too strong, and I cannot see too much difference on my skin. But it does have a lot of fans, and I was dreaming about it for a while. From the list I would choose to try Nars setting powder, sounds pretty good.

  • http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com/ Jennifer Monforton

    Nice roundup! I love the Ambient Lighting Powders (must try Diffused Light next!) and the Antipodes powder sounds great :)

  • Steph

    I have the Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light as well and I like it, but sometimes I don’t know if I feel like I can see it doing much. Maybe it’s just subtle that way…

  • Grace O’Malley

    Estee I recently bought diffused light, LOVE it, and am thinking of trying the trio palette you have above but wondering if I am happy with diffused light, is there any point..? What would you use them for, different areas of yo face?! xo

  • http://soulalien.blogspot.com/ Brittany Williams Martin

    The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are a definite must on my wishlist now!


  • http://sisterblend.blogspot.com Lina Khalifa

    I love the packaging on the Hourglass Powders!

    L&L from sisterblend

  • http://www.laurelloves.com/ Laurel Loves

    The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette looks sooo nice, I want!


  • http://emilylikesmakeup.blogspot.co.uk emilylikesmakeup

    I’ve been lusting over the Hourlglass Ambient Lighting Powders for some time now, they look gorgeous!

    Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


  • http://my--socalledlife.blogspot.com.es/ Kate Wilson
  • http://www.TheBlushingGiraffe.com/ Iqra

    Great post Essie! I’ve never ventured into the highend illuminating powders, but I shall be bookmarking this post for when I need to treat myself :P

    Iqra |The Blushing Giraffe x

  • http://distritobelleza.com Cindy Virgen

    I really want to try de Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders!! I think that palette would be my next purchase

    Distrito Belleza

  • ChristineIversen

    I really want to try out the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, they sound amazing :-)


  • http://www.blueberrysegments.blogspot.com/ Mary Jo

    arggg! They all look amazing, haven’t tried any illuminating powders yet, and they all look so high end! It would be a shame spending so much money in something that I could not like later :S

    Do you have any other more “low key” illuminating powder you recommend?


    My latest video! http://youtu.be/9FTolmJU2ek

  • unefilleablush

    Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders seem to be amazing. Unfortunatly in France we can’t find it. So maybe one day i’ll find it in the US, during holidays maybe.
    Have a nice day!

    Virginie unefilleablush.blogspot.com

  • Maggie
  • Kerm

    Fantastic post, wonderful pictures x


  • http://catpacking.blogspot.com Pauline

    Great post and I love the NARS Translucent Powder! Now I want to try the Chanel and Hourglass powders soon!


  • http://dropofinkk.blogspot.com/ liva

    that hour glass looks so good


  • http://www.designisyay.com Wita | Designisyay.com

    LOVE chanel loose powder. It’s making my makeup more flawless. Nice blog you have :) I like the design a lot!

  • http://ranosalman.blogspot.com rano

    I just purchase my hourglass palette 2 months ago and I’m totally loving it


  • http://ladyaahbeauty.com Ladyaah Beauty

    Hi Estee,

    It’s a great idea to talk about illuminating powder because at the moment it’s an obsession for me !

    I have try the Nars one and I think the result is too matte.

    The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders look like a good one, everybody on blog or on Youtube talks about this so now I want try it :)

    Xo, Elodie

  • francescazee

    I love illuminating powders so much! Too Faced has one that is fantastic!


  • Rachel Holdredge

    Have you tried the lavender brightening powder from Besame Cosmetics? I’m obsessed. I have very fair skin and it actually brightens and gives life without making me look like a ghost. They also have a vanilla brightening powder which I have not tried as I read it suits yellow tones a little nicer.