Interview any glamorous female celebrity over 40 and she will almost invariably give the same beauty tip – avoid powder in later life. It ages you, she’ll say. Looks dull, settles into wrinkles. I’m 48 and admittedly less glamorous, but I still call hogwash.
For me, powder is an essential, and shine in the wrong place can be particularly ageing. It’s all about proper placement (use a medium brush and stay away from the cheeks – some light here looks healthful) and choosing the right product.
The new generation of moisturising powders makes the second part easy. Brand founder and makeup artist Terry de Gunzberg is impossibly well groomed and approaching her eighth decade, so can be trusted on this. Her new Hyaluronic Hydra Pressed Powder (£42) which has been on my face for the past month, rubbishes accepted wisdom in the sweep of a fluffy brush.
Almost transparent (it looks deceptively white in the compact) and finer than icing sugar, this elegant powder mattifies the nose, chin and forehead, locking down foundation comfortably. It sits obediently in place all day and imparts a smoothness with no hint of dryness or chalk.
If you’d like the same fine, matte finish but with a little coverage to even out tone, allow me to uncover the hidden gem that is Clinique’s Almost Powder Makeup SPF15 (£34). This deserves all the love from those who want to swoosh on their makeup in seconds and feel exactly the right level of “done” for daily life. The inclusion of squalane will see even dry skins through to bedtime without any flaking, caking or discomfort.
Finally, it would be remiss of me to not to mention MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (£32), because although I haven’t brought it up before, I would never want anyone to assume it had fallen from favour. It is still, in my view, the best powder available for those effectively looking for the moon on a stick: a powder that behaves like a powder without looking like one.
The key to its success is natural mica and jojoba oil, and its slow-baked formula. This results in a very thin, non-drying coating on a brush or puff, which gives the lightest possible finish. And there’s no monochrome here: as ever, MAC has an unusually large and inclusive line up of 14 natural-looking shades to suit everyone. The soft, light-reflecting finish is also absolutely spot on – subtly pearlescent but not at all glittery. It is candlelight in a compact.