What is Translucent Powder and Why Do You Need It

All you make up enthusiasts out there, we need to have a talk. We can bet our money on the fact that if you reached into your purse, you are most likely to find a powder compact in there. The powder is a great product as it works as a fixture for anyone obsessed with makeup. However, this product is being subjected to a ton of complications. There are several on the market, from HD powders, tinted powder and to the very popular translucent powder. Hence, what is translucent powder?

What is Translucent Powder?

The most basic definition of translucent powder is that it is a sheer and colorless powder used typically for the face. The reason why people apply foundation powder is to set their makeup, but not to cover or add any kind of color to it. This powder is also very popularly used to control the amount of shine on the face as well as to achieve a matte finish complexion. Translucent powder is applied by using a large-sized powder brush and lightly brushing it all over the face.

Why Do You Need Translucent Powder?

The reasons why you need this powder is endless. As mentioned earlier, translucent powder gives the face a matte finish. While a glowing face is something all makeup enthusiasts long for, looking greasy is something everyone avoids and certain foundations have the ability to make your face look greasy. What makes it worse is if you have oily skin, then it is guaranteed that after some time, your face will get greasier.

Putting translucent powder atop cream-based or liquid-based foundations will help to set it better so that it will not slide down on your face or migrate into any lines. Another upside of this powder is that it is capable of reducing the look of pores and fine lines.

Translucent powder is also an ideal base to which you can apply your bronzer, shimmer, contour or blush. Of course, you can apply these directly on top of your foundation. However, if there is powder in the mix, then the chances of it lasting will go up significantly higher.

Tip: You can use the translucent powder in order to set your cream eyeshadow. You can also use it to turn down the effect of a blush that is way too bright.

Other interesting ways to use translucent powders  

One of the best things about translucent powder is that it is very versatile and can be used in several unexpected ways. Let's talk about a few of them.

  • check
    Preventing runny eyeliner: When you apply your eyeliner on your upper lid, use a thin brush to apply the powder. Do the same for the bottom lash line. This will ensure that the eyeliner stays put all day long.
  • check
    To plump up your eyelashes: Start by applying a coat of mascara and then dust some translucent powder over your lashes with the help of a shadow brush. Finish it off by applying another layer of mascara.
  • check
    Mattifying oily lids: To make your eyes look more awake and your lids less oily, apply a little concealer, set it with the powder, and then if you want, apply eyeshadow.
  • check
    Counteracting sweaty feet and palms: Some people tend to have very sweaty palms and feet. If you are one of those, always reach for your translucent powder. Apply just a little of it when you begin to feel clammy. The powder's properties will get rid of all excess oil and water, which are the components of sweat.

With all the uses and benefits of translucent powder, there is also a problem that occurs when using it. Such is the so-called 'flashback." Hence, we will learn more about it.

What is "Flashback"?

We have all seen celebrities like Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Jon Hamm and even Angelina Jolie with their "white powder makeup mishap". That is because, if not blended correctly, translucent powders have the ability to look like white patches on the skin in photos which are captured on a high flash setting. This is commonly referred to as the dreaded "flashback".

One of the main reasons why this occurs is because many translucent powders contain something called "silica" (not to be confused with silicon or silicone). This is a type of amorphous compound that is processed in order to give a large surface area, which basically means it is like a microscopic sponge that soaks up all the oil while giving the skin a blurry and matte texture.

The flash's harsh white light is notoriously famous for causing white looking patches on any surface that is mildly reflective, example, oily patches on the skin. This applies to makeup without any flashback causing ingredients. Now, silica has several surfaces, and if you have generously applied it to your face or body, these will reflect as soon as the flash hits it, causing a white flashback.

How do you avoid this ?

While the upsides of using translucent powder outweigh the downsides of it, the flashback is something you will have to learn to get around. Here are some tips that will certainly help you.

  • check
    Avoid flash photography: Flash photography is quite unflattering, to begin with. However, there are times you can't help it, so try to avoid direct flash photography.
  • check
    Using the powder sparingly: Translucent powders tend to contain ingredients like silica, zinc oxide, mica shimmer, titanium dioxide and glitter. The most obvious thing you can do is avoiding these altogether. However, another way to get around it is by using it sparingly.
  • check
    Using it under makeup rather than over: Mostly people tend to use the translucent powder over the makeup for that matte effect, but if the aim to use this powder is to soak in all the oil, then you can apply it under liquid makeup rather than over. This will definitely kill the flashback.
  • check
    Testing your makeup: The most foolproof way to know that your makeup does not cause flashback is to try it out yourself with a flash photo. If you are heading to an event where you will be posing for pictures, it is best to use your phone camera or a digital camera with the flash on first to see whether there is a flashback occurring.


We hope that this article was able to answer your question "What is translucent powder?" This is a fantastic product which will help you achieve that glowy yet matte finish. Additionally, this benefits folks with oily skin the most. However, always be careful about the flashback if you are going to events that will have flash photography. Our tips listed to avoid them will certainly be beneficial in cases like those.


Hello Readers !! I am Ava, running the GirlyVirly Blog. My passion for writing got me into Blogging. I started this blog to provide a platform where i could post all things related to women and also share my experiences related to Beauty, Fashion and Women’s Health Care to beyond. Connect with me to know more !!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: