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The 411 on Brightening Powders: How they can give your skin an all-day glow

Use brightening powders to give your skin a luminous look.

The quest for luminous skin is a shared beauty aspiration. This beauty bag essential is quickly gaining popularity – brightening powders.

Studio 5 Style & Beauty Contributor Megan Moore shares how these powders can elevate your makeup game.

Find more beauty advice from Megan on Instagram, @beautysnoop, or at


How to Use Brightening Powders in Your Daily Makeup Routine

Brightening vs. Setting Powders

Setting powders, as the name implies, are primarily designed to mattify the skin and keep your makeup in place. They are often translucent, and their goal is to reduce shine and create a matte finish.

Brightening powders have a unique mission. They work to illuminate the skin, giving you a luminous and radiant look. These powders contain light-reflecting properties, often with a touch of mica or shimmer, that enhance your complexion’s glow.

If you’re wondering if you have a brightening powder hiding in your makeup bag, Megan recommends checking the product’s label. Brightening powders are usually labeled as such and often contain terms like “brightening.” If it does have that luminous quality, then you’re on the right track to glowing skin.

The Role of Color Theory

Understanding your skin tone and the role of color theory can make a significant difference in selecting the right brightening powder. Megan suggests using color theory to pick the most suitable shade for your skin.

  • For medium to tan skin tones: Opt for banana yellow powders. These shades can brighten and enhance the complexion, making them an excellent choice for those with a tan.
  • For light skin tones: Peach-toned powders work wonders. They bring out a beautiful glow and are particularly well-suited for fair complexions.
  • For darker skin tones: Look for caramel or cinnamon-toned brightening powders. These shades add a luminous touch that complements darker skin beautifully.

Top Brightening Powders to Try

Megan has some budget-friendly and premium recommendations:

  1. Budget-Friendly Option: For an affordable pick, head to Target for banana-colored brightening powders, perfect for medium to tan skin tones.
  2. Mid-Range Favorite: Megan’s top choice is Huda Beauty, available at Sephora. These powders come in various shades, including peach tones for light skin and rich caramel tones for darker complexions.
  3. Luxury Selection: For a luxury experience, try Givenchy’s brightening powders, also available at Sephora. These powders feature a unique four-color blend, creating a stunning and blurring effect on the skin.

Application Tips

Megan suggests using a powder puff for application, and it’s essential to tap excess powder off the puff to ensure even distribution.

For the best results, you can place brightening powders in areas where you want to add light and radiance. Common application areas include underneath the eyes, the forehead, and anywhere you wish to brighten your complexion. Megan also mentions that you can use these powders all over your face for an all-day radiant glow.

A little goes a long way, and you can build up the effect as desired. Some makeup enthusiasts prefer “baking” brightening powders by letting them set for a few minutes before blending for an extra brightening effect.

Soft Focus Effect

What sets brightening powders apart is their unique ability to create a soft focus effect. Not only do they brighten your skin, but they also soften fine lines and texture, giving your complexion a youthful and flawless appearance. The reflective properties of these powders can trick the eye into perceiving smoother skin.

Brightening powders are not just another makeup trend; they are a powerful tool to enhance your natural beauty. With the right shade and application technique, you can unlock a radiant and luminous complexion.

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