The Loose Powder Showdown: Which one is best for oily skin?

Living in a humid country and trying to survive a good makeup day can be quite difficult. It’s even more of a struggle if you have extremely oily skin and have to retouch every hour just to keep your foundation from sliding off! Thank God for our fairy drag queen mothers who invented the baking technique of using loose powder to set foundation and concealer and keep it from creasing. It might seem like too much for everyday makeup but for my fellow oily skinned ladies out there, it's a great way to add a shine-free hour or two before you need to fight the oil slick again. Now, which powder delivers the best result for staying matte? 

We put three powders that have been making a buzz in the beauty community to the test. The Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (P1,850), Nichido Final Powder (P130), and Coty Airspun Loose Powder (P650 at BeautyMNL) have all become familiar products to shine-prone makeup fans. To test them, I wore each powder for a full day following the exact same makeup routine. With no primer, highlighter, or oil-control setting spray, find out which one will hold my oily grease longest!  

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (P1,850 at Rustans)  

The powder is translucent but with a tinge of yellow that keeps the finish more skin-like compared to a white powder that can cause a white cast. It has a smooth and silky finish that many makeup artists swear by.

When freshly applied, this feels very light on the face and sits beautifully on the skin. After 4 hours, I started to oil up on the my T-zone (as expected) but my foundation still looked intact. Clocking in at the eighth hour mark, my whole face had gotten extremely oily. Despite being a bit denser than your average setting powder, this does not provide oil control by any means. If you don’t expect to wear makeup for 8 straight hours without touchups, this is a good option as it looks spectacular though it doesn't last for very long.

Nichido Final Powder (P150 at Watsons)  

This local contender from homegrown brand Nichido is considered a dupe for the LM Setting Powder because it has a similar texture and consistency. I’m using the shade Creamy Glow. Just like the LM, this one is silky, light, and does not give any coverage.

When freshly applied, the powder has a very similar finish and feel to LM but looks more powdery. By the fourth hour, my T-zone has started to produce oil but is not as noticeable as LM on my second check-in. The oiliness is manageable and can actually pass for a dewy glow. After 8 hours, my T-zone looks really oily, especially on my forehead and cheeks, but not as shiny as LM on my final mark. I did notice that the powder settled into my pores but it’s not too noticeable. It did fairly well given its performance for 9 hours. Not bad, Nichido, not bad.

Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder (P650 at BeautyMNL and online sellers)  

This powder has been in the market since 1935! Created by perfumer Francois Coty, it’s not surprising that this powder exudes a strong vintage perfume-y scent. Not to worry though, because the scent fades after application. At 2.3 oz this has more product than LM (1 oz) and Nichido (0.88 oz), but it’s not available locally so you’ll have to get it from an online seller (I got mine from @beautyhub_ph). There are 8 variants and I chose the Translucent Extra Coverage, since it gives a tinge of coverage. It is still finely milled but not as silky as the other two powders.

The Coty powder gives off a more flat, powdery look and the texture is somewhat similar to baby powder. It feels a bit heavier on the skin and is very matte. On my second check-in, the powder kind of melted into my skin and gave a slightly dewy finish. By the eighth hour, my T-zone was starting to look oily but my face looked more dewy than shiny. It also did not sink into my pores unlike the Nichido powder. I think we have a winner!

Final Verdict: By all means, the winner is Coty Airspun Powder. I didn't use it for baking per se but even by just buffing the powder all over my face, I didn’t really need to retouch throughout the day. If you are bothered by scents, however, this might not be a good fit for you. You might opt for Nichido’s formula, which comes in second place. If you have normal to dry skin but would still prefer a demi-matte finish, then pick the Laura Mercier.  

So my beauty junkies, what do you think of my verdict? Have you tried any of these powders? Which one do you love most?