Wait, It’s All About: Matte Skin (?!)


Well, there’s some good news, and some bad news. The bad news? It would seem that we’ve all been overdoing it with the whole dewy thing. Or anyways, it’s over. Over! Quit it (for now). Step away from the liquids promising to make you gleam or "glow." According to Emily, who, post-whirlwind Fashion Month, would know, the big takeaway from all fall shows was matte skin. Isabel Marant, Balmain, Viktor and Rolf, Hakaan, Dior, Rochas, Tom Pecheux's "satin-finished skin" at Derek Lam...need we go on? So that, dear reader, is the deal. Even Pat McGrath seemingly abandoned her signature Madina Shiny Stick trick, and her infamous highlight-driven skin was nowhere to be found. "We want the girls to look fresh but finished, and divine," Pat said backstage at Viktor & Rolf, later adding that "it's just about perfected skin" at Dior. (Sorry, Harry Brant, and Jen Brill, who once told us her "greatest fear is to look matte.")

The good news? It's not about big, retro, chalk-covered powder-puffs flying all over your face forever. “A glossy, dewy complexion seems outmoded now,” Peter Philips told The Gentlewoman, nodding towards spring's minimalist, modern feel. “Imagine if face powder was the only thing you used.” And, you know, he has a point. With a pared-down face, lightly topped with a unifying powder (in the right shade), that lustrous balm-rubbed lip or gently defined eye suddenly gains a totally dramatic emphasis, versus when skin is cloaked and coated in a liquid or cream-based foundation. There’s something elegant, refined, and clean about it. No more sweaty sheen, no more blending or blotting, just a quick swoosh of powder and—complexion perfection. Or something pretty close. "As far as pictures are concerned," makeup artist Mai Quynh, who regularly paints Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain, told us, "matte is so much better. With a dewy look, you can't really control it when it's not in the controlled environment of a photo shoot. You can end up looking super shiny. A matte finish is touchable, and it feels modern...and like a good seasonal change." It's breathable, and the best yet? You can get face powders with SPF. Three cheers for the next generation of your grandmother's compact! The big question is whether or not you'll be reaching for them. Brill just phoned to say that she, for one, is "still dewy."

Powders we love:

BareMinerals Mineral Veil

Lancôme Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup

MAC Mineralize SkinFinish

Estée Lauder Lucidity Loose Powder

Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre Natural Finish Loose Powder

Anna Selezneva photographed by Emily Weiss backstage at Balmain FW 2013 in Paris on February 28, 2013.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/ Nomadic D.

    Huh. I like the idea of a lighter more natural matte, sounds a little contradictory but I think that's basically what we're talking about here. It does sound soehow refreshing now after so much dew and glow. I doubt I'll give up my Armani Light Master Primer, but maybe some of the other 'glow' products get retired and powder takes a more central role. I love the Lorac wet/dry powder foundation, but now I'm curious about the others you've listed here as well. Definitely something to look into...


  • taf

    I love MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in Natural. As an oily girl, dewy very easily crosses the line into greasy, but the MSFN evens things out but you don't look like you're wearing MAKEUP makeup, if that makes any sense?

    • Nina

      ok, gotta try this. thanks for the tip!

      • Lana Nasser

        Totally agree.. I have oily skin and with the whole dewy complexion thing will A) not last long throughout the day and B) Can easily cross the line to greasy. A nice natural matte can easily be fixed and maintained whether its a night/day out, or a full day at work!

        • thebloginista

          Agree with all of the above! MAC MSFN is one of my favorite. I also love Makeup For Ever's HD setting powder, although it's translucent so it doesn't provide any coverage. It does look awesome over liquid foundation, though (and totally mattifies it!)

  • amelia

    i think whatever suits each respective person - dewy or matte - is what she should go for. i always find makeup 'trends' a bit ridiculous, because in reality, people just stick to what suits them, no?

    • thesixthbeatle

      Agree 100%

    • Yhey

      Absolutely agree.. I go with what I feel like wearing. Trends can't really dictate how you want to wear makeup...

  • Em

    Bobbi brown mineral powder is amazing as well.

  • sashi

    of course now matte makes a comeback,it would be too easy, with summer coming up, to say "mmm, sweaty? no, I am dewy." SIGH. my secret tip here is to use milk of magnesia on the Tzone. Yes, really, brush on a very thin layer, it works better than any mattifying lotions.

    • fairytalesandcoffee

      how exactly do you brush it on and with what! Ive got an oil slick for a face!

      • Phylte

        I suggest a full brush to pick up a small amount of LOOSE powder if you're at home. Dust over face but by all means avoid area around eyes since powder settling into little lines is frightening. Use another big fluffy brush to REMOVE excess powder (remember to work it around jaw line down to neck). The biggest mistake I see is cakey residue so make sure you use a fine milled powder or solid that has a soft finish. Bare Minerals and Chanel are great and for no color I like Make Up Forever colorless HD powder...invisible but does the job.

  • http://twitter.com/marthamacht Martha

    I think, I will still stick with the dewy thing for a while. On photo shoots a semi-matte skin may be the way to go, but in real life (is this real life?) I prefer a little dewiness. Well actually, I prefer a lot of dewiness. Love my highlighters! Won't part with them! :)

    • http://twitter.com/Alouette_Jolly Ada

      You and me both!

    • Felicia

      I agree with you. I love the dewy look, it looks healthy, like you've gone for a quick run. Matte on my dark brown skin just comes off very "grandma who doesn't drink her 8 glasses of water a day". I'm not even anyone's mother so looking even older is not the look I want to serve the masses.

  • LoSpaz

    Just thinking about this reminds me of a photo taken of me the day before high school graduation c. 1994, with my face reflecting bright white in the flash because I was wearing so much face powder. I think I'm going to continue rocking the dew.

  • http://twitter.com/Alouette_Jolly Ada

    I can't be bothered with makeup trends as they change to often for my liking. And I'm already too entrenched when it comes to what I like, and what I think suites me: mascara, fresh/dewy skin, blusher, and lipstick. End of - unless I'm going out, in which case I might slap on some eyes.

  • CFH

    Does anyone use/like/hate the Shiseido Translucent Powder? I've been thinking about getting that for just this effect.

  • http://www.farandwildjewelry.blogspot.com/ abigail lind

    i'm dewy and then some for life! i slather myself in coconut oil twice a day and i'm never stopping.


  • mandie

    matte for life!

  • B.

    That shoot is quite gorgeous but this whole matte skin trend is just so..editorial. I think that unless you have the most amazing, photoshop-like skin, and a very, very good powder + powder brush, you can't go out with a 100% matte skin. I mean, when you're walking down the street you're not being photographed by mario testino nor you have shoot appropriate lights on your face. I think It'd look kinda grey, and washed out. I mean, the whole dewy-glowy-juicy-luminos skin was a very wearable trend !

    • murt

      Yes I tend to agree with this..... I've seen many people around wearing this trend, and it really seems to emphasize any acne, creasing, lines, etc in their skin - maybe it's heavy foundation that's the culprit and not necessarily the matte finish, but to my eye, the base they are using on their skin looks mask-like.

  • http://twitter.com/Michelle_LLA Michelle

    Finally :) I could never pull of the dewy look as my skin is so super oily, I was more greasy than glowing :)

    • Nina

      me too! i'm all about staying as matte as possible, ha ha. i'm practically addicted to clinique's pressed powder.

      • http://twitter.com/Michelle_LLA Michelle

        Oh I must try that one. Constantly on the search for products to keep shine at bay :)

        • Blabeddybla

          Mac Blot Powder is pretty good :-)

        • Nina

          I've used the Stay-Matte Sheer pressed powder for years, it's really good. Doesn't irritate my hyper sensitive skin and lasts for pretty long with daily use (like 8 months maybe). And the compact is so pretty (and very retro, reminds me of my mom's make up in the early 90's).

  • fairytalesandcoffee

    Funny. I stepped away from dewy-shiny skin and have been loving my face powders swirled over sunscreen for the past few weeks. It's been my made up face for a while now...must have a sixth sense about this :)

  • artemis_2008

    i loved the museum inspired make-up you posted a few months back. those little highlights really worked for me. RE matte v dewy; I used to be in favour of matte until i started getting older. in the last year or so, I switched from a oil free foundation to a bb cream. i'm all for the perfected look but how do you get that look without having perfect skin underneath? Bare Minerals? Do tell.

    • Bird

      Agreed! Those tips were perfect and worked really well for me too. I feel the same way- the matte look doesn't suit me because it shows the flaws in my skin instead of focusing on highlights, etc. How do we achieve the matte look without perfect skin, Team ITG?

  • DrNini

    very matte but with the tiniest glow -- imperceptible so you don't look dead -- and a hint of coverage is the La Prairie loose powder. huge jar which is not only superior but also cheaper than the Chanel/ YSL / Hauschka/ Clinique/ Shiseido/ Dior ones.

  • Alison Bell

    Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder deserves a mention too, it is my go-to powder for a polished-yet-not-too-chalky complexion.

  • Olga-Maria

    i'm 40, with naturally dewy skin, but growing dryness on my cheekbones and some discoloration from sun damage. for the last few weeks, i've been using l'oreal MiracleBlur--it has a 30 SPF (broad spectrum), moisturizes, mattifies (!) and blurs out my itty bitty fine lines and discolorations. it's really all i need. check it out!!! something from the drugstore (fragrance-free) that, i think, addresses all the concerns readers have shared so far. it works for drier and oilier skins and gives a soft matte finish with no powder or color...

  • Bells

    Please please *please* do a top shelf on Olivia Palermo!

    • MARYK

      Are you serious???????

  • Beatriz
  • http://twitter.com/chicpeakandbe Cleo

    Do powders with spf really work? Don't you have to keep reapplying spf. Wouldn't that give you cake face. Plus would you really be able to put on enough to benefit from the spf without looking ridiculous.

  • thebloginista

    I'm oily, so even if I start out with a matte face in the morning, I'm inevitably "glowy" by mid-afternoon. I'm not one to fuss with powder touch-ups throughout the day, but instead I like to just blot away the excess oil. I don't mind a slight "sheen" to my face but there's a difference between that & greasy!

  • Chelsea

    Depends on the person. If you're oily, go for a satin finish instead. Matte makes you look so dry in real life. Matte is good in pictures but In real life, No. If you have dry skin, go for dewy. Lol, and matte is breathable? Those powders freaking clog pores. Still, dewy skin wins. Gives you a more natural finish.

  • Angela Cooper

    oh I don't do matte. I'm shiny, out there, girl. I'm not the one who is a wallflower. I gotta stand out that's my thing. like I don't care for matte at all. I will glitter, shine, gloss anything matte cause I hate it. but then again I was a strange girl.


bareMinerals Mineral Veil
Lancôme Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup
Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder Lucidity Loose Powder