Loose powder is like the old maid of makeup. First of all, you have to use a brush (or a pouf, which seems a little too Norma Desmond to me). Then you have to dust off your brush by tapping it on your arm, making the powder fly everywhere. THEN you can apply it. If you have white bathroom fixtures, just forget it. In the dewier, glowier, less-is-morier makeupscape of today, it all seems like a little too much. But with that said, when it comes to powder, I have the same problem as an '80s finance guy: I'm addicted to it. It's the only thing that takes the shine off of my lizard skin.
The difficulty is finding a loose powder that takes the sheen off of my face without making me look like I'm covered in three inches of dust. Also, the kind of "hairy face" you get when you apply powder is very much a problem for me. Moonshot's Aqua Finish Radiance Powder is the antidote for all of these things—if it sounds familiar, it's because Emily Weiss mentioned it twice, in her Top Shelf and her #GRWM. The finish just looks like your skin, but matte-r. Instead of the dry, chalky feeling you get from loose powder, Aqua Finisher abides by the name and applies cool, kind of wet. The website describes a "cooling sensation" not dissimilar to cosmetic sorcery. It doesn't offer coverage (despite the tints) but it gives great skin texture; not dewy, but not full-face matte. Just face.
Other brands have ventured into the dry-to-wet finisher space, but to less acclaim: Moonshot is the one to get. The key here is the right brush. Moonshot wants you to use their very special Fine Make Up Brush (marketers, amirite?) as the preferred vehicle for their powder. It's more bristle dense than other powder brushes and handles the formula a little better. Sephora's Multitasker, however, is a great dupe for this—plus the mini is both cheaper than Moonshot's version and available stateside. For the product itself, however, there is no substitute—it's too good. Is this what they mean by "shooting the moon?"
Photographed by Tom Newton.
More things we're wild about: Emily Ferber has the best drugstore foundation compact suggestion next.