Most foundations and BB creams give you a glow, but the secret is in choosing the right face powder and applying it on top of the base makeup correctly.

If you have oily or combination skin, face powders can mattify the greasy areas, as well as add a luminescence to the entire face. If you have dry skin, you can skip powders altogether.

First up, the right way to apply loose powders is to use a big fluffy face brush or a dense but flexible kabuki brush. Make Up For Ever, Shu Uemura and Sephora make some of the best.

Online, Japanese brand Hakuhodo makes excellent make-up tools and will ship to Singapore.

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Always pick up just a tiny bit of powder and tap the excess off the brush before dusting it on your skin. Add more only when necessary or you’ll risk looking like a ghostly geisha.

For formulas that do a great matte job, try Cyber Colors HD Aura Skin Finish Powder ($36.90); Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder, ($47); or Dewy Skin Mineral Air Fix Loose Powder SPF 27 PA++ ($28.90, from selected Watsons stores).

These are best for erasing shine, especially on the T-zone. If you have combination skin, do not apply matte powder on the parts of the face that are relatively dry, so they remain dewy.

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If you want something that will also add a subtle shimmer on the skin, go for the Dior Capture Totale Radiance Restoring Loose Powder ($78); RMK Translucent Face Powder ($72); or AQ MW Face Powder ($72).

Apply a light dusting all over the face and decolletage. These are suitable for all skin types.

For formulas that add a matte glow while correcting skintone, go for Guerlain’s iconic Meteorites, essentially a canister of different-coloured powder balls. This season, it is offering the Blanc De Perle version ($83) with pastel-coloured powder balls for a brighter complexion.

Cle de Peau Beaute’s three-toned Luminizing Face Enhancers ($140), which can also double as highlighters, are also good options.

These two formulas are suitable for all skin types.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on January 10, 2014. For similar stories, go to You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.