It’s easy to think of powder foundations giving thick, chalky skin. Not to mention the idea of powder filling and clogging your pores. (You know liquid and cream foundations can do that too, right? There’s no running away from it in Singapore’s humidity.)

But distance yourself from that image for a bit. We’re no longer in the time of flat, matte complexions; the new matte look features skin that glows from within, with no oily shine – great for girls who aren’t feeling the whole dewy skin finish.

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The best way to achieve it? These new generation of radiant powder foundations that look like second skin. And they’re far more portable than their liquid counterparts, too.

#1 Cle de Peau Radiant Powder Foundation
Foundation Refill: $130; Case: $45; Brush: $35; Sponge $10
12 shades

CLAIMS: Powder particles are sized and shape for optimum light diffusion, giving the skin a “chiffon-like” translucency and refined finish. It also claims to improve skin texture over time.

REVIEW: If you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin, this is the best option for you. I dabbed the powder onto my face with the puff, and had no issues of powder caking up if I swipe the sponge over my skin. It’s delightful to use as the powder goes on smoothly, almost like a cream, instantly blurring pores. The powder layers easily as well. I really enjoyed the natural radiance this powder gave, but it might fade away after lunch if you’ve got combination skin that leans more oily.

#2 Make Up For Ever White Definition SPF30 PA++ Brightening Powder Foundation
Refill: $65; Case: $20; 4 Shades

CLAIMS: Gives a brightening, matte finish through the neutralisation of “yellowness” and “pinkness” in the skin. It is also said to resist humidity and perspiration.

REVIEW: For the best brightening effect, get this powder. But hold back on the layering, keep it to two at maximum. You don’t need much for a medium coverage finish anyway. Just dab on the skin with the sponge provided. (Clearly, the sponge is my favourite way of applying these powder foundations.) It did crease at the sides of my nose closer to the evening, but all I had to do was to smooth it out with a finger. There was no need to touch up throughout the day. Ladies with normal and combination skin will love this one.

#3 Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation
$53, 14 Shades

CLAIMS: Weightless, buildable coverage that blurs fine lines and wrinkles with a demi-matte finish that lasts for eight hours.

REVIEW: True to the entire Naked Skin range – the concealer is amazing, by the way – this powder offers a second skin finish fit for Ultra HD cameras. While it leaned more matte, it lasted throughout the day – 10 hours for me – without moving or caking up at the oilier parts of my face. I’m absolutely impressed by how well this powder layers, especially when I used it to set a cream concealer under my eyes – it did not crease. (Yes I’m lazy to use a loose powder, but hey, this works.) This powder is fit for all skin types, though those with drier complexions will want to focus on priming the skin with a good moisturiser first.

#4 Astalift Lighting Perfection Powder Foundation (SPF20 PA++)
Foundation: $59, Case: $18
6 Shades

CLAIMS: Effectively diffuses light to cover redness and skin imperfections for a radiant and flawless finish. It also absorbs excess sebum and prevents makeup from fading or turning dull during the day.

REVIEW: This is another powder foundation that oily skin types will love, especially if you tend to flush easily. The light reflecting particles do really help to diffuse the redness in your skin. (Yes, makeup artist Larry Yeo actually managed to hide a red hot sunburn with this. Pores look less obvious, and you only need one layer for medium coverage. On my skin, the soft matte radiance lasted even after 10 hours. Those with dry and dehydrated skin can still use the powder, just remember to prime the skin, as with the one above.

My skin did not have a reaction to any of these powders, and they can be easily removed with an oil cleanser.

Photography: Vernon Wong; Art direction: Eugene Quek and Sabrina Tiong; Hair and makeup: Rina Sim using Dior (9762 6084); Model: Sherena Ng / Basic Models