Laura Kennedy: The only powder that lives in my handbag

This product, used by a make-up artist, has converted me

In my 30s I am in precisely the right age bracket to begin resisting new things. Over time you learn what you like and what suits you, and before you know it, you’ve been wearing the same eye make-up or foundation almost every day for a decade. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, of course, but it can take the pleasure out of one’s relationship with beauty. The exciting thing about the industry, apart from the fact that it is fuelled by female consumers, entrepreneurs and experts and generates astronomical revenue and employment on a global scale, is that it is in a constant state of evolution. Technological advances filter through to the products you use every day, making them more effective, more efficient and more varied. There are many reasons to resist a rut.

Rather than dragging it over my chosen dewier foundations, I roll it on to the skin on a clean, fluffy brush. This is essential

Traditionally, I have considered powder to be a product for other people. I’ve tried pretty much every powder on the market over the years, and none have made it into the little pouch of non-negotiable products I haul about with me. If a make-up artist does my make-up, they will always use a touch of powder and it does make a real difference. However, it has never been transformative enough to convert me to bothering with the extra step until recently, when a make-up artist pulled out Vieve Modern Powder Perfector (€38 at Brown Thomas). I was doing a work-related photo shoot (always a horrifying prospect) and was unprepared for the flawless, velvety finish this powder gave my make-up.

It comes in just four shades, which piqued my scepticism at first. People on the margins — the paler among us like me, and those with deeper skin tones, are often excluded by narrow shade ranges which favour some approximation of a non-existent “mean” skin tone. But this powder stretches. Its almost liquid-smooth formulation whispered over my foundation without corrupting the shade or leaving that unnatural-looking, matt deposit of product that looks so dated on the skin. It did not exacerbate or sit in lines, or make my skin look drier, as many powders will.

Rather than dragging it over my chosen dewier foundations, I roll it on to the skin on a clean, fluffy brush. This is essential — a dirty brush clogged with yesterday’s powder will of course increase your chance of breakouts, but it will also fail to deposit the powder lightly and evenly over the skin. I keep it to the areas where I don’t favour shine — around the nose, chin and mouth, and over my forehead. For a full “out-out” make-up, I’ll wear a primer under my foundation and finish with this powder, and generally find my make-up is even, fresh and intact eight or 10 hours later.


This compact lives in my handbag now, and for good reason. It has performed heroically in late summer heat and early winter damp. It kept my make-up flawlessly in place on sweaty buses and through the shock and cold sweat of realisation that first night my husband put the heating on this autumn without telling me. “In this economy?” I bellowed, through a lovely face of make-up, in fairness.

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about beauty