The Perfect Finishing Touch — Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder
Aging is a natural part of life — and a beautiful one at that, much like any other facet of the human experience — but, that said, I will admit that I am shallow enough to never want to look old. My quest for the most effective anti-aging creams, the best wrinkle-smoothing primers, and the powders and foundations that will give me the most luminous and dewy skin borders on obsession — so much so that you’d think I was a descendant of Juan Ponce de León. One thing I’ve learned regarding makeup: the key is to rely on near-weightless formulas, to use the right combination of liquid-based and powder-based products, to strike a balance between matte and shimmering finishes, and to build the desired amount of coverage and then worry about the final finish. I personally tend to start with a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream — I swear by the Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer, the Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer, the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35, and the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. Once I’ve applied one of those, I then start to build the desired coverage using either a liquid or cream-to-powder foundation. Some of my favorites include the Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation, the Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup, the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation, the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation, and the MAC Matchmaster Foundation. Once I’m content with the level of coverage, then I move on to the fun stuff: blush, highlighting powder, bronzers, and so forth. On low maintenance days, I might skip the foundation and just layer a great finishing powder over a tinted moisturizer or BB cream, but the idea is still the same.
Which, of course, brings us to the subject at hand: the right finishing powder. Ideally, the powder should be at least somewhat matte (otherwise your face will be twinkling like a toddler’s light-up Skechers sneakers) and it should be near weightless since you want it to set your makeup, not add layers and layers of gunk to your face. And, of course, you want it to harmonize with your skin tone and to stay in place for as long as possible. For me, the best finishing powders have the perfect concentration of light-diffusing pigments or pearls so as to minimize the appearance of any imperfections (be it blemishes, scars, dull skin, or dark under-eye circles) and create a luminous finish without being too glittery and sparkly.
And that, my friends, is where the Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder ($34 at Sephora.com) comes in. This finishing powder is lovely. Free of parabens, sulfates, and phtalates, the oil-free powder has a smooth texture that actually feels decadent on the skin — it feels like a feather is tickling your complexion, like a fine piece of silk caressing your face. The luxurious, jet-milled formula also feels virtually weightless — so much so that you’ll forget you’re wearing any makeup at all (particularly if you apply it over a tinted moisturizer).
In terms of coverage, it won’t deliver much — but then, that’s not the purpose of this powder, hence the word “finishing” in its name. Its mission is to help you set your makeup, reduce any existing shine (which it does gloriously), and create a slightly dewy finish that makes your skin look flawless. To accomplish this last feat, the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder relies on optical blurring pigments that essentially reflect light so as to minimize the appearance of any imperfections (“blurring” them, if you will) and boost overall radiance, making your skin look like it was airbrushed.
Sure, there are other products on the market that claim to accomplish these very same feats, but very few succeed on all fronts and, even more key, few of them look natural, as if nothing were covering your skin at all. And that, of course, is what you want: the maybe-she’s-born-with-it effect.
Want to get a feel for just how well it blends into the skin? Then check out these swatches of the Naked Light shade:
The Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder is available in five shades: Naked Light (recommended for those whose ideal Naked Skin Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup shade falls within the 0.5–3.0 range); Naked Medium Light (recommended for shades 2.0–4.0); Naked Medium (for shades 4.5–6.5); Naked Medium Dark (for shades 6.0–8.0); and Naked Dark (for shades 8.0–12.0).
As you can tell from the pictures above, the Naked Light proved to be a great match for me — so much so that it practically disappears into my skin! I love that it has a warm, almost bisque-like tone without going to deep into the yellow spectrum.
I’ve been relying on this product for months now. During the summer, especially on sweaty and balmy days, I used it atop a tinted moisturizer for a really understated look. Check out the photos below:
On days when I’ve longed for more coverage, I’ve layered the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder over a BB cream and foundation (lately I’ve been on a Giorgio Armani Maestro kick). I’d then apply bronzer along the hairline, the bridge of the nose, and below my cheekbones to contour the face; sweep some blush onto the apples of my cheeks; and highlight my cheekbones with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (one of my go-to products these days). If, after all was said and done, I wanted to minimize shine or to touch up my makeup, I could apply a bit more of the Naked Skin finishing powder to set everything.
Here are some photos of me taken during New York Fashion Week, when I wore the Naked Skin in the manner described above:
As you can see, it’s a versatile product and it really does make the skin look radiant and youthful. It’s another UD slam dunk!