What is HD Powder?

Maintaining a flawless complexion throughout the day is a difficult task—from working all day in florescent lighting to sweating it out at the gym, it’s hard to stay selfie-ready. Luckily, the secret to all the celebrities’ picture-perfect skin has made its way to the masses.

HD Powder is the product you’ve been looking for to complete your makeup arsenal. Either loose or pressed, this finishing powder delivers an airbrushed effect that keeps you camera-ready all day long.

However, finding the right finishing powder can be a little more complicated than you might think. “Setting powder,” “finishing powder,” and “HD powder” are all terms used for similar products. But with slight variations in their form and function, it’s critical to know which one will give you the immaculate look you’re after.

Have a specific question in mind? Use the links below to find your answer faster:

  1. What is the Difference Between Setting Powder, Finishing Powder, and HD Powder?
  2. How Can HD Powder Perfect My Makeup Routine?
  3. How Do I Apply HD Powder?
  4. Can I Use HD Powder to Bake my Foundation?

What is the Difference Between HD Powder, Setting Powder and Finishing Powder?

Let’s start with the basics: the terms “setting powder” and “finishing powder” are often used interchangeably in the makeup industry, but they’re actually used for slightly different purposes.

Setting powder is typically used to seal in your foundation and absorb excess oils so your skin stays shine-free for longer periods of time. On the other hand, finishing powder is used on top of setting powders as the very last step to take your complexion to the next level. Finishing powder blurs fine lines and minimizes the size of your pores to give you a soft, angelic glow. If you take this product up a notch, that’s when you get HD powder.

Close up of a hand holding a setting powder container and the other holding a brush with powder drifting in the air.

This mineral-based powder is specifically formulated for people who are frequently photographed or filmed on high definition cameras. While it isn’t vastly different from a standard finishing powder, HD powder prevents camera flashback—the white splotches on your face in a photograph when a flash reflects off particles in your foundation.

The ultra-mattifying quality of HD powder is what makes it so popular with professional makeup artists. Not to mention, it’s much lighter on the skin than airbrushed foundation while still achieving the same soft-focus effect.

Makeup enthusiasts with dry skin will love this miracle powder because it diminishes sharp edges without wicking away critical moisture. Similarly, those with oily skin will obsess over the shine-banishing properties of HD powder. Thanks to the mighty powers of silica particles and synthetic mica, this product has also earned a reputation for being gentle on sensitive skin and non-irritating to acne-prone complexions.

So, to recap: setting powder is used to lock in your foundation and absorb excess oil, while finishing powder is used on top of setting powder to add an extra layer of refinement that blurs fine lines and pores. HD powder is a subset of finishing powder that further softens your complexion and keeps you ready for a close-up as you walk the red carpet.

If you want to keep your morning routine as simple as possible, don’t worry about applying two different layers of powder over your foundation. HD powder also works great as a basic setting powder—it really is the jack-of-all-trades of the makeup world.

How can HD Powder Perfect My Makeup Routine?

No matter what type of foundation you use to smooth out your complexion, HD powder works perfectly to achieve a photo-ready finish. But before working it into your daily routine, you need to figure out which type and color works best for you. HD powder typically comes in two different forms: pressed powder and loose powder. Whichever one you choose comes down to personal preference, but pressed powder is often good for those with dry skin and loose powder is excellent for folks with oily complexions.

Next comes the color choices. Most HD powder is offered in a universal translucent white shade the perfectly blends into any skin tone. But if you want an extra layer of tinted coverage, opt for a powder that matches the undertones of your skin. Yellow and pink are the most common undertones, so even if an HD Powder doesn’t come in your exact shade, the thin powder will still look flawless if it corresponds with the underlying colors of your skin.

Woman applying face powder to her cheek.

Once you’ve selected the perfect product to put the cherry-on-top of your morning routine, you can dust on a layer of HD powder before heading out the door and you’re good to go. But don’t forget to keep a spare powder in your purse. This top-notch finishing powder is divine for touching up greasy spots throughout the day. Whether you have an important meeting with clients or are headed out on a first date, don’t let an imperfect complexion shake your self-confidence. Simply pat on the HD powder with a fluffy brush and you’ll instantly notice oil, red spots, and caked foundation vanish.

How Do I Apply HD Powder?

Even though HD powder is a simple product to apply, it can often be confusing about when to apply it during your routine. Make sure you’re brushing a thin layer onto your face using a fluffy powder brush after you’ve completed your entire look. Don’t apply it between steps—apply your foundation, contour, and highlight before topping it all off with the HD powder. Make sure to clean all brushes regularly with makeup brush cleaning wipes.

If your skin feels a bit damp after applying liquid foundation and you’d rather have a dry canvas for your contour magic, dust on a setting powder like we discussed earlier. If you don’t have one in your collection already, an easy at-home substitute is baby powder. Just make sure you only apply a small amount, otherwise you run the risk of ashy skin that dampens your natural glow.

Once you’ve properly prepped your face for the day, grab a big fluffy Kabuki brush. For pressed HD powder, gently swirl the brush into the pan until your desired amount of product has collected on the bristles. Sweep the brush across your entire face in an upwards motion. For loose powder, dip the brush into the particles and tap off the excess product into the lid. The travel size mini Kabuki brush is also great option for on the go.

Kabuki brush, powder compact, and makeup round sitting on a wood surface.

A little really goes a long way when it comes to HD powder. Apply a single dusting and wait about 15 seconds to see your skin transform into the A-list complexion you’ve been craving. If you want a little more coverage to really give you a soft glow for special events, apply another dusting of powder to lock in that impeccable glow. For daily routine use, consider protective makeup powders with SPF.

Can I Use HD Powder to Bake My Foundation?

If you closely follow all the latest breakthroughs in the beauty industry, baking your foundation is probably old news. But for many makeup users, it’s still a novel technique that seems achievable only by reality TV stars and Instagram influencers. Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to do at home and your HD powder can help you get a perfectly baked face.

For those new to the concept, “baking” or “cooking” your foundation involves applying concealer, covering it with a thick coating of translucent powder, and then letting the natural heat from your face get trapped between the two layers to thoroughly set the product. This technique delivers amazing coverage and banishes oil for a much longer period of time than if you simply brushed on powder throughout the day to stave off excess shine.

While you typically want to use a setting powder for baking, a tinted HD powder works just as well to give you that velvety matte glow. When baked correctly, you shouldn’t have to apply an extra dusting of the powder before heading out the door. Baking works the best with liquid foundation because it prevents the product from settling into fine lines—and giving you that dreaded cake face. Start with a coating of foundation and then apply a thick layer of concealer to problem areas, such as the under-eye region. Using the corner of a makeup sponge, pat a heavy layer of the HD powder onto the center of your forehead, chin, tip of the nose, and apples of your cheeks all the way up to your lower lash line.

You might feel like a clown when you look in the mirror, but this heavy deposit will help your skin absorb the mattifying properties of the powder. Let it sit for five to ten minutes, then gently wipe it off with a fluffy brush. Voila! Gone are the days of half-baked makeup; you’re now ready to hit the town and turn heads everywhere you go.

So, what is HD powder? Simply the most versatile and effective product for giving you that photo-ready finish. By just adding this one simple step to your routine, you’ll notice a drastic difference in how your complexion looks on camera and in person. Keep your head held high with skin so flawless you’ll feel like a movie star the minute you head out to conquer your day.