How Do You Apply Powder When You’re Out and About?

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Makeup Tools

Photo by MR+G

Reach for those thinking caps, ladies, because Alice needs our help! ๐Ÿ™‚


Hi Karen,

At home I apply MAC Blot [MAC Blot Pressed Powder] with the 188 Small Duo Fibre Brush, but I was wondering if there’s a way to bring the brush along without having to buy a brush roll. Is it okay to use the powder puff that comes with the compact? I’ve heard that’s very unsanitary.

Thank you!

Hi Alice,

To borrow a line from Mariah (love ya, Mimi!), I can’t live, if living is without my MAC Blot Pressed Powder. ๐Ÿ™‚

My compact is like a Hollywood starlet’s dog — It goes everywhere with me.

When I head out of the house, though, I’ll use it with a retractable drugstore brush like the EcoTools Recycled Retractable Kabuki Brush ($10).

It’s light, portable and delivers a natural veil of powder on the skin (perfect for touch-ups).

And it’s way cheaper than a $45 MAC Brush Roll, which means not having to stress as much about potentially losing it.




And I think powder puffs are fine if you’re conscientious about regularly cleaning them. I’ll thoroughly hand wash mine every few days with shampoo to remove any built up oil or powder, and then I’ll let it air dry on a clean surface.

Keep in mind that applying powder with a puff can result in heavier coverage, so be mindful of that when you’re doing touch-ups between classes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ladies, what do you use to apply powder when you’re out and about?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



P.S. I can’t believe it, but I spaced out and forgot about last night’s premier of America’s Best Dance Crew Season 4!


I feel slightly off without at least one reality dance show in my life, like I’m wearing my underwear backwards or something.

I blame it on Maneater, aka the LONGEST LIFETIME MOVIE, EVER! I got caught up watching it last night and lost track of time.

Hate it when that happens…


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So far, 29 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Holly says:

    omg the ecotools retractable kabuki brush is my BABY.
    it’s a great dupe for the too faced kabuki.
    .-= Holly’s last blog post… Too Faced: Natural Eye Set =-.

  2. Leanne says:

    Ugh Karen you did not miss much on ABDC, all the crews pretty much sucked…

  3. Marce says:

    That’s a good idea, the portable kabuki! Though I’d go with the cleaning sponge option, becaues it’s just for touch ups and less bulky, right? ๐Ÿ˜€
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… MAC Style Warrior – Swatches =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marce,

      The sponge/puff is definitely more portable and is great if you want more coverage.

      I carry a big ole’ purse so I don’t mind a lil’ bit of bulk. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. lelila says:

    weird looking as it may to some people, I always use my Flat Top Brush from silk naturals haha
    .-= lelila’s last blog post… What’s in my bag?! =-.

  5. Glosslizard says:

    I don’t usually use powder on the go, but I do know a couple of kinda cool options!

    Sephora carries a refillable powder brush that you stock up with your own product of choice and then just shake & brush:

    And Bare Escentuals has a little powder porter that comes with a powder holder with a snappy plastic lid and a little kubuki brush:

    Hope this is helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Michelle says:

    I love that cute portable brush!
    I usually carry those Clean and Clear oil absorbing sheets (one of the most fabulous inventions ever!). I bring my oil blotting powder with a puff to touch up after I blot with the sheet (that way I don’t get too much powder getting all cakey over the oil).

  7. samantha says:

    Karen you can watch it here —

    I don’t think all the crews were bad. It was the first challenge, time will tell.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Samantha,

      Thanks for the link! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m watching it on MTV right now… there’s some interesting dance styles this season.

      I REALLY hope a girls crew wins this year!

  8. I prefer the sponges because I like portability and don’t like carrying an extra brush. I also like blot sheets, and I have some from The Body Sheet that actually have a think film of powder on them so you not only blot oil, but you end up applying powder too so it soaks oil and prevents shine too!
    .-= Kajal Couture’s last blog post… Estee Lauder Makeup/Skincare Class =-.

  9. lelila says:

    hi Karen, yup! Love it more than my MAC brushes.

    please read my entry about my Flat top brush!

    I’ve been using it for almost 2 years now and it’s still as soft as the first time I got it! I’ve read somewhere that Audrey Nicole (another MMU brand) sells the same brush, not sure though
    .-= lelila’s last blog post… What’s in my bag?! =-.

  10. Tavia says:

    I’m also using a Retractable Brush but from Oriflame. This EcoTools Recycled Retractable Kabuki Brush looks very good too, only that I can’t find it here:((
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Trend: discreet shine with Lancome Juicy Tubes =-.

  11. Sonja says:

    I use Retractable kabuki brush from Too Faced, it’s amazing and incredibly cute, pinkish with white hairs (sounds like some animal, not a brush. haha)

  12. Nicole15 says:

    I absolutely love the idea of the Eco Tools travel kabuki. I am going out to get this brush’sho’! Thanks so much for the tip Karen!

    Until now, when I am out & about with my MAC Blot Powder that does not go anywhere without me either, I use a puff. I clean them regularly & rotate new ones. I usually try to grab a pack of the generic ones at the drugstore since they are so cheap. However, when at work, I use a powder brush that is kept in my little makeup bag. I bring my bag of touh-up essentials to the office so at that time I can just grab the powder brush to apply my Blot powder. But, I am loving the idea of throwing in my purse the travel buki brush. This would be so much better than using the puff when I am out at the store & catch a glimpse of my oily reflection & need to intervene ASAP!

  13. seattle says:

    omg, i love this brush! i use it to buff my pressed and/or loosed powders much like you would with mineral makeup. very inexpensive and it feels amazingly soft against my sensitive skin. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Stef says:

    Oh, I never clean my powder puff. I just looked at it and it’s so nasty. I hang my head in shame!

    But I’m going to try like Nicole15 does and get some disposables.
    .-= Stef’s last blog post… How to: have a Mad Men theme party =-.

  15. Sarah says:

    I am so jazzed about the new cycle of ABDC!

    Thank you for sharing this information, I am looking for more affordable brushes too.
    .-= Sarah’s last blog post… Sneak Preview of Heath Ledgers Last Movie Made =-.

  16. gio says:

    A portable kabuki brush is a great idea! I rarely carry a powder with me but when I do a use a sponge. I clan it regularly, though.
    .-= gio’s last blog post… Vitamin C in Skincare =-.

  17. Michelle says:

    I just picked up that kabuki brush at Target — just $7.99 there (and the packaging is kinda cute/organic). I also got the Pale Pink Sonia Kashuk lip crayon as well as the Sonia Kashuk gloss in Fairy (kind of a nude pink). And while I was at it, I got a Revlon super lustrous lipgloss in Pink Whisper since I just read good things about it somewhere. I thought I would branch out from all of my MAC and NARS glosses! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the heads up, Karen!

  18. Solรƒยฉ says:

    I use MAC Blot Powder too, and I love it! I actually just use the puff when I’m on the go. As long as you keep it clean, it’s not really unsanitary. Also, I store it backwards in the compact since it doesn’t have a separate compartment for the sponge. But now that I’ve been using the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish compact for daytime, I think I am gonna pick up one of those neat little retractable kabuki brushes. Thanks for the tip. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Marina says:

    I always have a retractable brush with me, they’re so handy! Now it’s a Guerlain Terracota i got on sale ๐Ÿ™‚ oh, and if your purse is really small even for a compact or you prefer loose powder, you can load the brush with a little powder, close it and apply whenever you need.

  20. CG says:

    I use Clarins’ Shine Stopper powder. I bring my face blender brush from Blusche and use a brush guard to protect the bristles inside my small cosmetic bag. Lately, I’ve been lazy and just use on oil blotting paper to soak up the oil. Oh and when I use MUFE’s HD powder, I notice I don’t get oily as much.

  21. meg says:

    I usually use a 109 which I have a little pouch for so I can throw it in my bag. I love that brush! I am using it for everything possible. However, I’m experimenting with going foundationless and I’m not really dealing with powder much right now. I almost can’t believe I said that because, in the past, it would be a tragedy if I left the house without a powder compact!
    .-= meg’s last blog post… Nancy Drew-Warnings at Waverly Academy =-.

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