Makeup Artists Swear By This For A Pillowy Finish: Here’s How To Use It

“Banana powder was developed with the intention of being a universally flattering color correcting and brightening setting powder,” says makeup artist Jenny Patinkin. “It can help set makeup in place and control shine, while also neutralizing redness or discoloration in the skin and simultaneously giving a brightening effect.” 

A quick history lesson: Banana powder actually used to be a film industry secret before Ben Nye, a makeup director for 20th Century Fox, created the very first consumer product (which you can still snag today). Nye used this setting powder on just about every iconic Hollywood star—Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and Julie Andrews, to name a few—in order to highlight their features and keep their makeup looking immaculate under hot stage lights. It quickly became a staple in the drag community as well, again for its ability to help makeup stay put during long performances.

Fast forward to the 2010s, where banana powder was a beauty bag staple for amateurs and professionals alike (many point to celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, for propelling it into the spotlight by showcasing detailed contouring tutorials): Now, banana powder isn’t only reserved for in-the-know entertainers and professionals, but for anyone yearning for a cushioned, matte look. 

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