Most Used Ben Nye Powders

First, before I get into why I chose Ben Nye Powders for my personal use and for my professional makeup kit, I think you should know that Ben Nye was one of the first to design natural foundation colors for African-American, Hispanic and Asian performers.   Needless to say, the Ben Nye brand has been around for years, and the products have been a staple in many Hollywood makeup artists’ kits for T.V. and theatrical makeup – and let us not forget the drag queens.

While looking for affordable items to build my professional makeup kit, I came across Ben Nye Powders, more specifically the Ben Nye Banana Visage Poudre Luxury Powder.   My first Ben Nye Powder Purchase was the Banana Powder.  For one, through my research I’ve found that it has many uses and it works well on most skintones.  Listen, I said most, that doesn’t mean I will use it on the darkest shade of brown because I know better.   Secondly, I knew I was onto something when I had a lunch date one summer with Sam Fine (this was while he still lived in Brooklyn) who asked me what products I had in my kit.  After listing the items I had, including the Ben Nye Banana Powder, he stopped me and asked “How did you find out about it? That’s a great choice.”   Whoop Whoop!

After using the Banana Powder in my kit, I longed to try the other Ben Nye Powders, especially the shades for darker skintones, so I picked up the following Ben Nye Powders: Classic Translucent Face Powder ($7) in Sienna and Topaz; Mojave Luxury Powder ($12-$14) in Dark Cocoa and Cocoa Tan; Bella Luxury Powder ($12-$28) in Cameo and Beige Suede.


Ben Nye Powder Swatches

I’ve swatched the three most used Ben Nye Powders I use personally.  Even though I left it out, I do use Topaz, too.  I will swatch that one for you later.  To set my makeup, Sienna works best.  As a highlight I switch between the Banana Powder or Topaz; Topaz is a great highlight shade for deeper brown skintones.  Dark Cocoa I use as my contour.

Contour Highlight Ben Nye Powders Contour Highlight  with Ben Nye Powders

Ben Nye Bella Luxury Powders

Bella Luxury Powders are a silky-fine, mattifying translucent setting powder  with just a hint of color, you won’t miss the white cast in your photos that often comes with other finishing powders.  The versatile Banana shade suits just about any skin tone as it softly and subtly color corrects surface redness and pink undertones, as well as neutralizes bluish undereye circles.  The powder is specially formulated to absorb excess oil and soften the appearance of pores and texture.  Enhance your fair-skinned, youthful glow with Cameo, balance out light to medium skin tones with Buff, and warm up tan to deeper skin tones with Beige Suede.  With more product for the price, it’s as beautiful on your wallet as it is on your skin! This Ben Nye Powder is available in 4 shades: Banana, Beige Suede, Buff, and Cameo.  Source: CRC Makeup 

Ben Nye Classic Translucent Powder

Ben Nye’s Classic Translucent Face powder sets creme makeup for a durable, soft matte finish.  Neutral Set Translucent Powder is a colorless powder that blends with all skin tones without diminishing the natural glow of your complexion.  The special formula also controls perspiration.  This Ben Nye Powder is available in  9 shades ranging from fair to cool, to the rich, deep brown: Neutral Set (TP-5);  Super White (TP-7); Fair (TP-1); Pretty Pink (TP-89); Topaz (TP-3); Sienna (TP-47); Chestnut (TP-42); Ebony (TP-52); Coco Tan (TP-44).  Super White Powder is Ben Nye’s only non-translucent powder that contains a bright white pigment good for White, Geisha, Porcelain, and other very fair shades. Source: CRC Makeup


Ben Nye Mojave Luxury Powder

This set of Ben Nye Powders was formulated for those with rich and warm skintones (olive and brown).  Ben Nye’s Mojave Luxury Powders are gently tinted to enhance your natural glow, not wash it out. This Ben Nye Powder is velvety to the touch, is lightweight, blends easily,  thus softening the look of fine lines and pores as well as absorbs excess oil to keep your skin looking fresh and flawless all day long.  This powder comes in six  shades: Camel (true golden olive),  Dolce (softer golden), Olive Sand (tan golden), Clay (muted terracotta), Nutmeg (ruddy spice) and Dark Cocoa (rich chocolate).  Source: CRC Makeup

Ben Nye Powders Uses

  1. Setting Makeup
  2. Highlight
  3. Contour
  4. Catch  fallout from eyeshadow

The best part about these Ben Nye Powders is that you get a lot of bang for your buck.  You receive a lot of product for an affordable price.  It’s hard for one person to use it all up, too! It’s a great idea to buy one bottle and split it with some friends. Sharing is caring.

Where to purchase

I purchased my Ben Nye Powders from Camera Ready Cosmetics, but you can also find them on Amazon, Alcone Co, Naimies and even Ricky’s NYC.


Have you tried any of the Ben Nye Powders?

What are your thoughts on them?



27 Comments on My Most Used Ben Nye Powders for Brown Skin: Banana, Sienna & Dark Cocoa

  1. I am in LOVE with my Banana Powder! I picked it up at The Makeup Show pop-up in December. I use it as my face powder most of the time – I have to be careful with some foundations because I'm very fair and if I use a slightly darker foundation, I can't use my Banana Powder to set. But this is a great review for a great line of products!!!

    • Thank you, Judy! I know some people stay away from it because they think it will make them look ghostly or ashy… I think once it's blended properly, and too much isn't used, it works well for most skintones.

  2. I'm really glad that I read this post. I have learned that If I decide to try this brand I should use Cameo. Very informative post. Thank you so much. 🙂

    • Thank you! I am happy you found it informative and found the shade you can use. I'm going to swatch the other shades I have later.

  3. Love this article. I think I may need to go get Sienna. I use banana currently to highlight. But Sienna seems a good setting shade. Great post!!

  4. Oh wow, these powders look so natural and flawless on you. I also want to compliment your beautiful eyebrows and earrings! :))
    My recent post Hard Candy Ginormous Lash 086 Mudslide Mascara Review, Pictures, Swatches

    • Thank you. I work hard on my eyebrows 🙂 lol I never let anyone do them, especially after having this wax lady mess them up.
      The earrings I purchased a few years ago from forever21, and they've never turned.

  5. I have Cameo in this line and I didn't feel like it was as finely milled as my UD Loose finishing powder. I bought it thinking I would fall in love with it and it just fell flat for me :/
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    • That sucks. It could have been a bad batch. I think what's happening is that Ben Nye is trying to keep up with demands, and in turn, quality is suffering. For a while most of the powders, especially banana was sold out after people saw Kim K. using them.

  6. I haven't used my banana powder in a while! You are inspiring me to break it back out!
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  7. Lovely makeup! I have the banana powder. I have sometimes used it to set my concealer, but I need to experiment. You're right – a little goes a long way!

  8. I've never tried these powders but I've seen them at all the makeup shows and wondered. I am glad you explained how you use them.
    My recent post Mineralogie – Liquid Hydration Sheer Tint Review, Photos

  9. This is the second post I've read this week about Ben Nye Banana Finishing Powder (oh wait, I think the other post was an older post from you lol!), and you've got me soooooo curious about it. I wish I could run to NYC and go to Ricky's to check it out. My skin tone is fair to light, cool although I have red hair, and I have very pink cheeks. Do you think this would work for me? From the description, it sounds like it would. Your makeup looks lovely
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  10. Great review Kim. So glad to see a post that talks about more than just the Banana Powder. Even though I think it's amazing, I believe Ben Nye has so much more to offer Makeup Artists and Beauty Lovers. When I was in NYC last month, I finally purchased the Mojave Powder Palette. Let me tell you, I'm in LOVE!!!! I would buy the lighter colors, but I'm currently using the Ofra Pro Powder Palette and I like it a lot. 🙂
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  11. Hello Kim, I am interested in trying the banana powder but do not know what color to purchase. I wear NC 45 in the studio fix powder please help! I do not want to order one that has me looking chalky like a white translucent powder made me look. Please advice

    • Hi Tam,

      Are you looking for an all over face powder to set your makeup? If so, check out RCMA translucent powder. It's truly translucent and works on all skintones.

      The Banana is yellow, and works well for under eye. You can try the Ben Nye powder in Topaz.

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