But, after years of over-thinking it, I think I finally know what my problem was: the powders are either too orange (hello Tango!) or too brown (eeek!)... A few months ago, I had a little bit of time to spare at Lisbon Airport and I ventured into the Duty Free section, looking for a sculpting miracle to give me those shadows that I really knew would turn me into a Slavic beauty (one can dream right?). And the lady suggested this:
This is a matt blush powder by MAC, not a contouring powder. The colour is called Harmony, and I think it works because it is a warm rosy beige, so it just creates a very natural shadow wherever it is applied. No tango orange, no dusty brown. I just build it up as much or as little as needed, depending on how dramatic a look I'm after. Can't recommend it enough!
Find it here: MAC Powder Blush in Harmony.