22 Best Setting Powders of 2023 That Flawlessly Lock in Makeup


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Apply setting powder on the T-zone area, on the undereye area, and under your cheekbones using a fluffy makeup brush. (Sponges work too, just don’t forget to clean your makeup sponge afterward to avoid a mix-up the next morning.)

What’s the difference between setting powder and setting spray?

The difference is minimal, but Greenberg says “powders typically work better for oily skin and setting sprays for drier skin.” Of course, you could combine the two for even longer-lasting wear, says Greenberg, who’s a fan of the Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist.

What’s the difference between translucent powder and setting powder?

There are a few key characteristics that set the two apart. “While both translucent powder and setting powder help to set makeup and control shine, translucent powder is colorless or nearly colorless, whereas setting powder can come in various shades to match the skin tone and provide additional coverage,” says Guerra.

In addition, translucent powder functions more like a “finishing powder,” whereas setting powder sits on top of liquid and cream makeup, helping it to adhere to the skin. “Finishing powder, or translucent powder, perfects the skin by absorbing shine and blurring the appearance of pores, fine lines, or other imperfections,” he says. “If not used carefully, some translucent powders can cause ‘flashback’ in photos or leave a chalky cast on deeper skin tones.”

What face powder is right for me?

The type of formula you choose depends on your skin type. “It’s important to consider your individual needs, such as your skin type (oily, dry, combination), the level of coverage you need, and the situation in which you’ll be using the powder,” Guerra says.

If you’re a fan of no-makeup makeup products, loose powder can provide a lightweight, natural finish and sheer yet buildable coverage. “Its versatility allows you to lightly dust the powder over a larger area or small crevices depending on the brush you use,” he says. “On the other hand, if you prioritize convenience, portability, and the ability to easily touch up your makeup on-the-go, pressed setting powder may be a better option.”

Is loose or packed setting powder better?

There is no definitive answer, since both products have their pros and cons. For Guerra, it all comes down to your specific makeup needs. “Pressed powders are compact, mess-free, and provide a bit more coverage compared to loose powders,” he says. “There’s also more control over application since the powder won’t float across other areas during application.”

But make sure not to overdo it when it comes to pressed formulas. “Pressed powders, especially if applied with a heavy hand or layered too much, can sometimes result in a heavier, more noticeable appearance on the skin,” he says. “It can add unwanted texture if layered too heavily. The compact format and denser texture can make it harder to control the amount of product that is deposited onto the skin.”

Loose powders are ideal for setting liquid and cream makeup. They also offer more precision, but not as much coverage. “Loose powder typically sets makeup for a longer period of time,” he says. “You can use a fluffy brush to lightly dust the powder over your face, targeting specific areas where you want to set your makeup or control shine. Loose powder allows you to build coverage gradually. You can apply multiple layers if needed without the risk of looking cakey or heavy.

What’s the best way to set the under-eye?

Another pro tip: Ditch makeup primer for setting spray, which works just as well and eliminates another layer of makeup. “Instead of adding additional product layers under the eyes with primers, softly apply setting spray onto a brush and sweep it under the eyes before applying concealer,” Guerra says. “This will adhere the makeup from underneath. After lightly setting with powder, mist a touch of setting spray onto a damp sponge and gently press over the under-eye area. This will set your under-eye makeup and melt down any excess powder. Try to look up with your eyes while blending to prevent any creases from forming during this process.”

From vegan makeup brand Cover FX’s talc-free formula—perfect for those with sensitive skin—to editor-tested options that double as the best bronzer, we compiled a list of the best, highly-reviewed, finishing powders for every preference and concern.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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