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The best setting powder for flawless makeup

Looking for the perfect setting powder to complete your makeup routine? We've got you covered with our top picks on the market

Published Dec 12, 2023
6 min. reading time
Image of 3 setting powders

Setting powder is a crucial step in any makeup routine. It helps to set your makeup, reduce shine and give your skin a smooth, flawless finish. 

How do you choose the right one with so many options on the market? We've done the research for you and compiled a list of the best face powders available. 

Whether you're looking for a powder that provides a natural finish, controls shine, offers long-lasting wear or even the best drugstore setting powder, we have it here. Let's dive in!

Read more: Get the best CC creams for a flawless look

Opened Laura Mercier setting powder
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
$43 at Sephora
pressed setting powder in rose gold casing
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder
$48 at Sephora
Dark shade powder in square casing
HUDA BEAUTY Easy Bake Loose Baking & Setting Powder
$38 at Sephora
Dark shade powder in round bottle
Clinique Blended Face Powder
$35 at Ulta Beauty
Pros & Cons
  • Doubles as skincare

  • Contains antioxidants

  • Drying on normal skin

The Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder has long been a popular choice in many a makeup aficionado's arsenal. This lightweight, easy-to-apply powder has the capacity to set makeup flawlessly and has an impressive longevity of up to 16 hours. This makes it a perfect companion for those long days at work or nights on the town.

Moreover, it offers 24-hour shine control, thanks to the botanical blurring powder, a silky, plant-derived ingredient. This fine-milled component not only controls the excess oil but also blurs out pores for a smooth, undetectable finish. And you get a lightweight finish with its skin conditioning powder, a natural amino acid concoction that further enhances this product's feather-light texture.

Pros & Cons
  • Reduces shine

  • Blurs imperfections

  • Contains rose wax and almond oil to nourish and moisturize

  • Not a wide range of shades available

The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder is a game-changer in the world of beauty. It’s ultra-fine, blurs imperfections and visibly reduces shine, giving your skin a natural finish that is nothing short of flawless. 

With its medium coverage, it's perfect for those days when you want a light yet effective touch-up that doesn't look too heavy or cakey. The pressed powder formulation is easy to apply and blend, making it a convenient option for both beginners and makeup enthusiasts. 

Whether you’re heading to a business meeting, a casual day out or a glamorous party, this setting powder is your secret weapon to looking effortlessly stunning.

Pros & Cons
  • Last up to 10 hours

  • Blurs fine lines

  • Packaging may make it tricky to get product

  • Might not suit all skin types

This setting powder is a top-tier choice for makeup aficionados seeking a product that not only enhances their look but also nourishes their skin. It will easily become your coveted finishing touch, efficiently baking and setting your makeup for up to 10 hours, while also blurring the appearance of fine lines.

Beyond its setting capabilities, this powder also assures a smooth application thanks to its vitamin E inclusion, which helps moisturize and strengthen your skin's barrier. Rice starch powder effectively absorbs excess oil, helping you maintain a matte finish throughout the day.

Pros & Cons
  • Brush included

  • Dermatologist tested

  • Some say there is less product than before

Designed to embrace your skin flawlessly, this Clinique Blended Face Powder effectively diminishes the visibility of flaws and pores. Its lightweight, airy texture doesn't just set and perfect your makeup, but it also expertly absorbs surface oil, keeping your skin looking fresh and natural all day long.

A unique aspect of this powder is its included brush, which can hold a single application of loose powder for later use. This is convenient for touch-ups on the go, making it a must-have in your makeup kit.

The product is dermatologist-tested, and suitable for all skin types.

Pros & Cons
  • Matte finish

  • Blurs imperfections

  • Reports of product not blending well

KYLIE COSMETICS setting powder is designed to leave your skin with a matte finish, without causing any dryness. One of its standout qualities is its ability to blur imperfections, making your skin look flawless and camera-ready at any given moment.

But it doesn't stop there. This setting powder prevents makeup from settling into your fine lines, maintaining your look's freshness throughout the day.

Pros & Cons
  • Lasts up to 11 hours

  • Waterproof

  • Not translucent

This setting powder is all you need to ensure your makeup stays intact throughout the day. Whether you're heading to the office, gym, or beach, this versatile, translucent powder is designed to mattify your look and lock in your makeup for up to 11 hours.

Ideal for all skin types, this setting powder goes on smoothly and works incredibly well to minimize shine. Because t it's waterproof, you can cry, sweat, or even get wet without risking your makeup looking worn out. It's lightweight yet effective, a must-have for those who desire a flawless finish that lasts all day.

Given its universal quality, this powder is sure to become a mainstay in your beauty regimen.

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable price

  • Shine-free finish

  • Reports of product creasing

Want a flawless, shine-free complexion with a natural inner glow? This pressed powder will give you that. Its light and silky texture is designed to complement all skin types, effortlessly settling on your skin and minimizing unwanted shine on the surface.

What sets this product apart is its ability to deliver a natural luminosity from within, giving your skin a radiant, #NoFilter look.

Known for its affordable yet high-quality cosmetic products, e.l.f. has been a go-to brand for many makeup enthusiasts. This setting powder is no exception - for under $10, you can achieve a naturally radiant, camera-ready look anytime, anywhere.

Pros & Cons
  • Sheer coverage

  • Oil-absorbing formula

  • Product tends to break easily

This pressed powder is the first of its kind, boasting all-day matte and smooth perfecting properties. Infused with oil-absorbing rice powder, it effortlessly soaks up excess oil and eliminates unwanted shine. 

What sets it apart is its comfortable, non-drying formula. Unlike other mattifying powders that can leave your skin feeling parched, this product ensures a lightweight, sheer coverage that keeps your skin feeling natural and comfortable. Ideal for those long office hours or a day out in the summer sun,  your skin will stay matte and fresh.

Pros & Cons
  • Comes in compact sizing for travel

  • Absorbs excess oil

  • May be drying for some

This travel-size Shape Tape Glow Powder by Tarte Cosmetics is your ticket to achieving a radiant complexion on-the-go. Its diamond complex is designed to reflect light, effectively neutralizing skin discolorations, dullness, and darkness.

The powder isn't just about beauty; it's about skin health too. Infused with Amazonian clay, it absorbs excess oil, ensuring your makeup remains flawless for up to 12 hours. Mineral pigments included in the formula are known to soothe and soften the skin, which is why this powder an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin.

Whether you're looking to set your makeup or highlight specific points on your face — cheekbones, nose, inner corners of eyes, and Cupid’s bow — this glow powder does it all. The compact size makes it ideal for travel and is a must-have for those looking for a versatile, skin-friendly powder that delivers both glow and longevity.

What to know about setting powders

Still have questions that need answering when it comes to getting the best loose-setting powder for your skin? We’ve got your back.

Which powder is best for setting makeup?

The best setting powder for your makeup depends on your skin type and desired finish. Those with oily skin will want to look for hydrating ingredients and a shine-free finish while those who prefer a more natural finish will want to opt for a sheet finish.

Is the best translucent powder the same as the best setting powder?

Yes, translucent powder is a type of setting powder. It's designed to set makeup and reduce shine without adding any color to your skin. This makes it a versatile option that works well for all skin tones.

What is the difference between the best setting powder and the best finishing powder?

A setting powder is used to set your makeup and reduce shine, helping your makeup last longer. A finishing powder on the other hand, is used after setting powder to blur fine lines and pores, giving your skin a smooth, airbrushed finish.

Which setting powders get our stamp of approval?

After our research and reviews, two products stand out from the rest: the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder - both high contenders for best loose setting powder. 

The Laura Mercier powder impresses with its longevity and skincare benefits, while the Charlotte Tilbury powder offers a natural finish and easy application. Both are excellent choices for achieving a flawless makeup look. 

Give these top setting powders a try and experience the difference they can make in your makeup routine.

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Prices updated on 12/12/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

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Written by
Afina Najib

A journalism graduate from Curtin University, Afina Najib specializes in writing tech, finance, automotive and wellness content. Now residing in Kuala Lumpur, Afina spends her weekends hitting the gym or watching Formula 1 races.

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