15 Best Setting Powders To Lock In All The Glam In 2021

Written by Kirtana Divakar

Imagine this! You just spent the last couple of hours watching many YouTube tutorials to perfect your makeup look for date night. But when you come back, you notice it’s all bled or smudged in some way to give you raccoon eyes and uneven skin. If this kind of nightmare sounds familiar to you and you want it to be just that — a nightmare, you would do well to invest in a setting powder.

This is a crucial tool for a makeup look (that you worked so hard on!) to stay put and look as fresh as when you first applied it. Not only does it absorb oil and shine for long periods but it also rids imperfections. An absolutely essential product to keep your makeup looking fresh and radiant, setting powders are crafted by the makeup Gods themselves! Sport light or deeper skin tones, there’s a powder for everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Read our list of the 15 best setting powders and get, set, go!

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COTY AIRSPUN Loose Face Powder - Naturally Neutral
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Sacha Cosmetics Buttercup Setting Powder – Buttercup
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Black Radiance True Complexion Loose Setting Powder – Banana
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Dermablend Professional Loose Setting Powder - Original Translucent
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Aesthetica Translucent Setting Powder
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L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder
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It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Translucent Loose Setting Powder
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SKINFOOD Peach Cotton Multi Finish Powder
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Maybelline New York Lasting Fix Loose Setting Powder Makeup - Banana 10
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e.l.f Halo Glow Setting Powder – Medium
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What Can A Setting Powder Do For Your Face?

Setting powders are a versatile product, but in simple terms, they’re like locking the door of your house, so everything is intact when you come back. Dusting a setting powder after applying your products helps makeup stay in place without fading or smudging. Some even absorb excess shine and oil (we can hear all you oily-skinned ladies screaming in delight!). The lightweight textures of these loose powders sit lightly on your face and help conceal fine lines, wrinkles, and spots. As a bonus, some tinted shades can even be used to bake, highlight, and contour! For a flawless makeup look, read our list of the best setting powders available in multiple shade ranges. Brownie points if yours has SPF because there’s no such thing as too much sun protection, is there?

Level Up Your Makeup With The 15 Best Setting Powders In 2021

1.COTY AIRSPUN Loose Face Powder – Naturally Neutral

A good makeup powder can be your best-kept secret to a lightweight and velvety finish. Being one of the best setting powder brands, Loose Face Powder by COTY AIRSPUN does just that, along with efficiently covering up fine lines, dry patches, wrinkles, and blemishes. Finely milled, you can use this makeup setting powder as a foundation or bake and highlight. This longwear formula spreads evenly onto your face to give your skin ultra-smooth and light coverage.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Can be used as foundation, highlighter, or contour powder
  • Offers long-lasting wear
  • Covers up skin inconsistencies
  • Smooth finish
  • Offers light coverage

Cons

  • The scent might be overpowering for those with sensitive skin

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2.Sacha Cosmetics Buttercup Setting Powder – Buttercup

If you keep away from setting powders due to the ashy finish in photographs, you should try Sasha Cosmetics’ compact setting powder. Absorbing excess shine, the Buttercup Setting Powder is a great choice for oily skin types as it keeps your face matte for a long time. For medium-to-dark skin tones, use this shade that covers up pores to reduce their appearance. You can also highlight, contour, or use this popular setting powder as a foundation.

Pros

  • Blurs skin inconsistencies
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Suited for longwear

Cons

  • The powder may not be finely milled

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3.Black Radiance True Complexion Loose Setting Powder – Banana

Putting your best face forward only needs a few dabs of Black Radiance’s True Complexion Loose Setting Powder. This top-rated setting powder features a silky formula that blends seamlessly without looking ashy for some extra coverage. It conceals your skin imperfections and allows your makeup to stay put all day long. For the ultimate soft-focus finish with no flashback, choose this face setting powder by Black Radiance.

Pros

  • Blends easily
  • Conceals skin imperfections
  • Doesn’t end up ashy
  • No flashback
  • Silky formula
  • Offers a matte finish

Cons

  • Might not be ideal for sensitive skin types

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4.Dermablend Professional Loose Setting Powder – Original Translucent

The translucent shade setting powder by Dermablend Professional is all you need for a lightweight transfer-proof and smudge-proof makeup look. For up to 16 hours, the Loose Setting Powder works its magic by enhancing and sealing in your glam. No matter your skin type, tone, or condition, rest assured that this top setting powder absorbs all the oil for a matte finish and leaves your skin looking smooth.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Can be layered
  • Works for up to 16 hours
  • Resistant to transferring and smudging

Cons

  • Some might find it to be cakey

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5.Aesthetica Translucent Setting Powder

Have your makeup last all day long with Aesthetica’s universal finishing powder made with high-quality ingredients. Its weightless formula is a pro at absorbing oil from your skin while also softening the look of lines and blurring out pores. Aesthetica’s setting powder for makeup adheres to skin without getting cakey, and the velour puff makes it super easy to apply. Just throw this talc-free setting powder in your bag, and we’re sure it’ll come in handy for on-the-go touch-ups and blotting out excess oil, especially if you have oily skin.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Flash-friendly
  • Free of oil and talc

Cons

  • Some may not like the sheer coverage

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6.L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder

For the ultimate soft-focus effect with a matte finish, you can’t go wrong with the setting powder makeup by L’Oreal Paris. This pro-inspired translucent mattifying powder blurs out enlarged pores and blemishes for a clear complexion. Dust it on before a date, so none of your layered products budge all night! With micro-fine translucent powder particles, say goodbye to greasy-looking skin and welcome a mattified and natural-looking finish.

Pros

  • Offers a matte finish
  • Softens and blurs out skin imperfections
  • Controls shine
  • Cake-proof
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Might not be suited for longwear

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7.It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Translucent Loose Setting Powder

If your enlarged pores give you a tough time and staring them down doesn’t work, try the Bye Bye Pores Translucent Loose Setting Powder by It Cosmetics. It was developed with the help of plastic surgeons (they know the struggle!) and is combined with Bye Bye Pores Optical Blurring Technology. Ideal for those seeking out anti-aging benefits, this great setting powder for mature skin uses natural silk to blur out pores and hydrolyzed collagen to soften the look of wrinkles. With a blend of antioxidants and peptides, your skin will be ready to grace the cover of any magazine — no Photoshop needed!

Pros

  • Contains anti-aging benefits
  • Ideal for mature skin
  • Universal shade works on all skin tones
  • Hides pores
  • Offers shine control
  • Silk moisturizes skin

Cons

  • Might not be easy to blend

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8.SKINFOOD Peach Cotton Multi Finish Powder

We’re sure everyone knows by now how wonderfully effective Korean beauty products are. If you still don’t, give this white setting powder a shot. Made with a unique air spun technology, SKINFOOD’s setting powder is super fine and soft, which means less-to-none caking and controlled oil. This lightweight setting powder contains silk which softens skin texture and adds a natural glow when applied with a fluffy powder brush. As it also has a peach scent, now you can also smell as good as you look!

Pros

  • Finely milled powder
  • Lightweight
  • Offers a matte finish
  • Controls sebum
  • Refreshing peach scent that dissipates quickly
  • Softens skin texture

Cons

  • Might look ashy in photos or under bright lighting

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9.Maybelline New York Lasting Fix Loose Setting Powder Makeup – Banana 10

The ultimate airbrushed look is possible without filters if you can give this mattifying setting powder a chance. For a soft-focus effect, Maybelline uses a microfine powder that extends the wear of your foundation. Minimizing shine, the illuminating formula glides across skin smoothly and locks down your makeup for all-day wear. The oil-controlling feature makes this a good setting powder for oily skin. Make sure to keep it on hand if you suddenly want a baked look or would fancy a touch-up here and there. You can use it by itself for a natural look or atop your makeup on lighter skin tones, and we guarantee that it’ll be undetectable.

Pros

  • Smooth powder
  • Offers a matte finish
  • Minimizes shine
  • Suits all skin tones
  • Lightweight
  • Brightens skin tone

Cons

  • Might discolor foundation

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10.e.l.f Halo Glow Setting Powder – Medium

For a dreamy complexion, e.l.f’s Halo Glow Setting Powder will not disappoint you. It’s super light and embraces your skin for an airbrushed finish that blurs out skin inconsistencies. The silky and feather-light texture of this mineral powder offers amazing shine control. It contains sapphire particles that are finely milled so you can dust some on for dewy skin (that’s not greasy) and with no worries of looking cakey. As it is also talc-free, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get your hands on this glowy setting powder!

Pros

  • Offers a soft glow
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Light texture
  • Offers shine control
  • Blurs imperfections
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • Some may not like the soft shimmer

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11.Ben Nye Neutral Set Colorless Powder

If you’re looking for a special effect setting powder or one for regular use, Ben Nye’s Neutral Set Colorless Powder might be the right fit for you. It is formulated to reduce sweat and oil production so that your makeup stays put without smearing. The mattifying finish makes this a great setting powder for oily skin types. For when you’re rocking a lot of cream-based products or liquid foundations, this Colorless Powder can be your best companion.

Pros

  • Ideal for oily skin
  • Offers a matte finish
  • Reduces sweat and oil
  • Offers long-lasting wear
  • Suited for theatrical or halloween makeup
  • Easy to blend

Cons

  • Might not be crease-proof

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12.Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder

To veil your skin, this cult-loved setting powder by Hourglass has a flawless finish. Ultra-refined and finely-milled, you can’t go wrong with this lightweight setting powder that has a soft-focus effect. Instantly blurring skin inconsistencies and reducing the appearance of pores, this powder sets you on your way to smooth and even-textured skin. You can also use it for baking your under-eye, so that it stays put without fading.

Pros

  • Suits all skin tones
  • Blurs out lines, wrinkles, and blemishes
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Made without sulfates, dyes, or fragrances
  • Talc-free

Cons

  • Might not be ideal for mature skin

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13.Urban Decay All Nighter: Waterproof Setting Powder

All beauty junkies own some or the other Urban Decay product, and we’re telling you — they deliver. Even this All Nighter: Waterproof Setting Powder is a must-have to control oil and shine for a matte effect. This pressed setting powder seals in all your glam for up to 11 hours, and the lightweight texture covers up skin irregularities for an even complexion. The universal shade graces pale and darker skin tones without dulling the natural glow and blurs out enlarged pores to keep you looking bomb all day.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Offers a matte finish
  • Lightweight and breathable formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • Blurs pores and wrinkles
  • Transfer-proof

Cons

  • Might get patchy

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14.Too Faced Peach Perfect Setting Powder

Too Faced brings you a loose setting powder with a matte finish that also brightens skin with a peachy tint. The feather-light powder goes on smoothly, absorbing both shine and oil. Infused with peaches and sweet fig milk, your skin is not only conditioned, but this peach-tinted setting powder adds dimension to your makeup look. Use it comfortably for any skin type or a variety of skin tones and bask in the smoothness that follows.

Pros

  • Offers a matte finish
  • Conditions skin
  • Has a brightening effect
  • Controls shine and oil
  • Suited for all skin types
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Might not be resistant to creasing

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15.Laura Mercier Shine Control Pressed Setting Powder

You’ll never be able not to find a Laura Mercier pick on any best makeup setting powders list. So now, instead of Googling ‘good setting powders’, bag this instead! It is oil-free, but it also controls oil with an ultra-sheer finish while also lowering shine due to the Shine Control Complex. Featuring a subtle mint green tint, this powder is ideal for anyone that faces the issue of redness. The transparent setting powder shade is universal and offers a high-quality matte finish. With the soft-focus effect, you won’t have to worry about creasing anymore.

Pros

  • Oil-free and oil-controlling
  • Offers shine control
  • Covers redness
  • Offers a matte finish
  • Crease-proof
  • Suits all skin tones

Cons

  • Some may not like the odor

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Now that we’ve looked at some of the best setting powders on the market, let’s learn how to choose the right one for your skin type and tone.

How To Choose The Right Setting Powder

  • Type

There are quite a few options for setting powders, and choosing the correct one can get intimidating.

Loose setting powders are ideal for lightweight coverage as they can be dusted on the skin. As they are formulated with less to no oil, they provide a major benefit for oily and combination skin. With a super-fine texture, you may find that they might settle into fine lines or wrinkles and can be pretty messy to use.

Pressed setting powders are compact and mess-proof to use and might be the best option for on-the-go touch-ups. You can use them if you desire a natural-looking full coverage. These formulas contain some oil, so oily skin types would do better to avoid them. As they help cover up spots and blemishes, they can make achieving even skin tone easy.

Translucent setting powders don’t have any color and are sheer without any coverage. They are pretty effective at controlling shine and oil, making them suited to oily skin. As they can help add brightness, they might leave behind a white cast if applied with a heavy hand.

Tinted setting powders come in a variety of shades to not just set makeup but to correct a skin condition. Green can hide redness in the skin, for example.

  • Skin type

If you have oily or combination skin, look for ingredients that absorb oil, such as silica or kaolin. Loose-setting powders that offer a matte finish will be ideal for this skin type. For dry and flaky skin, pressed powders containing hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and provide a radiant or dewy finish will be just about right. You could even opt for a luminous setting powder. It goes without saying that natural skin types are gifted, and as long as they don’t suffer from significant skin issues, they can use any setting powder they prefer.

  • Shade

Ensure that your setting powder is the same shade as your skin or foundation. For this, you can swatch the test on your neck or wrist. Choosing a powder that is too light may leave a white cast, and choosing one darker than your skin color can end up looking patchy and too obvious. Don’t opt for shades with dark pink or orange undertones, but choose beiges and browns for a natural look. If you can’t find the right shade for your skin tone, a translucent powder should do the trick.

After you’ve bagged your favorite setting powder, let’s put it to use and keep our makeup in place, shall we?

How To Use Setting Powder

Step 1: Apply all your base makeup such as foundation and concealer. Follow up with blush, highlighter, and lip products if desired.

Step 2: Using your setting powder of choice, get ready to apply. You can use the puff or brush that comes with the product, or just use a kabuki or a powder brush.

Step 3: Swirl the brush or lightly dab cushion in the powder and dust off the excess.

Step 4: Start by dusting the powder on your T-zone (forehead, nose, and upper lip).

Step 5: Dab some under your eyes over your concealer. Wait for 5-10 minutes.

Step 6: Dust your whole face gently with some light strokes so that your skin doesn’t end up looking cakey.

Step 7: Stay put for at least 5 minutes without talking, laughing, or smiling to allow the look to set in place.

We know we’ve been going on about setting powders and if you feel like you don’t understand what the hype is about, read below to learn some benefits.

Benefits Of Using Setting Powder

  • Setting powder seals in all of your makeup products so that they last longer than usual. They will also not smudge or crease for a long time.
  • If you have oily skin, setting powders will absorb excess oil and shine to give you a mattifying effect that lasts all day long.
  • Setting powders are a great tool to even out your skin tone and texture. Some may even offer brightening benefits.
  • Some setting powders have blurring capabilities so that your spots, fine lines, pores, and wrinkles are softly covered up.
  • If you choose a powder with SPF, the sun protection levels are boosted for protected skin.
  • For midday touch-ups, setting powders are an easy way to keep your makeup looking fresh.

If you don’t use a setting powder after applying your makeup, it might leave your time and effort in ruins. No makeup product is perfect as they can crack, chip, or crease in some way or another, but setting powders help fix that. This godsend tool in the form of finely milled minerals doesn’t just lock your makeup down, but it also helps you look not as greasy by absorbing all the oils. We hope that reading our list of the best setting powders enlightened you on why they’re a must-have in your vanity. As you don’t need to be a pro to use this stuff, bag a favorite and get dusting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does setting powder actually work?

Yes, setting powders effectively keep makeup in place for long hours while also controlling excess shine and oil for a fresh look.

Is translucent powder the same as setting powder?

Yes, translucent powder is often colorless and can be used on any skin tone. It sets your makeup for longwear without budging or fading.

Is setting powder supposed to be lighter or darker than your skin tone?

Neither, as setting powders should match the exact shade of your foundation so as to not appear too patchy.

How long do you leave setting powder on?

You can leave setting powder on for 5-10 minutes, after which it will finish setting or ‘baking’.

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Kirtana developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was a little girl after reading the brilliant works of Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. She completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A fashion enthusiast who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about beauty, skin care, fashion, and just about anything else.