Setting powders are primarily used after regular foundation to take away any signs of oiliness, creating a smoother finish on the skin. It acts as an adhesive to keep foundation intact that can tend to grease out on humid temperatures. Most formulations of setting powders are in matte that is best recommended for oily skin. It creates a bridge between foundation and bronzer that makes it easier for them to blend and avoid any smudging. Choosing the right setting powder is important that includes considerations like the colour of the skin, colour of the foundation used, formulation and skin type. The setting powder should match the user's skin tone and the shade of foundation, in order to avoid looking too contrasting and overpowering. Choosing hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested setting powders is most ideal for skin that may react to stronger formulations. Some brands have infused active ingredients such as vitamins and extracts that help moisturise and hydrate the skin for several hours after application.

Setting powders has become an essential part of the makeup routine that brands have produced different formulations. Most formulations focus on oil absorption, matte and smooth finish, skin moisturising and hydration. The endpoint of an effective setting powders is its ability to keep foundation and other layers of the makeup intact after longer hours of application. The reviews of users online can be very helpful in deciding the right setting powders and determining their effectiveness. While there are some brands of setting powder that are very expensive and ineffective, there are others that are reasonably priced but worth every penny. 

1. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder is an award-winning product that comes in three translucent shades, made for different skin tones. It primarily sets the foundation’s colour while reducing oil build up for up to 16 hours of use. Its translucent shade is fit for people with fair to medium skin complexion; Translucent Honey is for golden skin undertones; Translucent Medium Deep Shade is best recommended for medium to deep skin tones. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder contains vitamin C and E that acts as antioxidants for an even skin texture. An individual order of the Loose Setting Powder cost approximately £34.00. The Laura Mercier Setting powder is given a 4.7-star rating out of 5 for its highly pigmented nude colours. 

Advantages of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Disadvantages of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Highly pigmented

Patchy after hours of application

Easy to blend

Dries out skin

Lightweight

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

2. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish is a medium coverage setting powder that results in a natural finish. It is best recommended for all types of skin, most especially for oily skin. The Charlotte Tilbury contains active ingredients like Rose Wax and Almond oil that collectively hydrates and nourishes the skin to keep it from drying.  The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder has an average price of £45 GBP. Users of the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Setting Powder reviewed the product and gave it a 4.2-star rating out of 5, praising it for its matte finish and coverage. 

Advantages of Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder

Disadvantages of Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder

Lightweight on the skin

Dries out and forms creases

Texture effectively glides on skin

Cakey

Airbrush effect

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder

3. bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder

The bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder is a setting powder that absorbs oiliness from foundation, creating a soft focus effect all over the skin. It comes in two shades of Original Translucent and Tinted Tan Deep that are both lightweight and talc free. The bareMinerals Setting Powder is best recommended for sensitive skin as it is formulated to  be hypoallergenic and tested by dermatologists. It is free from paraben, formaldehyde, gluten, and scent that may cause skin irritation. The bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder can be bought for approximately £17 GBP. Users of the Veil Finishing Powder reviewed the product and rated it with a 4.4 star out of 5, praising it for its weightless feel on the skin and long-lasting wear. 

Advantages of bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder

Disadvantages of bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder

Lightweight finish

Cakey

Extends foundation for longer hours

Presence of white cast after hours of application

Natural glow

bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder

4. La Mer The Powder

The La Mer The Powder is a loose powder that is best recommended for people with textured and oily skin. It is formulated with La Mer’s Miracle Broth that effectively adheres and  is made with air-spun seaborne particles that make it lightweight on the skin. The La Mer setting powder is free from paraben, phthalates, and sulphates that can irritate the skin. The La Mer The Powder is available for around £77 GBP.  The La Mer Setting Powder gains a 4.1-star rating out of 5 for its flawless finish on the skin that leaves large pores unnoticeable. 

Advantages of La Mer The Powder

Disadvantages of La Mer The Powder

Just the right amount of shimmer and glowy finish

Expensive

Non-greasy formula

Contains Talc

Long Lasting formula

La Mer The Powder

5. Cover Fx Perfect Setting Powder

The Cover Fx Perfect Setting Powder is a translucent setting powder that creates a soft focus effect on the skin. This is best recommended for makeup users who do makeup baking that evenly sets on the skin. The setting powder blends in smoothly on the skin that greatly helps diminish fine lines. An organic component found in the setting powder called Phytosphingosine reduces skin inflammation and strengthens the layers of the skin. The Cover Fx Setting Powder contains vitamin  C, E and F that helps nourish the skin and prevent drying. It is free from paraben, phthalates, gluten, mineral oil and talc. The Cover Fx Perfect Setting Powder is for sale approximately for £28 GBP.  It is rated  4.5 stars out of 5, mainly for its translucent formula that fits well with most skin tones. 

Advantages of Cover Fx Perfect Setting Powder

Disadvantage of Cover Fx Perfect Setting Powder

Lightweight

Settles on skin folds

Neutral and translucent shade

Talc Free, Vegan

Cover Fx Perfect Setting Powder

6. Covergirl trublend Minerals Loose Powder

The Covergirl trublend Minerals Loose Powder is a set of setting powder that efficiently conceals any blemishes and evens out textured skin. Its formula includes TruBlend’s signature natural minerals that create a natural radiant effect on skin. Its expanded range of colours and shades of Translucent, Fair and Banana fits right into every skin tone. Covergirl’s TruBlend Minerals Loose Powder retails for approximately £6 GBP.  The Minerals Loose Powder is rated 4.2 stars out of 5 for its flawless skin finish and coverage.

Advantages of Covergirl trublend Minerals Loose Powder

Disadvantage of Covergirl trublend Minerals Loose Powder

Long-lasting

Overpowering shimmer

Smooth coverage

Lightweight feel on the skin

Covergirl trublend Minerals Loose Powder

7. Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting Powder

Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting Powder is a translucent setting powder that eliminates shine from oily prone skin that lasts the entire day. It doubles as a setting and finishing powder that employs its airbrush like technology, hiding any visible fine lines. The Danessa Myricks setting powder has a micro-fine matte finish texture that leaves a lightweight feeling on the skin. Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting Powder retails for around £22 GBP. The Danessa Myricks Setting Powder is rated 4.4 stars out of 5 for its powerful blurring effect and velvety formula.  

Advantages of Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting Powder

Disadvantages of Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting Powder

Covers oily skin

Oxidizes 

Natural matte finish

Dries out after hours of application

Soft focus effect on textured skin

Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting Powder

8. Mented Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder

The Mented Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder effectively sets in foundation and provides an ultra lightweight feel on the skin. It keeps oily skin matte without feeling dry with its vitamin C infused formula. It is tested by dermatologists to be safe and hypoallergenic for all sensitive skin. The Mented Setting Powder has contrasting shades of Deep/Rich,Medium/Deep, Light/Tan that fits any skin type. Mented Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder is available in stores for around £21 GBP. Mented Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder is rated 4.7 stars out of 5 for its coverage and smooth finish. 

Advantages of Mented Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder

Disadvantage of Mented Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder

Great coverage

Dries out after hours of application

Lightweight and silky smooth finish

Selection of shades for different skin tone

Mented Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder

9. MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Loose Powder

MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Loose Powder helps set foundation and other layers of makeup in place without leaving the skin dry and oily. It comes in a universal colour shade that fits right in most skin complexions. It is best recommended for acne prone and sensitive skin, as it is tested by both Dermatologists and Ophthalmologists. MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Loose Powder is available in stores for around £24 GBP. MAC’s Finishing Loose Powder is rated 4.1 stars out of 5 for its long-lasting effect and crease resistant formula. 

Advantages of MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Loose Powder

Disadvantages of MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Loose Powder

Natural and universal shade

Flashback

Ideal for oily skin

Not recommended for dry skin

Long-lasting formula

MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Loose Powder

10. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Sheer Finish Loose Powder

The Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Sheer Finish Loose Powder introduces a matte setting powder that targets oiliness of the skin and gives it a smooth finish. It is formulated with an oil absorbing formula that takes away any excess sebum build-up that causes makeup to smudge. The Bobbi Brown Setting Powder comes in a compact pressed powder packaging that is easier to carry around. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Sheer Finish Loose Powder is available online and in stores for around £32 GBP each. The Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Loose Powder is  given a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 for its smooth and matte finish on the skin. 

Advantages of  Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Sheer Finish Loose Powder

Disadvantages of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Sheer Finish Loose Powder

Blends easily with other makeup

Oxidizes into a different shade when applied for some users.

Prevents oil build-up

Dries out in hours after application

Long-lasting wear

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Sheer Finish Loose Powder

11. Glossier Wowder Finishing Powder

Glossier Wowder Finishing Powder is an effective setting powder that absorbs the oil then even out textured skin. This mattifying setting powder is so good at blurring any skin imperfection that it almost looks like putting on a real life face filter. It is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and is tested by Dermatologists for the most sensitive skin. One of the perks of the Glossier Wowder product is the inclusion of its soft bristled Wowder brush that evenly applies the setting powder in place. The Glossier Wowder Finishing Powder is retailed for approximately £18 GBP. Glossier Wowder Finishing Powder is rated  stars out of 5 for 

Advantages of Glossier Wowder Finishing Powder

Disadvantages of Glossier Wowder Finishing Powder

Just the right amount of matte

Easy to apply, but messy

Absorbs oil from the skin

Dries out skin after hours from application

Natural glow

Glossier Wowder Finishing Powder

12. L'Oréal Paris Infallible Tinted Loose Setting Powder

This Infallible Tinted Loose Setting Powder from L'Oréal Paris comes in two colours of its translucent formula that sets the face and absorbs oil. Among the translucent medium deep and light medium shades, L'Oréal Paris Setting Powders provide a perfect match for different skin tones. The Infallible Tinted Setting Powders promise long-lasting results without any white cast. It is available online and in physical stores for approximately £9 GBP. L'Oréal Paris Setting Powder is given a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 for its easy application matte finish. 

Advantages of L'Oréal Paris Infallible Tinted Loose Setting Powder

Disadvantages of L'Oréal Paris Infallible Tinted Loose Setting Powder

Works well for oily skin

Contains Talc

Blendable formula

Uneven coverage

Lightweight and translucent

Glossier Wowder Finishing Powder

13. PAT McGRATH LABS Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting Powder

PAT McGRATH LABS Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting Powder comes in five natural matte shades that is light on the skin but is great on coverage. It is formulated with amino acid  that keeps the shade intact even with sweat and oil build-up. The velvety finish of the Sublime Perfection Setting Powder blurs out any dark spots or uneven texture on the skin without the feeling of having makeup on. The Sublime Perfection Setting Powder costs around £53 GBP. PAT McGRATH LABS Setting Powder is given a rating of 3.8 stars out of 5 for its sheer, lightweight, smooth finish. 

Advantages of PAT McGRATH LABS Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting Powder

Disadvantage of PAT McGRATH LABS Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting  Powder

Conceals any skin blemishes very well

Expensive

Sets in makeup for hours

Ideal for oily skin

PAT McGRATH LABS Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting Powder

What are the Features of setting powders to Look for?

Setting powders are mainly used to keep the foundation and makeup from falling off or smudging after hours from application. It creates a smoother finish on the skin that conceals any uneven skin tone or texture that may affect the other layers of makeup. When using setting powders for the first time, it might be daunting, but considering factors like shade, complexion, and formulation can be helpful. Choosing the right shade is an important consideration when buying setting powders. One should pick a shade of setting powder that matches the hue of the layered foundation and one's skin complexion, so as not to appear streaked. Some formulation of setting powders might not be ideal for sensitive skin that might result in breakouts and irritation. There are setting powders that are hypoallergenic, anti-acne and are lightweight that are made for delicate skin types. People with dry skin should opt for formulations that have moisturiser or have a hydrating component to avoid cakey feeling after application. 

What are the Benefits of Using Setting powders?

Setting powders has been a useful addition to everyone’s makeup regimen. People have different skin types including normal, dry, and oily, and different makeup reacts differently on different skin types, and that is where setting powder comes in. Below are the benefits of using setting powders as an essential part of one’s makeup routine. 

  • Setting powder serves as an adhesive to keep the layer of foundation in place while applying makeup thereafter like bronzer or blush. 
  • Foundation can leave some oily prone skin with excess shine, setting powder absorbs excess sebum that leaves the skin smooth and matte.
  • Formulations for Setting powders include moisturising and nourishing ingredients that keep the skin hydrated even with layers of makeup on.
  • Setting powders doubles as concealers that blurs out dark spots, patches and uneven textured skin. 
  •  Some formulations contain an amount of sheer that adds an extra glow and natural finish on the skin. 

Is it easy to apply setting powders?

Yes, application of setting powder can be easy even for makeup beginners. With the right small brush, controlling the application of setting powder all over the face is made easier. It is important to apply the setting powder evenly on the face, most especially on oil prone areas like the sides of the nose and the t-zone of the face. Setting powder doesn't need to be applied in any specific way, but a significant tip is to press it on while the foundation is still wet to avoid streaks.