Take it from the professionals: It’s essential to have, at the very least, one of the best setting powders in your makeup kit — especially in the summer when heat and humidity can ruin a makeup look before it’s even done. “Setting your makeup is one of the most important steps of your makeup routine,” New York City-based makeup artist Delina Medhin tells Allure. “When you set the makeup, it has longevity, because who wants to carry a touch-up kit everywhere?”
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $43
- Most Natural: Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre, $52
- Best for Full Glam: Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Setting Powder, $42
- Best Drugstore: E.L.F. Halo Glow Setting Powder, $8
- Best Pressed Formula: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish, $48
- Best for Texture: Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Powder, $25
- Best for Touch-Ups: Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder, $35
- Best for Baking: One/Size Ultimate Blurring Setting Powder, $34
Even if you prefer dewy looks (courtesy of BB creams or skin tints) over ones with a matte finish, setting powder applied strategically — in the T-zone, for example — can absorb excess oil and keep products in place longer, according to Medhin. But oil absorption and longevity aren’t the only things setting powders are good for, according to fellow New York City-based makeup artist Tommy Napoli. “Setting powder is not only used to lock in your makeup but to ‘finish’ the look of makeup — to create a smoother, more poreless, and texture-less surface,” he explains.
Both artists agree that, whether you have oily skin or dry skin, the less-is-more approach is best when it comes to powders. “This gives you more control of the product,” Medhin says. “Place your brush in the powder, then tap it off until it looks like nothing is left on the brush, then keep applying until you get to your desired matte look.” Tommy adds face powder to the forehead, nose, chin, and sides of the mouth to “help to mitigate any excess shine or oil breakthrough that can lead to a porous look.”
Give these techniques a whirl with the 16 best setting powders listed below, all of which are makeup artist and beauty editor favorites, and say goodbye to your days of makeup creasing and flashback.
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