One of the biggest betrayals in beauty is when the makeup you just spent 25-plus minutes on begins to melt and slide away. There are dry shampoos that suck up extra oil from your scalp and powders specifically made to soak up boob sweat—and for your face, there's a magic product that keeps your makeup from sliding off your face and onto the sidewalk or worse, your mask: old-fashioned setting powder.
By old-fashioned, we simply mean reliable, because the latest and greatest in face powders are more advanced than ever. Blurring pigments act as DIY Instagram filters. Formulas are infused with soothing skin ingredients that treat your complexion while you wear it. Shade ranges have been expanded, and prices range for affordable buys or luxury splurges. All in all, setting powders have just gotten better ingredient and texture-wise, and we're thrilled about it. We felt that everyone could use a refresher on the best setting powders out there, from pressed options to pretty loose powders in pots. Here, the very best setting powders for every skin tone under the sun (literally.)
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
It's a makeup artist go-to for a reason. If you know you're going to be taking pictures on a night out, this powder will keep your T-zone matte without that scary, telltale flashback.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder
Touching up your complexion on the go can be a hassle—personally, my purse is too packed to throw in a big fluffy buffing brush—and this formula is the solution. This pressed powder can easily cover red spots and blemishes on your travels, and it includes rose wax and almond oil to keep skin looking soft.
Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Talc-Free Vegan Powder
If you've been burned by setting powders in the past when it comes to white casts or snagging on dry patches, meet your new best friend: Kosas' meadowfoam seed oil-infused formula is buttery enough to use on flaky skin and comes in multiple shades.
ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr Ultimate Blurring Setting Powder
Combine this setting powder with Patrick Starrr's On ‘Til Dawn matte spray and you can kiss mask imprints goodbye. A loose powder, it’s available in two shades for lighter and darker skin tones, a light dusting bond to the skin that instantly reduces shine and oil.
Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder in Suntan
A beauty Youtube throwback, this was THE setting powder circa 2016 and its impact is still felt today. This setting powder has more than 80k reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon for good reason, including the inexpensive price point and the soft-touch look it leaves.
Gucci Poudre De Beauté Mat Naturel Beauty Setting Powder
Available in 13 shades, this setting powder is best for dry skin or for a light blotting. Oh, and the beautiful packaging is refillable for infinite use. Warning: Using a brush might cause color change in the pan, so opt instead for the sponge provided.
Urban Decay All Nighter Lightweight Loose Setting Powder
The light formula offers buildable coverage to set any face products without clogging pores. Or, if you just need some shine control, a quick swipe on the T-zone and chin will absorb oiliness without flashback.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Translucent Setting Powder
When you need to soak up sweat fast, this pressed powder sucks up all that unwanted sebum and improves the appearance of large pores.
Danessa Myricks Beauty Evolution Setting Powder
This formula's wide shade range contains gorgeous, warm tones that'll make skin look more radiant while it sets the rest of your makeup.
CHANEL Universelle Libre Natural Finish Loose Powder
The photo-reflective pigments in this formula add an extra elegant softness to its matte finish. Use a big, fluffy brush to dab it on your forehead, cheekbones, and chin to squash any extra shine.
Tatcha The Silk Powder Protective Setting Powder
If your foundation tends to pebble around your nose and cheeks, this pollution shielding powder will provide a smoother canvas.
Mented Cosmetics Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder
This ultra-fine powder is nixes shine in seconds, and it comes in multiple shades for those with deeper skin tones.
Ilia Radiant Translucent Powder SPF 20
Re-upping your SPF on top of your makeup can be annoying, but it's a must, especially in the summer months. A couple dabs of this loose powder, though, makes reapplying a breeze.
Taylore Glynn is the Beauty and Health Editor at Marie Claire, covering skincare, makeup, fragrance, wellness, and more. If you need her, she’s probably roasting a chicken, flying solo at the movies, or drinking a bad Negroni at JFK.
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