8 Beauty Editor-Approved Setting Powders To Lock Down Your Makeup

Whether translucent or tinted, pressed or loose, these makeup-setting formulas will stay by you


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As a self-proclaimed shiny-skinned gal, I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to setting powders.

I’ve dipped my brush in both loose and pressed powders, and there are benefits to both.

I prefer loose powder for setting my makeup at the start of the day (I use mine with a damp beauty blender in press and roll motions to set my under-eye area and T-zone) and sub in pressed powder for all-over touch-ups when shine hits.

Scroll through my picks of tried-and-tested translucent setting powders to see which one is right for you.

Photo / Aleph Beauty

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder, $97

After first trialing this myself, I passed this loose powder on to my sister-in-law who has a drier skin type than me. She quickly sung its praises, saying most loose powders tend to sit on her skin and highlight any imperfections or appear patchy. By Terry’s Hyaluronic Hydra Powder doubles as skincare, thanks to the addition of micro-fine hyaluronic acid which supports skin’s moisture retention and plumps fine lines, while silica particles help fill in pores for a more flawless complexion.

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Antipodes Translucent Mineral Finishing Powder, $47

I was nice enough to include not one, but two of my Holy Grail setting powders on this list, and this is one of them. You know something is good when a beauty editor buys a product on repeat, and I’ve collected more of these pottles over the years than I care to count (they’re great for housing hair ties when empty). It’s skin-perfecting loose powder formula sits beautifully over liquid foundation and concealer, and won’t crease in fine lines or under-eyes. It leaves skin with a beautiful matte finish, but doesn’t appear dry or cakey. It’s a big yes from me.

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Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $64

My second Holy Grail powder to grace this list, Laura Mercier’s take on loose powder culminates in this ultra-fine formula which lightly blurs imperfections using soft-focus technology for up to 23 hours’ wear. It sits beautifully all day, putting a halt to a shiny T-zone no matter what the weather throws at you. It won’t flashback in photos, either, and comes in translucent for fair, medium and tan skin tones, or translucent medium deep for medium to deep skin tones.

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Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, $73

This pressed powder is one I have in my current makeup rotation, which is said to banish excess oil, smooth skin and blur pores. It does two out of three of those things (on my skin type, anyway) as I do find blotting papers are often needed by 3pm to soak up any shine that’s cropped up throughout the day. But what it lacks in oil absorption it makes up for in other areas — it dusts on seamlessly with a fluffy powder brush, and lends a soft-focus to create an even-looking visage.

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Revlon Colorstay Pressed Powder, $40

If you require a little more coverage from your powder, this one by Revlon helps set a liquid base while lending a buildable wash of colour. Its shade range is limited (it also comes in translucent should you prefer a colour-less version) but all of its claims check out — it helps minimise shine and keeps makeup looking fresh for up to 16 hours.

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Aleph Beauty Prep/Finish Powder, $72

Formulated and manufactured in Aotearoa using skin-loving ingredients such as bixa orellana seed extract, carnuba wax and soy and rice extract, this translucent finishing powder works to prime, perfect and protect skin, with the added benefit of setting makeup for added longevity. It works well for those prone to rosacea, oily skin or enlarged pores, to help blur their appearance while softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and defending against blue light and environmental stressors. Not to mention it’s also refillable, with refills priced at $58 each. Just remember to hold on to your original tin.

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Smashbox Halo Fresh Perfecting Powder, $69

Its unique powderiser design is intended to keep powder fresh up until every use, with a clockwise turn of the wrist meaning you can dispense just the right amount before dusting it onto skin for a natural, airbrushed finish. The formula harnesses goji berries, gold and peptides to care for skin while offering a light coverage of powder that won’t crease or cake throughout the day.

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It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder, $49

This talc-free setting powder was developed in conjunction with leading plastic surgeons, and recruits hydro collagen and vitamins A, C, E and K to smooth fine lines, reduce discoloration and ward off free radicals throughout the day. Whether worn over concealer and foundation to help them set, or as a perfecting powder over bare skin, this ultra-fine loose powder is an excellent match for mature skin types as it won’t settle into fine lines or wrinkles. It also comes in pressed powder form should you prefer a mess-free application.

Photo / Supplied


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