Banish any preconceptions you may have about setting powders. Today's versions are feather light and create the illusion of a skin-smoothing filter over the face
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Setting powder has come a long way since the chalky clouds that wafted up from your grandma’s vanity. Patting it on still stops foundation and concealer from rippling, but now the flecks of powder look virtually undetectable to the naked eye.
In recent years, upgrades to formulas have ensured that powder doesn’t sit heavily on the skin or settle into fine lines. Rather, those with oily skin can choose a powder infused with silica to mop up excess sebum, while ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and squalene comfort dry skin.
Today’s versions also come in more than one shade to mattify. Translucent setting powders won’t change the shade of your foundation, while coloured powders are ideal for use over bare skin when you need to lean on deeper tones or colour correct redness.
Ahead some of the best setting powders to address different skin types, concerns and tones.
Also read: Skincare science: Sweden’s homegrown ingredient upsalite is poised to shake up the beauty world
Lumene Sheer Finish Loose Powder
Infused with radiance-boosting Arctic cloudberry and encapsulated hydrating hyaluronic acid, the vegan formula blurs imperfections and softens the appearance of fine lines.
Sheer Finish Loose Powder
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Medium Deep
A makeup artist favourite, this powder blends effortlessly for a matte, soft-focus finish that sets makeup flawlessly for 12 hours.
Translucent Loose Setting Powder
Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder
Perfect for nights when you’re hitting the dance floor, this powder makes foundation completely matte and waterproof for 11 hours.
All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder
Idun Minerals Loose Mattifying Mineral Powder Tora
Ideal for sensitive skin, meet the setting powder made up of just four ingredients: mica, kaolin, zinc oxide and silica. Apply with a kabuki brush, pressing the powder into the bristles before dabbing over foundation.
Loose Mattifying Mineral Powder Tora
Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Powder
Colour-correcting pigments disguise redness and, given the powder is created by a beauty blogger, it naturally prevents flashback in selfies, too.
Easy Bake Loose Powder
IsaDora Loose Setting Powder
Don’t be put off by the snowy white shade. Translucent, featherlight and non-drying, this powder is great for blurring the appearance of blemishes on all shades of foundation.
Loose Setting Powder
Givenchy Prisme Libre Matte-finish & Enhanced Radiance Loose Powder
Two matte and two shimmer powders can be mixed together and buffed all over the face. Alternatively target specific areas to either take down or strategically add a subtle sheen.
Prisme Libre Matte-finish & Enhanced Radiance Loose Powder
Charlotte Tilbury Genius Magic Powder
Made with 99 per cent natural ingredients: tsubaki oil nourishes skin, mica adds luminosity and creamy pigments create a next-to-natural finish.
Genius Magic Powder
Face Stockholm Loose Powder
Available in seven shades, this airy powder renders ultra-light results, feeling like nothing on your skin as it helps your makeup last all day.
Rare Beauty Always An Optimist Soft Radiance Setting Powder
The only thing we love more than this skin-soothing mineral powder is the sifter that ensures this finely-milled powder is easy to use on the go. No spilling in the bottom of your makeup bag, guaranteed.
Always An Optimist Soft Radiance Setting Powder
Pat Mcgrath Sublime Perfection Setting Powder
Formulated with what this makeup supremo has dubbed ‘Flex Form Matrix’, McGrath's powder creates a barely-there feel while amino acid-treated pigments ensure the very best skin adherence.
Sublime Perfection Setting Powder
Glow runs through Glossier’s DNA and this powder is no different. Light-reflecting diamond powder ensures skin never looks flat while kaolin clay imperceptibly absorbs oil.
Nars Cosmetics Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
The cult-favourite formula is infused with ‘Photochromic Technology’ that diffuses light and adjusts to new sources of sunlight and artificial light throughout the day. So you can rest assured your makeup will stay looking seamless no matter what life throws at you.
Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
Chic and high-performing, let this completely weightless powder minimise the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles. It can even be used under eyes to set concealer without creasing or accentuating crow’s feet.
Veil Translucent Setting Powder