One of the most underrated products in any makeup collection – and one we just can’t live without – is the best setting powder.
As its name suggests, it helps set your makeup in place but it does so much more than that.
If you’ve got fine lines or wrinkles (🙋♀️), especially around your eyes, you need setting powder. If your skin is oily or shiny (🙋♀️), get yourself some setting powder. If you live somewhere warm, we highly recommend setting powder (and we’re also a jealous!)
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What’s more, many of the best setting powders can give an extra oomph of brightening and hydrating effects to your skin and leave you with a flawless finish.
Setting powders are made up of oil-absorbing minerals and are applied on top of your base products.
You don’t have to wait until your entire makeup look is complete and it’s actually best to apply setting powder when your foundation (or concealer/tinted moisturiser/BB cream/CC cream etc) is still wet.
It’s a super handy makeup staple to have in your handbag, and while it may seem like yet another makeup product – and yet another expense – you’ll save time and money by not having to re-apply makeup. We’ve also chosen the best setting powders to hopefully suit most budgets.
And finally – when looking for the best setting powder, opt for lightweight and translucent. This is so it doesn’t alter your skin tone or interfere with the tones of produces you’ve just spent ages applying.
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£32 | Buy now from SpaceNK
Why we love it: Our personal favourite setting powder, and one that is a popular choice across the globe given by its numerous awards for keeping your face shine-free.
This Translucent Setting Powder keeps makeup in place for up to 12 hours, while also keeping your face free of oils and shine. The loose powder means it’s easy to apply different amounts to different parts of the face, depending where you need it most – for us, it’s often our pesky T-zone and chin.
It’s easy to blend, and thanks to the micro-refined silica making it lightweight, you won’t have that caked-on effect that sometimes can be unintentionally achieved with setting powders. Perfect for keeping your face looking flawless all day long.
£4.50 | Buy now from e.l.f
Why we love it: The perfect go-to setting powder if you don’t want to spend a huge amount; this is also a great choice for anyone unsure about investing in a powder.
Don’t be deceived into thinking this setting powder’s cheap price makes it poor quality. This Translucent Mattifying Powder will set your makeup and soak up oil like many more expensive powders we’ve used.
It’s a great size to stick in your handbag for when you’re on-the-go, too.
FURTHER READING: Why we love e.l.f makeup so much
£45 | Buy now from Feelunique
Why we love it: An invisible veil is exactly what we want from our powders and Hourglass’ translucent setting powder ticks all the boxes – other than price!
It gives a veil-like finish because it doesn’t include talc, which is the ingredient found in many powders that can create a chalky look.
It also includes a diamond powder which leaves your skin with this radiant but blurred effect that will keep your makeup in prime condition as the hours pass by.
Unlike some other translucent powders, this one actually goes on translucent so there’s even less risk of a ghost-like finish at the end.
£35 | Buy now from Cult Beauty
Why we love it: Charlotte Tilbury strikes again with yet another golden product.
Aptly named, we can confirm this setting powder really does achieve that perfect, airbrushed look. It’s so popular, one is sold every second – according to Charlotte Tilbury!
Plus, because the powder is fine, you don’t have to worry about it sinking into any fine lines or leaving your makeup with a cakey finish.
This powder is great for removing your skin surface of oil and shine but not dehydrating the skin, thanks to the rose wax and almond oil.
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Your skin is also left looking brightened due to the reflecting particles in it. We’re impressed with this pressed powder option, for sure.
Charlotte Tilbury recently released the Airbrush Bronzer, which has a similar consistency to the Airbrush Flawless Finish powder, as well as similar skincare benefits if you want to complete the set.
£11 | Buy now from Boots
Why we love it: If, despite our reassurances, you’re looking to spend a little more on the best setting powder than e.l.f’s £4.50 model, Boot’s No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder is affordable, reliable and performs better than its price would suggest.
The loose powder is fine, super soft and lightweight, blending easily onto your skin and disguising any flaws and fine lines on your face.
It also contains Vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5 to keep your skin hydrated. Reviews are strong for this one, with many saying it’s a CoverFX setting powder dupe which comes in at twice the price.
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Why we love it: NARS’ Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder contains minerals that make sure all oil and shine are mattified, but also includes glycerin and Vitamin E to hydrate and nourish drier skin simultaneously.
This is great for all skin types as you won’t get that cracked or flaky texture to your makeup, but particularly good news for dry skin.
A lightweight powder which keeps your skin glowing as you say goodbye to visible pores and fine lines, blurring your skin into a perfect finish, this powder is also available as a compact pressed version, should that be your preference.
Amira Arasteh is a freelance journalist and content creator. Find her making sense of beauty trends, tips and topics – when she’s not stuffing her face with the best food in London or travelling the globe