Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Beauty Discovered

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Applying Setting Powder

Share your best tips and tricks for applying setting powder to your face! Feel free to share your experiences, how you mastered techniques, or what you struggle with.

My Tips

  1. It’s important the powder is pressed into the skin, not merely feathered, if you really want to set the underlying base products–just use less than you think as you don’t need a lot and too much can look caky!
  2. I like translucent powders when I have a foundation that matches me, but I also keep a setting powder that is slightly darker so I can fix any foundation that might be slightly light.
  3. I like to mist my face with water (or if you prefer, an actual facial mist!) afterward, which helps to take down some of the excess powderiness.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

17 thoughts on “How to Apply Setting Powder – Tips & Tricks

  1. Karla

    Well, i been looking for a good setting powder, i use estee lauder double wear light and then mac studio fix powder after, but i been noticing that it looks cakey and i dont like… Im thinking of buy the mac nsf natural to use as a setting powder but i have never used this before, does anyone know any other good setting powder ?? I have normal/ combination skin that gets sligthly dry on winter, and im nc 25 on studio fix, so if i get the nsf which color should get??

    • I really love NARS’ Light Reflecting loose powder!

    • szlamizita

      My personal favourite is MAC Prep+Prime transparent powder (I use the loose one but the pressed is fine too)! It is very very light and almost impossible to overdo it because its so finely milled. It also smoothes the skin beautifully and it doesn’t dry it.

  2. Awesome tips, thanks so much for sharing =)

  3. Wayne Goss has a video that changed the way I apply setting powder. It’s entitled, “Do not use a powder brush to apply powder! Here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9lyg9DNfsY

    I now take a high-quality puff like Laura Mercier, work the powder into the puff and shake off the excess and then fold the puff and use it to roll the powder onto my face, which keeps my makeup where I put it rather than moving it around. It’s also great for covering pores, which I seem to be developing in my older age. (EEK!)

    After this technique, I use one of my Hakuhodo face brushes S100 or S102, although I prefer the S100, to knock off the excess powder.

    I also use MUFE Mist & Fix when I’m finished to eliminate the flatness a powder finish can create, although Evian spray works just as well and may be better for sensitive skin types.

    Hope this is useful. It really does make a huge difference in the overall finish and longevity of my makeup.

    • Julie Ann


      Thank you for the great link. I have never been good at getting powder on and have it look good. I will give this a try!

    • szlamizita

      I really like the way he applies powder and for my experience it controls oily skin better than lightly putting it to the surface. My skin is super oily, I tried every oil control lotions,some of it helps but a lot of this stuff just makes the skin dry and it gets oily anyway.
      My routine now is I press it in well,dust off the excess and spray it with La Roche Posay Thermal water or Bioderma Sensibio Water to make the skin more beautiful and add back some moisture so it doesn’t dry out the skin or MAC Fix+ because it may be overpriced but it somehow pushes the products in the skin better and gives such a great finish.

    • Liz

      I too started doing it like that after watching the video. Sometimes I’m too lazy and I brush pressed powder over my face.

    • Nicole

      I also started using a puff instead of a brush after watching Wayne Goss’s video and am happy with the results. Also, the Laura Mercier puff is wonderful, and a lot less expensive than a powder brush.

  4. Great tips! I love to press or roll the powder onto my skin so I don’t disturb the products beneath.

  5. LoL..so contrary to Wayne Goss, I watched a vid of Charolette Tilbury and I use her method for powder. If I use powder on a puff and press into skin, even if I dust it off, I ends up being far too heavy over my undereye corrector/concealer. I find concealer glossy which draws attention to the area and therefore to the imperfection, and so I do need to take the shine off, but without getting cakey.

    With aging skin, I do not apply powder all over. I use Hakuhodo blush brush and lightly lay in on skin using the side of the brush at the top and apply to middle of forehead, over undereye concealer in corners, nose, chin. Just the t-zone really and a featherlight application. Just touch ultra lightly. I’m currently using Chantecaille HD perfecting powder which I totally hated when I first started using. It’s simply too drying to apply everywhere, but absolutely perfect using the method above. I finish up with an Hourglass finishing powder everywhere.. lately Mood light has been my personal fav.