Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The Hit List

What’s the Best Setting Powder you’ve tried?

Share your favorite!  And don’t forget to share why :)

Thanks to Mirian for this week’s topic!

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.

102 thoughts on “Hit List: Best Setting Powder

  1. Ben Nye Banana Powder. I just find the finish to be the most flawless of all I’ve tried. HD Powder is good too but not the best for dry skins and there’s the issue of flash photography

  2. Karen McCormack

    Cornsilk translucent powder- smells like granny’s makeup but contains the oils!

    • xamyx

      I didn’t realize they still made Cornsilk! That was my “go-to” in High School over 20 years ago, even when I had oilier skin and took several dance classes. I haven’t seen it in so long.

      • Karen McCormack

        I’m in Ireland and you can still get it in Boots a big chain pharmacy, notjing else works for me!

  3. Justine

    Chanel poudre universelle libre (loose powder)!

  4. CF

    Definitely Kryolan Translucent Powder TL1 – THE BEST. Controls shine, after applying it I dont need any fixing sprays, because I never go wrong with it – impressive! My top fav!

  5. Laura M

    MAC Blot Powder! It’s semi-translucent, so you don’t have to worry about getting a cakey face and it also provides great shine control!

  6. Kristabelle

    Honestly, out of everything I’ve tried- both high-end and drugstore- Rimmel Stay Matte is the best. It doesn’t look cakey and actually keeps my skin shine-free all day- most powders stop working for me after 3 or 4 hours.

    • Mariella

      I like Stay Matte too and for the price, it’s a great product but the packaging!!!! The lid doesn’t stay on and I have to use 2 rubber bands to keep it in place!

  7. Mahnaz

    Guerlein Meteorites

  8. Mariella

    I really like MAC Prep+Prime (both loose and the newer pressed version) but their MSF Natural is a good product too. I haven’t used Cornsilk in years…I don’t know if it’s even still available in Canada. I haven’t seen it in a long time.

  9. I like the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder a lot, it gives a really natural finished and makes everything look airbrushed. I also like that it doesn’t cause flashback, so I know I can use it for any occasion and it will photograph well.

    I’m happy with it, for sure, but I have heard so many good things about the Ben Nye powders that I think I need to give them a try. You never know, they could blow my mind!

  10. Jennifer

    I haven’t tried many but I like the MAC MSFN a lot actually. I’ve run out. I’m trying to find a cheaper version before I go out and buy it again.

  11. Renee

    Guerlain meteorites for glow and mac care blend pressed powder for less glow.;)

  12. Ben Nye Neutral Setting Powder. I never have to touch up models when I use it. And Banana is a good option for those with yellow skin tones.

  13. Tigerlily

    Laura Mercier’s loose setting powder! My T-zone doesn’t shine all day when I use it, and a little goes a long way.

  14. Ben Nye Banana Visage powder. It complements Asian skin, helps keep oil at bay :)

  15. mirian

    mac+prep and prime pressed invisible powder!! and then guerlain meteorites :)

  16. Maru

    Lumene – translucent loose powder <3

  17. Krista

    IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores!

    LOVE this stuff, gives me an airbrushed effect!

  18. Dominique

    Maybe Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre which is very good.

  19. Amy

    I always go back to my MAC Prep & Prime, the loose powder. I always use blotting papers during the day so need to buy the pressed version! 😀

  20. xamyx

    If you look at the list of ingredients on *any* setting powder, HE or DS, 90+% of the time talc or corn starch will be the first ingredient listed. Instead of paying $20+ for pretty packaging & a “brand name”, I just use baby powder, more specifically, Corn Starch with Aloe. I’m fair enough that I don’t have to worry about it looking chalky, but I’ve had friends with deeper complexions who’ve used it, too.

  21. Rimmel stay matt powder, its great for the price and i have no problems with the lid

  22. Gabby

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a good setting powder for the under-eye area? I need to use a corrector and a concealer so I don’t look like I have a black eye, and I’m on the hunt for a powder that won’t make it look so cakey.

    • Lark

      Maybe a different product idea? I hear Ilamasque foundation is a great under eye concealer; Pick a shade that brightens. And it would set with your regular powder. Actually, any of the heavier foundations cover stuff well and could go under your eyes whilst something lighter on your face for everyday would be more comfortable. The point? The same powder will work on both and transition the color well if the match isn’t perfect.

      I use Maybelline Instant Rewind Dark Circle something under my eyes- it’s hefty coverage but about the consistency of a stage foundation. Less stuff than a multiproduct paint out. I’ve got some black eyes experience myself. Anyway, same powder as the face and less of a spackle job.

      • Gabby

        I have the MIRDC concealer, but it doesn’t do the trick by itself — I definitely need an orange-toned corrector underneath to hide my undereye circles better.

        As for a heavier foundation, again, it wouldn’t work. The issue is not necessarily coverage as much as brightening the area by counteracting the blueness/purpleness under my eyes. As well, Illamasqua foundations are silicone-based, and since I have sensitive skin, that’s a no for me.

        Thanks for the suggestion though!

    • Julie

      Bobbi Brown has a corrector “kit”. One side corrector, the other is a powder to put over it. I use her concealer, too. Great stuff!!! Here’s the website.

      • Gabby

        Yeah, I’ve heard mixed reviews about this setting powder, but I guess it’s worth checking it out for myself. Thanks!

    • Chrissie

      Benefit Powderflage is good! Pricey for the size though 😉

    • are

      Why do you feel you need a powder. Powders mattify, however “illuminating” they are, and that only accentuates any bags and lines. Have you considered using a setting spray instead?

  23. Iris

    I love ELF HD powder, but I don’t use that too often, most of the time I use maybelinne creme puff which is a beautiful powder :)

  24. Antonia

    I have only tried Laura Mercier loose setting powder and Make up stores pressed powder. I prefer the Laura Mercier powder, it never makes my skin look dry.

  25. Alley Cat

    I use Ben Nye Neutral Set for a matte finish. I heard Banana Visage is also great, but I feel like it’s a bit too yellow for my skin tone.

    • Banana is really great to highlight and set your concealer if you have dark/tan skin. On lighter skin.. I feel like it’s too dark and yellow. I prefer to mix it with Neutral Set when I’m not tan! :)

      • Miss J

        For lighter skin, especially those with cooler undertones, Flesh is a better way to go than Banana.

        • Oh I was talking about my skintone, which is olive/golden. :) But that’s good to know!

          • Deirdre

            I really want to try the Ben Nye powders, but I’m worried I’ll order the wrong color. If I have fair/light skin, and want to use it as an allover powder to set my foundation, should I get the neutral, or one of the colored ones (Cameo or Buff)?

          • Miss J

            Haha, I got what you meant. I use Banana, too. I was just throwing out the other one for anyone who wanted to know which one is better for lighter tones! :) It may be called Cameo, not Flesh. Too many powders on the brain, haha.

      • Alley Cat

        Oh wow! Great to know! I have a medium skin tone and I <3 contouring/highlighting, so I'll try to get my hands on a bottle of Banana visage soon-ish. Thanks! 😀

  26. Corinne

    LaMer The Powder. HUGE jar for the price…lasted me years!

  27. I actually really like the MAC Prep+Prime Transparent Setting Powder. I’ve switched to MUFE’s HD Powder after I finished my first jar of MAC’s and it just wasn’t the same. I find that if you apply too much of the MUFE, you can get that very very slight cast while the MAC, you can layer to your heart’s content.

    For some reason, I bought another jar of the MUFE when I ran out so I’m trying to get through it before purchasing another MAC. (btw, that’s it–3 jars of setting powder for as LONG as I’ve been using them!! Those things last FOREVER! :P)

  28. Chasity

    My favorite of all time is the NYC loose powder in translucent. Its perfect doesnt leave me ashy (I’m NC50) lasts all day, and it’s cheap and readily available and no flashback!

    • I agree that it doesn’t look ashy, but I have a pretty oily t-zone and this did nothing for me. After about an hour, maybe even a few minutes, I was oily again.

  29. Francine

    Bare Escentuals Mineral Vail! I have extremely oily skin, and this product controls my shine. I used to blot four hours into my day, but now I can go longer!

  30. Martha

    Palladio Rice Powder – cheap but works awesome on oily skin as well as dry skin.

  31. Sanne

    High definition powder from Make Up For Ever is the best!

  32. NORMA

    Definitely Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre

  33. michelle

    Armani micro fil loose powder..i don’t like that “airbrushed” look, too fake for me. this one is natural and very sheer. i’ve bought it three times over

  34. Andrea

    I use my Guerlain Meteorites in Rose Teint as a setting powder. I find they can mattify my face without aging the appearance of my skin, since the individual balls have a bit of luminosity to them. Holy grail status for sure, and absolutely worth every penny!

  35. Lark

    It used to be MAC Transparent Powder- until I tried e.l.f. in a lost luggage emergency. Exactly the same thing but incredibly cheaper! I can’t tell a hoot of difference.e.l.f. is really hit or miss, but the hits are big bargains.

    I’m a big fan of transparent powders, the hunt for foundation is horrible enough! And it sets MAC Cream Color Bases with out changing them- finally! I can use mine now.

  36. Ben Nye neutral set, cheap and super light. Even Chanel & Laura Mercier feel heavy compared to this one.

  37. Sarah

    Where do you buy the Ben Nye?????

    • Barbie or :)

    • They sell Ben Nye at many beauty supply stores. Check out beauty emporium’s in your neighborhood if you want to try out the products in person. Los Angeles has many locations that sell Ben Nye so I don’t know where you are but try it out, their stuff is great!

  38. My favorite is Cover FX Illuminating Setting Powder in Light. I also like Mac Mineralize Skin Finish Natural.

    I love love love a dewy look BUT work 8 hours plus transportation and need a long-lasting look = setting my foundation. At the end of it all I always spray with Urban Decay Dew Me (which I know I could be Skindanivia, which I might next time, but would need to find out which is the Dew Me version, perhaps Bridal?)

  39. Barbie

    ruby kisses set n forget omg it’s amazing and only 5 dollars!

    • Tamika

      I heard that and saw someone do a demo on YouTube. They also have a shade similar to the Ben Nye Banana powder.

  40. Carolina

    MUFE HD powder (loose)
    MAC Blot powder (pressed)

    I haven’t tried tons. I liked these and stopped when I found them. I like MUFE the best, but MAC is awesome on the go (in a compact).

  41. snm

    Meteorites and Givenchy Prisme libre.It is a crime that Givenchy’s doesn’t get more attention.I am an oily-skinned girl who loves liquid foundations and tinted moisturizers and this two are the best that I have ever tried(I tried many).

  42. I’m still looking for my favorite one!

    One that I like is Diamond Beauty Loose Powder in Dolly Matte Face (Japanese brand), which comes with a lot of product for a good price but I can only wear it when I’m a bit less tan since it’s light on me. My favorite time to wear it is with Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation.

    Another one I’m currently trying right now is Silk Naturals Perfecting Powder, which I LOVE how it feels so far. Oil absorbing not so much right now, but it’s probably because I’m testing out a new primer and didn’t put on my mattifying gel today. If it works well at absorbing oil during my regular primer routine then I know it’ll be a keeper!

  43. charlotte

    Right now my favorite is Covergirl/olay. Total surprise to me, I bought it completely on a whim since I liked a couple of other products from the line (tone rehab foundation and the simply ageless concealer). It has a very creamy texture that smooths skin texture without looking the slightest bit powdery or cakey, even if you touch up later in the day. It also manages to look “alive” without any visible sparkle or shimmer. Leaves a smooth, soft, velvety finish that lasts for hours and hours. No obvious color of it’s own, very transparent, although it does come in several colors. Stylish compact with mirror, that looks more “high end” than it is. No chalkiness or flyway powder when used, even with a brush. $10-12 retail.

    The only negative I can think of is that the puff is horrible, but that is normal in most drugstore products. Also there is very little room for a replacement puff of quality manufacture. Since I use a brush or wedge sponge it’s not an issue for me.

  44. Meha

    i use ben nye banana powder, i love love love the effect! make up stays all day long and more!

  45. Kelli

    ELF HD Setting Powder. And it’s only $6!!

  46. The only powder I’ve ever bought twice is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. I LOVE the finish it gives.

  47. Miss J

    For under eyes, I love the Ben Nye Banana and Flesh Powders. They are super finely milled, don’t cake up, help prevent creasing, and brighten without any shimmer particles. Also, you get a crap ton for the price.

    For face, I have been using the MAC MSFN for years now. It sets my makeup without making it look cakey or powdery, and it adds a natural glow. Also, it has just enough color that I can use it to color adjust my foundation if I need to do so. This also works as a setting powder for under eye concealer, but I do prefer the Ben Nye for that. Plus, with a dense buffing brush, this can work as a light foundation, too.

    Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder is also nice to set under eye concealer. It’s very silky and has light reflecting particles, so when I want that kind of look then this is a nice product. It provides a glow without looking overly shimmery. I have also used my MAC Accentuate Shape Powder to set concealer under the eyes, but it doesn’t prevent creasing, but it does make my eyes look really bright and glowy. BE’s Well Rested works better alone as a concealer than it does as a setting powder because it can cake up over a liquid or cream concealer. And MAC’s Prep + Prime is also very silky and sort of blurs imperfections on the face and can be used under the eye area, but for whatever reason, I just don’t opt for it as much as others.

  48. Sabriel

    I have been wondering, is Bare Minerals “mineral veil” just another setting powder, or is there something different about it?

    (other than price, haha…)

  49. JEN

    Rimmel Stay Matte Powder!!! I recently discovered this and love it so much that it has surpassed all of my previous loved setting powders.

    • Dana

      ITA! I heard about it after watching some makeup tutorials by Tanya Burr so I picked it up & I love it! I find myself reaching for the Rimmel Stay Matte powder instead of my MUFE HD powder. It’s great & inexpensive :)

  50. Samantha

    MUFE Microfinish HD powder looks amazing in photographs!

  51. Veronica

    I’m rather fond of Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Transparent powder. I’ve heard mixed reviews as to how it works on oily skin, but mine ranges from normal to dry, so it works very well on me. For around my eyes, I’ve actually found Wet ‘n’ Wild’s pressed powder works surprisingly well!

  52. elisabeth

    I really love the setting powder from DALTON ..I bought it from QVC for $49.99 about 2 years ago and I still have half of a container left!

  53. Ade

    M·A·C Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder & M·A·C Invisible Set Powder, or if you have oily skin, Mattify! ULTRA Powder.
    For pressed powder, I like CARGO blu_ray Pressed Powder, Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder & M·A·C Blot.

  54. mirian

    i just realized this is my question LOL!

  55. MAC Prep + Prime Finishing Powder, it is my holy grail! I used to use it over everything, but stopped using it a while back because my foundation looked cakey after a while, but then the other week realised that it was my skin toned powder that was the problem, not the finishing powder! Now I’m just using that with MAC Matchmaster and it is the most amazing combination! Also, Studio Fix sets better with Finishing Powder rather than regular face powder.

  56. Jennifer Foster

    La Prairie Loose Cellular Treatment powder. Christine, I can’t thank you enough for doing the review!!!!! For some reason, Mac ProLongwear is my HG foundation after trying a ton of others–it just sticks–but it absolutely needs a setting powder, and La Prairie is IT. I can’t believe how natural it makes my face look–not dry and chalky like other setting powders. I was scared to make the splurge, but it is undoubtedly worth it!!! Not to mention it makes some of my not-so-nice foundations stick on like no other powders. And you were right, it seems shimmery swatched but my face didn’t end up looking like a glitter-bomb!

    Not to mention the packaging! Omg so luxurious! I love the little scoop and the fact that it comes with a travel size container as well–SO convenient. Plus, after using Tarte’s translucent finishing powder for so long with only one, annoying-as-heck hole to get the powder through, it’s nice that the “pores” on this one are nice and big while still giving you full control as to the amount of product that’s there. Not to mention, I love that it seals perfectly and I don’t end up with powder all over like I did with the tarte one!!! (I’m ripping on Tarte, but in all fairness it’s still an amazing powder) Thank you again for that review Christine, otherwise I never would’ve discovered this product; it’s become a holy grail for me!!!

    P.S. Not to mention it’s incredible the actual price savings!!! Only $40.90/oz for La Prairie but $87.50/oz for Tarte–that’s crazy!

  57. Sunny

    Christine, any recommendations for a setting powder for someone with dry skin with preferably more of a glowy finish?

  58. Haleemah

    The NYC Smooth Skin loose powder (741A) is an awesome translucent loose powder. It does not give a white weird color when applied and really holds your makeup, especially when it’s hot and humid weather. I paid about $3 for 0.7 oz. For being a drugstore product, it’s a great buy!

  59. Youngblood Mineral Rice Setting Powder! Sets without drying out my dry spots and helps with oil in my T zone.

  60. Marina

    MUFE Microfinish HD powder

  61. Liz

    I would say Coty Airspun. I love the finish and the scent. It’s my favorite translucent setting powder. It’s so cheap too. It is about $7. The only issue is it can be hard to track down. It has been out of stock for a while at I’m not panicking yet because I have a ton left.

  62. Nikki

    Black Opal Invisible Oil Blocking Pressed Powder is my go-to setting powder. I have combo/oily skin and this stuff is amazing for soaking up oil. I use it when I wear liquid foundation for special occasions and don’t want to spend time touching up throughout the day’s long events. As a woman of color, I can assure others that even though it is a beige, off white shade in the pan, it really does go on invisibly once it comes in come contact with the skin. It lasts a while too. I have had my compact at least a year, and I just recently hit pan. Once it’s gone, I will definitely repurchase. I love it!

  63. lily

    TheBalm Sexy Mama! I used to get it from Sephora, but they no longer carry it so now I get it from online. *Sometimes* I find it in a kit at TJMaxx, but thats rare. Its beige instead of translucent which I actually prefer because that way I can lighten all the TM/Foundations/Cream and Powder Face Products that are too dark for me at the moment. It stays put and makes my whole face look flawless the entire day, and I never ever have to reapply it!

  64. I love using Ben Nye Bannana powder (as do many ppl here as well apparently) and I use it to set my whole face actually, even though my skin is pretty pale I don’t find it looking too yellow, rather a candlelit glow that keeps the skin matte and provides some coverage as well. For translucent powders, I like the ELF Hd which in my experience has zero differences to the MUFE one besides the huge price gap. Physician’s formula makes some great talc-free powders as well.

  65. Fyrinnae oil control powder! I can apply as much as I need without my face turning white unlike the MUFE HD powder.

  66. Lauren

    What’s the best setting powder for under eye concealer? Everything I try ends up making the skin under my eyes look dry (I look 10 yrs older yuck). Out of everything I’ve tried (mineral veil, tarte, Laura mercier), Tarte was the least drying, but I felt it brought back some of the purple/blue undertones I was trying to conceal in the 1st place. I’m light so I’m afraid Ben nye’s banana will be too yellow. What should I do? I work 13 hr days so I need my concealer to last, hence the setting powder & SB’s under eye primer.

  67. Kristine C.

    What’s the best invisible setting powder for the entire face as an everyday product? I don’t want anything uber matte ir anything that looks to powdery. Any favorites?