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A Complete Beginner Guide to Setting Powder

A Complete Beginner Guide to Setting Powder

A Complete Beginner Guide to Setting Powder

Have you ever noticed that when other girls apply makeup it looks flawless? Like they have an actual filter on their face. Yet somehow, when you apply your foundation – it never looks quite the same?

Maybe it looks cakey or easy to smudge? The solution could be easier than you think – it’s time to invest in a great setting powder. 

Don’t know where to start? Bestie, I got you! 

So many people skip this step in their makeup routine, and blame creasing on their concealer – but setting powder is a game changer for your makeup. Aside from doing its job of *actually* keeping your makeup in its place, there’s other benefits too!

Related: Have you seen my Beginner’s Guide to Makeup Application?

What is Setting Powder?

Setting powder is a makeup product that is used to set your cream and liquid-based makeup in place. You will apply it at the end of your makeup routine for a matte-finish. It also helps you avoid creasing, smudging, and getting oily.

This type of powder is typically loose and translucent. For medium to darker skin tones, I recommend using a “banana” or “medium” shade setting powder.

[Banana: HUDA BEAUTY Cupcake, Medium: Laura Mercier Medium

Setting powder can also blur your pores and fine lines for a more even-looking and smoother skin texture. Bonus points!

What are the Benefits of Using Setting Powder?

Aside from the benefits I mentioned above, setting powder is also a great choice if you have oily or combination skin. It reduces the excess oil on your face, which keeps you looking fresh and shine-free. 

While setting powder can definitely help with oily skin, it has tons of benefits for every skin type. I find that my skin is normal to dry with a slightly oily T-zone and I never skip setting powder. It truly sets your makeup into the skin and avoid concealer creasing. 

If you are new to makeup, you may have heard the term ‘makeup baking’. It is intentionally  & aggressively applying a setting powder on your face after concealer, so that your makeup can “cook” or “bake” into the skin. Generally, it takes 5-10 minutes of baking to become effective. 

Please note: this is not for the entire face and should be used only in places where you apply concealer and/or want the area to be lighter. Example locations are below your cheek contour, under your eyes, and your T-Zone.

Related: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Makeup Baking

Best Setting Powder in the Market 

With many setting powders offered in the market, I know how difficult it is to choose just one. If you’re undecided what setting powder to buy, I’m happy to share my favorites! 

First is Laura Mercier Setting Powder. This is literally everyone’s go-to, and for a good reason. It’s translucent and works for every skin tone. Plus, they make these adorable minis that are so perfect for traveling! Another one is HUDA BEAUTY Cupcake — I have personally tried each of these and recommend them. 

Another favorite of mine is the Ben Nye Banana Powder you can get from Amazon. This is gorgeous on medium skin tones, and I learned about it from my friend and makeup artist @Noorface. You’ll recognize her from the interview we did on the blog here

If you are on a budget or looking for setting powders that have drugstores options, you can also consider Maybelline Fit Me Setting Powder. This also works for me!

Favorite Setting Powders

What are the Different Kind of Powders

As a beginner in makeup, I know you already hear different names used for powders. Like what’s the meaning of translucent, loose, or pressed? Is setting and finishing powder the same? I am also like that when I start my makeup journey.

I know this feels overwhelming at the start, but trust me! I will keep it simple. 

Translucent vs Colored: Both of them have same effect and application. They only differ on color. The translucent powder is known as sheer and colorless, which gives you natural coverage and is suitable for all skin types. While the colored setting powder is made to complement skin tones. 

[For translucent: Laura Mercier; For colored: HUDA BEAUTY]

See Also

Pressed vs Loose: The difference between these two lies in its texture. The pressed powder is in a compact form which has a variety of shades to match with your skin tones. For loose, it is in the jar packaging and has a fine formula. 

[For pressed: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish; For loose: Laura Mercier, HUDA BEAUTY]

Setting vs Finishing: Just what I discussed above, setting is used to mattify makeup for longer wear. Finishing powder can also helps in setting your makeup, but it’s more focused on giving you a realistic filter to your face. It has light reflectors that give you glow and a shiny-baked finish. 

[For setting: Laura Mercier ; For finishing: Hourglass Lighting]

Setting Powder Per Skin Type

Finding the right setting powder that matches your skin type is essential to your makeup look. 

If you have oily skin, go for matte setting powder to reduce your oil production. And if you have dry skin, go for translucent setting powder or finishing powder. 

TIP: It is actually preferred to not put setting powder all over your face. You can just choose the area of your face that needs it the most and prep your skin with moisturizer to keep it hydrated.  

How to Apply and Use Setting Powder?

In applying setting powder effectively, you need to begin with a well-prepared base. Get a fluffy brush and gently dab it into the setting powder. Tap off any excess to prevent wasted fallout and uneven application. 

Start by setting the T-zone, including the forehead, nose, and chin. Then gradually blend the powder outward to work with the remaining areas of your face. Make sure that you gently tap the powder on your face to avoid a heavy or cakey appearance.

Final Thoughts on Setting Powder

Setting powder is essential for your makeup routine so don’t forget to invest in it on your makeup journey. It can enhance the longevity of your makeup appearance while making it look matte and fresh!

If you want to discover more about what helps me stay in my makeup All DAY LONG, you can click here for my secret tips and hacks.