How to Find the Best Setting Powder for You

Resist the urge to go overboard with your setting powders (we’ve been guilty of this, photos don’t lie!). Our resident makeup artist shares some tips on how to pick the best setting powder for you.mac cosmetics wifw 2013

A setting powder is used over liquid foundation as the final step to “set” your foundation in place. It helps your makeup last longer and prevents it from moving on your skin. They come in loose or pressed forms and go by a few different names: finishing powder, translucent powder, HD powder, or blotting powder.

When shopping for a setting powder, you always want to keep your skin type in mind. The great thing about setting powders today is that they offer a range of additional benefits, including refining pores, controlling oil, mattifying and maintaining a natural glow.

 

Use our guide below to find out which setting powder will work best for you.

Makeup Forever HD Powder
Makeup Forever HD Powder

The Make Up Forever HD Powder is the one powder that most consumers have tried at least once. There’s a lot of hype around this product because it’s labelled “HD,” but other than being finely milled, there is no inherent advantage to it compared to other powders. The more refined a powder is, the better the powder will blend into the skin until it appears almost natural.

Users beware: using too much HD powder can result in your own photo flops. The HD powder does an excellent job of blurring fine lines, refining pores and mattifying skin, but go easy with the brush – too much can cause a ghost effect like these celebs.

NARS Light Reflecting Powder
NARS Light Reflecting Powder

NARS powders are best known for being the finest on the market; they are triple milled and silky smooth, leaving a natural sheer radiant complexion. Their newest innovation is the NARS Light Reflecting Translucent Powder. It’s a weightless, translucent powder for all skin tones that creates a soft matte finish that looks luminous in any light. They’re also paraben, fragrance and gluten-free.

Hourglass Ambient Light Powder
Hourglass Ambient Light Powder

Similar to the NARS light reflecting powder, Hourglass Ambient Light Powder is also created with photoluminescent technology that enhances the skin in any light. Hourglass is a great alternative for those looking to go vegan and gluten-free with their cosmetics. The Ambient Light Powder comes in six universally flattering shades which all have a slight pearliness.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish is a mineral powder that is baked, and when applied to the skin, provides sheer coverage. We do caution that people with sensitive skin beware; this very popular product has been known to cause reactions for those with delicate skin.

Laura Mercier Setting Powder
Laura Mercier Setting Powder

Laura Mercier’s loose setting powder “blurs” fine lines and pores on the skin, creating an immaculate complexion. This lightweight, silky powder includes a unique light-reflecting ingredient and is created with the finest French talc. Due to the fact that the Laura Mercier setting Powder contains talc, it’s not recommended for dry or dry/normal skin types since it may enhance dryness of the skin.

 

Photograph: MAC Cosmetics from Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, Spring 2014 Collections