7 Drugstore Setting Powders Top Makeup Artists Swear By
When you spend a good amount of time applying your makeup, the last thing you want is for it to disappear within an hour or two. Fortunately, there is an easy way to combat faded foundation and vanishing concealer: setting powder. Unlike the cakey powders of our past, the best drugstore setting powders use new technology to absorb excess oil and set makeup for long-lasting coverage sans chalky buildup.
Worried about wiping off that glow with a thick layer of powder? Don’t be. We reached out to celebrity makeup artists for their opinions on the most inexpensive setting powders with the smoothest finishes. From barely-there translucent formulas that hydrate and plump to oil-banishing minerals that completely transform your T-zone, we've rounded up the best drugstore setting powders that deliver dewy (not oily) complexions that last well into the night. For the wallet-friendly powders that makeup artists just can't get enough of, and that also happen to be under $14, keep on reading.
Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Loose Powder Foundation ($13)
If you have sensitive skin, celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert Neil Scibelli recommends using this lightweight mineral powder from Neutrogena, which he says gives the appearance of "radiant skin." Simply wear alone as a light foundation or dust over your base to set makeup in place.
Rimmel London Match Perfection Silky Loose Powder ($5)
Honey Artists celebrity makeup artist Min Min Ma's favorite powder of the moment is this lightweight formula that she says "goes onto the skin evenly and smoothly." She recommends applying with a "big powder brush on bare skin or over foundation." And if you need to touch up throughout the day, Ma suggests using a "small blending brush such as Sigma Beauty's Tapered Blending Brush ($16)" to set smaller areas.
Nyx Face Powder High Definition ($10)
According to Scibelli, this HD powder from Nyx is comparable to luxury brands, as it "blurs the look of pores, softens any fine lines, and sets a matte finish to your makeup." Pro tip: Scibelli says that a little bit of powder goes a long way, further warning us to "dust lightly" when applying to a full face of makeup.
Black Opal Finishing Powder ($7)
Celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein, also of the Honey Artists group, recommends a translucent powder like this formula from Black Opal for deeper skin tones. She notes that "deeper-toned powders can build up and oxidize throughout the day, which alters the color of your foundation." Whereas this formula is "truly colorless," so it will set your makeup without affecting the color of products already on your face.
Neutrogena Shine Control Powder ($12)
Scibelli keeps this powder in his makeup kit particularly for clients with "more oily-prone skin types," as he says "the rice protein formula acts like a sponge and absorbs oil throughout the day." To control excess oil, Scibelli recommends dusting this powder over your T-zone to set makeup and to keep this compact on hand for touch-ups as needed.
Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Powder Foundation ($9)
According to Ma, this powder foundation creates a nice amount of coverage for those who prefer to go sans foundation or concealer. However, if you are looking to use this formula to set your makeup, Ma recommends using a lighter hand and applying said powder via Nyx's Lightweight Powder Brush ($22) for long-lasting wear.
Inglot Freedom System AMC Pressed Powder ($14)
Are you constantly fighting your T-zone? If so, Ma recommends using a mattifying setting formula like this translucent powder from Inglot which comes in a variety of shades that match nearly every skin tone.
For more tips on how to get a long-lasting beauty look, check out our guide to applying makeup so it lasts all day.