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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.
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.
Best Overall: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Glow Powder
The aptly named Glow Powder leaves your skin so radiant that you can skip highlighter if you want to. The lightweight formula looks and feels natural, leaving skin soft and smooth. The dual product features a foundation setter on the bottom and highlighting powder on top, and you can blend the two for a barely-there all-over glow. The powder is buildable for extra coverage to even out skin tone and texture, but it never looks cakey and will extend the life of your makeup.
Best Lightweight: Coty Airspun Face Powder
This powder has been around since 1935 and is made with literal air. How can anything ever feel super cakey if it's blended with actual air? The good thing is it locks your makeup in place and you'll forget you even applied it.
Best Budget: NYX Professional Makeup HD Finishing Powder
According to beauty expert Neil Scibelli, this HD powder from NYX Professional Makeup is comparable to luxury brands, as it "blurs the look of pores, softens any fine lines, and sets a matte finish to your makeup."
Best Matte: Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Translucent Finishing Powder
This finishing powder from Drew Barrymore’s makeup line can be worn solo to zap shine and airbrush pores, or over makeup to complete your look for an Instagram filter effect. The mattifying formula is translucent to bring just a dab of color and is super finely milled so it’ll never crease, separate or flake. The powder comes with a puff applicator, so you can easily apply it whether you're at home or on the road.
Read more reviews of the best translucent powders available to purchase online.
Best Pressed Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
Rimmel’s Stay Matte Transparent Pressed Powder works for all skin types, shrinks the appearance of pores, keeps oil in check, and delivers a matte finish for up to six hours. The formula is infused with minerals and powders, plus it doesn’t have any fragrance, oil, or parabens, so it’s great for sensitive skin. It comes in a wide shade range, so everyone can meet their match. And even though it’s impressively light, it still brings quality coverage that is buildable.
See more reviews of our favorite pressed powders available for purchase.
Best Loose Powder: CoverGirl Professional Loose Powder
Light as a feather, this loose powder even feels fluffy on your skin. The formula gives you precise control of where you apply it, and since it’s so fine-milled, it has buildable coverage that won’t look flakey. The perfect finishing touch to your makeup, it zaps shine and evens out skin tone and texture. It’s also great for on the go use since it comes with a soft applicator.
Best for Oily Skin: Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder
If an oily T-zone gets you down, this is the finishing powder for you. The mineral-based formula soaks up shine and leaves a matte finish, plus gives any foundation staying power by keeping it in place. Available in eight shades, including fair, light, medium, and dark, it adds just a sheer touch of color, leaving you looking flawless.
Check out our guide to the best finishing powders you can buy today.
Best for Dry Skin: Essence All About Matt! Fixing Compact Powder
For those with dry complexions, powder can sometimes settle into fine lines and wrinkles and make skin appear even more parched and dull. But that’s not the case with this powder from Essence. It soaks up excess oil to prevent shine, leaving you with a natural-looking finish. Since it’s only available in one transparent color that works universally for all skin types, it takes the guesswork out of finding your perfect shade.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Loose Powder Foundation
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.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best drugstore powder foundations.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Powder
According to celebrity makeup artist Min Min 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 for long-lasting wear.
Best for Deep Skin Tones: Black Opal Soft Velvet Finishing Powder
Celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein 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.