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Would you spend a ton of time perfecting your nail art manicure only to forget a topcoat? We didn’t think so. Then why would you dedicate your morning to creating the perfect makeup look and skip a setting powder? That final step is crucial to sealing in all your hard work for a long-wear effect, plus setting powder can essentially work as a filter for your face. The right one will zap extra shine around your T-zone and blur imperfections.
Setting powder has gotten a bad reputation for leaving skin flaky and cakey, but the latest ones feature new technology to avoid all those problems. Instead, they have a smooth finish that can’t be detected, and they multitask to prevent fading foundation and melting concealer. To get the most natural look, apply setting powder sparingly with a big, fluffy brush. You don’t need to shell out major dough to nab a great one. These are the best drugstore setting powders.
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 a 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 for Deep Skin Tones: Black Opal Velvet Finishing Powder
If you have a deeper skin tone, this is your powder. It features Black Opal’s exclusive shade ID color adjusting pigments, which work to perfectly color match your skin, making it a cinch to blend in with your nude skin or over foundation or concealer. Super fine-milled, it delivers transparent coverage while taking care of extra oil and turning your makeup into long-wear magic. The hypoallergenic formula delivers a flawless finish that works for all skin types.
Best for Oily Skin: Maybelline New York 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.
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. This powder has been compared to pro makeup artist Laura Mercier’s luxe loose powder—consider this one the drugstore dead ringer.
Best Pressed Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
Talk about well-rounded—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.
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 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.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular drugstore setting powders on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different setting powders overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 25 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 15 setting powders themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.