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Translucent powders are the unsung heroes of a glowy makeup look. The sheer powder works to blur, conceal, and mattify with a few quick taps of your makeup brush and flick of your wrist. It's so easy, but the difference is absolutely visible.
These are the best translucent powders to try for flawless skin.
Best Overall: Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
You don’t have to fret about overdoing it with this setting powder—the clever packaging features a sifter that is made to release just the right amount of product. The talc-free formula is light and airy with light-reflecting particles that virtually makes pores, fine lines, and other imperfections disappear. It also contains diamond powder for a subtle shimmer sans flashback and gives the powder a lasting finish.
Best for Oily Skin: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
Even the slickest, shiniest complexions can be tamed by this setting powder. The award-winning loose powder sets makeup for up to 12 hours, absorbing excess oil and reducing shine. Yet, it somehow never looks cakey on the skin. After blending like a dream, the matte finish never gives a flashback in photos, and the powder blurs fine lines and imperfections.
Best Budget: Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Translucent Finishing Powder
In case you haven’t heard, Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty is one of the best makeup lines when it comes to getting a bang for your buck, and that applies to her finishing powder, too. Apply it over makeup to preserve your look, or wear it solo to reduce shine and the appearance of pores. The mattifying formula is essentially a filter for your face, blurring imperfections.
Best Splurge: Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance Loose Powder
Translucent powders don’t get any silkier than this one, which goes on incredibly smooth—and will also smooth your skin. The formula is packed with Japanese botanical ingredients to nourish skin and give a glowing finish with lasting wear. It goes on sheer but covers imperfections. It’s infused with Aura Radiance Technology to boost your complexion over time and deliver a glow. Plus, Shiseido’s anti-aging SkingenecellEnmei Complex helps slow the signs of aging and turn back the clock. Even the powder pull is luxurious—it’s made in Japan with long fibers for an even, seamless application.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder
Talk about a triple threat: Maybelline’s Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder can smooth your skin’s texture, mask any flaws with just a touch of color, and keep shine at bay. The mineral-based powder is the ideal final step to completing—and preserving—your makeup. It comes in a generous range of shades to ensure there’s a match for every skin tone, including dark, deep, fair, fair light, light, light-medium, medium, and medium-deep.
Want more options? Check out these picks of the best drugstore setting powders at an affordable price.
Best for Dry Skin: Milk Makeup Blur + Set Matte Loose Setting Powder
When you’re already prone to parched skin, setting powder can end up looking cakey. But this one has super hydrator hyaluronic acid and avocado powder to smooth the appearance of skin and prevent it from settling into fine lines. The formula is also talc-free so that it doesn’t look or feel chalky and thick. Instead, it’s lightweight yet still keeps your makeup on lockdown.
Best Vegan: e.l.f. Cosmetics High Definition Powder
For a blurred, soft-focus glow, look no further than e.l.f.'s translucent loose powder, which is both cruelty-free and vegan. Wear it either alone or over your go-to foundation to mask fine lines, redness, and shine.
Best for Touch Ups: Neutrogena Shine Control Powder
Keep shine at bay all the way through your sweaty commute and post-happy hour courtesy of Neutrogena's protein complex. It absorbs oils and keeps your makeup shine-free for up to eight hours (without drying out your skin). Its small, compact size makes it the perfect addition to a makeup or gym bag for on-the-go touch-ups.
Best Paraben-Free: NYX Professional Makeup HD Finishing Powder
This lightweight, translucent finishing powder helps to soften the appearance of fine lines and pores with a silky, matte finish. Whether you're looking to prime the skin, set foundation in place, or get rid of T-zone shine, this translucent powder can help. As a major plus, it's also paraben-, phthalate-, sulfate- and aluminum-free.
Best for Dark Skin: Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
The fear of a flashback is real, but this setting powder from Cover FX in Deep will put you at ease. It’s formulated sans talc to deliver a truly translucent finish that sets makeup to last all day without adding any extra color. It imparts an airbrushed glow courtesy of the light-diffusing particles that smooth without looking cakey. Bonus: It can also be used as a baking powder.
While we're talking powders, check out our picks of the best finishing powders on the market.