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There’s a lot that goes into getting a flawless face. Concealer, foundation, blush… The list could go on and on. So, when you invest all that time in doing your makeup, you don’t want it going anywhere. That’s where translucent powders come in. They put your makeup on lockdown, giving it staying power and keeping shine and oil at bay, all while leaving you looking natural. The best translucent powders work as an Instagram filter for your face, masking fine lines, pores, acne, and other imperfections, all while imparting a lovely glow.
With so many options out there, a lot of it comes down to personal preference. Do you want a translucent powder that’s super matte or brings on the radiance? Would you like a clear one or a bit of color? No matter your preference, these are the top translucent powders to leave your skin looking flawless.
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 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 Option: 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.
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 skin. After blending like a dream, the matte finish never gives a flashback in photos, and the powder blurs fine lines and imperfections.
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.
Best for Dry Skin: Milk Makeup Blur + Set Matte Loose Setting Powder
When you’re already prone to having 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. It reduces shine for a matte finish that blurs pores and imperfections.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular translucent powder on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different translucent powder overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 25 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 10 of the translucent powder themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.