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When I traveled to Seoul to uncover the secret to Korean women’s flawless complexions (and, yes, to eat a lot of bibimbap and Korean fried chicken), along the way, I learned quite a few things—from the makeup tricks they use to look younger to a skincare trend that millennials are following called skip-care. In the midst of learning about their beauty secrets, I also stumbled upon a universal makeup product that every Korean woman owns. In fact, Laneige's global makeup artist Cat Koh declared that if you were to march down the street in Seoul and ask Korean women to raise their hands if they owned this product, there would be no hand left unraised.
What exactly is the most-loved product in all of Seoul? That would be Innisfree No-Sebum Loose Setting Powder, renamed the Matte Mineral Setting Powder in America for reasons unknown.
The very best part of all of this news? This under-the-radar powder is only $8. That’s right; for under $10, you too can own the powder that every Korean woman swears by and leave your oil-slick days behind you for good.
Pros + Cons
- Controls oil
- Blurs pores
- Includes applicator for on-the-go touchups
- Under $10
- Only one shade: translucent
The Bottom Line: Affordable and effective
Innisfree Matte Mineral Setting Powder soaks up excess oil to keep skin matte and smooth all day. For $8, it sets and mattifies skin just as well as similar products at triple the cost.
Innisfree Matte Mineral Setting Powder (No-Sebum Loose Powder)
Best for: Setting oily skin
Star rating: 4.5/5
Active ingredients: Modified cornstarch, mica, mineral salts, mint, green tea extract
Potential allergens: Yes—cornstarch, butylene glycol
What's included: Powder puff
About the brand: Innisfree is a K-beauty brand that sources its ingredients from Jeju Island in Korea. Aside from the cult-favorite setting powder, it also offers a large selection of skincare products including masks— it even has a subscription service for sheet masks.
The Feel: Finely milled
The loose, silky texture makes this feel like the softest powder you’ve ever touched. I stopped by the Innisfree flagship in Seoul and experienced it firsthand. It's finely milled for an invisible (read: not cakey) finish.
Ingredients: A winning combination
The ingredients aren’t necessarily groundbreaking—a mix of silica, cornstarch, and different silicones, which gives it that silky-smooth feel—but something about the combination has made this the one loose powder in every Korean woman’s makeup bag. The brand also includes mint and minerals sourced from Korea's Jeju Island located in the East China Sea.
Other beneficial ingredients include green tea extract. Known to calm redness, green tea extract adds a skin-soothing element.
Like most setting powders, it's unscented.
No SPF: No flashback
Since this setting powder contains no SPF, you don't have to worry about a flashback effect on camera. It creates a soft, airbrushed finish that's ideal for photography as well as wearing out all day.
However, if you use SPF in your beauty routine, you can do so before you apply this powder. It wears well over most primers and foundations, including ones that contain sunscreen.
How to Apply
You just pick up the product with a big fluffy brush and dust it wherever you’d like to keep shine at bay—whether it’s your T-zone or across your entire face. It also comes with a powder puff to touch up skin midday on the go. Instead of dusting like you would with a brush, dip the puff into a bit of setting powder and gently press it into your skin to absorb any excess oil.
The Results: Velvet skin
The Matte Mineral Setting Powder leaves your skin looking smooth and airbrushed. The finely milled powder looks white in the pot but goes on translucent. Instead of settling into fine lines or looking cakey, the powder virtually disappears on contact, leaving just a velvety-smooth finish behind.
Instead of settling into fine lines or looking cakey, the powder virtually disappears on contact, leaving just a velvety-smooth finish behind.
And not only that, it can last more than eight hours. That's at least a workday's worth of time where you won't sweat your skin getting slick.
To avoid an ashy effect on dark skin tones, apply powder right after your skincare routine and before using foundation.
What People Say About It
Innisfree's Matte Mineral Setting Powder has over 600 positive reviews on Amazon, with users gushing about its ability to keep their oily skin looking matte but not too matte. One reviewer even went so far as to only use it on one half of her face to test its ability and another top-selling loose powder on the other side. At the end of the day, the side she had used the Innisfree powder on was fresh, while the other side was oily.
Keep in mind the brand says Amazon is not an authorized retailer and to purchase the product directly from the official Innisfree website.
The Value: Can't be beat
Given that similar formulations can cost upward of $35, Innisfree's Matte Mineral Setting Powder is one of the most affordable options on the market. Though you get only 0.17 oz of product, at $8 you can buy a few to keep at home and stash in your purse.
Similar Products: You have options
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Pressed Powder: A pricier option at $37, it also contains primarily silica for a silky-smooth canvas before or after applying foundation. The original variety is bright-white in the compact and translucent on the skin like Innisfree's powder, but it also comes in banana and peach shades for color correcting.
Thrive Causemetics Filtered Effects Soft Focus HD Setting Powder: This $35 luxe setting powder is all natural and comes with a blur technology to soften the look of pores and fine lines.
Our Verdict: High-quality and affordable
Smooth, matte skin without spending a fortune—Innisfree Matte Mineral Setting Powder is a high-quality setting powder at a wallet-friendly price. It creates a smooth canvas that stays shine-free with minimal need for touchups.