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The 8 Best Finishing and Setting Powders for Flawless Skin

The 8 Best Finishing and Setting Powders for Flawless Skin

Everyone needs a good powder to keep their skin flawless throughout the day. Whether you’re a makeup maven, a fresh faced skincare enthusiast, or a total newbie, there’s likely a lot still to be learned about the differences between the thousands of powders on the market. 

Powders are the finishing touch to every makeup look, and they come in many shapes, shades, and sizes. Between tinted and translucent powders, loose and pressed powders, finishing and setting powders, it can be daunting to find your skin’s perfect match. 

We think you deserve nothing but the best, so to help you nail down the powder of your dreams, our experts curated the top picks to help you narrow down your selection. Keep reading to find the perfect powder for your skin type and makeup needs with this list of our 8 faves. 

Here are the Best Finishing and Setting Powders:

  • Best Overall Finishing Powder: RMS Beauty “Un” Powder
  • Best Overall Setting Powder: Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Powder
  • Best Loose Powder: W3LL PEOPLE Loose Superpowder Brightening Powder
  • Best Pressed Powder: Vapour Perfecting Powder Pressed
  • Best Finishing Powder for Mature Skin: Sappho New Paradigm Pressed Powder
  • Best Powder for Dewy Finish: Alima Pure Satin Finishing Powder
  • Best Finishing Powder for Combination Skin: Hynt Beauty Finale Finishing Powder - Translucent Pearl
  • Best Powder for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin: Alima Pure Color Balancing Powder

  • Best Overall Finishing Powder

    RMS Beauty “Un” Powder

    RMS Beauty “Un” Powder

    Price: $45

    Review: 4.9 / 5

    This finishing powder from RMS has garnered bestseller status year-after-year, and with good reason. Suitable for all skin types, fans of finishing powders adore its ability to set makeup in place and give your skin a soft and glowy appearance.

    This talc free loose powder reflects light to give you that filtered effect, while minimizing the appearance of pores and absorbing excess oil. The powder comes with a puff applicator, which you can use to press the powder into your skin for a silky smooth matte finish.

    If uneven skin texture is a concern, you need to add this to your cart- this powder has zero residue, so you never have to worry about a cakey makeup look. Instead, finish your look with a skin softening powder that is lightweight and luminous. 

    The best part? “Un”Powder comes in a translucent or tinted formulation, so you can up your coverage with a skin matched shade, or opt for a natural look.






    Best Overall Setting Powder

    Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Powder

    Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Powder

    Price: $46

    Review: 4.9 / 5

    When finding the perfect pressed powder for setting makeup, it’s almost impossible to not talk about Kosas’ Cloud Set Baked Setting Powder. This setting powder has won multiple awards and works wonders to improve the longevity of your makeup, without feeling heavy or drying.  If you're searching for a makeup artist approved powder, look no further!

    For skin that looks like you’re wearing a real-life instagram filter, this pressed powder reduces shine without compromising on glow. Using natural ingredients like bamboo stem extract, passionfruit leaf extract, and Chinese peony, your pores will virtually disappear underneath the ultimate blurring finish. 

    Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Powder

     

    It’s easy to find your perfect match with ten sheer finish shades. For makeup that looks freshly applied all day long, we recommend getting your hands on this setting powder- before it sells out (again). 






    Best Loose Powder

    W3LL PEOPLE Loose Superpowder Brightening Powder

    W3LL PEOPLE Loose Superpowder Brightening Powder

    Price: $28

    Review: 4.7 / 5

    Loose finishing powder is a great lightweight option to blur imperfections and reduce shine- especially in delicate areas like under your eyes. This finely milled powder is never heavy and invisible in flash photos, so your makeup setting secrets are safe with us!

    Using all natural ingredients like antioxidant-rich green tea and aloe vera, this ultra-fine mica is good for all skin tones and is great for controlling excess oil throughout the day. The powder contains tiny light reflecting crystals that help to distract from fine lines and wrinkles without adding any texture.

    For a your-skin-but-better complexion, the talc-free formula works wonders to set in makeup, but can also be used over clean skin for a very natural skin perfecting glow that helps control excess shine through the day. 






    Best Pressed Powder

    Vapour Perfecting Powder Pressed

     

    Vapour Perfecting Powder Pressed

    Price: $50

    Review: 4.8 / 5

    We love the transportability of a pressed powder for quick touch ups on-the-go, however touch ups may not be necessary with Vapour’s Perfecting Powder. This long-wearing translucent setting powder, great for setting liquid, cream, or powdered makeup. 

    Don’t let its pigment in the compact fool you- the universal powder goes on clear, and works for all skin tones. Using organic ingredients and no talc, this pressed powder’s natural formulation provides a natural looking flawless finish for all skin types.

    Smoothing tapioca and nourishing amino acids help refine your look by erasing excess shine for a soft matte finish that keeps skin happy and healthy, even with a full-faced look.

    If you have dry skin, less is more with this powder! For oily skin types, sweep an extra layer over your T-zone to control shine and keep your makeup from moving. 






    Best Finishing Powder for Mature Skin

    Sappho New Paradigm Pressed Powder

    Sappho New Paradigm Pressed Powder

    Price: $30

    Review: 4.5 / 5

    When finding the best finishing powders for mature skin, uneven texture and fine lines are likely top of mind. Although heavier makeup may seem to be the answer to cover up textured areas, you really want a lightweight option instead. Hence why finishing powders will be your holy-grail product. 

    This pressed powder is infused with organic chamomile extract, jojoba oil, and rosemary oil that give you a soft-focus look while providing your skin with lasting hydration and nourishment. If you have mature skin and an oilier skin type, we recommend trying Sappho’s loose powder formula that helps to absorb excess oil.

    The only con is the shade range. Although the formula is blendable to match your skin tone, with only 4 shades, finding the right one is important for the overall efficacy of your powder. 






    Best Powder for Dewy Finish

    Alima Pure Satin Finishing Powder

    Alima Pure Satin Finishing Powder

    Price: $35

    Review: 4.6 / 5

    Dewy skin has been a top trend as of late, with everyone seeking a fresh and hydrated complexion. Although powders seem to be the antithesis of glow, this satin finish powder gives you the best of both worlds: an ethereal glow that keeps texture hidden and makeup locked into place. Light reflecting mica is the secret weapon in this powder to give you the flawless finish of airbrushed looking skin without any heaviness weighing you down.

    A satin finish is ideal for those with dry, mature, and combination skin, looking to maintain a natural sheen that mimics a real-skin look. This loose powder formula is hypoallergenic and lightweight so your skin can still breathe under the light veil of makeup. 






    Best Finishing Powder for Combination Skin

    Hynt Beauty Finale Finishing Powder - Translucent Pearl

    Hynt Beauty Finale Finishing Powder - Translucent Pearl

    Price: $54

    Review: 4.9 / 5

    Balance is everything when it comes to powders for combination skin. You want excess oil to vanish, without drying you out entirely. This finishing powder feels creamy to the touch, but glides on effortlessly. Finale is a finely milled formula that absorbs oil with organic arrowroot, known to balance combination skin by allowing moisture to penetrate the skin barrier. 

    Whether you want to pair this powder over top a foundation or concealer, or simply wear this powder on bare, moisturized skin, it is the perfect final step to achieving a naturally polished look.

    This powder comes in 3 shade options- a fully translucent powder, and two color-correcting shades depending on your skin’s natural undertones. 






    Best Powder for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

    Alima Pure Color Balancing Powder

    Alima Pure Color Balancing Powder

    Price: $37

    Review: 4.6 / 5

    If constantly touching up your powder is part of your beauty regimen, this Color Balancing Powder is here to shake things up. Oily and acneic skin types need an absorbent powder to keep shine in check while keeping skin matte and even. 

    This powder comes in two shades: one with green undertones to balance redness, hyperpigmentation and sunburn, and a yellow undertone powder to help correct darkness and discoloration for an overall brightening effect. 

    Pro Tip: Pat a light layer on before applying your foundation to help lock down your look. The powder will help control oil production before it affects your foundation. Apply a light layer overtop as a finishing powder to mattify and remove any unwanted shine. 


     

    Is finishing powder the same as setting powder?

    Although incredibly similar in format and function, there are a few key differences between a finishing and a setting powder. Simply put, finishing powders are used to blur the skin for a filtered-looking finish, whereas setting powders are used more for functionality, setting your makeup for a longer-lasting wear. 

    Let’s break it down further:

    Finishing Powder 

    Pros:

    • Helps to smooth and blur the appearance of skin for an airbrushed look.

    • Softens makeup lines.

    • Lightweight. 

    • Best for uneven and textured skin.

    • Ideal for mature skin as it is lighter overtop fine lines and wrinkles, which will not result in cakey makeup (which nobody wants).

    • Comes in translucent and color correcting variants.

    • Can be worn overtop of makeup, or overtop clean moisturized skin.

    Cons:

    • Does not contribute to the longevity of makeup.

    • Will not absorb as oil much as a setting powder.

    • Less ideal for oily skin types.

    Setting Powder

    Pros:

    • Improves the longevity of your makeup by locking products in and helping to control shine.

    • Setting powders often contain ingredients like talc and silica, which absorb excess oils from your skin. Great for oily and combination skin types.

    • Comes in loose or pressed powder forms, and has translucent or color correcting options depending on your preference.

    Cons:

    • Heavier than a finishing powder.

    • Less ideal for dry skin types.

    • Does not blur the appearance of skin as well as a finishing powder.

    Both finishing and setting powders can come in translucent or skin matching shades, but tend to be sheer and lighter in coverage. When applying both, make sure to apply the finishing powder AFTER the setting powder as the final step. 

    Is loose or pressed powder better?

    Both forms of powder offer unique advantages, and you can purchase the right format for you.

    Loose Powders

    Pros:

    • Lightweight.

    • Great for under-eyes.

    • Ideal for the ‘baking’ technique.

    • Absorbs more oil.

    • Perfect for oily and combination skin types.

    Cons:

    • Messier than pressed powders.

    • Less ideal for travel.

    • Not as effective for dry and mature skin types.

    Pressed Powders

    Pros:

    • Great for touch-ups on-the-go.

    • Contains more hydrating ingredients.

    • Perfect for dry and mature skin types.

    • Best at setting liquid foundations.

    • Easier to build up for more coverage.

    Cons:

    • Heavier than loose powders.

    • Not as effective for oily and combination skin types.

    How We Selected These Products

    These setting and finishing powders were meticulously curated by our team of experts based on their innovation, performance, and buzz-worthiness. At the Detox Market, all of the products we carry have pure ingredients, exceptional performance, and cruelty free formulations. We've been the trusted clean beauty experts for over a decade, cutting through the clean beauty noise and providing you with nothing but the best in green beauty. You can learn more about our commitment to clean beauty here.

     

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