October 15, 2021

Spif Panel

Think Shopping & Women

The 15 Best Setting Powders of 2021

4 min read

While natural-looking foundation, full-coverage concealer, or punchy lipstick shades tend to get the bulk of the credit for outstanding makeup looks, true beauty lovers know that a great setting powder is really the glue that holds everything together. But the right powder isn’t just ideal for under-eye baking: In addition to catching flaky eye shadow fallout, a setting powder can mean the difference between a flawless, velvety finish that lasts all day and your makeup mysteriously disappearing as the hours tick by. Since not all setting powders are created equal, we’ve pulled together the most tried-and-true options worth adding to your makeup rotation. Here, 15 of the best setting powders to keep shine, oil, and ghostly selfies at bay.

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1

Most Iconic

Translucent Loose Setting Powder

We like to consider this silky translucent powder one of the beauty GOATs, as it’s been beloved by editors (including this one) and professional makeup artists for years. Plus, the powder has racked up close to five stars from more than 16,000 customer reviews at Nordstrom alone, with one shopper raving about how it “literally melts into your skin.”

2

Great for Travel

Cloud Set Baked Setting and Smoothing Vegan Powder

This sheer setting powder from the clean beauty experts at Kosas has a lightweight, natural finish that looks more like skin than makeup. Since this one is pressed instead of loose, you won’t have to worry about accidentally spilling powder in your bag if you take this compact on the go.

3

Drugstore Deal

Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder

Maybelline New York

$5.00

Here’s a highly coveted loose mineral powder from holy grail beauty brand Maybelline that’s garnered close to five stars on Amazon, with more than 22,000 (!) customer reviews and counting.

4

Great for Sensitive Skin

Loose Setting Powder

If you have sensitive skin, consider this waterproof, dermatologist-tested setting powder that’s not only vegan and noncomedogenic, but made to stay put for up to 16 hours per wear.  

5

Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting Powder

If there’s anyone who knows about setting powder, it’s makeup icon Pat McGrath. Her version is designed to feel weightless on skin and is treated with amino acids for a pigmented color payoff that won’t budge—even when you work up a sweat. If you’re already a fan of the brand’s Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation, this correlating powder is the cherry on top of your face makeup.

6

Great for Oily Skin

Skin Silk Loose Setting Powder

Keep forehead shine in check while evening out your skin tone with this finely milled setting powder from Mented Cosmetics. It features skin-friendly ingredients like hydrating squalane and vitamin C to brighten, plus it’s hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

7

Great for Dry Skin

Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder

This full-coverage pressed powder contains rose wax and almond oil to keep your skin hydrated as it mattifies, and even reflects light to leave your complexion looking extra dewy (but not overly shiny).

8

Natural Pick

Soft Focus Finishing Powder

Here’s a highly coveted, talc-free option shoppers are raving about to round out your routine, with one customer describing how this lightweight powder “feels like nothing.”

9

Great for Dry Skin

Original Mineral Veil Pressed Setting Powder

Those with dry skin should pay close attention to this best seller from bareMinerals, which is loaded with moisturizing ingredients like vitamin E, plus shea and cacao butters.

10

Natural Pick

The Silk Powder

Whether you decide to apply this powder with a sponge or makeup brush, you don’t have to be a hard-core J-Beauty fan to appreciate its luxe feel, which is powered by Japanese pearl powder and actual silk extracts.   

11

Natural Pick

Mattifying Powder

You can snag this vegan and Environmental Working Group–approved mattifying powder—which applies white but seamlessly blends in with your skin-tone—for a rare 15 percent off right now during Beautycounter’s End of Summer Sale.

12

Long Wearing

Ultimate Blurring Setting Powder

One/Size by Patrick Starrr

$16.00

With close to five stars and more than 14,000 loves on Sephora, this top-rated setting powder from beauty influencer Patrick Starrr is designed to last for up to 14 hours and is totally fragrance free.

13

Long Wearing

All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder

This translucent setting powder from the makeup aficionados at Urban Decay is designed to stay put for up to 11 hours per wear. Since the powder is also waterproof and has a powdery matte finish, it’s especially ideal for oily and combination skin.

14

Great for Deeper Skin Tones

I Am Magic Loose Setting Powder

If you prefer your setting powder to match your foundation or concealer of choice, this one from buzzy makeup brand Juvia’s Place is specifically optimized for people of color and suits a number of deeper skin tones.

15

Great for Acne-Prone Skin

Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder

This beloved, featherweight powder works for most skin types, as it’s dermatologist tested, non-acnegenic, and both oil and fragrance free.

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