Loving the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder is a total cliché — it has almost 7,000 Sephora reviews and countless more on YouTube — but it really is as good as everyone says. The elegant formula disappears into the skin, setting concealer and foundation into place while remaining virtually undetectable.
Whenever I wear foundation or tinted moisturizer, this is the powder I reach for most often, because it’s airy enough to wear all over the face. It’s translucent so it doesn’t add any coverage, but does minimize shine and cut down on creasing. At the same time, it doesn’t flatten out my complexion and allows the luminosity of my favorite base products to come through.
This powder earns the top spot for me due to its versatility — it works well with many different complexion products and with many skin tones. If the translucent powder gives you a white cast, the brand recently came out with a tinted Medium Deep iteration for darker skin tones.
Setting powder doesn’t have to be synonymous with the ultra-matte look. In fact, the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder manages to set your makeup and control oil while delivering subtle luminosity to the skin thanks to the diamond powder in the formula.
I think of this as a fusion of Hourglass’ famous Ambient Lighting finishing powders and a more traditional setting powder. It’s not shimmery like a highlighter, but it does deliver glow and dimension to the skin. Don’t be afraid to use it all over your face — under your eyes, in the middle of your forehead, across your chin.
This powder does an incredible job of setting my under-eye concealer without flattening out the dewy appearance. I definitely notice less settling into fine lines by the end of the night when I use it. I also love how the Veil Translucent Setting Powder cuts down on oil without making me look like a total corpse, and I find it smooths any rough spots in my makeup application. It’s like a soft Instagram filter for the face.
Despite being a recent launch, many shoppers and experts already consider this a holy grail powder. It has a 4.6 rating on Sephora based on 760+ reviews and publications like Allure and Cosmopolitan. It definitely has a permanent place in my makeup bag.
Pros: Sets makeup without looking cakey, diamond powder gives a luminous finish, packaging prevents powder from spilling too much on-the-go
Cons: Very expensive, packaging makes it hard to shake out the right amount of powder
If you’re looking to stop shine in its tracks, give Milk Makeup Blur + Set Matte Loose Setting Powder a try. This is the most mattifying powder in my collection. It completely blots away oil upon first application and does a good job of keeping it at bay for hours afterward.
For that reason, I vastly prefer to use this tinted powder on my T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) as opposed to under my eyes. I find that it mattifies my concealer too much and, as a result, leaves it little cakey. But I love how it works on the rest of the face. The formula contains avocado oil and hyaluronic acid to blur fine lines or blemishes and prevent your skin from looking dried-out.
Blur + Set is a great choice for those long, hot days when you’re wearing a full face. The packaging is similar to Wowder, with a mesh sifter that you press down on to draw up the powder. There’s a smaller plastic lid underneath the screw-off lid that houses the included sponge and prevents the powder from spilling.
While I think it’s a cool design, there are a few flaws. The plastic part snapped off its hinge the first time I opened it, and I also noticed that it dispenses a puff of powder every time I close it, which makes me feel like I’m wasting the product. Despite the packaging flaws, I still recommend this to anyone who wants some heavy-duty mattifying power.
Pros: Cuts shine and controls oil, super mattifying, talc-free, blurs imperfections
Cons: Packaging is smart in theory but difficult to use in practice
Why you'll love it: Glossier Wowder is powder for people who don’t like powder. It’s lightly tinted to give you just a bit of extra coverage, but it won’t eliminate all the shine.
Glossier Wowder is the powder that got me into powder in the first place. I had never used a powder before I tried this for the first time, and it remains my favorite for everyday use.
There are a few main reasons why I love this stuff. First of all, it’s extremely natural and while it does a good job of setting makeup, it lets some dewiness shine through. For example, it works like a dream with the brand’s Stretch Concealer, which is emollient but can cake up when paired with heavier powders.
I also love that Wowder is tinted and adds a tiny bit of coverage while remaining sheer enough to apply over cream blushes without diminishing the color. Most days I use it over concealer and bare skin and it works wonderfully as a natural base. Like Hourglass Veil it contains diamond powder for glow, plus kaolin clay to absorb oil and vitamin E to hydrate.
The packaging is also genius — powder is dispensed from a small circle of mesh in the center of the jar, whose lid features a stopper that fits over the opening so product doesn’t spill in transit. It’s truly the best for travel.
Wowder comes in three shades: Light/Medium (my shade), Dark/Deep, and Rich. As far as downsides go, the main one is the size of the jar, which holds .25 ounces of product. That said, I’ve used my original jar a ton over the past year and there’s still quite a bit of powder left, so if you use a light hand it will last you.
Why you'll love it: You don’t have to pay high-end prices for an effective makeup setting powder. The Neutrogena Shine Control Powder is an incredible pick from the drugstore.
Neutrogena is one of my favorite brands available at the drugstore and I’m constantly impressed by the quality of both the makeup and skincare offerings. The Shine Control Powder is one of the best products I’ve tried from the brand’s extensive catalog.
Unlike the other options on this list which are loose, Neutrogena Shine Control is a pressed powder that comes in a compact. It’s easier to travel with for this reason, but it still feels like nothing on the skin.
I really like the packaging, which is a matte black compact with a sizeable mirror under the lid — perfect for touch-ups! Like the Milk Makeup Blur + Set, this comes with a flat sponge and has a similar mattifying finish, but the effect is less intense. Because of this, I found I liked using it under my eyes and around the oily areas of my face. It’s the perfect happy medium.
You may prefer applying this with the included sponge, because the pressed nature makes it more dense and harder to pick up with a fluffy powder brush. This product is more mattifying than I look for on a daily basis, but I forsee returning to it on really hot days or days when I need my base makeup to last for a long time.
The one major downside to this powder is that it comes in only one shade. It is mostly translucent, but I’m not sure how well it would work on darker skin tones. Here’s hoping Neutrogena expands the color range, because Neutrogena Shine Control Powder is a fan-favorite. It has over 1,000 reviews on Influenster and has been recommended by Byrdie and Cosmopolitan.
One of the major grievances I have with lipstick is that you apply it only to find your lips are bare the next time you look in the mirror. The solution is to amp up your beauty arsenal with a long-lasting lipstick that will stay put all day or night long.
In this guide, you'll find everything from cult favorites to drugstore steals. For luscious lips that last all day, read on in the slides below to discover our top picks. Muah!
Here are the best long-lasting lipsticks you can buy:
If there's one thing many women never leave home without, it's mascara. It makes your eyes pop and brightens up your face in an instant. We tested dozens of mascaras to find the best, and Chanel Le Volume Mascara is our top choice because it delivers long, lush lashes that last all day.
Picking the right foundation makeup for your skin type and skin tone can be a real hassle, but once you find the best one for you, you've got it made. We've done the research to find some of the highest-rated foundations you can buy, and the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is a real winner.
After your eyes, your lips are probably the most expressive part of your face, and they stay busy all day long - emoting, eating, talking, kissing - so it's no surprise that most women like to attract a bit of attention to their lips with lipstick. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better creamy, satiny lipstick than L'Oréal Colour Riche Lipcolour.
A bronzed glow can make you look healthier and feel more confident, but we all know how damaging sunbathing can be. Faking it with a bronzer is a much safer option. For the ultimate sun-kissed glow in an instant, Becca's Sunlit Bronzers are our top pick.