I’ve never made setting powder a permanent step in my beauty routine. To be completely honest, I rarely remember to use it. But lately I’ve needed more coverage (thank you breakouts, redness, uneven texture at 30) and so I’ve been opting for CC creams and foundation, which has led me to rediscover old purchases, free samples and new splurges.
Before I share my thoughts on 5 setting powders under $40, here’s a quick breakdown on the different kinds of powders so you can find the right one for you. I realized most of the ones in this post are translucent powders but there are pros and cons to every type.
Loose setting powders come in two forms: translucent and colored. Colored ones work to correct tone, brighten the face, and correct redness. Translucent powders might be preferred because they don’t change the color of the foundation and don’t add coverage. Pressed powders add slightly more coverage than loose ones when applied with a buffing motion to the face.
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($38): I purchased a mini size on Sephora way back when and honestly, I’m kind of pissed I didn’t splurge on the full-size. This powder has a silky finish that feels so light on my fair skin. The application with the mini puff is key though. First, you need to prep the puff. Then you have to gently press and roll onto the skin to work the powder in. Needless to say, it’s a little time consuming and I only recommend buying this if you’re a perfectionist.
Pixi Quick Fix Powder* ($20): This no-color finishing powder is almost half the price of the Laura Mercier one and requires half the effort as well. I use this when I want a matte finish. The applicator puff is a little stiff in my opinion, so I usually opt for a separate powder brush.
Glossier Wowder ($22): On days when I don’t feel like wearing any cream formulas, this is my go-to. It’s a colored loose powder so it works to correct tone and redness while also brightening the face. It’s ideal for my fellow “no makeup” makeup junkies because it makes everything look natural without looking cakey.
Bareminerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo ($32): I love this for many reasons. First and foremost, you have two options in one manageable compact (perfect for travel). I use the Dual-Finish Contour Brush and depending on my mood, sweep on for a matte or luminous finish. The matte side effectively eliminates my skin’s oily patches without showing any texture.
NYX Studio Finishing Powder Translucent Finish ($10): Out of all the setting powders I’ve mentioned in this post, it’s not my favorite—but it’s the cheapest option if you’re not looking to spend much. It’s an HD setting powder so be prepared to deal with flashback but otherwise, it’s suitable for all skin types and controls shine very well.
*This asterisk means a product was gifted to me by a brand or PR company. As always, opinions are always my own.
I’d love to know, what are your favorite setting powders? Or are you not a powder girl and prefer a spray?
Great post! This is totally old school, but I’ve been using Coty Airspun loose powder for years! It is such a timeless classic, smells amazing, and at around $6 a jar, a total steal! It definitely gives me a nice finish and comes in several colours.
Thanks for reading! I’ll definitely have to investigate this $6 jar because it sounds awesome!