The 15 Best Drugstore Setting Powders, According To Busy Moms – Scary Mommy

The 15 Best Drugstore Setting Powders to Stop Shine Before it Starts

November 18, 2019 Updated September 10, 2020

Setting Powder

Setting powder is one of those tiny miracle-workers you don’t realize how you’ve lived without it until you’ve tried it. It’s like magic for your makeup: A quick dusting locks in your foundation and concealer so they won’t cake up or ripple—or worse, vanish after an hour. When you’ve spent 20 precious morning minutes perfecting your complexion, what’s more heartbreaking than watching your work slowly disappear?

What Even Is Setting Powder?

Essentially, a setting powder holds your makeup. They come in several options: loose or pressed; translucent or tinted. Loose powders are super lightweight and airy and have smaller particles that won’t weigh you down, while pressed powders contain binders that add a touch more polish to your overall look. Translucent powders don’t add coverage but simply “set” your foundation so you can be confident it won’t budge an inch. Tinted powders are opaque and match your skin tone to color-correct any redness and add all-around brightness.

How Do I Use It?

Setting powders should be applied with a flat, shaped brush or powder puff, depending on your personal preference. The key is to apply them before your foundation fully dries so they can ensure long-wearing coverage.

If you’ve yet to become a setting-powder convert or if you’re looking to re-up without spending a small fortune, know that there’s an affordable setting powder out there for everyone, whether you have dry or oily skin or some weird combination in between (hello, postpartum us!). From loose, translucent formulas that plump and hydrate the skin to tinted opaque powders that’ll stop T-zone shine before it starts, here are the top-rated drugstore setting powders to pick up right now.

Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder

The Coty Airspun Loose Powder is one of the best loose options out there. This OG powder has been around since 1935 for a reason. It’s blended with actual air and so finely milled that it easily masks fine lines (c/o thrice-a-day toddler meltdowns, thanksverymuch) for a fully flawless finish.

$6 AT AMAZON



Revlon Photoready Candid Translucent Finisher

Talk about a photo finish. Revlon’s Photoready Candid Setting Powder contains anti-pollution and antioxidant ingredients to protect your precious face from the elements while also working hard to undo damage. We love a product that does double-duty—working hard in the background while you wear it. The loose powder is available in three different non-chalky shades and is also formulated without parabens or fragrance.

$7 AT AMAZON

Covergirl Clean Professional Loose Finishing Powder

Like a photo filter for your face: mostly translucent with just a hint of tint, it comes in five shades (from Translucent Fair to Translucent Tawny) to add a blurred-out, soft focus finish.

$5 AT AMAZON

Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Finishing Powder

Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty line is one of the best drugstore buys in terms of quality and cost. This matte translucent powder can be worn two ways (perfect for multitasking mamas): layer it over your makeup to preserve your look from dawn to dusk, or wear it solo (sans foundation underneath) to minimize pores and shine—perfect for oily skin.

$10 AT WALMART



e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Powder

Essential for those in the #tiredmomsclub. If you only have two minutes to spare, consider this triage: A quick undereye concealer application followed by e.l.f.’s High Definition Undereye Powder to minimize those inevitable dark circles all day (or at least until you can crash on the couch). It’s a budget buy that’s worth its weight in makeup gold.

$3 AT AMAZON

Maybelline Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder

This loose, opaque, tinted formula is mineral-based to help control shine and smooth texture—making it ideal for hiding any redness. Wear it alone or over foundation, depending on your energy levels/timeline. It matches up to pricier brands in that it comes in a collection of tones from fair to dark and six shades in between.

$5 AT WALMART

Neutrogena Shine Control Powder

Racing from school drop-off to the office through rush-hour traffic can leave even the most cool, calm and collected among us a little flustered. Keep shine at bay alllll day with Neutrogena’s Shine Control Powder with rice protein complex, an oil-absorbing formula that’s great for on-the-go touch-ups.

$10 AT AMAZON



L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow

If your complexion tends toward the oily side, meet your new must-have. Just a light dusting of L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow’s microfine translucent particles locks in your foundation while absorbing oil.

$7 AT AMAZON

NYX Professional Makeup HD Finishing Powder

Yes, you need self-care time and properly fitting bras, but you also *need* a lightweight, translucent setting powder that can stop T-zone shine before it starts. Swirl it all over with a tapered brush, or use a blender sponge to dab it onto specific areas. Available in translucent white, light yellow or mint green (excellent for nixing redness), we love that this vegan formula is also paraben-, phthalate-, sulfate- and aluminum-free.

$10 AT AMAZON

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Pressed formulas are great for on-the-go, thanks to their no-spill setup (read: no loose powder disasters in the diaper bag or all over your best blazer). Rimmel’s mattifying version is stellar at combatting shine for up to five hours—whether worn solo or layered over your fave foundation.

$4 AT AMAZON



Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Loose Powder

Consider this your secret weapon against dry skin: This talc-free powder is best for creating silky, lightweight coverage without irritating or overdrying your face. The hypoallergenic formula is made without fragrance or parabens and also boasts SPF 16 for all-important sun protection, too.

$15 AT AMAZON

Essence All About Matt! Fixing Compact Powder

Essence’s ultra-translucent powder is ideal for spot-treating certain areas, like locking in eyeshadow and concealer for a longwearing finish. Use a flat, angled brush to apply it, or even tap it on with your fingers when you’re out and about (nature’s original makeup tools!).

$4 AT ULTA

Black Opal Soft Velvet Finishing Powder

Black Opal’s translucent powders are made for deeper skin tones and are a fave of celeb makeup artists. While they look slightly tinted, they actually go on colorless, setting your makeup without affecting the hue of your other products.

$9 AT WALMART



Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Loose Powder Foundation

Blur out pores, conceal fine lines and mattify shine—all in one loose powder foundation that doubles as a setting powder. Perfect for sensitive skin, Neutrogena’s lightweight mineral formula is complexion-friendly, unlike the peanut butter smeared on your cheek during that p.m. toddler baking session.

$10 AT AMAZON

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

A pro favorite, this splurge-worthy, award-winning formula keeps makeup from caking for up to 12 hours—and is one setting powder with no risk of the dreaded photo flashback. Layer it on with a powder puff, focusing especially on areas where your makeup tends to crack. An added bonus? It blends like a dream, making your blush and bronzer glide right on. The mini is $23 so you can try it out before taking the full size $39 splurge.

$23 AT SEPHORA

Looking for more drugstore beauty finds? We thought you’d never ask.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
SHOP THE STORY
stroke red
Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder
$6
Covergirl Clean Professional Loose Finis...
$5
e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Powder
$3
Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Finishing Po...
$10
Maybelline Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powde...
$5
Neutrogena Shine Control Powder
$10
L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow
$7
Revlon Photoready Candid Translucent Fin...
$7
NYX Professional Makeup HD Finishing Pow...
$10
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
$4
Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Loose Po...
$15
Essence All About Matt! Fixing Compact P...
$4
Black Opal Soft Velvet Finishing Powder
$9
Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Loose Powder F...
$10
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting ...
$23