Setting powders blur imperfections and mask shine all day long. Makeup artists share their top picks.
Meet your skin’s new secret weapon: translucent powder. If you haven't used it before, you're seriously missing out—even if you normally wear minimal makeup, adding a few additional seconds to your beauty routine for this extra step is totally worth it. A dusting of translucent powder sets the rest of your makeup and masks shine throughout the day. What's more, it blurs imperfections like fine lines and acne, and also makes visible pores disappear. It's like an Instagram filter you can wear all day.
We reached out to top makeup artists to ask for their all-time favorite powders. Grab your phone—it’s about to be selfie time.
Shiseido Future Solution LX Total Radiance Loose Powder
"Its formula is luxurious and silky, plus it blends without a trace no matter your skin tone. The result: a veil of light that gives skin a radiant glow." —Ermahn Ospina, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder
"I love it because it’s light; I use it under the eyes after the concealer to set it (some refer to this as “baking”) and also on the t-zone, where most people are prone to getting oily. I like that it brightens up the face in a very subtle way." —Leslie Lopez, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
"I've always liked to apply it with a velour puff to create a soft look on the skin." —Matin, celebrity makeup artist in New York City
"It’s really sheer and complements every skin tone. It's a staple for everyday makeup." —Fabiola, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
"This powder has been one of my favorites for a long time because it works on pretty much all skin tones, and recently, they've added a medium deep shade that is glorious for warmer skin tones. It's perfect for setting makeup and blending into eye shadow, especially if eyelids get greasy." —Jessi Butterfield, celebrity makeup artist in New York City.
MAC Next to Nothing Powder
"It’s a soft matte powder that's oil-free, but not drying and allows your skin to show through—only better looking, thanks to the microlight boosters that amp up your glow." —Katie Jane Hughes, makeup artist in New York City
NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
"The best thing about the powder is that it doesn't shift the foundation around underneath. It's really delicate, but it still keeps oil at bay and diffuses light, which helps to minimize texture problems, fine lines, and wrinkles. An anti-aging skin win!" —Jessi Butterfield, celebrity makeup artist in New York City
"It leaves a beautiful light-reflecting finish." —Tina Turnbow, celebrity makeup artist in New York City
Kevyn Aucoin The Gossamer Loose Powder
"I love how weightless it is and that it blurs any imperfections without looking cakey. I especially love to use in oily areas to prep someone for on-camera and red carpet appearances." —Julie Harris, celebrity makeup artist in New York City
YSL Souffle D'Eclat Finishing Veil
"This is a great lightweight setting powder that leaves the skin glowy and natural looking. I personally like to use a powder brush for an even and ‘light-handed’ application. Be sure to dust off excess powder on the brush before applying onto your face." —Min Min Ma, makeup artist in New York City
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder
"This is one of my favorite setting powders because it minimizes shine and has a super-smoothing effect, but still looks natural–not overly airbrushes. The compact is great to throw in your bag for on-the-go touch ups, too!" —Kira Nasrat, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder
"For smooth, filtered-looking skin, I would recommend this. Apply after moisturizer, primer, concealer, and foundation with a kabuki brush. It will give you a smooth surface to apply your powder blush, highlighter and bronzer flawlessly." —Kristine Cruz, makeup artist in New York City
RMS Beauty "Un"Powder
"The ingredients feel like no other, and create a soft haze of diffusion on the skin, like nothing I've ever used. The silky soft translucence dampens shine, but doesn't create that pancake face look. Your natural glow will show, but just a touch, and for me, that's a must." —Katey Denno, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder
"The colors are great and if I need heavier coverage in a certain spot, I roll my beauty blender sponge in it and then roll it over the area of the skin that could use some extra attention." —Charlotte Hayward, celebrity makeup artist in London