The 17 Best Setting Powders for Makeup in 2020

Take it from the professionals: a top-notch setting powder is a non-negotiable must-have in any makeup kit — especially in the summer, when heat and humidity can ruin a makeup look before it’s even done. “Setting your makeup is one of the most important steps of makeup,” New York City makeup artist Delina Medhin tells Allure. “When you set the makeup, it has longevity… who wants to carry a touch-up kit everywhere?”

Even if you prefer dewy looks over matte ones, setting powder applied strategically can absorb excess oil and keep products in place longer, according to Medhin. But oil absorption and longevity aren’t the only things setting powders are good for, according to fellow New York City makeup artist Tommy. “Setting powder is not only used to lock in your makeup but to ‘finish’ the look of makeup — to create a smoother, more poreless and textureless surface,” he explains.

Both artists agree that, when it comes to powders, the less-is-more approach is best. “This gives you more control of the product,” Medhin says. “Place your brush in the powder, then tap it off until it looks like nothing is left on the brush, then keep applying until you get to your desired matte look.” Tommy adds focusing powder to the forehead, nose, chin, and the sides of the mouth can “help to mitigate any excess shine or oil breakthrough that can lead to a porous look.”

Give these techniques a whirl with the 17 best setting powders listed below, all of which are makeup artist and beauty editor favorites.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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