After 22 hours of research evaluating 156 products, we picked Clinique Stay-Matte Universal Blotting Powder as our top choice.
Ever wonder why your makeup suddenly comes off right around 2pm? Well, you can blame oil for that.
According to dermatologist Leslie Baumann, everyone’s skin produces oil, some skin types naturally produce more than others.
Many factors influence oil production. Genetics, hormones, stress, diet, time of day and climate all contribute. The good news is, by investing in a good setting powder, your makeup can last all day.
Here's what we mean:
A top-notch translucent powder can make foundation last for hours. The powder formula works to absorb excess oil, eliminating shine so your makeup stays put.
The best face powder can also minimize fine lines by essentially filling them in and preventing foundation from settling into the creases.
Want to know the best part?
To make your life easier, we spent hours researching setting powders for your skin. And, we created a list of the 6 best ones out there.
We've tested them all, from translucent powders to full-coverage pressed formulas. Whether you want your powder to set your foundation, bake your concealer, or mattify your t-zone. Finally, you can say goodbye to shine.
A translucent finishing powder with Amazonian clay to lock your makeup in place and reduce the look of imperfections.
This product leaves a slightly white cast but don't worry, it fades quickly.
The white shade in the pan (and a little on the face at first) is due to the rice powder ingredient base. It won’t add color to your face (after the initial white cast) and is transparent.
Consider this a mattifier and oil-soaker as opposed to a full-face setting powder. Use sparingly with a small brush or sponge to the oiliest parts of the face.
In the $30 bracket, it’s a little pricey for a blotting powder.
A skin-smoothing, mattifying pressed powder with buildable coverage and a flawless, high-glam finish for all skin tones.
The shade range is a little lacking.
The colors are on the yellow side of the spectrum (which is great for warm-toned skin). While the shades are flattering, the range lacks deep and dark options.
Use a brush to either dust or buff the powder over the face, depending on your coverage needs. Remember, the denser the brush, the stronger the coverage. This powder doesn’t cling to dry spots, accentuate lines, or look cakey.
One of the higher-priced powders on the list, but the quality makes up for it.
This e.l.f High Definition Setting Powder is cheap and just as good as expensive setting powders.
The container this setting powder comes in can leave a mess if you're not careful.
e.l.f's High Definition Powder helps minimize pores and absorb oil for a naturally matte and oil-free finish. It also has a few different powders to choose from (3 to be specific). Shades include sheer, soft luminance, and yellow. The sheer powder is translucent with a shimmery finish. Not to worry though, the shimmer is faint and not glittery at all. The yellow is a color correcting powder that works to correct redness and inflammation.
The one downfall with this powder is the container. It doesn't come pressed in a pan like most powders do. Instead, this is a loose powder that is stored in a 0.28 ounce container with holes and a lid. The truth is, the design of this container can cause a bit of a mess. Taking the top off the container each time causes some powder to float into the air and end up all over the place, so just be careful.
We recommend using a large brush rather than the pouf that's included with the powder. However, the pouf does act as a nice stopper to keep too much powder from getting through the holes in the top when you're travelling.
For the $6 price, you can't find better - it's one of the cheapest products out there. However, this face powder is so popular it can be tough to find in stores so you're better off ordering directly from Amazon.
If expensive beauty products aren't your thing, we've got the perfect setting powder for you. And, you can find it at any drugstore. e.l.f High Definition Powder is just about as good as it gets if you're looking for a cheap product. e.l.f is one of the best discount makeup lines out there. Makeup users, bloggers, and reviewers everywhere love it - and so do we.
A clear setting powder with skin-friendly ingredients and very long-wearing performance. One of the best powders for oily skin that won’t clog pores.
Loose powder can be slightly messy, but you can decant smaller amounts into little pots for traveling.
This is available in translucent (colorless), as well as a cool and a warm color tone. The translucent is ideal for setting makeup without adjusting your foundation or skin tone. This makes it ideal for mattifying the skin on “no-makeup” days when all you’re wearing is BB cream or concealer.
Because it is loose, you can really pack this powder on to bake under the eyes. Pick it up with a velour puff and press it in before dusting away the excess with a brush. The best powders for oily skin are versatile in application, and this fits the bill.
At just under $30, it’s not a cheapie but it’s fair.
This translucent powder from Laura Mercier is the best of the best. We know because we've tested it ourselves. It's great for blending, baking, and setting your foundation. Why we love this product so much? It's formula is ultra-lightweight and gives you a natural (never cakey) look.
While there are so many things we love about this powder, the formula is maybe our favorite of all the products on this list. Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate has a very similar consistency to sand, which gives this powder a natural, light-refracting sheen. The Borosilicate combined with the Silica create a softer glow than you would expect with pure Silica, which is perfect for special occasions and flash photography (no white out effect!).
Unfortunately, one of the things we love most about this product also has its downfalls. That being said, the Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate does not dissolve in water, so it won’t absorb oil as well as other products on our list. Additionally, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate
Comes with a powder puff applicator (though we would suggest the Velour Puff, which is sold separately), and the packaging is designed to prevent you from getting too much product on your puff or brush—which, again, makes this perfect for anyone with sensitive or dry skin that won’t easily soak up excess powder. Remember to apply after anything creamy (i.e., after foundation and concealer), but prior to any powder based color (i.e., blush and bronzer)
While there are a number of different application techniques for this powder, this is the most effective approach we’ve found. First, massage powder into the puff by folding both halves together and then tab powdered side on the back of your hand to remove excess. Then, fold the puff in half, gently pressing and rolling the puff onto skin—focusing on areas where makeup breaks down the most (think T-zone).
However, if you're not a fan of the puff applicator, you can also apply with damp Beauty Blender sponge for a streak-free look. Or use a big fluffy brush, which is especially great for retouching throughout the day. When applied, this powder leaves a semi-matte finish but as it wears throughout the day it develops into a beautiful glow. Trust us, you're going to love it.
Lightweight, easy-to-apply, loose powder that blends effortless to set up makeup for up to 12 hours or longer. Locks in makeup for long-lasting wear without adding weight or texture. Creates a flawless, matte finish with no flashback in photos. Effectively blurs fine lines and imperfections. Set make-up for prolonged wear
Although this product is only available in two shades, both are truly translucent, incredibly versatile, and work on all skin tones. Translucent is perfect for all fair to medium tan skin tones, while Translucent Medium Deep is great for medium-deep to deep skin tones.
We think $38 for the best powder is a pretty good deal. Not to mention, you only need a little bit of the product to lock your makeup in place for the entire day. This 1-ounce container will easily last you six months to a year. The less you have to apply, the less you have to buy. Pair this powder with the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation and your face will be flawless.
A skincare treatment in powder-form that dries, clears, soothes, and disinfects clogged pores and acne.
The green undertone may throw you off, but it’s great for countering redness.
This powder has a slight green tinge due to the ingredients, and to counteract redness. Depending on your makeup routine, this may be an issue. However, if you’re using the powder purely as a treatment (at night, for example) it won’t matter.
You can use the little puff it comes with, or use a small brush to pack or dust the powder onto oily or blemished areas. It’s best as a treatment as opposed to a daily setting or blotting powder.
One of the most affordable treatment powders for oily skin.
A weightless, sheer mineral setting powder that blurs and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores and leaves skin with an always photo-friendly, soft-focus finish.
This powder has a slight sparkle finish to it, which some prefer but not all.
The bareMinerals Mineral Veil gives your skin a translucent, soft finish. Even though the product is light, it effectively sets your foundation and minimizes the appearance of lines. The product comes in 4 different shades including completely sheer, completely sheer with a luminous finish, tinted sheer, and hydrating sheer.
We have mixed feelings about the packaging, mostly because it can be hard to control how much product comes out. If too much is shaken out, there is not really a way to put the product back in. Although the container and lid isn't the worst, it's not our favorite either.
Most decent setting powders average around $30. This product is $23 with much better ingredients, so we think that's a pretty good deal.
In a variety of shades and finishes, Mineral Veil Setting Powder is our favorite setting powder for sensitive skin types. This stuff is versatile enough for all skintones and skin types. The light-as-a-feather, super smooth formulas blend onto skin without smudging the makeup you’re already wearing. Sheer and never cakey, Mineral Veil Setting Powder weightlessly blurs and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores, whether it is applied over makeup or directly onto your skin.
A buildable, ultra-lightweight setting powder foundation that comes in a variety of gorgeous shades.
This isn't a full coverage setting powder.
The Sephora MicroSmooth Baked Foundation Face Powder starts off as pretty light coverage but can be built to a medium coverage if needed. The smooth texture feels weightless on the skin but still manages to cover everything. It feels like you're not wearing any makeup at all. Not to mention, it doesn't look like you're wearing any either. Plus, there's baked pigments and mineral water in the formula - always a good thing. This formula isn't tested on animals and is formulated without parabens and fragrances, too. Now that's impressive. The setting powder comes in 8 shades including porcelain, nude, bronze, tan, and deep ebony.
This baked setting powder comes in a traditional style pan making it perfect for taking it on-the-go.
The $22 price tag isn't terrible considering it's nearly half the price of others on our list.
This ultra-lightweight, skin-perfecting powder foundation provides adjustable coverage, a natural finish, and the look and feel of beautiful skin.
A weightless translucent loose powder, formulated with Micro-Blurring Technology™ and formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
This stuff can appear light in flash photography.
This loose powder comes in one translucent shade: natural finish. It's formulated to be undetectable on all skin types. The texture is smooth, silky, and extremely lightweight. After applied, this product leaves a matte finish. So, if you prefer a dewey finish you might not like the way this product looks. As a bonus, the Lock-It Setting Powder is completely free of animal-derived ingredients. And that feels good too, right?
The Kat Von D Setting Powder comes in a 0.67 ounce container with a screw on lid. This product also comes in a 0.19 ounce travel size so you can try it out before investing in the full size one. The jar's sifter holes are arranged in the shape of a star, inspired by Kat's signature star tattoos.
This product is a bit on the high-end at $30, but depending on how much you use, it will last you several months.
A colorless loose powder with gentle, sensitive-friendly ingredients that set makeup, mattify, and blot oil. One of the best powders for oily skin that doesn’t include talc.
The product is a little small, (but so is the price).
This powder is truly colorless and translucent with no white cast.
The powder comes with a little puff for easy application without a dust cloud! Tap a little powder into the cap, press the puff into it, then press-and-roll onto your face. You can also bake effectively with this powder.
At around (or under) $10, it’s a steal.
An 80% mineral powder containing cassia bark, sugar polymer, and cotton extracts that absorb excess oil and reduce sebum production.
It may be slightly ashy on deeper skin tones, just use a light hand.
This powder is translucent so can be used to set makeup and touch-up throughout the day without adjusting the color.
You can use the puff it comes with to roll-and-press the powder over oily areas, or use a fluffy brush to dust over the entire face.
It really couldn’t be cheaper!
A smooth, medium-coverage pressed powder that gives a velvety matte texture and even tone to the skin.
It can apply a little heavy if you go in too enthusiastically but is excellent with a light hand.
The color range is great (including translucent) with very pale to very deep shades.
Live the shine-free life the easy way by using a large brush to buff the powder all over the face, or a smaller one to pin-point oily areas. Great for buffing over BB cream to stay matte on casual days, or setting foundation when heading out.
True to Maybelline New York style, it’s a bargain.
A translucent pressed powder that blots oil, mattifies, and smoothes the skin without accentuating lines or feeling cakey.
Not the best for baking, but ideal for blotting oil and gently setting makeup.
This stay-matte blotting powder is wonderfully colorless so every skin tone can enjoy a flawless finish.
This blotting powder comes with a sponge for quickly getting rid of shine throughout the day. Or, you could use a small setting brush to dust it over the T-zone and tap under the eyes to set the concealer.
It’s a little pricey compared to other options, but worth the quality.
When searching for the best powders for oily skin, there are a few key things to consider:
However, if you’re a no-makeup-makeup kind of person who loves to look matte and velvety at all times, a translucent powder does the trick. If you’re a baking queen (no, not cakes), you need a loose powder. Still wondering? Baking is when you pack on a heavy layer of powder to set areas where you’ve added a brightening concealer.
One of the key terms you should look out for is “non-comedogenic”. This means that it has been dermatologically proven that it won’t clog your pores and cause even more breakouts. Some of the best non-comedogenic face powders are under the “mineral” category, made from natural ingredients like zinc oxide. These powders not only make you look flawless but they can soothe that sore, inflamed feeling and even reduce acne breakouts, the definition of multi-tasking!
Most powders are pretty fool-proof, however, there are some tips and tricks to ensure you achieve that smooth, flawless matte look.
Always make sure to apply your powder after cream products. While some creams and liquids are designed to work well over powders, most of them will “bunch up” when applied to dry products.
Applying face powder sounds easy in theory. However, if there’s anything celebrity powder blunders will teach us, it’s that bloopers can happen even to the best of us. Practice makes perfect, for sure, but you can speed up the learning process by avoiding these common mistakes!
Mistake #1: Applying powder on the outer perimeters of your face. Unless the outer edges of your face get extremely oily (which is highly unlikely), you should stick to powdering just your T-zone—and maybe a little bit on your cheeks, if necessary. Applying powder on your entire face—even on the areas that don’t need it—can make your skin look dry and tired.
Mistake #2: Using the wrong shade. This should be a no-brainer, but surprisingly, many people still use face powders that don’t match their skin. Remember, ladies: face powder may not have as much coverage as a foundation, but that doesn’t make the look of mismatched shades less unflattering!
Mistake #3: Using cream and liquid products on top of powder. When it comes to layering different types of makeup, follow this rule of thumb: Cream and liquid products first, powders last. This means you shouldn’t use cream blushes, bronzers, and highlighters on top of your face powder. Doing so will make your makeup look patchy AF.
Mistake #4: You don’t clean your tools. Our brushes and sponges get exposed to all sorts of makeup every single time we use them. Even if you have a dedicated brush for face powder, it’s still bound to get in contact with your foundation and concealer as you layer powder on top of them. As these other products build up on your tools, they tend to mess up the formula and consistency of your powder. Needless to say, you should be cleaning your tools for hygienic reasons, anyway.