7 Best Translucent Powders

7 Best Translucent Powders

11
Hours
Researched
74
Products
Evaluated

After 11 hours of research evaluating 74 products, we picked Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier as our top choice.

Wondering how people get that flawless, airbrushed look in real life?

I'll tell you:

The secret is a good skincare routine — and the best translucent powder.

A good translucent powder helps prevent oxidation on your skin, which is when your makeup mixes with the oils on your face and becomes darker, textured, or patchy. It sets your liquid makeup for long-lasting coverage and a perfect, silky texture.

For a product that's invisible, a lot could go wrong. You need to avoid cringe-worthy flashback in photos while keeping a fresh and shine-free face. 

So how do we do that?

There are a lot of setting powders out there that don’t make the cut, but luckily, there are a few out there that are pure magic.

Finding the perfect makeup for your skin type can be an expensive and frustrating experience. To save you some money and sanity, we took on the Internet to come up with the best of the best translucent powders.

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

7 Best Translucent Powders

  • 7. Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
  • 6. Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder
  • 5. By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder
  • 4. Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
  • 3. Chantecaille Talc Free Loose Powder
  • 2. HOURGLASS Veil Translucent Setting Powder
  • 1. Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier

Most "Clean" Ingredients

Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder

Most "Clean" Ingredients: Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
Application
8.9
Formula
9.6
Longevity
9.0
Value
9.4
Overall
92%
92 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
19 Bought

Why People Love it

  • It's earned Sephora's "Clean Seal" of approval, which means it's made without controversial ingredients
  • Light or Deep Translucent options
  • No flashback, even as a finishing powder

If big and popular favorites made your skin dry or chalky, give this translucent powder by Cover FX a try. It promises a texture-free, non-drying powder for sensitive skin.

Be careful with the packaging; the powder can get everywhere if you're not careful.

Application

8.9 / 10

This loose powder minimizes transfer without adding color to the skin or overpowering your perfect foundation. Be careful of the packaging, though; like with many loose powders, if you're not careful, it can get all over your clothes and everything around you.

Formula

9.6 / 10

Ultra lightweight translucent setting powder is incredibly translucent without talc. This formula is particularly perfect for the makeup baking technique, which you can read about at the end of this article. Light-diffusing particles smooth and blur for flawless airbrushed skin that's not chalky, dry or cakey. 

Also, the Cover FX formula has earned Sephora's Clean Seal of approval, which means it's produced without potentially harmful ingredients we like to stay away from. 

Longevity

9.0 / 10

You may want to touch-up at lunchtime if you're super oily, but it's not required. This setting powder should last the whole day.

Value

9.4 / 10

The price is average for Sephora-grade makeup. It definitely blurs and smooths lines and gives all skin types a naturally polished look, and for that, we think it's worth the price. The container should also last a long time.

Overall Editor Score

9.2 / 10
Learn more:Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder »

Best Tried & True

Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder

Best Tried & True: Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder
Application
9.2
Formula
9.3
Longevity
9.5
Value
9.1
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
23 Bought

Why People Love it

  • No flashback
  • Inexpensive
  • Keeps oily skin matte for hours
  • A timeless and classic choice

This tried and true translucent powder excels at keeping super oily faces matte for longer than expected.

The powder sets pretty quickly, so if you make any mistakes, it’ll be harder to fix them.

Application

9.2 / 10

The finely milled powder hides wrinkles, fine lines and blurs your makeup into an airbrushed look. Blemishes are a thing of the past; there's only flawless finish in your future. Light as air and velvety soft, Airspun is packaged in a round canister and comes with a powder puff applicator. 

Formula

9.3 / 10

A finely milled, dense, loose face powder that's blended with air. The featherlight powder can be used for baking highlight, concealer or contour, setting makeup, or even as a foundation. With six different shades to choose from (including "translucent: extra coverage"), there are plenty of options if "translucent" is a little too pale for your skin tone.

The "microspun" formula allows loose powder particles to spin and swirl until they reach a cloudlike softness. 

Longevity

9.5 / 10

Longevity is the cornerstone of this product. You've probably seen this powder in your mom or grandmother's makeup bag.

It's still in stores because it's just that good.

Not only has it been a hot topic since 1935, but the formula itself is also very long-lasting, even with oily skin.

If your foundation is slightly too pink, yellow, dark, or light, this powder can help even out your skin tone to make it look more natural for longer.

Value

9.1 / 10

Probably the best-for-the-price translucent setting powder you'll ever purchase. However, if you spend a little more, you may find a better option for your skin.

Maybelline Fit Me — a well-respected line in the realm of drugstore products — carries a translucent powder that's another amazing option for a budget.

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10
Learn more:Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder »

Best for Dry Skin

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder

Best for Dry Skin: By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder
Application
9.2
Formula
9.8
Longevity
9.2
Value
8.9
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
85 % User Score
24 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Hyaluronic acid minimizes pores
  • Non-drying, even on dry skin
  • Glowy finish

Enjoy a matte experience without sucking the life out of your skin — even dry skin.

The container could use a few improvements.

Application

9.2 / 10

A little goes a long way, and this container may last you years. The very light powder is NOT cakey, chalky, or crepe-like under your eyes or anywhere else. You can confidently use this powder to set your foundation or use it over bare skin for a matte finish.

By Terry recommends you apply the powder first onto bare skin and then press foundation over it.

It may not be completely translucent, so use a light hand for complete invisibility.

The container is finicky, so be careful not to spill when you open it.

Formula

9.8 / 10

This non-drying formula is a winner. It's not just makeup, it's also part of your skincare routine. By Terry claims their makeup is even safe to sleep in! (But why take any chances...)

Seriously, if you've shied away from setting powders because of your dry skin, give this one a try and watch your fine lines disappear.

The star of the show in this translucent powder is hydraulic acid. It works its magic by minimizing the size of your pores for a flawless finish.

Longevity

9.2 / 10

Lasts over or under makeup all day, leaving a perfect matte finish. If you blot your face during the day, you'll soak up only oil, not your makeup.

Value

8.9 / 10

Some say it's overpriced, some say it's worth the price. What everyone agrees on is the jar lasts forever, so you can consider this an investment.

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10
Learn more:By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder »

Best on Camera

Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

Best on Camera: Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Application
9.1
Formula
9.9
Longevity
9.2
Value
9.5
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
88 % User Score
23 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Translucent coverage, luminous finish
  • NARS exclusive Light Reflecting Complex™ optimizes light reflection on the skin
  • Also works to set bold lip color, layer eyeshadow, or soften a harsh contour

This photo-friendly setting powder uses Photochromatic technology to adjust to new sources of light, so skin always looks flawless on camera AND in person.

If you apply it with a heavy hand, you will get flashback in photos. Use a light hand for a perfect, no-cake look.

Application

9.1 / 10

Swirl a brush into the powder, tap off excess, and apply using circular motions working towards the outside of your face. It's crease-proof, brightening, and easy to use. Less is more!

Formula

9.9 / 10

The Nars loose powder is a perfect match for oily skin! Keep in mind this is a light reflecting powder, not just a matte setting powder. It's transparent and REALLY brightens dull skin — in the best way! Even though it's full coverage, it's sheer (you totally have to try it to understand this one) and never looks ashy.

If you're not sold on loose powders, try the NARS pressed powder. It has the same light reflecting powder — just pressed. Pressed powder gives easier application and it's just as great, but personally, I love the fine-milled feel of a loose powder.

Longevity

9.2 / 10

Lasts all day without facial oils seeping through. Enjoy a healthy, radiant glow that reflects light for up to 12 hours. 

Value

9.5 / 10

Non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested, synthetic fragrance-free, paraben free, oil free, talc-free, and light and airy.  The $37 price point doesn't seem like a stretch for a long-lasting quality product.

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10
Learn more:Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder »

Best Talc-Free Setting Powder

Chantecaille Talc Free Loose Powder

Best Talc-Free Setting Powder: Chantecaille Talc Free Loose Powder
Application
9.5
Formula
9.7
Longevity
9.8
Value
9.0
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
91 % User Score
19 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Mica and sericites replace potentially drying talc
  • Polymers discourage skin's oil secretion
  • Sets into the skin for long-lasting wear without emphasizing fine lines

Most translucent powders contain talc. This one doesn't!

It's expensive. No beating around the bush there. It will, however, last forever. And it may be the best setting powder you've ever used.

If you're looking for a non-luxury but talc-free option, your best bet is RMS Beauty's "Un" Powder, which contains similar ingredients.

Application

9.5 / 10

An amazing velour puff accompanies Chantecaille's loose powder, but the sifter is very fine and can clog from the product. That said, it's a very finely milled and luscious powder which makes application sheer and skin silky smooth.

Formula

9.7 / 10

It's not easy to find a setting powder without talc, let alone a good one. This loose powder by Chantecaille checks both boxes and works exceptionally well with dry or sensitive skin — even in the winter.

Longevity

9.8 / 10

Light, airy bliss all day, even if you bake your foundation or concealer. (Learn how to do this at the bottom of the page!) This translucent powder helps prevent oxidation for long-lasting wear.

Value

9.0 / 10

This one tops the price scale, but we think the talc-free formula for sensitive skin is worth the price tag, especially because the jar will last a long time even with daily use.

If you're looking for a non-luxury but talc-free option, your best bet is RMS Beauty's "Un" Powder, which contains similar ingredients.

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10
Learn more:Chantecaille Talc Free Loose Powder »

Most Silky Powder

HOURGLASS Veil Translucent Setting Powder

Most Silky Powder: HOURGLASS Veil Translucent Setting Powder
Application
9.9
Formula
10.0
Longevity
9.8
Value
9.2
Overall
97%
97 % Editor Score
94 % User Score
20 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Actually translucent on all skin tones, even dark tones
  • 100% talc free
  • Light-reflecting particles blur imperfections

This talc-free best translucent powder leaves a silky, invisible finish and hides pores, fine lines, and wrinkles on all skin tones.

$46 may seem steep for an invisible powder, but the benefits outweigh it. Plus, you can try the mini size for only $20 to see if you fall in love.

Application

9.9 / 10

Hourglass recommends using their dual-sided Veil Powder Brush for a perfect application. The smaller side is for setting concealer in your undereye area.

The packaging involves an innovative sifter and custom cap that lets you dispense the perfect amount of product every time. This is particularly amazing because loose powders have a horrible track record of flying everywhere and staining clothes.

Formula

10.0 / 10

A favorite of many, many people, this formula is a winner. Created without parabens OR talc, this powder is infused with diamond powder for the most pure light refraction without any flashback. Of course, in the end, it sets your makeup into a weightless smooth mask that enhances the appearance of natural skin.

The Hourglass formula does NOT look cakey and stands up to humid southern summers!

Longevity

9.8 / 10

A perfect accessory to the cult favorite Mineral Veil Primer.

This combination is guaranteed to keep your makeup looking as perfect as the morning. It will never look cakey, dull, flat, or crepey! It's not TOO matte — it's natural, glowing, and a little dewy in the best way.

Value

9.2 / 10

It's a little expensive — but not too bad when you consider the product you're receiving: a SnapChat filter for your face.

People claim the TRAVEL size lasts a year, so consider this a wise investment for your face.

Overall Editor Score

9.7 / 10
Learn more:HOURGLASS Veil Translucent Setting Powder »

Best Overall Translucent Powder

Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier

Best Overall Translucent Powder: Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier
Application
9.9
Formula
10.0
Longevity
10.0
Value
9.7
Overall
99%
99 % Editor Score
97 % User Score
18 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Pores and textures on face vanish
  • No flashback in photos
  • A best seller and fan favorite

In the makeup world, there is usually one product that shines far above any others in its category. With translucent powder, that product is Laura Mercier's loose setting powder.

This setting powder works best if your skin isn't too dry or too oily.

Application

9.9 / 10

Laura Mercier claims the magic lies in the velour powder puff. The puff absorbs the loose powder by folding and rubbing the two halves together. Then, gently press the puff onto your skin with a rolling motion.

Sound complicated? It's not once you try it once. This powder blends effortlessly into your foundation and concealer.

Formula

10.0 / 10

Dense in the jar, but feather-light on the skin. With a modern matte soft-focus finish and a touch of sheer coverage, this award-winning setting powder locks in makeup for long-lasting wear. It comes in both translucent and translucent medium deep, to perfectly match all skin tones.

This formula absorbs excess oil, controls and reduces shine, and doesn't look cakey on the skin.

It's not extremely matte like others on this list, but instead, you'll enjoy soft SnapChat filter-like perfection.

Longevity

10.0 / 10

Perfectly set makeup for up to 12 hours with the silkiest product you'll ever use. It prevents creasing without white-cast and it can be trusted all day.

Value

9.7 / 10

It's a little pricey, but the container lasts forever so we think it's totally worth it.

It's such a good setting powder that just about any price would be worth it...

Overall Editor Score

9.9 / 10
Learn more:Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier »

Faveable Ratings: 7 Best Translucent Powders

7 Best Translucent PowdersApplicationFormulaLongevityValueOverall
Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier Thumbnail
Best Overall Translucent Powder
#1Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier
9.9
10.0
10.0
9.7
99
HOURGLASS Veil Translucent Setting Powder Thumbnail
Most Silky Powder
#2HOURGLASS Veil Translucent Setting Powder
9.9
10.0
9.8
9.2
97
Chantecaille Talc Free Loose Powder Thumbnail
Best Talc-Free Setting Powder
#3Chantecaille Talc Free Loose Powder
9.5
9.7
9.8
9.0
95
Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder Thumbnail
Best on Camera
#4Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
9.1
9.9
9.2
9.5
94
By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder Thumbnail
Best for Dry Skin
#5By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder
9.2
9.8
9.2
8.9
93
Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder Thumbnail
Best Tried & True
#6Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder
9.2
9.3
9.5
9.1
93
Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder Thumbnail
Most "Clean" Ingredients
#7Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
8.9
9.6
9.0
9.4
92

Faveable Expert Tips

Baking foundation & concealer

Are you baking your concealer? This newish-to-mainstream trend refers to letting lots of translucent powder sit on your face for 5-10 minutes. Why? The heat from your face will set your base foundation and concealer. After 10 minutes, dust off whatever product didn’t sink in with a brush and enjoy the flawless finish.

Many Hollywood makeup artists use this trick, so it must work well!

 

Here’s how to bake your concealer:

  1. Hydrate your eye area to minimize fine lines
  2. Apply a thick layer of concealer — upwards from the apples of your cheeks. Blend it with a Beauty Blender.
  3. If you want, apply another layer of concealer. Is it a lot of makeup? Yes. It is. But with this method, it helps lock in the first coat!
  4. Use a big, fluffy brush to dust translucent powder over the concealer.
  5. Now, we bake! Dampen your Beauty Blender with setting spray. Dip the sponge into your translucent powder and generously pack the loose powder over your concealer.
  6. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes while you apply the rest of your makeup.
  7. Swirl your big fluffy brush in pressed powder and brush over the caked on translucent powder, dusting off any excess and blending harsh edges with your pressed powder.

 

A Note on Talc:

Nearly all translucent powders contain talcum powder, the softest substance on earth with amazing oil and moisture absorbing qualities. Talc has a negative reputation because it contains asbestos in its natural form, which can lead to cancer with high inhalation exposure. BUT, since 1976, the United States only recommends cosmetic products with talc if they are free from detectable amounts of asbestos. (Yes, we can separate it!)

The FDA has not stepped in to regulate talc in beauty products because there is no sound scientific data that shows it is harmful under its intended use. All of the products with talc on this list are from trusted brands and SAFE to use!

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Article Staff

Jenny Aquaro is a research contributor to Faveable.com. Her expertise lies in health, wellness, digital marketing, and finding the perfect gift. She also creates web content for small businesses across America with her own business, Digital Advising Solutions. When she's not writing, Jenny likes to invent new recipes and mollycoddle her puppies. Follow her @writinginraleigh / @lifeinraleigh on the 'gram.
Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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7 Best Translucent Powders

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