If you have oily skin, you're probably familiar with the struggle of your makeup greasing up before you've even left the house. That's why applying one of the best setting powders for oily skin should be a non-negotiable step in your makeup routine. Not only do they reduce immediate shine, but they help prevent your makeup from sliding off halfway throughout the day.
With all of the setting powder variations out there, from loose and pressed to tinted and translucent, it's helpful to know what their differences are. While they all have the same end goal of absorbing oil and creating a flawless finish, loose powders tend to be preferred over pressed versions because the powder is more finely milled, making it easier to build. The more noticeable difference comes with translucent versus tinted powders. Colored powders can help brighten your skin or correct redness, but they can also change the tone of your foundation. Translucent powders are always a safe bet because they're colorless, which allows them to work on every skin tone.
To apply your setting powder evenly, it's best to use a large, fluffy brush made with natural bristles. While synthetic brushes are great for liquid foundation and highlighter, brushes with natural bristles are ideal for powder products. Make sure your foundation and/or concealer is completely blended before you reach for your setting powder. And if you're using liquid products for your base, apply your setting powder while your foundation is still the tiniest bit wet so it holds onto the powder better.
After swirling your brush evenly in your loose powder, gently tap the brush over the pan to shake off any excess product. Then, apply it in pressing and rolling motions, concentrating on the areas of your face that tend to get the shiniest. Pressing the powder into the skin rather than sweeping it across your face helps conceal pores and avoid a dusty finish.
Scroll on to discover three of the best setting powders for oily and combination skin you can buy.
1. Best Drugstore Pick
It's always nice when you can save a few bucks on a product that you'll be using every day. e.l.f's HD Powder is a drugstore dupe for all of those prestige translucent powders out there, and it's even cruelty-free and vegan. It goes on completely translucent and creates a smooth, matte, "soft focus" finish.
"I have pretty oily skin, and I usually need to blot oil a few times throughout the day to keep my makeup looking fresh," wrote one reviewer, who added, "After using this powder as the final step in my routine, I find that my skin stays mostly oil-free all day, and I hardly have to touch up my makeup."
Another reviewer raved, "I have oily skin, and some days my face is uncontrollably oily. Once I tried this product, I no longer have that problem. Once I'm done applying my normal makeup, I just apply a thin coat over my face with a brush (not with the provided applicator), and it lasts the whole day."
2. Best Setting Powder That Beauty Pros Swear By
This DermaBlend Loose Setting Powder promises to keep makeup mattified and locked in place for up to 16 hours. The weightless formula prevents makeup from smudging and transferring, and the translucent option works on every skin tone — but it also comes in three other shades (beige, banana, and warm saffron) if that's something you prefer. It's also non-comedogenic, so it won't clog your pores, and the vegan formula is free from questionable ingredients like parabens, phthalates, triclosan, and sodium lauryl sulfate. A favorite of makeup artists and beauty bloggers, this best-selling setting powder has over 600 five-star reviews.
"This stuff actually makes me look like a goddess — no selfie lighting necessary," raved one reviewer. "I have sensitive, oily, and acne-prone skin, and this powder is the first to work on taming the shine all day long."
Another fan wrote that it's "great in humid climates" and called it "literally the only thing that keeps my makeup from just melting right off my face."
3. A Classic Setting Powder That’s Been Around Since 1935
As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Coty's Airspun Loose Face Powder has been around since 1935, and it's still a favorite for creating a flawless matte finish on oily and combination skin. It soaks up oil, softens skin, and creates an overall smoother, more even-looking complexion. While it's available in several shades, the translucent powder will suit every skin tone. Reviewers call it a great dupe for Laura Mercier's Translucent Loose Setting Powder.
This setting powder has the ratings to back it up, with nearly 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. One user wrote, "Love this as a light dusting powder to get rid of shine over makeup. I have no problem with caking or creasing when using this one. As a veteran makeup artist I have tried many different powders over the years and always come back to this one."
Another fan raved, "I have the oiliest skin and this is the only powder that works for my skin. It keeps my makeup in place all day and night for hours and hours. I wore this on my wedding day in 105 degree heat and my makeup stayed!"
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