These 11 Translucent Powders Will Keep Your Makeup In Place All Day
Plus, the difference between loose, pressed, and finishing powders.
Finding the best beauty products has never been easier thanks to Pia’s Picks, our weekly curated list. As the senior beauty editor at HelloGiggles, I test and examine the latest skincare, makeup, hair, and nail products so I can confidently recommend the best ones to you.
When I use makeup, I want it to stay put all day, which is why I swear by translucent powders, also known as setting powders. They’re used to set makeup and reduce excess shine, and since they’re colorless, they work on all skin tones (although many brands do, thankfully, offer a range of shades). While the most obvious type of translucent powder is a loose one, there are also pressed powders that have a similar effect. They are sisters, not twins.
Pressed powders come in compacts and use ingredients like silicones and waxes to create a product that looks solid. The particles are slightly bigger than the ones used in loose powders, and they can create a cake-y appearance if you use too much. However, they’re great for touch-ups and for looks when you’re not wearing makeup.
Loose powders go on after your foundation to get rid of shine and “set” your makeup so that it lasts a long time. They can be tinted to match your skin or completely translucent—most brands offer both options. If you choose to set, or “bake” your makeup, this is the type of powder you’ll use. The milled product also helps to reduce shine, which is ideal for people with oily skin.
Here are the 11 best translucent powders that work for all skin types and tones.
1. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
$$39Shop it Sephora
This is the one translucent powder that makeup artists have recommended to us over and over again for years, and we get the hype. Its formula doesn’t crease into fine lines and wrinkles like many others do, it stays put for up to 16 hours, it makes skin look luminous, it has a no-flashback formula that doesn’t show up in photographs, it looks like a second layer of skin, and it’s non-comedogenic. It comes in three shades.
2. Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder
Maybelline Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder
$$10.59Shop it Amazon
If you’ve spent any time on TikTok in the past few months, then you’ve definitely heard of this iconic drugstore product. It went viral when an audio outlined a hack for long-lasting makeup that includes applying setting powder before foundation, and it’s a total game-changer. Of course, you can use it after applying makeup, be we think this tip is pretty cool. Buy it in one of eight shades and see for yourself.
3. butter LONDON LumiMatte Blurring Finishing & Setting Powder
butter LONDON LumiMatte Blurring Finishing & Setting PowderShop it Amazon
This translucent powder won a 2020 Beauty Crush Award because its radiance-boosting formula keeps the glow alive, rather than mattifying the skin. It has mica particles in it, which amps up luminosity but also tones down areas with unwanted shine, like the T-zone.
4. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Setting Powder
$$32Shop it Fenty Beauty
Leave it to RiRi to create a bomb translucent powder. It comes in eight shades, blends seamlessly, smooths out imperfections, and has a very finely milled formula that makes it weightless and sheer,
5. ONE/SIZE Ultimate Blurring Setting Powder
ONE/SIZE Ultimate Blurring Setting Powder
$$30Shop it Sephora
This buildable powder can take you from your lightweight everyday makeup to the more glam looks that need to be baked. It was created by beauty mogul Patrick Starr, who knows a thing or two about being camera-ready, so you already know this is good.
6. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder
$$45Shop it Sephora
This pressed powder is great for those who want to reduce shine, blur imperfections, and get an Instagram-filter-IRL finish to their makeup look. It’s formulated for all skin types, comes in four shades, and has a cake-free formula that makes skin look lit-from-within.
7. Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder
Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder
$$58Shop it Sephora
Trust us, this color-correcting translucent powder is it. The Givenchy product lightly mattifies, blurs imperfections, and makes skin look radiant. It comes in seven color options that cover a wide range of skin tones, and it’s formulated with nourishing vitamin E.
8. Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
$$35Shop it Amazon
All of the brand’s products were formulated specifically for sensitive skin, and this powder has a green tea complex to help soothe any irritation and protect the skin from damaging free radicals. It also has vitamins C, E, and F—a skin-friendly cocktail in a stellar makeup product!
9. NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
$$37Shop it Sephora
If you’re going to do a photoshoot or be on-camera, this translucent powder is for you. It comes in this transparent white shade and a brown one for medium to dark skin tones, and it creates a luminous and silky look on the skin under any light. For those wanting a skincare fix, it also has moisturizing glycerin, nourishing vitamin E, and plumping algae extract.
10. Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
$$46Shop it Ulta
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and that’s what this formula is made of. This finely milled diamond dust helps create an effortless glistening finish for the skin that’ll make you look angelic.
11. IT Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder
IT Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder
$$35Shop it Sephora
While we’re totally against airbrushed photos, we love a makeup product that can give us smooth and softer looking skin, like this Airbrush Perfecting Powder. Apart from blurring imperfections and helping with oil-control, it also has a full-coverage formula so that you can use it with or without makeup. Additionally, because IT Cosmetics’ products always have major skincare benefits, it’s infused with vitamin B, peptides, collagen, and hydrolyzed silk.