Why a Setting Powder - Tips For Applying & Benefits

Product details: Setting and Finishing Powders

Why a Setting Powder - Tips For Applying & Benefits

    Let’s face it! – For all of us, face powder was an important part of our makeup routine. When I was in high school I was used to using face powder but later on, my makeup routine changed a bit- I started using as less makeup as possible to keep a more natural look. In the meantime, many new variations of the basic compact face powder appeared on the market- mineral, pressed, sheer, HD, translucent powder, finishing powder, setting powder, etc.  

    Before you apply face powder, however, it is important to find the right makeup primer for your skin type. Check out my Smashbox Makeup Primer article for some useful information and tips.   

    So why do we actually need to use a setting powder?

    The main purpose of face powders is to prevent your face from being greasy. Besides that, there are also many shimmering face powders that give you a natural glow. 


    • The face powder is a good setting agent that applied on top of your liquid or cream foundation/ BB or CC cream that seals it so that it won’t create any lines or slide down off your face;
    • Some types of powders also create a blur effect that reduces the fine lines or pores visibility; 
    • Using a face powder over your foundation also ensures that your makeup lasts longer;
    • You can also use it as a base for your cream eyeshadow;
    • You can easily make your blush a bit softer if it turned out to be too bright;
    • You can use it as a base for your favorite lipstick to make it last longer.

    With all those different types of face powders, it is difficult to decide which kind to use. The popularity of the translucent powders at the moment raises the question:

    Should I use a powder that has the same color as my skin, or a translucent one?

    Usually, the colored ones have thicker texture so they add an extra layer to your makeup which makes t ideal for covering any scars or spots. However, translucent powders are ideal for adding a finishing effect of your makeup to prevent your face from shining.

    ! Keep in mind that even though the translucent powder doesn’t add any color, if not blended properly, it can create a dreaded flashback.

    But how to use the setting face powder?

    You can apply it either on top of your foundation or on bare skin. However, if you are looking for more coverage or you want to hide any skin imperfections, the best options are to apply it on top of your foundation or to use a powder foundation. There are also different ways you can apply the face powder. You can use the so-called “puff”, a powder brush or a kabuki brush. 

    Tip 1: Before applying the powder always tap the brush into the lid of the powder jar to remove the excess amount of powder that the fluffy brush gathered. 

    Tip 2: Start applying the powder from the center of the face and move towards the sides with circular movements.

    Tip 3: It is important to blend the powder very well for smooth coverage. The dense positioning of the bristles of the kabuki brush makes it perfect for blending the powder well. 

    Tip 4: For oily skin make sure to add an extra layer of powder on the areas that tend to get oily, especially on the T-zone. For dry skin- apply a very light layer of powder and brush off the excess powder. 

    ! Talking about the right face powder application, it is important to mention that using the right brush makes all the difference. Check out my Makeup brushes guide for some useful information and tips.

    What does “baking” your makeup mean and why it should be a part of your makeup routine? 

    “Baking” is a new term in the makeup industry that relates to the translucent face powders. The secret to a perfectly matte and long-lasting makeup finish is leaving the translucent powder on your face for 5-10 minutes so that the heat from your skin can seal the foundation and concealer layer. A lot of makeup artists are using this technique to create a long-lasting flawless look so it might be something that you would want to try out.

    Useful purposes of the translucent powder that you probably didn’t know about:

    • Seal layer for oily eyelids to prevent your makeup from smudging- apply on your eyelid before the eyeshadow to create a matte and long-lasting effect.
    • Prevent a runny eyeliner- apply on top of your eyeliner to set it.
    • Plump up eyelashes- apply one coat of mascara, then dusk a little bit of translucent powder over the lashes and finish with another layer of mascara.
    • Substitute for a dry shampoo if needed.
    • Catch eyeshadow fallout- after you do your foundation layer, dusk powder to create a protective layer that will help you remove easily any little bits of eyeshadow that fall on your cheeks. You just have to brush it away when you’re done with your eyes.

    But is there a difference between a setting and a finishing powder?


    The setting powder can be loose setting powder or compressed setting powder. The loose powder seems to work better for the oily skin but it, in the end, it’s a personal preference. It is ideal to use with your foundation.

    The finishing powder is usually translucent. It also comes in a loose and compressed version. It has smoother and softer texture than the setting powder. It is designed to be applied on top of your finished makeup for a smoother finish of your look.

    I recently started using a finishing powder. I bought the Makeup For Ever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder (€37) and I am absolutely in love with it. It is the best finishing touch to my daily makeup routine. After I am done with my makeup I apply a thin layer of the finishing powder to get this smooth, matte look.

    Favorites and prices:

    I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and experience with the setting and finishing powders! Which are your favorites?



    • Una  O Una O : Thank you for sharing, Petya! I have been avoiding the use of setting powders as I would end up with a cakey face, but with your tips, I now know how to avoid that! Una xxx
      5 years ago 
      • Petya I Petya I : That's great Una! I am happy to hear that I gave you some inspiration. :)
        5 years ago 
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