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12 Best Drugstore Setting Powders to Keep Skin Fresh

Clare Holden
Written by Clare Holden
Best Drugstore Setting Powders

No makeup look is complete without a light dusting of setting powder to lock in your foundation and leave your face appearing fresh all day long. Not only does setting powder extend the wear of your makeup, it also prevents shine and adds a blurring effect to your skin.

Everyone can benefit from adding this final step to their beauty routine. No matter what your skin type, using a setting powder is essential to prevent transfer and to substantially seal in your makeup.

After years of working as a makeup artist, I have tested out dozens of different powders and am happy to report that some of the highest-quality options are also the most affordable. Check out the curated list of the best drugstore setting powders for every skin type, occasion and complexion below.

12 Best Drugstore Setting Powders on the Market

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Finding the Best Drugstore Setting Powders

The finishing touch to any good beauty look, whether you want your makeup to stay in place while working all day or dancing all night, a good finishing powder is a makeup bag essential.

Luckily, the drugstore is packed full of options to seal in your look. We break down the important elements to take into account when shopping for a setting powder to ensure you find the perfect match for your skin.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Drugstore Setting Powders


Most people opt for a translucent powder, as it’s universally flattering, matches with any foundation and can be used summer through winter if your skin tans. Yellow or banana setting powders can be used to subtly warm up the face while pink powders can be used to brighten your makeup or lift the appearance of dark circles.

Skin Type 

Setting powder is suitable for all skin types and really adds a soft focus finish to any complexion. Those with oily skin should opt for a shine control powder while those with dry or combination may find a velvet finish works best as it never looks cakey.


The drugstore brands really excel at translucent powders and there isn’t a big difference between them and the higher-end brands.


If you prefer a dewy finish opting for a luminous setting powder will help keep your foundation from looking too matte. If you don’t wear foundation setting powders can also be applied on bare skin for a mattifying effect.


Setting powder is the last step in your makeup application. Pressed powder can be gently placed on the face with a puff while loose powder can be dusted lightly using a large powder brush.

What are the Different Types of Drugstore Setting Powders?


Translucent powder is by far the most popular type of setting powder, as it gives every look an almost filtered finish. It works with every skin tone so is a safe purchase in terms of color matching.


Pressed powder is an iconic beauty product and remains popular because of just how handy it is to carry around with you. If you struggle to control the shine along your t-zone, having a compact setting powder on hand means you will also be able to mattify your makeup in an instant.


Many people favor loose setting powder as it delivers a lightweight makeup seal that feels comfortable and doesn’t turn flaky looking after a few hours.


Best Overall: Milani Make It Last Setting Powder


  • Ultra-fine texture
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines
  • Soft focus finish


  • Some may prefer a pressed powder
  • Slightly more expensive than other drugstore brands
  • Only available in matte finish

Milani is one of my drugstore favorites. It has a luxury feel and their formulas rival the many of the higher end beauty brands. Their setting powder is no different and that’s why it takes the top spot on this list. The extra finely milled powder gives the skin a blurred matte finish that elevates any makeup look.

The oil-absorbing formula controls shine without reducing the skin’s moisture and the sheer veil coverage adds a light reflecting luminosity to the complexion. Available in four different shades, it also comes in a banana tone for those looking to add warmth to their skin in the Winter months.


Best Budget: Wet n Wild Photo Focus Loose Setting Powder


  • Cruelty-free
  • Great price
  • 3 shade options


  • Some shades sell out
  • No shimmer option
  • Doesn’t come with a pouf

Coming at just under $5, whether you are new to setting powder or just looking for a wallet friendly option, you can’t go wrong with this silky feeling offering from Wet n Wild. This featherweight powder does everything from blurring skin imperfections to adding a soft focus filter like finish to the skin.

As with all their products, this setting powder is cruelty-free making it vegan friendly and doesn’t contain fragrance so it’s also suitable for those with sensitive skin. In addition to the translucent finish, it also comes in a deep and banana shade option for those who prefer to get more color specific.


Best Translucent: Makeup Revolution Loose Baking Powder – Translucent


  • Cruelty free
  • Velvet finish
  • Can be used to set or bake


  • Slightly messy
  • Not everyone may like that it comes in a bottle as opposed to a pot
  • Only available in one shade

Having a good translucent powder in your makeup collection is an absolute beauty essential and this multi-purpose option from Makeup Revolution ticks all the boxes. It can be used to bake the undereyes, set your foundation and even brighten the skin when applied with a damp beauty blender.

This loose powder delivers a natural luminous finish that is more velvet than matte so works perfectly for those who prefer soft glam makeup or like to maintain a dewy looking base. It can be applied using a large powder brush to set or a sponge for baking.


Best Pressed: Maybelline Fit Me Matte Poreless Pressed Face Powder Makeup


  • Wide range of shades
  • Compact packaging
  • Allergy tested


  • Some may prefer a loose powder
  • May not work for very dry skin
  • Compact doesn’t have a mirror

If you find loose powder messy and prefer to keep your makeup application as clean as possible then this pressed powder from Maybelline is the one to reach for. There is no need to worry about a powder explosion everytime you open it as it is neatly pressed in a handy compact perfect for on the go touch ups.

It also comes in an impressive 24 shades so you should have no trouble finding your color match. The non-comedogenic formula also means that it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts. Its mattifying finish successfully blurs the appearance of pores and fine lines while also reducing shine and lengthening the overall wear of your makeup.


Best Talc-Free: Airspun Loose Powder


  • Talc-free
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Includes pouf


  • Smaller shade range
  • Not as widely available
  • Simple packaging

Those with acne-prone or sensitive skin will know all too well how just one ingredient is enough to send their skin into irritated mode. While not everyone is affected by talc, it can be extremely aggravating for some skin types and can also result in clogged pores which leads to breakouts.

This talc-free offering from Airspun is the ideal option for anyone looking to control shine, set makeup and blur pores without risking setting off their skin. The absence of talc also means there is no flashback. The microspun formula means it doesn’t crease resulting in an extra soft finish that is easily achieved using the velvet pouf that comes packed away in the lid.


Best for Dry Skin: e.l.f. High Definition Powder


  • Cruelty free
  • Lightweight feel
  • Great price


  • Basic packaging
  • Not for those looking for a pressed powder
  • Some shades sell out

E.l.f cements its reputation for being one of the most innovative drugstore brands around with this HD Powder that uses extra finely milled powder to blur and soften the appearance of skin while still feeling breathable. Suitable for all skin types, this velvet powder doesn’t crease or cake but instead keeps the complexion looking radiant all day.

It also comes in a soft luminous finish for those who aren’t fans of matte powders or for anyone with dry skin who finds regular setting powder tends to make their foundation turn patchy looking.


Best for Oily Skin: Rimmel London Stay Matte Loose Powder


  • Comes in pressed and loose powder
  • Affordable
  • Soft focus finish


  • Sometimes sells out
  • Packaging could be more durable

Noone needs a setting powder more than those with oily skin and this mattifying option from Rimmel will keep your shine under control while also giving your skin an overall softer finish. Available in both loose and pressed format, this is a makeup bag staple that will most likely become one the makeup products you can’t live without.

The formula is also heat, sweat and humidity proof meaning works for all seasons and can even be worn on bare skin for a natural finish that looks like your own skin but better.


Best Mattifying: Revlon ColorStay Setting Powder


  • Free from parabens
  • Infused with skin enriching ingredients
  • Suitable for all skin types


  • Only available in one shade
  • Doesn’t come with pouf

This is one of the best selling setting powders for good reason, not only does it reduce shine, but it has also been formulated to include a trio of antioxidants to help keep your skin in peak condition while you wear it. Citrus, aloe and broccoli extracts work together to neutralize harmful free radicals and protect your skin against the environment.

It extends the wear of your makeup making it a great option for those working long hours with no time for touch ups. The non-chalky powder gives skin a pore-blurring finish that has a filter like appearance.


Best Illuminating: e.l.f. Cosmetics Halo Glow Setting Powder


  • Available in four shades
  • Luminous finish
  • Great price


  • Not for those looking for a matte finish
  • Doesn’t come in a pressed powder option
  • Simple packaging

Gone are the days when using a powder automatically resulted in a cakey finish. If you are still hesitant about using a setting powder out of fear that your makeup will look too matte, then this Halo Glow option from e.l.f is the one to go for.

It has been created with synthetic sapphire particles to give the powder a radiant and luminous finish unlike any other product available on the market. A light dusting of this over your foundation is sure to leave your makeup looking luxurious.


Best Pore Blurring: NYX Professional Makeup Studio Photogenic Finishing Powder


  • Ultra-sheer
  • Lasts a long time
  • Professional grade ingredients


  • Only available in one shade
  • Sometimes sells out
  • Might not work for those with very dry skin

Make those pores disappear with this makeup artist’s favorite from NYX. Despite its matte finish, it leaves the skin looking both luminous and radiant while also blotting excess shine. Formulated from pure silica means it elevates any makeup look and works equally well both over foundation and on bare skin.

The devil is in the detail when it comes to creating a flawless base and the ultra sheer coverage of this powder is the essential last step needed to take your foundation application from basic to beautiful.


Best Tinted: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Tinted Loose Setting Powder


  • Adds color
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Lightweight feel


  • Not everyone may like a tinted powder
  • Can be slightly messy

While visions of badly applied bronzer from the early noughties may have been enough to put you off tan colored powders for life, this tinted setting powder from L’Oreal is actually the perfect option to give your face a subtle sun-kissed glow without ever looking orange.

Whether you prefer to stay out of the sun, need a lift of color in the winter or can never seem to get your face to keep up with how your body tans - this extra-fine tinted powder provides a natural dash of color to face for an overall healthier looking complexion.


Best for Dark Skin: Black Radiance True Complexion Loose Setting Powder


  • Come is three shades
  • Demi-matte finish
  • No flashback


  • Doesn’t come with a pouf
  • Some shades sell out
  • Simple packaging

If you want to avoid your makeup from ever looking ashy then this Setting Powder from Black Radiance is the one for you. The soft demi-matte finish hits the sweet spot between matte and velvet to leave your skin looking silky smooth.

In addition to the gorgeous finish it also keeps your makeup in place and any excess oil under control all day. Bonus points for the fact there is no flashback either.

People Also Ask

  • Q: How do I apply setting powder?

    A:If you are using loose powder, a large powder brush is the best application tool. After dipping the brush in the product remember to tap it lightly to remove any excess product. Use a gentle dusting motion over the face with an extremely light hand.

  • Q: How much should I spend on Setting powder?

    A:There are some great options on our list for as little as $6. If applied correctly, you can really make the drugstore setting powders look luxurious.

  • Q: Is pressed powder better than loose?

    A:This is a completely personal preference, as both are just as effective as each other. Pressed tend to be less messy and easy to apply on the go, whereas loose may feel more lightweight on the skin.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Clare Holden

By Clare Holden

Beauty and style writer Clare has been a fan of makeup and fashion ever since she was a child. While studying for her degree in Journalism and Communications, Clare worked part-time on cosmetic counters. After graduating she went back and trained as a makeup artist after falling in love with beauty and skincare. She now splits her time between writing about all things makeup and running her own womenswear brand White Night.
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