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Setting Powders Top 10 of 2016

Updated on July 22, 2017
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Miriam's been a freelance writer since 2013. Born in Whittier, CA, she now lives in Ontario, CA, with her husband and family.

Translucent setting powders.
Translucent setting powders. | Source

Attributes of a Good Setting Powder

What We Want a Setting Powder to Do

Setting powders are a very important part your makeup regimen. Setting powders keep your makeup intact for hours and keep it on without smearing or becoming "cakey".

When you are looking for a good setting powder, there are several attributes you need to look for.

We want our setting powder to:

  • Set the makeup
  • Be long wearing
  • Be lightweight
  • Look natural
  • Prevent our makeup from smearing, smudging or running
  • Mattify the face
  • Absorb oil
  • Not clog our pores (noncomedogenic)
  • Minimize pores
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles
  • Provide sheer coverage

Wow! I guess we need our setting powder to accomplish quite a bit!

Information Gathered Online

I searched online for lists and galleries of the best setting powders. I researched ten articles, took down the names of the products, and gathered short reviews about each product. And then to narrow it all down, I made an assessment by number of times each item was shown on a list or gallery. Several items were tied by appearing 2 times out of the 10 lists, but I took their rating into consideration to finalize their placement in this top ten list.

The Crème de la Crème of Setting Powders

Here is the Setting Powder Top 10 for 2016

1. NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($37)

2. Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder ($38)

3. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($35)

4. Bare Minerals Mineral Veil ($22)

5. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder ($35)

6. E.L.F. Studio High Definition Loose Face Powder ($6)

7. Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder ($38)

8. M.A.C. Blot Powder ($26)

9. Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder ($32)

10. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($46)

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder is #1.
NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder is #1. | Source

#1 NARS Light Reflecting Loose Powder

Now we will go over each setting powder in the Top 10 with a brief description and a list of the attributes each setting powder contains.

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder came out on top, having been listed in 8 different setting powder lists. NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder, created with photochromic technology, adapts to available light and lasts all day.

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder:

  • Is colorless
  • Keeps makeup intact
  • Hides fine lines and wrinkles
  • Absorbs oils
  • Minimizes large pores
  • Illuminates your skin by optimizing light reflection
  • Provides a flawless appearance
  • May be used as a finishing powder
  • Looks good in photographs
  • Provides light coverage
  • Slightly matte finish
  • Evens skin tone
  • Light & smooth
  • Helps makeup wear longer

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Powder easily has the most attributes of any other setting powder in this Top 10 list, making it the best setting powder of 2016.

#2 Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder

#2 Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder.
#2 Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder. | Source

#2 Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder

This product by Laura Mercier is very popular! The powder is very finely milled, making this setting powder super soft. Made with cashmere talc; it is oil-free and provides a natural appearance.

Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder is:

  • A translucent powder
  • Oil free
  • Super-fine/soft powder
  • Enhanced with Cashmere talc
  • Provides a naturally clean look
  • Stays on all day
  • Matte & shine free
  • Provides soft glow
  • Fragrance free
  • Will not cake
  • Will not dehydrate skin (not 100% silica)
  • Powder puff included
  • Packaged to minimize waste

#3 Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder

#3 Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder.
#3 Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder. | Source

#3 Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder

Apply alone or over foundation. Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder contains mineral silica that keeps your skin moist. This makeup is available in only one shade, so it is a 'one-tone-fits-all' type of thing.

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder:

  • Comes with a fine mesh sifter
  • Reduces shine
  • Blurs pores
  • Is long wearing
  • Lightens
  • Moisturizes
  • Illuminates
  • Provides an airbrush finish
  • Great for all skin types
  • Contains no preservatives (not sure if this is good or bad!)
  • 100% silica
  • Available in loose or pressed powder

#4 Bare Minerals Mineral Veil

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil.
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil. | Source

#4 Bare Minerals Mineral Veil

A thin layer of Mineral Veil’s sheer powder is all you need for a flawless face! Bare Minerals came out solid as the 4th best setting powder you can buy. Absorbs excess oils, reduces fine lines, and gives you a clear complexion.

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil:

  • Is a high quality sheer powder
  • Use as a primer or setting powder
  • Keeps makeup from caking or smearing
  • Blurs fine lines & wrinkles
  • Absorbs oils
  • Requires a thin layer to be effective
  • Imparts glowing skin
  • Works well on oily skin
  • Noncomedogenic (will not clog pores)

#5 Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

#5 Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder.
#5 Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder. | Source

#5 Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder is super light and provides a sheer veil over your makeup that keeps it intact all day.

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder is:

  • Airy & light
  • Soft & smooth
  • Provides a sheer veil over makeup
  • Keeps makeup fresh
  • Has excellent mattifying effects
  • Absorbs oils
  • Long lasting
  • Available loose or pressed

#6 E.L.F. Studio High Definition Loose Face Powder

#6 ELF Studio High Definition Loose Face Powder.
#6 ELF Studio High Definition Loose Face Powder. | Source

#6 E.L.F. Studio High Definition Loose Face Powder

It surprised me that E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Face), an inexpensive newer makeup line, placed so well in this setting powder countdown! Good for them! E.L. F. cosmetics are proving themselves to be a worthy line to many consumers.

E.L.F. Studio High Definition Loose Face Powder:

  • Provides softer focus to the face
  • Great for most skin types
  • Blurs fine lines and imperfections
  • Provides radiant complexion
  • Apply over foundation
  • A very reliable setting powder
  • Includes powder puff
  • Smart packaging to minimize waste
  • Preserved with dehydroacetate (to avoid parabens)

#7 Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder

#7 Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder.
#7 Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder. | Source

#7 Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder

Fans of Bobbi Brown's Sheer Finish Pressed Powder agree that it:

  • Evens skin tone
  • Blurs lines
  • Blends well
  • Provides a smooth, sheer finish (will not cake)
  • Provides flawless complexion
  • Provides a more 'natural' look
  • Provides a matte finish that lasts all day
  • Photographs well
  • Is available loose or pressed (compact)

#8 M.A.C. Blot Powder

#8 MAC's Blot Powder.
#8 MAC's Blot Powder. | Source

#8 M.A.C. Blot Powder

M.A.C.'s Blot Powder came in at #8 in this list, and can be described as:

  • Light & sheer
  • Eliminates shine
  • Provides light coverage
  • May be reapplied throughout the day with good results
  • Will not cake
  • Is great for oily skin types
  • Touches up well in hot weather

#9 Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder

#9 Urban Decay's De-Slick Mattifying Powder comes in a beautiful purple compact.
#9 Urban Decay's De-Slick Mattifying Powder comes in a beautiful purple compact. | Source

#9 Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder

Urban Decay's smooth pressed powder absorbs oils that make your face shiny. Keeps makeup intact, and may be used by itself or as finishing/setting powder.

Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder:

  • Absorbs oils
  • Eliminates shine
  • Is long wearing
  • May be applied even after a workout

#10 Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

#10 Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder.
#10 Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. | Source

#10 Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powder has some unexpected qualities, such as:

  • Softens & diffuses light
  • Uses photo-luminescent technology
  • Filters bright light
  • Enhances complexion in the light
  • Gluten-free
  • Talc & fragrance free
  • Reduces redness
  • Provides a calm tone

That's All For Now

So, there you have it: The Top Setting Powders of 2016.

Please take a moment to post a comment at the end of this page.

Thank you for visiting!

NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

Great for those who prefer a light glimmer or glow on their face versus a matte finish.

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder is translucent and silky soft. This setting powder is very popular (possibly the best) and is almost weightless on your face. It blends easily and evenly, covers acne scars, reduces shine, and works great for all skin types. A great product, moderate in price and well worth the money.

 

YouTube Videos

Here are a few videos I found on YouTube that I thought you might enjoy watching.

I watched them all and found them interesting and well done, so you will enjoy them, too.

Video 1: A Woman's Personal Top 5 Favorite setting powders

Video 2: The Best Setting Powders of 2015

Video 3: Favorite Finishing & Setting Powders

Video 4: Setting Powders: High End vs. Drug Store

Setting Powder Poll

What are the main reasons you use a setting powder?

See results

© 2016 Miriam Parker

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