Everything You Need to Know About Face Powder

By Ellie Child - 11 months ago | Updated

Face powders are one of our fave summer essentials, helping to mattify, smooth down and blur out uneven skin textures. Whilst it isn't the most exciting product to invest in, finding the perfect setting powder could revolutionise the way you wear foundation and how long your look stays in place. Those with combination and oily skin types tend to benefit from powders the most but this skin-enhancing essential should be used by everyone, especially those that lust after a crease-free finish.

Below, we've answered your most-asked questions surrounding face powders, as well as our round up of the best setting powders.

Should I use setting powder or setting spray?

This all depends on your skin type. For oily complexions, powders are a great way at tackling shine and creating a matte base. Whereas dry skin may benefit from a spritz of hydrating setting spray. For the ultimate long-lasting finish, why not use both? This ensures your makeup won't budge, even when the midday makeup slump hits.

Setting sprays are fantastic at keeping your entire look in place. Powders, on the other hand, are great for setting specific areas, such as your T-zone or under your eyes. With powder you can be more precise with application and you can achieve different finishes, such as shimmering, matte, natural or velvety.

What is face powder used for?

Face powder is mostly used to set makeup in place or to mattify oily complexions. Dust, blend and buff powder over the oily areas to help banish shine and stop your makeup from melting away. You can also use loose face powders to bake your contour to help create a crease-free finish.

A staple in any makeup bag, face powders come in all shades, finishes and tones. Find some of the best face powders in the biz from your favourite from leading makeup brands, such as IT Cosmetics, Giorgio Armani, Laura Mercier and bareMinerals.

How do you apply a setting powder?

Setting powder is super simple to use. First apply your foundation, concealer and contour. Once you're happy with your base makeup take a big fluffy brush, beauty sponge or a powder puff to apply setting powder. For oily skin types, pat the powder into your T-zone. And for lighter coverage on dry skin, simply dust over the areas you want to lock in place.

When choosing your preferred powders, keep in mind pressed powders offer slightly more coverage – perfect if you want a long-lasting full face of makeup. Whereas loose setting powders are more lightweight – great for natural makeup days.

What is face baking powder?

Starkly different to the thing found in your kitchen cupboard, face baking powder is simply translucent loose setting powder. Used by celebrities, drag queens, makeup artists and influencers alike, it's one trend that has a long history.

The basic gist of 'baking' is applying a layer of loose powder to your face (under the eyes and under your cheek contour) for 5 minutes to allow the natural heat from your skin to set your base. You then simply dust away any excess to reveal killer contour and brighter under eyes.

Translucent baking powders also help banish shine, while tinted formulas can help brighten, tone and smooth your complexion.

Best face powders:

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

£16.00 £20.00 (20% off)

This cult classic has made quite the name for itself within the world of beauty, and rightly so! Gracing the makeup kits of celebs and beauty fanatics worldwide, this loose powder by Laura Mercier helps to prevent creasing, oiliness and uneven skin tones, making it the ultimate real-life filter for your visage!

Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Powder

Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Powder

£13.60 £17.00 (20% off)

Loved for its smooth, fine-milled formula, the Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Powder blends beautifully into the skin to provide a second-skin finish the smoothes out the appearance of fine lines, enlarged pores and other common impurities. We recommend dabbing a small amount around the eyes to prevent eyeshadow from creasing!

bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder

bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder


If you're searching for an all-natural face powder, look no further than the bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder. This special formula banishes nasty chemicals and ingredients from the mix to ensure that even the most sensitive of skin types can benefit from a flawless finish. The finely-milled formula allows for an easy blending experience, making it the ideal solution for both beginners and professionals alike.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Powder

Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Powder


This budget-friendly pressed powder is the perfect everyday setting powder that locks down your look. Choose from a variety of shades to perfect your complexion, or opt for the translucent formula to subtly smooth down any fine lines or makeup creases.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder


The Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder is your fast-track pass to smoother, more luminous skin. Containing light-reflective particles, this formula helps to minimise the look of enlarged pores whilst adding a brightening, filter-like effect that perks up duller skin tones. We love this powder for its soft-focus effect and blendable texture!

We recommend coupling your new fave face powder with a matching bronzer to complete your contour routine. Try out our guide to The Best Bronzers for a Summer Glow to find your perfect match!

Ellie Child

Written by Ellie Child

With five years’ experience under her belt, Ellie has worked alongside a range of highly regarded makeup artists, giving her a real insight into what consumers should be spending their money on.

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