The Best Loose Setting Powders


One of the reasons I love blogging is getting to test out lots of different products and decide which are my favorite and worth the money and which are not. My favorite things to test are beauty products that are worn every day like foundation and powder. I love discovering new favorites. Over the past several months I have tried lots of different setting powders and today I wanted to share with you a handful of my favorites. I have six I am going to mention, and I think they’re all great for different reasons and seasons. I’ll explain more if you keep reading!

Clinique Blended Face Powder (shade- Transparency Neutral): This is one of my all time favorite powders and I’ve used it for years. This has a very small amount of pigment in it but it’s very sheer and has a super-fine texture. I wore this non stop throughout the spring/summer because it leaves a demi-matte finish, is super lightweight, and looks great with everything I set it with. It’s absolutely impossible to overdo it with this powder and it doesn’t cake even if you put a lot on! Purchase for $25 at Sephora, UltaNordstrom

Arbonne Setting Pretty Translucent Loose Powder Broad Spectrum SPF 15: I’m pretty sure this only comes in one shade and it’s translucent. Despite having SPF, there is no flashback; I know because I wore it for family pictures last fall. This is extremely finely milled and has a great finish. I also pick up on a very small amount of luminescent glimmer (not shimmer) that is flattering but not strobe-like. I think it looks really nice and when I was wearing it all the time I was pairing it with this foundation. My only gripe about this is that the sifter is net-like and when too much product comes up it’s hard to get it back below the net. Purchase for $39 on Arbonne’s website.

Lancome Absolue Pearl Powder: I reviewed this when I first got it- you can read that here. I bought this after hearing Jaclyn Hill raving about it. When I went to purchase it in store, the salesperson wanted to make sure I was buying it for myself because I had dry skin, or they might have recommended something else. I absolutely love this powder and how glowy the finish is. It’s very finely milled and is very flattering on but if you are trying to set a thicker foundation, I would use something else. I like the way this looks best with a lighter coverage foundation. Purchase for $58 at Nordstrom, Macy’s

Ilia Fade Into You: This was a great green beauty find for me! There are a lot of great ingredients in this organic powder. The powder is lightweight but it’s not as finely milled as other powders so I have found it amazing for setting a fuller coverage foundation. It really helps a thicker base stick to your skin and leaves the most gorgeous, soft-focus finish to the skin. Purchase for $34 at Sephora

Cover FX The Perfect Setting Powder: This is the powder that’s currently in my makeup bag. It’s a translucent powder that actually comes in two shades; I have Light Medium and there’s also a Medium Deep. This has worked great for me no matter what foundation I use- medium or full coverage, doesn’t matter, this one sets them all! Lately, I’ve been wearing this foundation mostly, and true to it’s name, the Perfect Setting Powder is perfect for setting this. This is supposed to be great for “baking” makeup but I don’t ever do that and this still leaves my skin silky and soft and keeps my makeup from transferring.  The texture is somewhere between finely milled and thick, which is why I think it works really well to set everything. My favorite feature is that the lid’s sifter opens and shuts, so you won’t have any spillage. Genius! Purchase for $35 at Sephora.

Last but not least, I just got my hands on the newest setting powder on the block, Becca’s new Soft Light Blurring Setting Powder. I really like this powder so far. I don’t know if I would call it translucent because it does have a pigmentation to it, but it goes on mostly sheer. The one shade, Golden Hour, does have a degree of warmth to it, and I think if I was any lighter skinned than I currently am, it wouldn’t work for me. It’s super light and finely milled, and so far I’m liking it best when used to set the makeup under my eyes to brighten that area up. I’m really excited to use this when I have a bit more of a tan going; I’m sunless tanning right now but when I am even darker this summer I can already tell this powder will be my ride or die. Purchase for $38 at Sephora.

I’ve been posting a lot cleaner/greener beauty products in recent months, and as you can see some of these products align with that, and some don’t as much. I appreciate that most of these brands are fragrance-free (fragrance can really irritate the skin and is unnecessary!) and many are talc-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, etc. Above all, I really expect that the products I use and review need to perform really well, and all of these meet that mark!

Do you use any of these setting powders? Which ones catch your eye? I love ’em all!

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  1. 2.25.17
    natalia said:

    I do not use loose powders often and the ones I have are Primed and Poreless from Too Faced. I use them more alone than with makeup.
    Excellent description of each of them,

  2. 3.22.17

    Thankyou for the great review Justina, appreciate your time and thoughts. Simply tap your brush barrel lightly on the side of the Arbonne Powder base and the product will sift back down! Its a revolutionary idea used for all our Mineral Powders, to press and hold desired amount and works perfectly with our dense dome Mineral Powder Brush that sit beautifully on the skin.

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