(Main Squeeze)

Setting Powders That Keep Makeup From Sliding Down Your Face

Straight up magic.

best setting powders
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Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite setting powders of the moment.

It’s one of the most common makeup mishaps and it’s also one of the most avoidable: You carved out extra time to carefully execute a full beat consisting of a smoky eye, subtle contour, and tastefully over-lined neutral lip for your night out, only for all of your base products to get cakey and melt off before you arrived at your first stop of the evening. Whether your complexion is naturally oily or you got sweaty waiting for your Uber during a mid-summer heatwave, dusting on one of the best setting powders before heading out will help lock your makeup in place regardless of your skin type or the weather forecast.

There was a time when loose powder was the only option, however, there are now mess-free pressed ones perfect for avoiding spills — and doing touchups on the go. The actual formulas have evolved, too, with some containing SPF protection for added insurance and others packed with hydrating ingredients to accommodate dry skin types. What’s more, many come in multiple shades to ensure every skin tone has a seamless finish.

So if you’re finally ready to stop wasting time on your makeup only for it to slip and slide all over your face, add one of the TZR team’s favorite setting powders to your cart. Read on to find out why these products stand out among the rest.

“It’s a constant battle: Do I skip powder and look fresh and dewy for an hour before my foundation melts off? Or do I deal with the flaky dryness I feel from most makeup setting products? This formula, however, offers the best of both worlds by going on your face wet before drying down to keep everything in place. I have no idea how the geniuses at CLE made this magic happen, but it definitely works.” – Alison Syrett, deputy fashion editor, TZR

“I'm more of a dewy skin kind of girl, but now and then, when the dewiness isn't where I want it to be on my face, I like to lightly brush on Ami Cole's translucent setting powder. It's never too heavy, melts right into the skin, and softens the shine on my face, but not to the point where I would call it matte.” – Kathy Lee, editor in chief, TZR

“This has been my holy grail powder for the past five years or so. The name says it’s all — the formula gives you a flawless finish. I dust a small amount on my T-zone, and it instantly hides any excess oil. Pro tip: To ensure your makeup stays intact all day, spray the brand’s Flawless Setting Spray as the final step. You can thank me later.” — Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR

“This is the first loose powder I ever tried, and I remember being so intimidated by it. However, my fears instantly vanished once I experienced how it seamlessly sets makeup and soaks up excess oil on my T-zone without leaving a weird chalky cast on my face. I will say there is a bit of a learning curve — you really only need a dusting of it to get the job done. After dipping my brush into the jar, I tap it on the side to get rid of excess product on the bristles before brushing it onto my skin. There’s a reason why you see every professional makeup artist do it.” – Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR

“I don’t typically opt for loose powders as I find them really messy, but I’m willing to make an exception for Rare Beauty’s iteration. The formula provides the perfect light coverage (read: not cakey), while also giving my textured skin a smooth appearance. Shoutout to Selena for making this baby.” — Stewart

“My skin runs super dry, so I need a setting powder that won't soak up all of my moisture and hijack my glow. BareMinerals Mineral Veil is the perfect powder for the job: It's incredibly lightweight, colorless, and leaves my skin with a flawless finish. My biggest concern is always my under-eye area, as my mascara and eyeliner tend to smudge, but this powder keeps everything right in place.” – Rebecca Iloulian, Director, Newsletter Revenue and Marketing

“I typically avoid setting powders, as I feel they leave my skin looking pasty and too matte. However, that was before I discovered this Beautyblender powder. The formula is a unique mix of rose quartz, ruby, sea minerals, aloe vera, and freshwater pearls. So, instead of that pasty, powder donut-like finish, there’s a more natural effect with a subtle sheen that does’t mess with my makeup.” — Angela Melero, executive editor, TZR

“I’ve been using this MAC powder since 8th grade. Back then, it served as an oil-controlling foundation (to be young with near-perfect skin, sigh). Today, I use it to set my makeup around my T-zone, where I tend to experience some smudging, and for touchups during the day. If I need a bit more coverage mid-afternoon, it evens out any redness without messing with the rest of my makeup.” – Lukas

“I like my makeup to have a glowy finish without looking oily. Hourglass’ setting powder gives my skin a flawless finish without fully mattifying my glow. This product perfectly blurs my under-eye area without creasing or causing dryness.” – Maggie Haddad, sr. strategist, social media, TZR