What Color Of Setting Powder Should You Use

Setting powder is crucial in any makeup routine, but what color should you use?

Most people think that translucent powder is the best option because it doesn’t add color, but what about pressed powders?

Read on to find out which shade of setting powder is right for you.

how to choose loose powder shade

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How Do You Know What Color Powder To Use On Your Face?

Setting powders are available in pressed and loose powder formulas. The color of the setting powder you use should match the color of your foundation, or it can be slightly lighter.

Since the setting powder is applied on top of makeup, it can get darker during the day; choosing a color one shade lighter than your foundation is a good option.

Another thing to consider is your undertone. If you have warm undertones, your setting powder should be slightly yellow-toned. For cool undertones, opt for shades with pink hues.

If you have a dark complexion, using a setting powder that is too light can make your makeup look ashy. Also, a dark setting powder can make your face look muddy.

too faced loose setting powder

There are translucent setting powders available that you can use regardless of the color of your foundation.

These powders don’t provide any additional coverage and don’t change the color of your makeup. The only downside is that they can be messy to apply and might not be travel-friendly.

Pressed powders are easier to apply, and they come in a variety of colors. To find your shade match, swap the powder on your jawline and gently blend it on the skin. If the color disappears, then it’s a good match. 

Choose your setting powder and foundation from the same brand or line. This will make it easier to find the right powder color.

How Do You know Your Powder Color (Table)

What Color Of Setting Powder Works For Brown Skin?

Brown skin tones can range from light to deep, so finding a powder that matches your skin tone is essential.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a powder color labeled ‘medium deep’ or ‘hazelnut’.

Avoid using powder shades such as ‘fair’, ‘light’, or ‘butter’, as they can make your face look grey. Plus, a very deep shade can cause your makeup to look muddy, so you want to choose a color between the two.

For example, the shade hazelnut of the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant retouch setting powder can be a good match for people with a medium to deep brown skin tone.

Some banana powders work great, too, for medium skin tones. They can set the makeup while brightening the complexion.

The color ‘medium deep‘ of the NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Setting Powder can be a good match for medium brown skin tones.

If you have brown skin, you can also use a translucent powder. Make sure to apply a small amount so that it doesn’t give your skin a white look. Choose a good quality powder like this Mineral Veil Setting Powder that doesn’t emphasize fine lines or wrinkles.

TIP: If you have an even skin tone, you can use a pressed powder without foundation to get a smooth and natural look.


Setting Powder vs Finishing Powder

The difference between setting powder and finishing powder is that setting powder is applied after foundation and concealer, whereas finishing powder is applied at the end of your makeup routine.

Setting powders can be translucent or tinted, whereas finishing powders are usually translucent.

Setting powder sets and mattifies your base makeup. It helps the foundation and concealer stay longer while controlling shine during the day.

Finishing powder is applied at the end of your makeup routine to give the skin a smooth and blurred look.

For example, this Microfinishing Loose Powder is one of the most popular finishing powders. It helps blur pores and imperfections, and many makeup artists use it on celebrities for a flawless finish.

Is Translucent Powder The Same As Setting Powder?

dermablend loose powder

A translucent powder can either be a setting or a finishing powder. The difference is that a setting powder is meant to keep your makeup in place and control shine, while a finishing powder is designed to blur your skin with a smooth, flawless finish.

You can apply a setting powder after foundation and concealer to set them into place, whereas a finishing powder should be used at the end of your makeup look. Finishing powders are designed for films, photography, and HD television because they don’t change the color of the makeup and give a soft-focus effect.

You must look at the label to know if a translucent powder is a setting or finishing powder.

For example, the best translucent setting powders are:

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

RCMA The original No-Color Powder

The best translucent finishing powders are:

Make Up For EverUltra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder

Maybelline loose finishing powder

Best Setting Powders

These powders are two of the best setting powders on the market.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

rimmel stay matte setting powder

This lightweight powder has a formula that absorbs oil and mattifies skin without looking cakey. It comes in eight shades, so you can find one that matches your foundation.

It blends easily into the skin and doesn’t emphasize fine lines. A little bit goes a long way, so you don’t need to use too much.

For best results, I use a big fluffy brush, tap it gently into the powder and apply it to the skin using gentle tapping motions.

For the price, you can’t go wrong with this setting powder. The only downside is that the packaging is not sturdy, so it’s not the best powder for travel. Mine broke in my makeup bag, but I still use it.

L’Oreal true match super-blendable powder

L'Oreal true match super-blendable powder

This powder has a soft and lightweight texture that doesn’t look cakey. It helps to set foundation and control shine for a natural matte finish. It comes in 16 shades, so you can find one that matches your skin tone. The powder blends well into the skin, and it’s long-lasting.

You can use it alone as a powder foundation, and it’s also buildable, so you can apply more if you need to.

It also comes in travel-friendly packaging, and it has a powder puff included.

Overall, this is one of the best setting powders on the market. It’s affordable and offers a natural finish.

For more suggestions, check out this guide on the best setting powders for aging skin.

Does Translucent Powder Work For All Skin Tones? 

The translucent powder becomes invisible once applied and doesn’t change the color of your makeup, so it is suitable for people of all skin tones. However, some translucent powders can appear white or chalky on dark skin, mainly if you apply too much.

If you have dark skin, it’s best to use a small amount or apply a tinted powder on top. Do a test on your jawline to see if the powder disappears into your skin, and take selfies in natural light to see how it looks. If you have any special occasions, test the translucent powder before for a flashback.

Make sure to choose a good-quality powder that is finely milled. A good translucent powder will have a silky texture that applies evenly and doesn’t settle into fine lines.

A cheap powder will often have a chalky texture that can appear white on the skin, so it’s essential to choose wisely.

Some of the Best Translucent Setting Powders for Dark Skin Are:

LAURA MERCIER Translucent Loose Setting Powder

This setting powder has a lightweight texture that sets makeup without looking cakey or heavy. It helps to control shine and has a blurring effect that makes the skin look smooth. It’s available in a translucent shade that becomes invisible once applied.

This powder is a huge favorite because it sets makeup without leaving a white cast. The key is to use a small amount and apply it with a light hand.

bareMinerals Mineral Veil Talc Free Setting Powder

bare minerals pressed mineral powder

This pressed powder leaves a smooth, matte finish and is available in a translucent shade. It’s talc-free, and it contains shea butter to nourish the skin.

The powder is finely milled and easy to apply without looking cakey. It doesn’t settle into fine lines or pores and helps control shine.

I like to apply it with a small precise brush to set my t-zone. It helps reduce the look of large pores and keeps my makeup in place all day.

What Is Pink Setting Powder Used For?

ben nye pink powder

Pink setting powder sets the concealer and brightens the under-eye area. It’s suitable for fair to light skin tones with cool or neutral undertones, and pink cancels out any blue tones in the under-eye area and brightens the skin.

Pink setting powder is also a good choice for baking the under-eye area. Baking is a technique that uses a thick layer of powder to set the concealer and prevent creasing.

The powder is left on for 5-10 minutes and then brushed off. Makeup artists often use this technique to create a long-lasting, flawless finish.

It’s essential to choose a pink powder that is finely milled and doesn’t contain any glitter or shimmer. The powder should be one shade lighter than your skin tone to brighten the under-eye area.

To apply it correctly without looking cakey, use a small amount and apply it with a light hand. A fluffy brush is the best tool to use for applying pink powder.

Some of the Best Pink Setting Powders Are:

Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Setting and Finishing Powder

This loose powder comes in seven shades. The color ‘Voile Rosé‘ has a pink undertone and is suitable for light skin tones.

It has a finely milled formula that blends easily and doesn’t look heavy on the skin. It helps to brighten up the under-eye area while color-correcting any blue tones.

It’s more expensive than other powders, so if you like luxury brands, this is the powder for you.

Colourpop soft pink no filter loose setting powder in soft pink

This setting powder is affordable and comes in a light pink shade.

It has a soft, velvety texture that feels light on the skin.

It’s easy to blend, and you only need a small amount to set the under-eye area.

The powder doesn’t contain any glitter or shimmer, which helps brighten the skin, and it works for baking the under-eye area too.

Do You Use Translucent Powder After Foundation?

Yes, apply a translucent powder to set and mattify your foundation during the day.

Translucent powder helps to keep your makeup in place and prevent it from separating.

It works great for oily skin as it helps control shine and sets your foundation for long-lasting wear.

Choose a finely milled formula that doesn’t look cakey on the skin.

Use a small amount, as applying too much can make your skin look dry.

I like to use a fluffy brush for application and make sure to blend the powder well.

If you use a loose powder, pour a small amount onto the lid and dip your brush into it. Tap off the excess and apply it to your face in tapping motions.

You can use a fluffy brush or a powder puff for pressed powder.

Powder puffs tend to deposit more product, whereas brushes give a more sheer finish.

Is Translucent or Tinted Setting Powder Better?

Translucent and tinted setting powders are great for setting makeup, so choosing one depends on the look you want to achieve.

A translucent powder doesn’t add color, whereas a tinted powder adds a small amount of coverage.

If you want your powder to set your makeup and add a little coverage, opt for a tinted powder.

Choose one close to your skin tone or slightly lighter so it doesn’t look ashy on the skin.

On the other hand, if you want a more natural look, a translucent powder is ideal as it won’t add any color while still setting your makeup.

It’s also great for mattifying the skin without looking heavy or cakey.

Whether you choose a translucent or tinted powder, pick one with a finely milled formula that blends easily for a flawless finish.

Be sure NOT to use too much powder, as that can cause your makeup to look cakey. Start with a small amount and tap it gently on the skin with a soft fluffy brush.


Choosing the correct shade of setting powder is essential if you want your makeup to look flawless.

When selecting your setting powder, choose a color that matches your foundation or is slightly lighter. Avoid using a setting powder that is too light, as it can make you look ashy.

A translucent powder will work for most skin tones, but if you have a dark complexion, you might need to apply a tinted powder.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below.

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Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

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