If you’re new to makeup, you may be wondering what the difference is between primer and setting powder. Both products help your makeup look better, but they have different purposes.
In this post, we’ll discuss the difference between primer and setting powder, so you can figure out which one is right for you.
Remember that everyone’s skin is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. But with some experimentation, you’ll figure out the perfect routine for your face.
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What Is A Primer?
Makeup primer is the first step of your makeup routine. It’s a light cream or gel that you apply to your clean, moisturized face before foundation.
The purpose of primer is to create a smooth surface for your foundation so it goes on evenly and doesn’t settle into fine lines or wrinkles.
This face primer is an example, it also helps to fill in large pores and makes your foundation last longer.
Primers are usually applied after sunscreen, and there are different types of primers for different skin types.
Not everyone needs a primer, so it depends on your skin type and the look you want to achieve.
If you have big pores, oily skin, or your foundation settles into your fine lines and wrinkles, then you would benefit from using a primer.
For oily skin, look for a mattifying primer like this poreless blur primer hat will absorb excess oil and help your foundation stay in place.
For textured skin, look for a smoothing primer that will create a smooth canvas for your foundation.
People with dry skin can also use a hydrating primer to help their foundation go smoothly.
Related: Best Smoothing Silicone Based Primers
What Is Setting Powder?
Setting powder is a loose or pressed powder you apply after your foundation to set it in place. It helps to control shine and oil production and makes your makeup last longer.
This loose powder is one of the most popular setting powders on the market. It has a lightweight formula that gives the skin a flawless matte finish.
Using a setting powder is unnecessary, but it can be helpful if you have oily skin or live in a humid climate.
TIP: Applying setting powder on top of the liquid foundation can help the bronzer, blush, and highlighter blend on more easily.
Different types of setting powders, from translucent to tinted, can be used to set your concealer or bake your makeup.
Most setting powders are applied with a fluffy brush and can be used all over the face or just in problem areas like the T-zone.
Primer Vs Setting Powder: What’s The Difference?
The main difference between primer and setting powder is that primer is applied before foundation to help it go on smoothly, while setting powder is applied after foundation to help it stay in place.
So, if you’re looking for a product to help your foundation go smoothly, you want to use a primer after your moisturizer.
If you’re looking for a product to help your foundation stay in place, you want to use a setting powder.
There are always exceptions to the rule, and many makeup hacks use primers and powders in different ways.
For example, many makeup artists and beauty gurus like to apply setting powder before foundation.
Also, many makeup artists like to apply primer on top of the foundation for quick touch-ups or to give the skin a blurred look.
So, if you’re in a hurry and need to make your foundation last longer, you can try this quick hack.
But, in general, the main differences between primer and setting powder are the order in which they are applied and their purpose.
Do You Need Both Primer And Powder? Is Primer Or Setting Powder Better?
The short answer is no; you don’t need primer and setting powder.
It depends on your skin type and the look you’re going you want to achieve.
You may want to try a primer if you find that your foundation does not apply smoothly over your moisturizer.
Primers help fill in skin texture and large pores, which creates a smooth canvas for your foundation.
You may want to try setting powder if you have oily skin and you find that your foundation gets oily throughout the day.
Setting powder helps to control shine and oil production and makes your makeup last longer.
If you have dry skin, you may not need to use a setting powder, but you can try a hydrating primer to help your foundation go on smoothly.
You don’t need to use a primer and setting powder daily, but they can be helpful if you have specific concerns with your makeup.
It depends on personal preference and what works best for your skin type.
You can always experiment with both products to see what works best for you.
Best Setting Powders
If you’re looking for a setting powder, here are some of the best ones on the market:
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
This loose powder is one of the most popular setting powders on the market. It has a matte finish and is best suited for oily skin.
I apply it on the T-zone to control shine during the day, and it helps my makeup last longer.
It’s also available in two other shades that work for medium and deep skin tones.
A little bit of this powder goes a long way, so you only need a small amount to set your makeup. Avoid applying too much as it can make your skin look cakey.
I like to apply this powder with a small fluffy brush as it helps to distribute the product on the skin evenly.
bareMinerals Original Mineral Veil
If you like pressed powder formulas, this setting powder is a good option.
It’s free from talc and doesn’t feel heavy or cakey on the skin.
If you have oily skin, this powder helps control oil and shine throughout the day.
It also gives the skin a soft, blurring finish without looking powdery.
I like to apply it to the t-zone with a small fluffy brush, tap off the excess, and only use a small amount.
This powder looks white in the pan but is translucent on the skin, so it works great for light to medium skin tones.
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
This pressed powder is affordable and does a great job at controlling shine.
It’s available in a wide range of shades, so you can find one that matches your skin tone.
This powder can look heavy and cakey if you use too much, so apply it with a light hand.
I like to use a small amount on the areas where I tend to get oily throughout the day.
It helps my makeup last longer and doesn’t make my skin look dry or cakey.
It doesn’t have the best sturdy packaging for traveling, as mine broke in my makeup bag, but it’s an excellent powder for everyday use.
Can You Use Setting Powder As Primer?
The primary purpose of a setting powder is to keep your makeup in place and control shine.
It’s not meant to be used as a primer, and it won’t fill in your pores or fine lines the way a primer does.
A setting powder can help to mattify your skin and make your makeup last longer, but it won’t give you the same smooth canvas as a primer.
However, many makeup artists and beauty gurus like to use setting powder before foundation to help with oil control.
If you have oily skin, you can do this by using a small amount of setting powder on your t-zone before the foundation.
There are no rules in makeup, and it’s all about experimenting to see what works best for you.
I tried applying a small amount of loose powder before my foundation, which worked great with most of my foundations.
It’s a great way to control shine if you have oily skin and can help your makeup last longer.
The key is to choose a good finely milled setting powder and to use a small amount so that your makeup doesn’t look cakey.
You don’t want to overdo it, as too much powder can make your skin look cakey and cause your foundation to separate.
Should You Set Your Primer With Powder?
You don’t necessarily need to set your primer with powder, but this hack can help to prolong the wear time of your makeup and minimize the look of pores.
If you have oily skin, setting your primer with powder can help control shine and oil production.
I like to use a small amount of translucent powder on my t-zone before foundation to help with oil control.
This helps my makeup last longer and doesn’t make my skin look cakey or dry.
The key is to use a small amount of powder and apply it to areas where you tend to get oily throughout the day.
Wayne Goss tried this tip by applying powder on top of his moisturizer and primer. The powder helped the makeup look better and last longer on the skin.
Setting Powder Vs Setting Spray
Setting powder and setting spray both help to keep your makeup in place.
Setting powders are applied after foundation to set it in place and give the skin a smooth look.
A setting spray is a fine mist that is applied after all of your makeup is done.
It helps to blend everything together and gives the skin a long-lasting look.
There are many setting sprays on the market, and you can use them for different purposes.
For example, there are setting sprays that help to give the skin a dewy finish while others help to mattify the skin.
To know more, check the difference between setting sprays and finishing sprays.
Setting sprays and setting powders can’t replace each other. They perform different functions and serve different purposes.
They’re not necessary for a minimal everyday makeup look, but if you want to achieve a full coverage makeup look that lasts all day, then using a setting powder and a setting spray can help.
TIP: Applying a setting spray over powder can help set the makeup and prolong the wear time.
Related: Can You Use Setting Spray Without Foundation?
Can You Put Primer On Top Of Foundation?
Applying primer on top of the foundation is a hack by which many makeup artists and beauty bloggers swear.
The key is to use a small amount of primer and apply it to areas where you tend to get oily or where your makeup tends to wear off.
This hack can help to extend the wear time of your makeup, and it can also help to control shine.
If you have large pores, you can dab a small amount of primer on top of your foundation to blur the look of the pores.
Conclusion: Primer Or Setting Powder?
There is no right or wrong answer regarding using a primer or setting powder.
It all depends on your skin type, the type of look you want to achieve, and your personal preferences.
If your foundation doesn’t apply smoothly on top of your skin, try using a smoothing primer.
The primer will help fill in pores and fine lines so that your foundation will have a smooth surface to adhere to.
If you have oily skin and want to control shine, a mattifying primer can help control oil during the day.
If you want your makeup to last all day, then using both a setting powder and primer can help.
You probably don’t need a setting powder for dry skin, but you can use a hydrating primer to help your makeup look dewy and fresh.
Do you prefer to use a primer or setting powder? Let us know in the comments below!
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