Beauty 101: How to Find the Right Setting Powder

Setting powder has many functions: setting foundation, mattifying the skin, absorbing excess oil or diffusing light on the skin. Liquid and cream foundations need to be set after application to help your foundation stay on longer and setting powder gives your face a softer look. Setting powder can also be used on top of mineral foundations to soften the appearance.

Types of Setting Powders

Trying to find the right setting powder can be overwhelming because there are different types of setting powders to choose from so listed below is a description of each type of setting powder:

Loose Powder – This is powder comes in a jar and comes in colors, translucent or transparent. Colored or translucent powders usually contain talc and other traditional ingredients. Transparent powders are usually silica based. If you have an allergy to either of these products, make sure you check the ingredients before purchasing.

Pressed Powder – This is powder pressed into a compact, contains the same traditional ingredients as colored or translucent loose powder like talc and it’s convenient. Keep one anywhere you might need it for touch ups such as your purse, travel cosmetic case, bathroom or vanity table.

Mineral Setting Powder – This is a special loose powder made to use on top of mineral foundation. It is also made of mineral materials. You don’t really need to use a setting powder with mineral foundation, but it will diffuse some of the light reflected by the minerals to give your face a softer look. It will also help to absorb more oil and you will need to carry a travel brush to use this for touch-ups.

Application Methods

Now that you have found the right setting powder, you need to know how to apply it. Listed below are the tools used to apply setting powder:

Powder Brush – This is the most common tool used with setting powder. It gives a light dusting of powder just so it sets the foundation and will absorb the oils. Powder brushes come in several sizes and shapes, but usually they are big, round, and puffy with a longer handle. The larger and rounder the brush, the more evenly dispersed the product will be placed. Work a little powder into the bristles and gently apply it over your foundation and make sure to blend it in so you do not have a chalky look.

Kabuki Brush – Some people use a kabuki brush to set foundation. This is especially good for people who want to buff setting powder into the skin. They are denser than powder brushes, but not as dense as buffing brushes. Buff the powder into the skin in a circular motion evenly all over the face. This is a good way to get a natural looking finish instead of having the powder sit on top of the skin.

Buffing Brush – This can be used for serious coverage. Some people use a mineral foundation on top as a setting powder for really full coverage. You will apply the powder just as you would apply mineral foundation by buffing it in a circular motion into the skin. Do not buff over a wet foundation you can smear the foundation off. Wait until the foundation sets then buff in the mineral foundation into the skin.

Cosmetic Sponge – To set foundation with a cosmetic sponge, you have to use it dry. Get a little powder on the sponge (you only need a small amount to set foundation) and gently roll the powder onto the skin. This will really set the foundation well and prevent shine.

You do not want to use a flat foundation brush because it will apply the powder too thick and you can end up with a streaked or cakey look and do not use powder puffs to apply setting powder because you will be much more likely to get a cakey look too (only use a powder puff for quick touch ups).

I hope this week’s installment of Beauty 101: How to Find the Right Setting Powder helpful and informative. Next week’s installment of Beauty 101 will be on bronzing and contouring and until next time, stay happy, healthy and beautiful!

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