Setting Powder 101: When and How to Use Setting Powder

If you’ve ever Googled “how to use setting powder,” you know the overwhelming truth: There are more than 300 million websites tryna tell you how to get it done. That’s great! Knowledge is power and all that — but too much knowledge can also be hella confusing.

Here at Beautyblender, we like to keep things simple. So we’ve created Setting Powder 101: a class that will answer all the big Qs, from how to apply setting powder to What does setting powder do?

Class is in session!

What is setting powder?

Like a final mist of hairspray, setting powders are loose powders designed to keep makeup where you apply it. Setting powder’s whole job is putting makeup in its PLACE, honey, so it doesn’t slide off before the end of the day.

In general, the best setting powders are:

     — Loose
     — Milled (ground to create super-fine particles)
     — Applied by pressing with a puff or flat brush

What does setting powder do? 

In order to understand how to use setting powder, we gotta take a detour to Science Class. So, when you layer wet and dry products, it creates a bond that makes your makeup last longer. If you apply setting powder (dry) right after you bounce and blend your concealer and foundation (wet), the products will bond better, sealing everything into the exact spots you want them. This creates a fixed, flawless finish that will hold all day — from morning to midnight.

Naturally, the quality of your setting powder plays a HUGE part here, which is why we went ahead and created our own! Not only is BOUNCE Soft Focus Gemstone Setting Powder uniquely formulated to partner perfectly with BOUNCE concealers and foundation, but it also works with any wet products you’ve got in your makeup cabinet.

The CliffsNotes on BOUNCE powder:

BOUNCE Soft Focus Gemstone Setting Powder:

     — Hydrates your skin using hyaluronic acid, so you face never looks too flat or too dewy
     — Is milled super fine so it can soften fine lines and blur uneven textures without dryness or caking
     — Uses light-reflecting gemstones that melt into the skin, creating a prism-like effect in all the right places
     — Is made with sustainably sourced mica (a naturally occurring mineral dust) to absorb oil and cancel shine
     — Is talc- and flashback-free to create a second-skin natural finish

Why does being talc-free matter? The minerals talc and asbestos form together, and sometimes asbestos ends up in makeup made with talc because of poor regulations. That’s a problem because asbestos causes lung cancer and mesothelioma, so, yeah, no thanks!

When to use setting powder

There’s one easy answer to the question of when to use setting powder: Any time you wear makeup and want it to last a long time.

Setting powder is especially useful for:

     — Holding foundation in place on your face and neck
     — Helping absorb extra oil, which is ideal for people with oily or combination skin
     — Keeping concealer in place, especially under the eyes where it can help brighten dark circles

How to use setting powder makeup

Before you dive into how to apply setting powder, you need to understand the two types of setting powders: translucent and colored.

     — Colored or tinted powders help brighten or deepen your overall complexion while correcting tone and redness. Colored powders can also be used to warm up or cool down a foundation.
     — Translucent powders are more universal and may be easier to work with, especially for beginners. They won't change the color of the foundation, but they also won’t add any coverage. 

BOUNCE Soft Focus Gemstone Setting Powder is a bit of a hybrid because it comes in five translucent shades:

     1. Buff – Light range
     2. Canary – Brightening
     3. Topaz – Medium range
     4. Nutmeg – Tan range
     5. Chocolate – Deep range


      If we had to nail down a percentage, we’d say BOUNCE 75% tinted and 25% translucent, which means it’s easy to work with, and also gives you a headstart in the coverage department.

      How to apply setting powder

      Traditionally, setting powder was used all over the face, but today we like a spot-treat approach to keep skin looking, fresher and more natural. 

      Here’s how to use setting powder in 5 steps:

      1. Start by bouncing on your foundation and concealer with a wet Beautyblender — but don’t let it dry! In order to create the proper wet-dry bond, you need to work quickly to apply setting powder to still-sticky foundation and concealer.

      2. Press powder onto your skin using a Power Pocket Puff. Pressing instead of brushing prevents wet products from moving or streaking, and it’s better for correcting skin textures, smoothing over scars or blurring discoloration and blemishes.

      3. Press powder under your eyes, along the sides of your nose and on your forehead and chin, as well as anywhere else that grease tends to gather.

      4. For extra-oily spots like the sides of your nose or your T-Zone, grab your BIG BOSS Powder Brush and give those an extra sweep.

      5. Do a final check. If you see any stubborn blemishes, red spots or scars, use the wand tip of your BOUNCE Airbrush Liquid Whip Concealer to tap a tiny bit of product on the trouble spot. Blend with your finger or a Micro Mini, and finish with a final layer of powder. This super-cool layering trick will help you build extra coverage only where you need it, which will keep your natural look intact.

          Can’t get enough coverage?

          Check out more from The Blend:

           Everything You Need To Know About BOUNCE Powder
          — Baking Your Makeup With A Beautyblender
          — How To Cover Up Acne With A Beautyblender