11 Best Pressed Setting Powders 2024 to Sweep Away Shine, According to Makeup Artists

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If you’re not dusting the best pressed powder over your makeup to set it, you might be missing out on some worthwhile perks. In fact, New York City-based makeup artist Delina Medhin previously told Allure that “setting your makeup is one of the most important steps of your makeup routine.” Not only can setting powder ensure a long-lasting makeup look, but it can also reduce shine and prevent flashback in photos—giving skin a soft-focus finish at all times. In particular, “Pressed powder is one of the true superheroes in my pro kit,” says New York City-based makeup artist Sara Talias of the mess-free, travel-friendly formulas.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve got the low-down on the best pressed powders, including makeup artist must-haves, Best of Beauty winners, and drugstore staples. Keep reading and happy setting!

Best Overall: Westman Atelier Vital Pressed Skincare Powder

Westman Atelier

Westman Atelier Vital Pressed Skincare Powder

Why It’s Worth It: Gerstein credits the Westman Atelier Vital Pressed Skincare Powder with helping blur pores and texture. With its weightless formula, this pressed setting powder is infused with skin-loving ingredients like free-radical-fighting vitamin C, moisturizing jojoba seed oil, and fatty acid-loaded quinoa. The result? Smoother pores, more even skin tone, less shine, and, over time, refined skin texture.

Editor Tip: Prep your skin first with Westman Atelier’s Complexion Drops. “The formula sinks into skin with minimal blending, and the luminosity lasts all day,” said Allure associate features director Dianna Mazzone Singh in our review.

Key Ingredients: Quinoa seed extract, vitamin C, probiotics | Available Shades: Five

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Laura Mercier Translucent Pressed Setting Powder

Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Translucent Pressed Setting Powder

Why It’s Worth It: The Laura Mercier Translucent Pressed Setting Powder is an Allure-editor favorite for good reason. This Best of Beauty Award-winning pressed setting powder offers a non-comedogenic formula—in other words, it won’t clog your pores—as well as a beautiful matte finish, sheer coverage, and a blurring effect to combat large pores, blemishes, and fine lines. As a bonus, it even includes a velour puff applicator. Still not believing all the hype around this powder? Just take it from Allure contributor Madisen Theobald, who wrote, “In my experience, no other translucent powder gives me as true-to-color matte look as this one.”

Editor Tip: It comes with a powder puff and has a slim profile, making it ideal for tucking into your purse for touch-ups.

Key Ingredients: Talc, dimethicone | Available Shades: Two

Best for Oily Skin: LYS Beauty Triple Fix Setting Powder

LYS Beauty

LYS Beauty Triple Fix Setting Powder

Why It’s Worth It: The LYS Beauty Triple Fix Setting Powder blends seamlessly into the skin to simultaneously set makeup, blur skin, and absorb excess oil. Its ultra-fine formula, while lightweight, still packs a powerful punch since it’s loaded with skin-care ingredients like niacinamide and green tea. The adorable triangle-shaped compact adds a nice touch, too. It offers light to medium coverage in six shades, including Loyalty (pictured).

Editor Tip: Although it has a mattifying effect, it leaves skin with a luminous, soft-focus look—a welcome upgrade from matte formulas that inadvertently flatten skin.

Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, green tea extract, sodium hyaluronate | Available Shades: Six

Best for Dry Skin: Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder


Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

Why It’s Worth It: Similar to its loose setting powder sibling, Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder locks in makeup in seconds, complete with a subtly dewy—but not shiny—finish. Its lightweight, blendable formula, which is enriched with moisturizing skin-care staples like glycerin, squalane, and vitamin E, creates a diffused, soft-focus effect. The shade range includes Crystal (very light to light skin), Shore (medium to medium-deep), Mesa (medium-deep), and Sable (deep to very deep).

Editor Tip: Sweep this on anytime you might have a photo op (like your sister’s wedding), since it contains technology that diffuses light to prevent flashback.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, squalane, vitamin E | Available Shades: Four

Best for Sensitive Skin: Lawless Beauty Perfecting Powder Talc-Free Skin-Smoothing Powder


Lawless Skin-Smoothing Talc-Free Perfecting Powder

Why It’s Worth It: The Lawless Beauty Perfecting Powder Talc-Free Skin-Smoothing Powder took home a 2023 Best of Beauty Award for its velvety feel and non-caking, no-crease wear. (It’s also jam-packed with nourishing, soothing ingredients like bisabolol and squalane.) It’s the best light-medium powder that senior copy manager Dawn Rebecky has ever tried—not surprising, since it comes in seven shades—and helps beat the heat. “It held up really well in the dog days of summer,” Rebecky says.

Editor Tip: The sponge included with the compact is a little wimpy, so consider upgrading to the brand’s excellent (and versatile) Multi-Use Powder Brush.

Key Ingredients: Squalane, bisabolol, vitamin E | Available Shades: Seven

Best for Under Eyes: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

Why It’s Worth It: The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder is a staple in Talias’ kit. The makeup artist notes the powder’s “unique formula,” which she credits with hydrating and brightening the skin. She continues, telling Allure, “I especially love this product under the eyes for keeping creasing to a minimum.” This finishing powder, which is also packed with moisturizing, vitamin E-laden almond oil, comes in four shades: Fair, Medium, Tan, and Deep.

Editor Tip: If you’re spooked by powder, this also comes in a setting spray version.

Key Ingredients: Almond oil, rose wax, mica | Available Shades: Four

Best Shade Range: Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder


Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder

Why It’s Worth It: For a powder that sounds as airy and wispy as it feels, consider this formula. “The Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder provides a gorgeous sheer coverage, perfectly setting any look while keeping it fresh and natural,” says Talias. Its talc-free, cruelty-free, and vegan formula—which contains nourishing glycerin, moisturizing jojoba seed oil, and fatty acid-laden sunflower seed oil—is just a bonus.

Editor Tip: The formula actually starts as a mousse, which is then baked to transform it into a super-silky, supremely lightweight powder.

Key Ingredients: Bamboo stem extract, passionfruit leaf extract, peony extract | Available Shades: 10

Best for Mature Skin: By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Pressed Powder

By Terry

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Pressed Powder

Why It’s Worth It: When working with clients, Gerstein reaches for the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Pressed Powder, which offers a natural finish that feels like a second skin. What’s more, “the formula is super lightweight and non-drying, so it tends not to cake up on even drier complexions,” she says. Its hero ingredient, hyaluronic acid, is excellent for boosting and maintaining hydration, especially in delicate areas like your undereyes.

Editor Tip: The powder is infused with eight forms of hyaluronic acid, which come in three molecular weights to reach (and hydrate) every layer of skin.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, mica | Available Shades: One (translucent)

Best Translucent: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Translucent Pressed Setting Powder

IT Cosmetics

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Translucent Pressed Setting Powder

Why It’s Worth It: Available in three shades, the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Translucent Pressed Setting Powder offers an innovative, skin-care-infused powder formula. Hydrating silk, ultra-versatile niacinamide, brightening licorice root, soothing aloe, antioxidant-packed green tea, and a slew of other beneficial ingredients (including peptides!) come together to create a beautiful blurred and matte finish, successfully keeping shine at bay.

Editor Tip: The silky, lightweight formula layers nicely over bare skin to tamp down shine and blur pores and wrinkles—no foundation needed.

Key Ingredients: Silk, niacinamide, aloe vera | Available Shades: Three

Best Finish: Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Setting Powder

Giorgio Armani

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Setting Powder

Why It’s Worth It: Those who prefer a more radiant look need not look further than the Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Setting Powder. This long-wearing, Best of Beauty-winning pressed setting powder has a weightless, glycerin-enriched formula that won’t enhance dry skin and provides sheer coverage to blur blemishes—all while offering a gorgeous glowy finish and keeping makeup in place. With nine shade options, it’s easy to find the perfect one based on your undertones.

Editor Tip: Consider layering the Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Blush underneath this; it’s a 2023 Best of Beauty Award winner that our tester loved for “its radiant finish that eliminates the need to add a highlighter step to my routine.”

Key Ingredients: Dimethicone, talc | Available Shades: Nine

Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Pressed Face Powder

Maybelline New York

Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Pressed Face Powder

Why It’s Worth It: Clocking in at under $10, the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Pressed Face Powder is a steal. Suitable for normal to oily skin types, this best-seller is specially formulated to minimize shine and mattify skin in seconds. Plus, it offers enough pigment that you can layer to full coverage as well as an impressive 12-hour wear time, so you need not worry about reapplying.

Editor Tip: Despite its buildable coverage and lightweight feel, this powder does have a tendency to settle into creases—so you might want to skip it if you’re concerned about fine lines and wrinkles.

Key Ingredients: Talc, perlite | Available Shades: 24

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of pressed powder?

For one, they lend staying power to cream and liquid foundation formulas. What’s more, explains New York City-based makeup artist Suzy Gerstein, pressed powders are more user-friendly than loose powders since “they’re perfect for throwing in your bag for on-the-go touch-ups without the potential mess of loose powder particle spillage.” The best pressed setting powders also work by absorbing excess oil (especially in the T-zone) to create a smoother, shine-free complexion.

Gerstein also notes that the best pressed setting powders on the market are “incredibly finely milled and featherlight,” which makes them suitable for all skin types. These days, they also offer skin-care benefits—which, in some cases, can help “bind moisture to the skin,” she says. This makes them an especially ideal choice for those with dry or mature skin, on whom traditional powders can look cakey.

How do I apply pressed powder?

Remember that less is more when it comes to pressed powder—after all, it’s not bronzer or blush. “Place your brush in the powder, then tap it off until it looks like nothing is left on the brush, then keep applying until you get to your desired matte look,” Medhin previously said. Similarly, Talias recommends using a small brush and “diffusing the product in certain areas of the face,” such as the nose, chin, and forehead, which tend to collect the most shine.

Meet the experts

How we test and review products

Before reviewing any makeup, we ask questions about a number of factors: What ingredients are in it? Does the brand offer a wide shade range inclusive of consumers with all skin tones and undertones? Is it safe for readers who have sensitive skin or wear contact lenses? Is it on the affordable side or more of a splurge? Is its packaging consciously designed or needlessly wasteful?

For our review of the best pressed powders, we enlisted the help of multiple editors, writers, contributors, and professional makeup artists to review the products. This ensures our testing base spans different skin tones, genders, and dermatological conditions. We considered each product’s performance across four primary categories: ingredients, wear and longevity, packaging, and inclusivity. For more on what’s involved in our reporting, check out our complete reviews process and methodology page.

Our staff and testers

A beauty product is a personal purchase. You might be searching for a face cream to address persistent dryness or a new nail product to add to your Sunday self-care routine; you may simply be browsing around for the latest launches to hit the hair market. No matter what you seek or your individual needs and concerns, Allure wants to ensure that you love anything we recommend in our stories. We believe that having a diverse team of writers and editors—in addition to the wide range of outside testers and industry experts we regularly call upon—is essential to reaching that goal.

After all, can we really say a skin-care product is the “best” for people over 50 if the only testers we’ve solicited opinions from folks who have yet to hit 30? Can we honestly deem a high-end diffuser worthy of your hard-earned cash if it’s never been tested on curls? We’re proud that our staff spans a wide range of ages, skin tones, hair textures, genders, and backgrounds, which means that we are able to fairly assess any beauty product that comes into the beauty closet.

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