Set It Up

November 18th, 2016

November 18th, 2016

They’re the last box to check in your routine, the finishing touch to your completed looks – thank goodness for setting powders and sprays.  Whether you prefer loose or pressed, glow-inducing or matte, there’s a setting product for every eventuality.  Stay in place while we run through our favourites.

Loose Powders

The Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous Powder (£35) is like snow – it seems to disappear when it touches warm skin, leaving a colourless veil over the make-up which looks very natural.  We like the net-like sifter which controls how much of this ultra-fine powder is released at one time, rather than big holes.  A safe choice to keep on-hand when you want to keep skin looking natural rather than too ‘set.’

RBR diaphanous

NYX’s HD Finishing Powder is an absolute steal at £8.  We’d expect this quality at twice the price, which makes this a wise choice for new artists.  Again it’s colourless, nice and fine, and thanks to its HD intentions it should be safe to use in just about all situations.

nyx hd powder

We know many make-up artists who keep going back to the classic Translucent Powder from Laura Mercier (£29).  Cashmere-soft, it lightly blurs pores without leaving an overly mattified effect.  You also get plenty of bang for your buck with 29g of powder.

LM setting powder

It might sound like a bit of a dichotomy, but powder doesn’t have to be drying.  We really like the Sisley Phyto-Poudre (£55.50) for its Hibiscus Flower Extract, Linden Blossom extract and Mallow to preserve skin hydration and suppleness while still setting make-up.  It’s available in a few lightly-tinted shades to give a radiant yet imperceptible veil.

Sisley phytopowder


For a truly mattifying, budge-proof finish then reach for trusty MAC Studio Fix Perfecting Powder (£21).  Available in a range of shades to suit all skintones, this lightweight powder lasts well under studio lights and long nights, setting your carefully-applied make-up without disturbing what you’ve created.

MAC StudioFixPerfecting

Pressed Powders

If you prefer the ease of pressed powders, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (£40) changed the game when it comes to finishing powders.  Infused with a gorgeous lit-from-within glow, these finely milled powders come in a variety of shades to mimic different types of lighting.  The soft, pale yellow tone of Diffused Light reduces redness and is the least pigmented of the bunch, but we love the peachy-beige shade of Dim Light to blur imperfections which is the perfect blend of warm and cool tones.

Hourglass Ambiant

If Hourglass is slightly beyond your price point then look to bareMinerals – their Mineral Veil (£21) is one of the classic finishing powders, but if you prefer a pressed powder for popping in your kit their Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo is a great deal at £28.  Ultra-light, we really like the pairing of a gently matte powder and subtle highlighting powder.

bareminerals duo

We love the versatility of the Too Face Primed and Poreless Pressed Powder (£24).  Use it alone, over or even under foundation to minimise lines and leave skin looking airbrushed.  It’s perfect for high-res photography, bouncing the light back while keeping skin matte.


Rimmel’s Stay Matte Pressed Powder (£3.99) is a great high street option.  Yes, the packaging isn’t the sturdiest, but the powder is lightweight and comes in a range of colour options for whether you prefer translucent or a touch of colour.  The amount of product you get – 14g – is fantastic for the price.

Rimmel Stay Matte

Setting Sprays

If you need make-up to last without appearing too matte thanks to powder textures, keep a bottle of setting spray in your kit.  There are all sorts on the market, from high end to high street.  Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray (£22) is one of the first to crack conundrum, keeping make-up set without looking powder-laden.  There’s also De-Slick for oily types and a wonderfully cooling Chill option.

UD sprays

L’Oreal and Maybelline have added setting sprays to their arsenal as well.  The L’Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist (£7.99) is a micro-fine mist which keeps make-up from cracking, melting or fading.  Maybelline’s Superstay 24h Setting Spray (£6.99) might be an even finer mist, and has a slightly more subtle scent.  We’ve tested both enough to verify they last well and definitely do the job – a great starting point to try the trend.  Be sure to shake well!

Loreal mistMaybelline mist

Instantly hydrate, revive and soothe skin on the go with the Estée Lauder Set + Refresh Perfecting Makeup Mist (£20).  This invigorating spray is energised with electrolytes and caffeine to immediately boost skin’s radiance.  We like to use it to mist skin before applying make-up to help it set, then re-apply throughout the day to refresh.

EsteeLauder spray



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By Deborah Murtha

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