If you skip setting powders altogether for fear of looking too powder-y, hear me out. Since I’m not a fan of midday touch-ups and my makeup usually disappears by the stroke of noon, I know my way around a good setting powder. My trick is alternating between two versions to give my makeup optimum staying power without the cake face.
I’ve been loyal to Smashbox’s Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder for years—and I have the beat up, broken compacts to prove it. My favourite feature is the twist shaver, which turns for a precise amount, making the application less messy than using traditional loose powders. (Think of it as a compact/loose powder hybrid.) It’s a bit pricey, but this stuff lasts forever. The formula goes on almost creamy when I buff it in with a kabuki brush and gives my skin a luminous effect without too much coverage. Because it’s very fine and talc-free, the texture is nice enough that it can be worn alone, too. Plus, I’m on the oily side and I’ve never found this powder to get cakey.
When I really need extra staying powder I reach for Rodial’s Instaglam Compact Deluxe Translucent HD powder. Because it completely mattifies and can be a bit drying, I’m a fan of applying this before going to the gym or a night out when the possibility of a dance party is very real and I’d rather not risk heading into sweaty territory. Rodial is known for its powders – especially the banana version popularized by Kim K for contouring and highlighting. This translucent version fights shine so I apply it strictly to my T-zone with a highlighting brush for a brightening effect that looks amazing in photos.