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Wondering what the difference is between a setting powder and a finishing powder? And what exactly do they do? Well, I have you covered in this guide. I’ll give you a breakdown of setting powder and finishing powder, if you need them and what role they play in your makeup application.

The uses for face powder varies depending on whether you’re trying to lock your makeup in place or mattify any shine, the right face powder can make a huge difference.

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Setting Powder

When I first got into makeup, I would apply a translucent powder all over my face thinking it was the way to set my makeup. I looked like an ashy ghost, it was dreadful. I learned that translucent powder, a finely milled powder, was to be applied on the areas where I applied my concealer. Now that setting powders come in shades other than translucent and banana, you can apply it all over your face. However, you want to use a VERY light hand when doing so. Setting powder does just what it says, it sets your makeup in place for longevity. And this is why setting powder is normally lighter in texture than finishing powders, which we’ll get to next.

Finishing Powder

A good finishing powder is the key to giving your makeup that final touch of perfection. In recent years, finishing powders went from being heavy and fragranced to lightweight and easily blendable for an airbrushed makeup look. Finishing powders come in different forms, from loose and finely milled to press powder compacts.

Finishing powders help your makeup to look more polished, again, think an airbrushed, HD type finish. When I apply my finishing powder, it’s the last step after my foundation, color corrector and concealer. This seals in the liquid products and makes my blush and bronzer seamless to apply. The MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skin Finish Natural Face Powder is the perfect example of a powder giving light to medium coverage and an airbrushed, your skin but better finish.

Setting Powder and Finishing Powder: Do You Need Both?

In my humble makeup opinion, yes, you do need to have both a setting and finishing powder in your stash. Simply because they do very different things, and both assist in making your makeup look absolutely flawless. Setting and finishing powders always make the cut as my my top 5 makeup must haves. As I said before, using a light hand with your setting powder makes a huge difference. Swirl your blush lightly in the powder, tap off the excess and pat the powder into place wherever you used concealer.

With finishing powder, your application can be a little more generous, depending on the look you’re going for. If you need a little more coverage, use a Fluffy powder brush and blend the powder all over your face and neck. For a lighter finish, use the powder in the same way you would for translucent powder, tap it lightly into place with a fluffy brush or beauty sponge.

Check out this helpful video guide if you’d like a visual aid on the difference between setting powder and finishing powder:

As usual, I’m here to answer any questions.

XOXO-Lydia Marie

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