Everything You Need to Know About Applying Setting Powder

When it comes to makeup, we love everything about it.

From trends and techniques to formulas and makeup artists, we're never not itching for more.

But even with all our fascination and attention to detail, there are still some things we haven'fully grasped—setting powder, for starters. We see it everywhere and always hear makeup artists talking about it, but when it comes to trying it ourselves, we often walk away looking like we dumped a batch of baby powder on our faces. Yikes!

Thankfully, with the help of Shiseido's celebrity makeup artist, Vincent Oquendo, we've got this one down. Keep reading for everything you need to know about applying setting powder.

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Sweety High: What is setting powder and what are its benefits?

Vincent Oquendo: Setting powder is a lighter weight powder that doesn't have as heavy of a texture as pressed powder. It's perfect for lightly setting the makeup after foundation and concealer application. The lightweight texture helps it glide onto the skin and leaves for a flawless finish.


SH: What are the dos and don'ts of applying setting powder?

VO: In my opinion, there are no real don'ts for loose powder, you just go ham! I've used a loose setting powder everywhere, from the eyelids to matting down a shiny, oily lid, to resetting an eyeshadow that I love. I've even used it on lipstick. I take a halved tissue, press it over the lip, and use a fluffy brush to pack the loose powder onto the lip through the tissue. It makes for a super matte, velvety finish.

Translucent powder spilled on a gray table with a brush

(via Shutterstock)


SH: If I use face oil, does setting powder take away that beautiful shine?

VO: No, not if you use a setting powder with the right finish, like a radiant. Shiseido just launched a new loose setting powder—Synchro Skin Invisible Silk Loose Powder, which is available in two finishes, Matte and Radiant. The Radiant finish will give you a different kind of shine, more controlled.


SH: What's your favorite high-end setting powder product and favorite drugstore setting powder?

VO: My favorite high-end setting powder is Shiseido's Synchro Skin powder I mentioned before. I love both finishes—Matte and Radiant—depending on mood and skin texture.

My drugstore favorite is Maybelline Master Fix Setting + Perfecting.


SH: How do you apply setting powder?

VO: Dust it under your eyes to diffuse and soften. Using a polishing face brush [I recommend Shiseido'HANATSUBAKI HAKE Polishing Face Brush], blend in circular motions to set makeup or blot away excess shine throughout the day. You can also use a multi-face brush to strategically powder sections of the face and enhance or highlight your cheekbones.

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