Best setting powders for matte, flawless makeup all day, every day: Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Chanel, and more

Best setting powders for matte, flawless makeup all day, every day: Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Chanel, and more

Truly powderful stuff

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @hourglasscosmetics

We may still be waiting on a device that makes our made-up visage a permanent reality — think smooth, glowing skin and decked-out lids all the time — but in the meantime, we'll settle for the next best thing: long-wearing makeup. The best of the lot tends to be sweat-proof, waterproof, and budge-proof, but for the ever-cautious and -prepared, the best insurance comes in the form of a setting powder.

Formulated precisely to keep makeup locked-in, they also help blur skin imperfections and control excess shine. Below, our tried-and-tested prime powder picks to help your makeup outlast the relentless heat. Humidity be damned.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder

A cult-favourite within the beauty community, the Hourglass setting powder has duly lived up to its stellar reputation. Makeup stays in place for hours on end — even through our piping hot mala lunch — all while providing a beautifully airbrushed finish that conceals (small) zits and redness. Never cakey, it instead adds a subtle glow to skin attributed to the inclusion of diamond powder in its formulation. Truly one for the ages.

On the powderful scale: 5/5


Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Pressed Powder

Claiming to mask imperfections from the harsh scrutiny of HD cameras, Make Up For Ever's offering comes in a smooth, luminous finish that lives up to its promise: blurring all matters of fine lines and pores with a single swipe of a brush. It does extend the longevity of makeup too, though we did notice that it leaves a slight white cast when we were a little heavy on the application. A little goes a long way.

On the powderful scale: 4.5/5


Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder

Not only does Chanel's setting powder freezes makeup in place, it also delivers on a warm shimmer that still appears natural to the naked eye. Crafted with cotton flower and white rose plant cells to for a gentle, soothing formula, it is perfect for sensitive skin users looking to add a healthy sheen to skin. We do, however, recommend swapping out the provided cushion applicator for an even finish.

On the powderful scale: 4.5/5


Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

A lightweight, ultra-refined powder, this bad boy helps soak up excess oil in addition to extending makeup wear. The matte finish works in favour for oilier complexions, though it does tend to sink into cracks and fine lines for complexions that veer towards the dry side. Prep skin with a hydrating foundation or moisturiser underneath for optimum results.

On the powderful scale: 4/5


M.A.C Cosmetics Studio Fix Perfecting Powder

First things first: a round of applause for M.A.C for providing the most comprehensive shade range of the lot; there are nine hues to choose from. The lightweight texture and long-lasting abilities are definitely worth writing home about as well, though the filter lid packaging made scooping up the powder a little difficult. Those with steady hands can attempt decanting, we suppose?

On the powderful scale: 3.5/5