I tried my best to keep my powder and spray collection to a minimum after 2018 because I know I never run through these categories of products and, to my knowledge, setting powders are one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) makeup products to produce. The huge markup makes me reluctant to spend a lot on them. Some powders are more finely milled than others or I need one that won’t leave a cast on my skin or in photos, or one that isn’t too drying, so this is where the slight nuances in formulas can get me to spend more or keep trying to find one that I love enough to call a holy grail product.
All Over/Setting/Finishing Powders
Some powders I’ve used in the past have been the Make Up For Ever HD Setting Powder, MAC Translucent Setting Powder, Ben Nye Banana Powder, Besame French Vanilla Brightening Powder, etc. There haven’t been any setting powders (other than getting a better shade) I liked enough to repurchase. I don’t set my entire face with powder anymore (unless I need to wear foundation for an extended period of time), so I’ve been trying my hardest to just use what I have.
NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder in Sunstone
This powder was my favorite of 2019. I was so happy to finally have a version (previously owned the loose version in their translucent white shade) that didn’t leave a cast on the skin or give Flashback. At the time I bought it, they didn’t have the loose version yet at Ulta. Sometimes I wish I waited to get the loose form in order to avoid the hardpressed-looking spot/film that appears onto the surface shortly after the initial use. At the same time, I didn’t want to deal with powder floating everywhere for once, as can happen with loose powders depending on the sieve.
The Sunstone shade is a great match for my skin tone in both depth and warmth. It never occurred to me, until I read Nikki’s post, that this powder can look noticeably orange on different skin tones, so I thought it was important to mention. I’ve linked her blog for anyone who wishes to see this powder swatched on her. I recommend taking a look as she posts great content!
I could have built up the color in my swatches but I wanted to show the kind of coverage one or two swipes with my finger can give. In most cases, that amount is enough to show visibly on my arm. In the case of the Sunstone shade, it’s such a close match to me that it’s harder to see. As for the original shade, I don’t have it blended in the swatch but when I used a light layer on my face, it remained translucent and also photographed well.
I’ve been holding onto the original (I stopped using it years ago) but I will toss it now, as it is quite old. I’ve only had Sunstone for a year and a half, so I’m keeping it. Plus, I still really enjoy it!
Beauty Bakerie Face Flour Baking Powder in Yellow (Cassava)
Beauty Bakerie has a lot more colors available now than when I purchased this. I prefer yellow, peach, orange, and brown powders over white or pink. In this case, there isn’t a strong enough yellow base, so it still comes off as practically white on my skin tone. I really wanted to love this powder because it was hyped up and I like supporting not only small brands but especially black-owned ones. I gave it several tries but this is just too drying for my under eyes, the place I need powder the most. So, it’s leaving my collection.
MAC Sunny Side Mineralize Skinfinish (Discontinued)
This is one of those products that I probably should not still be using, due to its age, but I like it and I’m unwilling to let it go just yet. For color correcting my under eyes, I tend to use just the three lightest colors to give myself a brightening effect. If my concealer is a bit too bright and I want to tone it down a bit, then I use either all four shades or just the darker powder on its own. Since this has been discontinued for a long time, I won’t spend anymore time describing it. However, if the other Mineralize Skinfinish powders work like this one, perhaps I should explore the line at some point in the future.
Chantecaille Perfect Blur Finishing Powder
I bought this at 30% off during the anniversary/birthday sale and it’s still the most expensive powder I own. While this does have a slight blurring effect, the overall finish isn’t anything spectacular. It doesn’t give my skin a more natural finish or a glow nor brightness. This one just mattifies me. It doesn’t give me anything else to warrant even the discounted price. I will give some additional credit that despite being pale in swatches, this does not leave a cast on my skin (though if I use too much it can lighten it). While I can make use of the blurring on days when my foundation and concealer are on the sheerer side, if I just conceal my imperfections then I don’t need to worry about blurring. Perhaps there are additional benefits I cannot see on my particular skin tone. There are rumors that Chantecaille is working on a darker version of this powder, which is admittedly intriguing to me. I want to see the full magic everyone gets so enthralled by when it comes to this powder! If a significantly deeper shade becomes available, I might sell this one on Mercari and use that money to go towards the newer one.
There is of course the charitable aspect. The Chantecaille family/brand are strong supporters of animal welfare and humanitarian work. A certain portion of the sale of this powder was donated to support “land conservation and women’s empowerment in the Amazon.”
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Brightening Moisture Powder
I could have put this powder in the future highlighter declutter post because I use it for that purpose. The reason I did not is because my other luminous face powders have fine, yet more visible shimmer in them, such as the Guerlain Meteorites and Hourglass Finishing Powders. The shimmer in this is almost imperceptible but still gives a brightening effect.
I wish they created a deeper version and I was a little disappointed to learn that rather than make a darker shade, they recently created a pink version instead. With this one, I have to either use a very light application or blend it in very well if I want to avoid the white cast it leaves on my skin tone. Using a normal amount doesn’t just brighten, it completely lightens the look of my skin. Even though I can only use it as a highlighter/brightener, I’m unwilling to declutter this one.
Becca Under Eye Brightening Setting Powder Deluxe Sample
I don’t like this. I’ve only tried it once but it was so drying and not translucent on me. This will be given away.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder Deluxe Sample in Honey
When this powder was first released, I had a hard time deciding between Honey and Hazelnut. I even went in-store, but still couldn’t decide. I was able to get this sample as a free gift with purchase. The actual powder looks darker than some of my other yellow toned powders, but it looks very light in the swatch. I’m glad I didn’t buy this because it doesn’t do anything for me. It doesn’t make anything look worse but it doesn’t increase the longevity of my makeup or keep my concealers from creasing. Whenever I’ve used this powder, I always felt the need to add more product before setting it with something else. Fenty Foundations don’t pair well with my skin, so it doesn’t surprise me that the powder doesn’t work for me either. From my observation, those with combo or oily skin tend to really love Fenty complexion products (which are always too dry for me). I’ll be giving this away.
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder Deluxe Sample in Translucent and Honey
I received Translucent and Honey as free gift with purchase samples. I’ve had several samples of the Translucent shade over the years, so I decided not to open this one and I will be finding a new home for it. I can say that the shade did look nice under my eyes but I had the issue of flashback with it, so I never bought the full size until the shade Medium Deep was released. At the time, Medium Deep was a bit too dark for me but it’s a great color match now. However, I’ve had that shade for a few years now and I moved it out of my collection rather than completely getting rid of it. When I got the Honey shade, I was worried it would be too light, but I like how it looks. Both Honey and Medium Deep don’t give me issues with a cast or Flashback. Even though the powders are distinctly different shades, I can’t tell which is which when I use them on my face. I will continue to use the Honey shade, but I will not be purchasing the full size, purely because I like the Charlotte Tilbury powder better.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Filter Setting Powder Deluxe Sample in 03 Dark (now called 03 Tan)
When I received this sample from Sephora, I was a bit shocked to see that a powder this light was called “Dark.” I didn’t have any hope for it, but it has become my new favorite setting powder in my collection! It’s smooth. It has minimal kick up. It works nicely with all my concealers. I love the fact that Charlotte sells this in a mini size because it’s debatable whether I could even finish a small one before the 30 month period-after-opening date, considering how little I use. When I run out of this one and the Laura Mercier sample, I may purchase the mini in the slightly warmer version called “04 Deep.” When deep was released, “03 Dark” was renamed “03 Tan.” Miss Sydz on Youtube has a video showing them both together and how similar they look.
Below is a picture showing what the powders look like over a layer of concealer. The Charlotte Tilbury and Chantecaille were truest to color. The rest look similar except the Koh Gen Do, which dramatically lightened it.
Pat Mcgrath Labs Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Setting Powder in Deep
I completed my declutter and had this scheduled and ready to post, but when Pat Mcgrath had a Valentine’s Day sale I decided to purchase this powder. That’s why it’s not included in my original photo. Because it’s so new, I admittedly don’t have much experience with it.
It’s an ultra fine powder that is silkier than the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Filter. Here is how PMG compares in color to CT:
Charlotte Tilbury’s 03 Dark aka 03 Tan is slightly warmer than Pat Mcgrath’s Deep, despite how they look in their compacts. Although I purchased this specifically to use with the brand’s concealer, this has worked fantastically to set my other concealers as well, and not just for setting my under eyes. The only downside is that it can emphasize fine lines a little bit and it can look a little dry. This powder may be perfect on someone with a different skin type, but as someone with dry skin, I have to find a balance with the amount of skin prep and moisture I use if I want to apply this powder on top. Also, I have to use this with my same skin tone concealers and not with my lightening/brightening concealers because the powder has a brightening effect and with my lighter concealers it’s overkill. I’m very surprised PMG chose to call this one their “deep” shade and to have this be the darkest one available. This powder isn’t going to be deep enough for everyone.
This is the updated collection summary:
When it comes to setting sprays, I use them even less than powders. I usually don’t wear makeup long enough in the day for me to need something to lock it in place or prolong the wear time. Since I powder less, I have less use for MAC Fix+ or the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist (not featured or reviewed here today) as a product to add life back to the face after using powder. My spray finishers are being utilized mainly to just dampen my eyeshadow brushes. The reason I have even this many sprays left in my collection is because of the various scents. Even though I try my best to avoid fragrances in skincare and makeup, when it comes to setting sprays it’s something that I’m drawn to and I don’t know why! It’s a bit of an impulse which I can sometimes resist until it’s in a product I enjoy like Fix+ and All Nighter.
Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray
I’ve had this in the back of my drawer since my 2018 Lucky Bag, but I only used it a few times in that amount of time. Skindinavia, “in an exclusive partnership” made Urban Decay’s setting sprays, so one could save $4 getting a bottle of this and feel confident that if you like the Urban Decay sprays, you’d likely enjoy this. I am a fan, but I have such little use for setting sprays that it doesn’t make sense for me to ever purchase a full-size bottle. I’ve kept it this long simply because I forgot about it, but I’m throwing this out.
Urban Decay Honey Scented All Nighter Spray
I love honey as a food, a theme, and a scent. However, I bought this at the end of 2019 and hadn’t even opened it until this February! I’ve used travel sizes of the All Nighter in the past, so I knew I’d like this for extending the wear of my makeup. I just haven’t had a need for it in the little over a year that I’ve owned it. It think it’s still okay to use, considering it’s been shelved this whole time, but it has a 6 month period-after-opening, so I will be throwing out whatever I don’t use before the year is over. Also, this smells vaguely of honey. I would have assumed it was a generic fragrance, and not intended to actually smell like something, if they hadn’t specifically labeled this as “Honey Scented.”
MAC Fix+ in Pineapple, Cucumber, and Coconut
A few holidays ago I bought several Fix+ sets that had mini trios of Coconut, Rose, and Lavender scented sprays. The Coconut mini (bottle with the mostly clearer liquid) is my last one. I love these tiny bottles because they have a fine nozzle and I’ve been able to reuse them with other facial mists that don’t have a good sprayer. The Cucumber one smells alright, but I prefer to reserve that one to spray my eyeshadow brushes. The Coconut and Pineapple smell fantastic, so I use those for my face to give myself a dewier appearance from the glycerin inside it. This is good for 24 months, and I’ve had mine for 18 months, so these will also be gone before the year is over. I intend to replace it when I run out.
Gerard Cosmetics Slay All Day Setting Spray in Dreamsicle
This spray smells amazing! In the 17 months that I’ve had this, I’ve never actually used it to set my makeup until I began working on this post. I used to use this like a facial spray and mood booster, even though that’s not what this is. This is a full on setting spray with alcohol as the second ingredient. I really shouldn’t use it like skincare, especially considering my stance on trying to minimize the number of fragrance products I use, but I have a childhood attachment to concept of creamsicles and dreamsicles. I purchased this bottle as soon as it was on sale. I thought it was strange that it didn’t come with a spray nozzle, but I didn’t mind because I had empty mini MAC Fix+ bottles I could use as the sprayer and they work wonderfully for that purpose. There is no PAO symbol or expiration date on my bottle, so I’m not certain how long this is supposed to be good for, but based on other sprays on the market I can only assume it’s at least 24 months. After I declutter this bottle, I will not be repurchasing this purely because of the added fragrance. The Fix+ scents aren’t very strong, but I imagine the fact that this is so much stronger than Fix+ has to mean there’s more fragrance in it, and that increases the risk of skin sensitization.
As an actual setting spray, this has a form of glycol in the ingredients which would explain why my face looked so dewy after loading this on. I have a blush which fades quickly on its own, so I wore that one during my 8+ hour wear test and it kept the blush on my face all day! The areas of my face where I used the Pat Mcgrath concealer didn’t fare as well, but that concealer is very finicky on me regardless.
My goal for this year is to end it with only Fix+ and perhaps one small bottle of a traditional setting spray.
That’s all for now! Thank you for taking a look. I hope you visit my blog again!