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Image / Style / Beauty

Loose setting powders: The 3 worth investing in


By Aisling Keenan
16th Sep 2020
Loose setting powders: The 3 worth investing in

Loose setting powders are magical – they remove shine, solidify your make-up look and blur the skin, while not adding coverage. Here are three I rate.


Powder is getting a bad reputation of late – that dewy look is so in that powder has managed to see itself out. But what about those of us who either need our faces to stay in place for eight plus hours, or those of us that have shine so glaring it blinds you?

I can understand not wanting to use powder in the traditional sense – heavy, cakey, visible on the skin, it’s not ideal when you’ve spent ages getting the youthful glow your foundation provides.

But when it’s a loose setting powder, particularly a translucent one, you can’t go far wrong with these…

The original

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Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

€42 from brownthomas.com

I’ve had my most recent one of these for months and months, maybe even a year, and I’m still getting through it. A €42 investment in your powder, when it lasts that long, doesn’t seem too much at all.

Particularly when you take into account how masterful this one is. Laura’s is the OG. The finely milled powder sets, mattifies and smoothes without caking or looking even vaguely present on the skin.

The new kid on the block

loose setting powders

Isadora Loose Setting Powder

€17.28 from feelunique.com

It’s new, but already I’m into it. I’m always reluctant to bring my Laura Mercier one in my bag or travelling because it spills very easily – this one feels more secure because of the way it dispenses.

I love the super silky feel too, I’ve been using the translucent one and it doesn’t add any discernible colour to your face at all. The matte effect lasts too, through a mad dash through an airport and a very sweaty London Fashion Week show.

The budget one

loose setting powders

E.L.F High Definition Powder

€8 from feelunique.com

This really over performs for its €8 price tag. It’s a nice, handbag sized pot and comes with an applicator should you need one (I prefer to apply powder with a small, loose-haired brush rather than a traditional powder puff, but sometimes need must, and I like that the option is there!).

It blurs imperfections in the skin nicely without taking away any definition, and lasts ages too, even at less than a tenner.


Read more: Powder placement to strike the glow balance (according to a TV makeup artist)

Read more: Karen Constantine on the 5 beauty products she can’t live without

Read more: I tried €508 worth of setting powders, and these three came out on top

Photo from @lauramercier on Instagram