Home » The 14 Best Setting Powders for Long-Lasting Wedding Makeup

The 14 Best Setting Powders for Long-Lasting Wedding Makeup

by Staff

When it comes to achieving the perfect wedding day glam, you want to make sure you look just as fresh and beautiful at your send off as you do while walking down the aisle. Using a setting powder as your final step can help you achieve a “stay all day” makeup look to prevent smudging, smearing, and feathering, but it’s important that you find the right product for your skin tone and type.

Setting powders work by “taking the excessive moisture out of your base and setting it so that it is long lasting, and keeps makeup from transferring onto clothing or others,” says makeup artist Margina Dennis. These powders also can decrease shine, which can help to avoid the appearance of greasy or oily-looking skin in photos, she adds. This is especially important if your wedding is in a tropical location or on a hot day.

We know setting powders can sometimes have a bad reputation for a “cakey” or dehydrated look. That’s why it’s essential to use a high quality product that does its job without leaving a funky residue or drying out your skin. To help, we researched the best setting powders that work for a variety of skin types, tones, and budgets—you’ll definitely want one of these in your makeup bag!

Read on for the best setting powders for wedding makeup.

For complete shine and oil control, look no further than this waterproof and mattifying setting powder that lasts up to 11 hours. It’s translucent and feels super lightweight on the skin, but is strong enough to block unwanted shine all day long. The cruelty-free, waterproof formula makes it a great pick for humid climates, and it comes in a convenient travel-friendly compact so it’s easy to take on the go.

Price at time of publish: $35

Finish: Matte | Shades: 1 | Type: Pressed Powder

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Loose Setting Powder

Dennis recommends this wallet-friendly setting powder because of its mattifying properties—it contains corn starch, which “absorbs oil and sweat and provides a silky feeling.” Cruelty-free, gluten-free, and fragrance free, this powder comes in three shades for the perfect match. For less than $10, you can’t beat the price for the quality.

Price at time of publish: $6.49

Finish: Matte | Shades: 3 | Type: Loose Powder

By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder

This hydrating, vegan, and talc-free formula only contains two ingredients: ultra hydrating hyaluronic acid and pure silica spheres to help “control oil and create a soft focus effect,” says Dennis. It promises to not only set makeup for long-lasting wear, but also assists in evening out skin tone, minimize pores, and filling in fine lines without drying out your skin.

Price at time of publish: $54 

Finish: Matte | Shades: 1 | Type: Loose Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

This award-winning, lightweight formula lasts up to 16 hours of wear, with 24 hours of shine control. It contains vitamins C and E for evening out tone during long term wear. Plant powders blur pores and absorb excess oil while amino acid powder blends into the skin for a lovely matte finish. 

Price at time of publish: $43

Finish: Matte | Shades: 3 | Type: Loose Powder

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filtr Instant Retouch Setting Powder

This vegan and cruelty-free setting powder comes in eight sheer shade options (Honey, Hazelnut, Nutmeg, and Coffee are best for deeper tones) to perfectly match your skin. With hydrating squalane, the powder isn’t too drying either. The result is a photo-ready, filtered effect that makes your skin look radiant and pore-free. 

Price at time of publish: $36

Finish: Matte | Shades: 8 | Type: Loose Powder

Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder

Kosas products consistently provide skin-focused makeup products that put good quality skincare first. This formula is clinically tested, non-irritating, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and clean for sensitive skin. It has a buttery soft texture that leaves a natural, dimensional finish without looking flat.

Price at time of publish: $35

Finish: Natural | Shades: 10 | Type: Pressed Powder

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Translucent Powder

This vegan and talc-free setting powder from IT Cosmetics contains hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, silk, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E to nourish and plump the skin. These luxurious ingredients ensure that your makeup won’t crease into lines, but instead creates a slight blurring effect—just like an Instagram filter!

Price at time of publish: $30

Finish: Matte | Shades: 1 | Type: Loose Powder

Huda Beauty Easy Bake

This vegan and paraben-free formula is designed for “baking,” a setting technique that ensures long-lasting makeup and brightens the under eye to make you look more awake and well-rested. It’s fade-proof for up to 10 hours, and comes in a range of shades to match your skin tone and minimize the appearance of dark circles. 

Price at time of publish: $35

Finish: Luminous Matte | Shades: 9 | Type: Loose Powder

Supergoop! (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder Sunscreen SPF 35 PA+++

You know how dermatologists are always telling you to reapply sunscreen? Well, how are you supposed to do that over your gorgeous wedding day makeup?! This 100% mineral, non-nano setting powder not only sets makeup, mattifies, and controls oil but it also helps you reapply SPF without messing up your glam. Simply twist the base and wait for loose powder to fill the brush head, tap off excess, and lightly dust your face.

Price at time of publish: $35

Finish: Matte | Shades: 4 | Type: Loose Powder via Brush Head

Covergirl Clean Fresh Pressed Powder

Covergirl Clean Fresh Pressed Powder is an impressive vegan and cruelty-free product at an affordable price point. Free of talc, formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, and mineral oil, this compact is formulated with tapioca and aloe vera powder to reduce shine, even tone, build coverage, and give a natural glow. It’s highly pigmented, so it’s really important to find your true shade match—thankfully, there are nine to choose from.

Price at time of publish: $9

Finish: Matte | Shades: 9 | Type: Pressed Powder

Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Translucent Setting Powder

This talc-free, ultra-refined, weightless, and translucent loose powder is formulated with soft-focus light-reflecting particles. The result: a natural, radiant, and airbrushed finish. The gold sifter and custom cap also makes it easier to prevent mess, so you only dispense what you need.

Price at time of publish: $49

Finish: Natural | Shades: 1 | Type: Loose Powder

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Brightening Flawless Finish

Inspired by Charlotte Tilbury’s award-winning Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder, this new version creates an even brighter, airbrushed look with a flawless radiant finish. Vegan and cruelty free, this formula is made with vitamin C to brighten from within and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. It can even help visibly brighten dark circles and sets makeup for up to 16 hours. 

Price at time of publish: $48

Finish: Radiant | Shades: 2 | Type: Pressed Powder

RCMA No Color Powder, Shaker Top Bottle

The award-winning RCMA No-Color Powder is the perfect universal setting powder for photos because it contains no pigment, no fillers, and won’t cause any flashback. “It won’t alter the color of your foundation and it contains silica, which helps create a soft focus effect,” says Dennis. 

Price at time of publish: $21

Finish: Matte | Shades: 1 | Type: Loose Powder

Makeup By Mario SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Perfector

This 3-in-1 powder warms, illuminates, and sets makeup with a slight tint, creating a beautiful finish with a soft glow. It acts as a bronzer, highlighter, and finishing powder, with a non-comedogenic, cruelty-free, and vegan formula that’s free of parabens and formaldehydes. 

Price at time of publish: $34

Finish: Radiant | Shades: 5 | Type: Pressed Powder

What to Look for in Setting Powder


Setting powder comes in two basic formats. There’s pressed powder, which is molded into a semi-solid formula in a compact. Or, there’s loose powder, which is simply powder in a container (sometimes with a sifter on top).

Loose powders can be a bit messier and not always ideal for travel, but they are more finely milled and can leave a silkier finish. They’re typically good for oily skin types since the formulas tend to be on the dry side.

Pressed powders often have hydrating ingredients for drier skin types, and are great for beginners since it’s harder to overdo the application. If you’re traveling for a destination wedding, you might want to opt for a pressed powder, like Covergirl Clean Fresh Pressed Powder, to avoid a powder explosion in your makeup bag.


The next thing to look for is finish. Most setting powders come in matte or semi-matte finishes, since the goal is to absorb oil and control shine. However, some formulas leave a more natural finish and can create more dimension. Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder controls oil without making your skin look flat. There are also finishes that brighten the skin—these are generally called “radiant” finishes— like the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Brightening Flawless Finish. 


You should also base your setting powder on your skin type. If you have oily skin, look for ingredients that will absorb oil, such as rice powder (sativa), silica, corn starch, certain clays, or Boron Nitride. We recommend Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder for oily skin since it packs in silica to help control shine.

If your skin is on the drier side, look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, collagen, peptides, antioxidants, silk, and Vitamin E. We love how By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder only has two ingredients (including hyaluronic acid), making it perfect for dry skin that’s more prone to caking.


  • “Setting powder is typically used when you are done with applying your liquid or cream foundation, so you set that before applying your powder products on top of it,” explains Dennis. This is because mixing liquid and powders without setting the liquid first can create a cakey effect. 

    For example, let’s say you’re using a liquid foundation and cream blush, but using powder for highlight, bronzer, and contour. You’ll want to “set” the liquid makeup with a setting powder before moving on to the other powders. Then, once you’ve finished your entire makeup application, you’ll want to set your whole face with powder to help the products stay put and last all day.

  • Any translucent powder will work for almost any skin tone because it’s pigment-free. “A few can look a little ashy on very deep skin tones, but that disappears with a little spritz of water or within a few minutes after the skin’s natural oils kick in,” says Dennis.

    If you’re choosing a setting powder with pigment, look for one that offers multiple shades, like Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder.

  • The key to using setting powder without that “cakey,” or heavy, splotchy look, is to not overdo the application. “Setting powder’s purpose is to absorb moisture from your makeup so that it ‘sets.’ You don’t need much of it,” says Dennis. “Baking, which requires a lot of powder, can make the finished makeup look cakey.” Dennis suggests the following application technique for a natural finish that won’t look overly thick or heavy:

    • Use a firm powder brush and lightly dip into the powder.
    • Tap off any excess powder so you’re only using a thin layer. 
    • Gently dab against your skin. If you’re particularly oily, focus on your moist oily areas like forehead, nose, and upper lip. 
    • You can also use a powder-loaded puff. These soft material pads come with powder already loaded inside, and activate when pressed against your skin.
    • If using a powder puff, gently press and do a “rolling motion” over your skin to set the makeup. Remember to tap off any excess powder from the puff before applying. 

Meet the Expert

Margina Dennis is a multi award-winning Beauty Expert, former Beauty Director for LA’G Magazine, and Celebrity Makeup Artist. With over 15 years of experience, her work has been seen in campaigns for MCM, Steve Madden, Hugo Boss, and Nike, as well as featured in several top publications.

Why Trust Brides

Chelsea Frank has been a lifestyle writer for nearly 10 years. She’s contributed to dozens of online publications, researching and writing on a number of topics from clean beauty and fashion to travel and wellness. She’s also an anxious soon-to-be bride, so she’s always scouring the internet for hot tips.

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