Solo Traveler #25: Drugstore Setting Powders

A full face can’t be completed without setting powder in my opinion. I am constantly looking for new ones to try. I just picked up the Ben Nye No Color Powder and I am working on trialing it as a setting powder. That review will be up eventually. For now, here are 4 powders that I have been going back and forth with for a few months.

I got a sample of Ulta Mineral Setting Powder with a purchase early on. I gave it to Mom because I had some other loose powders that I was playing around with at the time. But then I got another sample of it with a separate order and I liked it a lot. I picked a full size up for $14.00 ($53.85/oz) on I scored it as a 20 and used it almost daily since I got it.

I have a love/hate relationship with loose powder. I ❤ the way it looks on the face. But it is such a freaking mess to use! I try to keep my makeup area clean and hygienic so loose powders will be the death of me. This one is no exception to the loose powder nightmare.

Important to note is that this powder is not translucent. It has a color to it that is perfect for me. I imagine it would be orange on someone with a different skin tone than me, fair or dark. I can use this powder alone over primer or over foundation.

My biggest complaint is that this product suffers from moisture the worst out of any of my powders. I live in Ohio where it is always humid. Be it winter or summer, it is humid here. After a month of use, I noticed this powder struggles to come out of the sifter a lot more than it did when I first opened it. I have to beat the crap out of it to get powder out now many months later.

Due to the powder being stuck inside, it seems to be lasting longer than the other loose powder that I use. So maybe that isn’t such a bad thing thing.

ELF Translucent Mattifying Powder is a pressed powder. It comes with a sponge applicator and was $3 ($4.41/oz) at WalMart. I scored it at 19.

When I use a mattifying moisturizer or foundation, this is the powder I use to set my face. I just feel like I should match like products when I can.

It isn’t a bad powder for being a pressed formula. I prefer loose powders but this one works well. It has no color to it, despite being a similar color to the Ulta mineral powder in the pan. The sponge is good for a sponge but I don’t use it for pressed powder. Rubbing it in like it requires to pick up product would just smash it into the sponge and waste it. I’ve use it like a beauty blender for concealer many times though and it works fine.

My only complaint is that there is nothing mattifying about this product (nor the other mattifying products for that matter). My finish doesn’t look different when I apply this verses a loose powder. I still get oily mid-day. *shrug*

I have 2 different shades of the ELF HD Powder. I picked them up at WalMart for $6 ($21.43/oz) each. I have sheer and soft luminance. I gave these a score of 18. The sheer powder was the first product I ever ran out of and I’ve ordered more from because I can’t ever find it in stock at WalMart anymore.

I use these powders combined. I dust the soft luminance wherever I will put highlighter because it has a bit of a shimmer. Then I dust sheer over the rest of my face to set my foundation. Unlike the Ulta mineral powder, I cannot use these powders over primer alone. They wash my face out and I look sickly when I try.

As far as a loose powder goes, these are insanely messy. Just opening the box gets powder in the air. You might get more product from these compared to the Ulta mineral powder, but you waste a ton of it.

These are in sleek black box packaging. I love that they look so nice. However, the powder settles on the box when you open and close them so they frequently look dirty. I spend a lot of time cleaning these dang things.

I very rarely used ELF Flawless Face Powder. It came free with a purchase but retails for $2.00 ($11.11/oz) on I gave this powder a 13.

This powder is in the cheap white packaging that E.L.F. uses for their lower priced products. It is a pressed powder. I have it in the shade porcelain. The powder round that came with it is just horrible. It might as well be a strip of cotton. I threw it out as soon as I opened it.

It applies well with a brush but the color is patchy after a short time. The one time I used it over foundation, it ate up the foundation between my eyebrows after a couple of hours. I was unamused. I spent the rest of the day fixing that spot. But the more I used, the more noticeable the patch became because the edges got orangy. Ugh.

It is in the box of shame but it should be in the trashcan.

I am almost finished with these multiple product reviews. I have lip primers, lip liners, lipsticks, mascaras, and eyeshadows left. I can’t wait to get to single product reviews where I can be a bit more detailed. I’ve been trying to keep these short since they are so long in combination. I promise I am working on these novel-length posts!

What setting powder is your favorite?


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