If you want your makeup to last longer and look smoother, set it with powder. It absorbs excess oil to reduce shine, too. We know it’s hard to find face powder for melanin-rich complexions since it can leave an ashy cast or cause photo flashback. That’s why we researched the best setting powder for dark skin.
In a world where translucent powder can cause trouble, we found that pigmented powders tended to work better. Check out our selection of finely milled, tinted, and transparent setting powders below:
|The best setting powders for dark skin
|Why we love them
|Sacha BUTTERCUP Setting Powder
|FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Invisimatte Blotting Powder
|FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Setting Powder
|Black Radiance True Complexion Loose Setting Powder
|Dermablend Illuminating Banana Powder
|Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
|LAURA MERCIER PARIS | NEW YORK TRANSLUCENT LOOSE SETTING POWDER
|NARS Light Perfecting Setting Finishing Loose Powder
|Maybelline New York Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder
How to bake your makeup with setting powder
When we talk about baking powder for dark skin, it reminded us of grandma making cookies. But seriously, here’s the quickest way to set your makeup with powder.
First, apply foundation and concealer, blending as you go. Next, grab a damp sponge or a blending brush and dab on a thick layer of setting powder. Yes, put on a thick layer. Then, wait for at least five minutes while it “bakes”.
Finally, use a clean, dry foundation brush to dust off the excess. That looks better, doesn’t it? Plus, it will keep your makeup from smudging for hours longer.
Best Setting Powders for Dark Skin in 2024
Sacha BUTTERCUP Setting Powder
Spend five minutes on Instagram or YouTube and you’ll find lots of videos praising the Sacha Buttercup powder. But it’s yellow, so how can that be helpful for dark skin? Trust us, it’s Brown-girl friendly.
This miraculous powder prevents the skin from looking ashy when using flash or under bright lights. It maintains a matte complexion with an airbrushed finish for hours. Somehow, it manages to disguise large pores and fine lines as well.
The texture is very finely milled and it seems to melt into the skin. There’s no surprise that it was the makeup of choice at the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants.
What’s in it? It seems like a pretty simple formula that starts with talc and mica. There are no parabens or artificial fragrances.
However, a few reviewers said it caused their faces to break out. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend a patch test.
- Prevents ashiness and flashback on deep skin tones
- Reduces shine for hours, maintaining an airbrushed finish
- Simple formula with no parabens or artificial fragrance
- Used at the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants
- May cause sensitive skin to break out
FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Invisimatte Blotting Powder
Rihanna keeps this powder in her clutch. True story from the Fenty Beauty founder’s mouth. It’s not just because this is Rihanna’s product. It’s because it’s a universal blotting powder that provides a filtered look instantaneously.
It sets makeup and prevents shine, leaving the face photo-ready at a moment’s notice. The finish is matte and natural, not flat.
Moreover, the texture is perfectly milled to prevent settling into lines or caking. It’s completely transparent against all skin tones.
Happily, it’s cruelty-free and contains no parabens or phthalates. The compact includes a puff applicator
- Matte finish that looks natural, not flat
- Completely transparent and won’t settle into lines or cake
- Free of parabens and phthalates
- Comes with a puff applicator
- Use by Rihanna herself
- We really tried hard, but we couldn’t find any cons. It is a little pricey, though
FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder
Rihanna’s company also makes tinted setting powder in eight shades for all skin tones. Take Nutmeg, for example. It’s perfect for Black skin. Then, there’s Cashew for medium to tan skin.
Like the Invisimatte, this powder is weightless, silky, and super fine. It provides a filtered finish that reduces shine and won’t cause flashback. Plus, it bakes makeup to extend wear time. It’s no wonder it was an Allure Best of Beauty winner.
Customers say it blurs imperfections without causing dryness. Instead, it leaves the skin smooth. It’s very lightweight and not cakey at all.
- Available in eight shades for all skin tones
- Super finely milled with a silky texture that feels weightless
- Offers a filtered finish without flashback
- Reduces shine and extends makeup wear
- Allure Best of Beauty award winner
- Not the least expensive option, but provides excellent value for the price
Black Radiance True Complexion Loose Setting Powder
It’s a no-brainer to turn to Black-owned companies to find a setting powder that’s suitable for dark skin. This one has created affordable cosmetics for over two decades.
This loose setting powder feels like silky baby powder and it blends perfectly with the skin. It never leaves a white cast, but creates a soft focus effect that blurs pores and lines. Choose from shades like Banana, Honeymoon, and Coco Kisses to match your skin tone.
Furthermore, it sets any type of cream or liquid makeup weather foundation, blush, or highlighter. Of course, it prevents shine as well. Users say it sets makeup beautifully and maintains a natural finish throughout the day. Some prefer it to Coty’s Airspun and Ben Nye Banana Powder.
The ingredients start with cornstarch, talc, and silica but don’t include parabens.
- Silky powder available in shades like Banana and Coco Kisses
- No white cast or flashback, just a soft-focus finish
- Sets all types of liquid and cream makeup, from foundation to blush
- A few reviewers disliked the odor
Dermablend Illuminating Banana Powder
Is banana setting powder good for dark skin? Yes, if it’s properly milled with the right ingredients. Just because it’s yellow doesn’t mean that it’s going to look white on dark skin. Take Dermablend’s banana powder, for example.
It’s made with pearl particles that make the complexion luminous but not ashy. It’s perfect for baking their cream and liquid makeup so that it lasts up to sixteen hours without smudging.
What’s more, this brand does allergy testing for sensitive skin. They don’t include artificial fragrances, parabens, or phthalates in the powder either.
If you’re not sure that banana powder is right for you, Dermablend also offers Warm Saffron and Cool Beige powder as well as the original translucent. All three are matte, but not flat, for a natural look. Plus, they only take two minutes to set when you’re baking your makeup.
- Fast-setting powder that extends Dermablend’s cream and liquid makeup for up to sixteen hours of wear
- Available in banana, translucent, Warm Saffron, and Cool Beige
- Matte finish that looks radiant and natural while it reduces shine
- Free of artificial fragrances, parabens, and phthalates
- We were uncertain as to how well the powder works with other brands of makeup
Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
This setting powder blurs imperfections even if you’re not wearing makeup. Plus, it’s translucent and talc-free to prevent leaving a white cast.
It’s one of the Ambient Lighting powders created by Hourglass with light-reflecting particles. That’s right, it contains ultra-fine diamond and sapphire powder. Somehow, it diffuses the light without causing flashback.
Moreover, it keeps the skin smooth and fresh by reducing shine. It’s especially good at preventing creasing in undereye concealer.
Lastly, it’s cruelty-free and contains no artificial dyes, fragrances, or parabens. Not to worry, there are no nanoparticles, either.
- Cult classic powder with ultrafine sapphire and diamond particles for a soft focus look
- Translucent with no ashy cast and no flashback
- Reduces shine and prevents creasing
- Cruelty-free with no artificial fragrance, dyes, or parabens
- No complaints here
LAURA MERCIER PARIS | NEW YORK TRANSLUCENT LOOSE SETTING POWDER GLOW | MEDIUM DEEP
Many setting powders contain talc but not everyone appreciates it. Therefore, if you don’t want baby powder on your face, try Laura Mercier’s setting powder. It comes in a variety of shades including deep colors.
It’s lightweight, sheer, and won’t cake or settle into lines or pores. Like many setting powders, it offers a soft finish blurring effect. It does this with pearl pigments that make the skin glow with health.
It promises twelve-hour wear to increase the wear time of foundation and concealer.
- Talc-free and available in a variety of shades
- Twelve-hour wear without caking or settling
- Soft-focus pearl pigments illuminate the skin without flashback
- You’ll need an applicator
NARS Light Perfecting Setting Finishing Loose Powder, Sunstone
NARS offers tinted powder with a Light Reflecting Complex. They call this “photochromic technology”. In other words, it’s a diffused matte finish that diffuses light and looks luminous without causing flashback. It looks good in any type of lighting and natural under flash.
Ninety-seven percent of the participants in a clinical trial were pleased with how it extended their makeup’s wear. Nearly everyone was pleased with how it blurred lines and didn’t make their skin feel dry.
As you know, not everyone has oily skin. Those of us with dry complexions are hesitant to use setting powder. Thankfully, this one has algae, vitamin E, and glycerin to keep the skin moisturized.
Also, it’s paraben-free and has only a tiny amount of synthetic fragrance.
- Tinted powder for all skin types and colors
- Contains lightweight moisturizers to prevent dryness
- Proprietary Light Reflecting Complex for a luminous appearance without flashback
- Clinically proven to extend makeup wear time and blur imperfections
- Has no parabens
- Has an artificial fragrance, even if in a small concentration
Maybelline New York Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder
Which is the best drugstore setting powder for brown skin? We’re keen on Maybelline’s loose finishing powder because it comes in light, medium, and deep shades.
It feels breathable and lightweight and helps keep shine to a minimum.
What’s more, it’s a mineral-based formula that won’t clog pores. It has no artificial fragrance that could trigger allergies.
On the downside, it has no applicator.
- Available in different shades
- Mineral-based and fragrance-free
- Non-comedogenic and reduces shine
- Doesn’t come with an applicator
As you can see in the reviews above, there are several excellent setting powders suitable for deep skin tones. They won’t look ashy or cause unfortunate results under camera flash.
If we helped you find your new favorite cosmetics today, we’d love to know how they’re working out for you. Please feel free to leave us a comment below.