THE DIFFERENCE: Foundation powders are meant to be worn ALONE and not over a liquid foundation that you may already have on your skin.  Layering a foundation powder over a foundation can feel heavy, cakey and dry. Setting powders are meant to be layered over foundations and concealers in order to SET and prolong the wear of the makeup.  They also serve many others purposes such as mattifying the skin and blending.

IN MY PROFESSIONAL KIT: My favorite setting powders to use and carry with me in my professional makeup kit are the Ben Nye Luxury Powders in Cameo and Banana.  Cameo works on all medium/light to light skin tones (including myself) while Banana works on all medium/dark to dark skin tones.  These two powders really reduce the amount of product I have to carry around in my kit.

MINERAL FOUNDATION POWDERS: If you love the simplicity of foundation powders but have a dryer skin type, consider using a mineral foundation powder.  These tend to be more on the hydrating side (yes, there is such thing as a hydrating powder) and have a much more natural finish.  The Laura Mercier Foundation powder was my GO TO foundation powder for years!  Bare Minerals is also great for mineral powder foundations.

MAC MINERLIZE SKIN FINISH:  This powder is my HOLY GRAIL of powders!  To me, it is the perfect setting powder – natural, not heavy, hydrating and blends seamlessly.  Also, most setting powders tend to come in shades like translucent, light medium or dark and this guy comes in 15 SHADES!  MAC’s website describes it as a powder that can be used to set foundation and touch up’s through out the day and leaves a natural-satin finish on the skin.  Long story short, I simply love it.

HOW DO YOU KNOW ITS A FOUNDATION OR SETTING POWDER?:  Knowing whether you are picking up a foundation powder or setting powder can be confusing for most. The main thing to keep in mind when shopping for these two different powders is this… Foundation powders will normally come in a wide arrange of colors that usually coordinate with the liquid foundations the line carries.  A perfect example for this is NARS – Sheer Glow foundation comes in shades Punjab, Sante Fe, Stromboli etc. and their foundation powders also come in Punjab, Sante Fe, Stromboli etc.  Like mentioned before, setting powders will normally just come in translucent, lights, medium, dark and so on.  If this still confuses you, I say when in doubt, check the product description online – it will normally state if it is a foundation powder or setting powder.

and that, is powder in a nutshell!