The Best Setting Powders for Oily, Sweaty Summer Skin

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Setting powders are one of those things that you’ve probably heard about a billion times, mainly from beauty editors or the Macy’s employees trying to sell you products, but if you’re not currently using one every morning of this hot-as-hell summer and you have oil-prone skin, then you’re seriously missing out (and you can trust us; we don’t work on commission).

MORE: 9 Standout Primers for Oily Skin That Keep Shine at Bay All Day Long

Unlike finishing powders, which are the heavier, full-coverage, high-definition stuff that work best for red carpets and photo shoots, setting powders simply “set” your makeup in place so it won’t slide down your face in a puddle of grease by noon. And with the right formulas—ahem, everything we chose ahead—your skin will look only softly matte, not dry and cakey.

MORE: Game-Changer: Makeup That Fights Acne While Offering Full Coverage

Just grab a flat powder brush (I love Make Up for Ever’s 156 Large Flat Blush Brush), dip it into the powder, tap off the excess, and then press—don’t drag, don’t brush, don’t swirl—the brush across your forehead, down your nose, and over your chin to mattify your T-zone. Easy, right? Without being too dramatic, your life/face is about to change.

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Pressed Setting Powders
Pressed Setting Powders

Here’s the deal with pressed powders: They’re compact, easy to store in your bag, and usually dense in consistency, making them a bit heavier than loose powders. Nothing wrong with heavy, except that applying too much at once can give you the dreaded cakey appearance—use lightly and sparingly.

Givenchy Prisme Visage Perfecting Face Powder, $49; at Givenchy

Photo: Givenchy
Pressed Setting Powders
Pressed Setting Powders

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Pressed Setting Powder, $33; at Tarte

Photo: Tarte
Pressed Setting Powders
Pressed Setting Powders

Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder, $32; at Urban Decay

Photo: Urban Decay
Pressed Setting Powders
Pressed Setting Powders

Laura Mercier Invisible Pressed Setting Powder, $35; at Laura Mercier

Photo: Laura Mercier
Loose Setting Powders
Loose Setting Powders

This is probably the type of product that comes to mind when you think of face powders. Loose powders are generally the most lightweight of the setting powders, so your coverage will be sheer (yet still totally effective).

Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder, $30; at Kat Von D Beauty

Photo: Kat Von D Beauty
Loose Setting Powders
Loose Setting Powders

Maybelline MasterFix Setting + Perfecting Loose Powder, $10; at Maybelline

Photo: Maybelline
Loose Setting Powders
Loose Setting Powders

DermaBlend Loose Setting Powder, $27; at Dermablend

Photo: Dermablend
Loose Setting Powders
Loose Setting Powders

Cinema Secrets Ultralucent Setting Powder, $22; at Cinema Secrets

Photo: Cinema Secrets

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  • Pressed Setting Powders
  • Pressed Setting Powders
  • Pressed Setting Powders
  • Pressed Setting Powders
  • Loose Setting Powders
  • Loose Setting Powders
  • Loose Setting Powders
  • Loose Setting Powders

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