Is Finishing Powder the Same as Setting Powder?

Is Finishing Powder the Same as Setting Powder

When it comes to beauty products, sky’s the limit. Since there are plenty of ingredients that benefit skin in multiple ways, a huge number of cosmetics are launched in the market. While it needs an expertise in knowing the use of these products, beginners often get into confusion.

Two beauty products among which people often get confused are setting powder and finishing powder. Since both of them seem similar, it becomes hard to decide what to use and when.

Therefore, in this article, we have compared setting powder vs. finishing powder under different heads to help makeup enthusiast clear differences between them. By the end of the article, they will understand how these powders differ in their functionality. 

Difference Between Setting Powder and Finishing Powder

Setting Powder

Setting Powder

It is a matte powder that comes in loose or pressed form. The work of setting powder is to remove superficial shine from the skin’s surface that comes after applying different cosmetics. 

Thus, it helps get a natural look after makeup. At the same time, it extends the wear of makeup.


  • Prevents makeup from creasing 
  • Do not allow makeup to move

It does so by locking the formula of makeup products like concealers, foundations, tinted moisturizers, etc. As a result, they stay intact in their place and do not crease or move. 

You need to be extra careful while using setting powder as improper application can give you a very artificial look. It is important to know if you want a natural finish or matte finish. For instance, using less powder will give your skin a natural finish; however, more use will give more matte finish. 

Finishing Powder 

Finishing Powder

Finishing powder is also like setting powder, but the end result is softer and more natural. It looks like you have applied a filter on your skin. 


  • Gives a smooth texture to the makeup 
  • Delivers blurred finish 

Therefore, it is recommended to use finishing powder as the final step in your makeup. Use a soft and long bristled powder brush that can focus on key areas of the face. You can also use an airbrush to use the finishing powder.

Tap a small amount of powder, and your skin will look softer and glowing. 

Now, talking about differences, their weight, texture, and tone differ greatly. 


While finishing powder is light in weight, giving a smooth texture to the skin, setting powder is heavier and locks in makeup perfectly to ensure no creasing or moving. 


Additionally, the texture of the finishing powder is fine, giving you blurring and softer effects. On the other hand, setting powder is more about a matte finish.  


Their tones also play a huge role in deciding what to use. For instance, you can find finishing powder in shades of peach, pink and rose to get a subtle look while setting powder comes in skin-tones shades or translucent.

Below is the table differentiating setting powder vs. finishing powder under different aspects

AspectSetting PowderFinishing Powder
PurposeSets makeup in place, controls shine and oilinessProvides a final touch, blurs imperfections, adds a subtle glow
ApplicationApplied after foundation and concealerApplied after setting powder or makeup application
TextureGenerally lightweight and mattifyingCan be lightweight to slightly luminous
CoverageMostly translucent or slightly tintedTranslucent or tinted, with sheer coverage
Oil ControlEffective in controlling shine and oilinessMay have oil-absorbing properties, but not primarily targeted at oil control
LongevityEnhances makeup longevity, extends wear timeEnhances makeup longevity, sets makeup for longer wear
FinishGenerally matte or semi-matteCan be matte, radiant, or dewy depending on the formulation
Skin Type SuitabilitySuitable for oily to combination skin typesSuitable for all skin types, formulations may cater to specific skin concerns
Touch-upsSuitable for touch-ups throughout the daySuitable for touch-ups, adds a fresh, polished look

Similarities Between Setting Powder and Finishing Powder 

Since the work of both the powders is to set the makeup, their similarities often overlap.

  • Applied as the last step in the makeup process
  • Provide long makeup wear in areas of application 
  • Applied lightly for a natural finish and extra for a smooth finish 
  • Available in loose and pressed form

Setting Powder Vs Finishing Powder- What’s Right for Me?

Knowing what your skin type and what type of finishing you are looking for will help you decide between setting powder and finishing powder. 

If you are looking for oil control or matte finish, look no further than setting powder. On the other hand, if the skin is dry, setting powder can make it drier. Thus, in such cases, finishing powder will help. It will make the skin look soft rather than coarse or rough after makeup. 


Deciding between setting powder vs finishing powder comes after hits and trials if you are a beginner. However, if you are an expert, just knowing the skin type can help you decide which powder will suit you more. 

Make sure you know what finish you are desiring, as it will help you decide the right powder. 

Image Source : canva

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