I Tried $228 Worth Of Setting Powder — & This Was The Best One

Superstition runs in my family the way athletic prowess or blue eyes run in others. The constant fear is that, if someone doesn't knock on wood three times and spit in the devil's eye, or returns home for a forgotten thing and doesn't look in the mirror before leaving again, the world will go careening off its axis and everything will be terrible. We're not OCD, technically — just Russian.
Routines are very important to the superstitious, and the order in which I put on my makeup each morning is one of the things that holds my life together. I always fill in my left eyebrow first before my right, and wait until the very last minute before I step out the door to put on my lipstick. And I must always finish it all off with a setting powder, not just because my makeup will fade otherwise, but also because something bad will probably happen if I don't.
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You'd think this would take all the fun out of something — but it doesn't! How can I shake up my routine without ruining my life? I try new things, of course. I find the best setting powder, of all the setting powders, because it is key to my survival. You just can't say the same for your favorite YouTube vlogger's product reviews, now can you?
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Judging solely by appearances, this is one of the more beautiful makeup-decorative trinket hybrids I've ever seen with my own two eyes. It's satisfyingly large, about the size of a Chipwich, with a glossy mahogany screw-top lid and gold sifter and a big "H" — for Hourglass! — that promises to dispense the perfect amount of powder. The powder, by the way, is formulated not only with standard translucent-powder ingredients (no talc, though!) but also diamond powder, which the brand says offers "refined light refraction" that blurs imperfections for an airbrushed effect, which sounds like something diamond powder would do, if diamond powder is, in fact, a thing.

Sadly, not even the finest diamond powder would hold up against my extraordinarily greasy T-zone; the finish is so smooth and soft-focus, I get a good few hours of looking like I was sculpted out of marble before the shine breaks through and I'm exactly where I'd be if I'd never applied powder in the first place. Would still recommend to someone who is not monopolizing the world's oil supply with their face.
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Here we have a classic, the one that makeup artists always recommend, the never-fail hit, except for that time it was allegedly responsible for the rare Angelina Jolie beauty faux pas, an "Epic Powder Makeup Disaster" that Huffington Post Canada called "So Unlike Her." I'm not sure why this translucent powder causes camera flashback, or how to make sure it doesn't, because I have never been in a situation wherein I've suddenly found myself being professionally photographed.

I have, however, used this powder on and off for years, and it's always suited me just fine in terms of controlling oil and helping makeup last, despite not being the most exciting option on the market. It is a solid choice, and I like the fact that there's a cheaper mini size, because has anyone ever finished off an entire 8g jar of setting powder, really?
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The simplest, most "natural" (that word should always be taken with a grain of 100% pure ethically-sourced sea salt) setting powder around is... silica. That's it! This powder is just silica, a finely-milled mineral that you probably shouldn't inhale.

Pros: very lightweight; makes skin look beautiful; leaves no residue or white cast; really seems to blend into your makeup instead of sitting on top of it, which is ideal for people who don't really like powder in the first place but still want to set their foundation. Cons: very (very) expensive for what it is; in my experience, can cause mild burning sensation throughout the nose and throat if you happen to breathe while applying.
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Let's talk about this powder. It is, for all intents and purposes, a very good powder. It's incredibly lightweight, feels like nada on the skin, goes on with the perfect velvety, not-drying matte texture, and really, truly locks makeup in place all day, even on oily skin. Like all of Kat Von D's offerings, it is completely cruelty-free and vegan. Also like all of Kat Von D's offerings, it is the product of an individual who recently voiced their intentions to not vaccinate their unborn child, a statement that has produced major backlash and encouraged some fans to boycott the brand entirely.

So, does the powder work? Is it a good powder? Yes, yes it is. But does it have the initials of an acknowledged anti-vaxxer embossed on the lid? Also yes.
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I love most things that involve coconut: coconut water, coconut milk, coconut ice cream, coconut curries, coconut popsicles, just plain old coconut. But I can't think of anything worse than beauty products that smell "like coconut," which is to say, the most bastardized chemical reproduction of what is otherwise a very good drupe.

I half-expected to unscrew the top to this powder and have the scent of 5,000 fake coconuts waft out, but this did not happen, despite having "coconut" in its name. It smells faintly milky, but not at all overly fragranced, so thanks for that, Marc. If you have dry skin, this has got to be one of the best setting powders around for keeping makeup fresh and skin hydrated; for an oily person, it's a bit too creamy, which is a weird thing to say about a powder but also a true thing.
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I avoid gimmicky beauty products as much as the next person who hates fun, but man if I'm not sold on this misty cooling powder situation! Buffed all over my face with a big, fluffy brush, it sets my makeup without turning me uncomfortably matte or chalky and keeps my foundation from separating all day (in fact, it seems to make it look better and more glowy as the day goes on).

I had my doubts, I did — because first of all, what the fuck is a Hydra-Mist, and secondly, how can a face powder feel cooling? The first ingredient is water, which is so weird, but it works. Sometimes I dust on more than I should because it feels so good, and it still looks great. I still don't know the answer to either of those questions, but I don't even care anymore.
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