It takes a special kind of daredevil to leave the house without setting one’s makeup, according to our beauty books at least. In hot and humid climates as unforgiving as ours, setting powders are nearly a die-hard essential. The beauty community has been serving us a steady stream of hacks that make big powder compacts and extra large fluffy face brushes a beauty godsend (that keeps on giving). So if you’ve only been revelling in setting powder as makeup insurance — it’s time to ‘amp up your routine. From emergency beauty fixes to the secret hack for fluffier lashes, here’s how to use setting powder in 7 ways like a total pro!


1. The Basics: Set Your Makeup

Fun things aside, the original never gets old. We like an ultra fine powder for an ultra seamless finish and no risk of cake face. Something like Make Up For Ever’s new Ultra HD Setting Powder — a revolutionary light-as-air powder for 24 hours of seamless, shine-free wear! Using a puff or brush, gently pat or dust your face after foundation to get rid of excess shine, set and lock your makeup. 

You can also try tailoring your setting routine to your skin type. Combination skin? Use more where you get the oiliest i.e. your t-zone. Dry skin? Keep to your oily areas and use a much lighter hand. Oily skin? Give your entire face a dust! 

2. The Classic: Baking

This is the go-to trick for pulling off heavy duty makeup looks, whenever you need no-budge, transfer-proof, tear-proof, stubborn makeup. After applying concealer, use a sponge or brush (we recommend a smaller brush instead of a big fluffy one) to layer a generous amount of setting powder on areas of your face that crease most. That usually means under the eyes, a little on the T-zone and the high points of your cheeks. Leave it to work its magic for 5 to 10 minutes, then dust it all off. Boom, baked!

3. Too Much Eyeshadow Fallout? Try Sandbagging. 

If you watch makeup artist Wayne Goss’s YouTube tutorials, you might already be familiar with this trick. Slightly similar to the baking technique, sandbagging refers to applying a generous layer of loose powder under each eye — as close to the lash line as possible — before you start your eye makeup. This shield prevents eyeshadow, eyeliners and other eye makeup from bleeding onto the lower lash line. When your eye makeup is done, dust away the powder shield beneath your eyes, which will also take away any eyeshadow fallout. Neat!

4. Wear It Alone For Perfectly Buffed Skin

We know it’s a setting powder, but it also happens to be perfect for creating bare but airbrushed-looking skin. Skip foundation and use a touch of setting powder all over instead for soft, velvety skin that will both look and feel like a good-skin-day. This trick also fits right into our lazy WFH beauty routines. 

5. An SOS For Oily Eyelids

The perils of oily eyelids and awkward eyeshadow crescents! If you can’t keep your eyeshadow in place and can never get around to investing in an eyeshadow primer… Well you probably already had the eyeshadow insurance you needed all this while. Dust your setting powder over your eyelids to remove excess shine for a perfectly matte, more transfer-proof eyeshadow base! 

6. Create The Fluffy Lashes Of Your Dreams

Surprise! Whoever knew setting powder was a delightfully simple hack for plump, fluffy lashes? Before popping on mascara, dust a tiny amount of loose setting powder (we recommend using a much smaller brush for this) over your lashes. Then, apply your first coat of mascara and dust a little powder over your lashes again. Repeat the mascara-powder step until you reach your fluffy goals, although we think 2 – 3 rounds typically does the trick!

7. An Emergency Fix For Harsh Mistakes

Remember all the times you accidentally applied too much blush and felt like the only way to fix it was redoing your makeup? Shudders. The next time you go too heavy handed on blush/highlighter/bronzer (be it cream or powder), hold your makeup remover for setting powder instead. Simply dust a small amount over the area to tone it down and repeat until you achieve your desired look. We like this method of damage control because setting powder corrects, while also keeping your look smooth and natural. 

Our Pick: Meet Make Up For Ever’s New Fine-As-Air Ultra HD Setting Powder


From the makers of the iconic MUA-approved Ultra HD Finishing Loose Powder, Make Up For Ever presents its new microfine, light as air Ultra HD Setting Powder and Pro Puff for an unmatched finish. Designed to leave your skin perfectly matte and set in place for 24 hours, Make Up For Ever’s new setting powder is also developed for ultimate imperceptibility. No pasty, cakey finish. Just fresh, shine-free skin and all-day comfort. 

We’re guilty of chucking our compact powder puffs for brushes, but Make Up For Ever’s one is a keeper. The Ultra HD Pro Puff is a terrifically plush, flexible velour puff, in a teardrop shape for the most precise application yet. (Psst: It makes getting into all the oily areas — like around your nose — a breeze.) Best part? The new range also comes in a more inclusive shade spectrum with 6 skin-matching hues! 

Get set! Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Setting Powder (S$61) is now available in-stores at Sephora and online at

Psst: As part of Sephora’s ongoing Most Loved Faves Campaign (from now till 31 July 2021), receive a full-size Ultra HD Loose Powder with every purchase of the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation. While stocks last!

Take care,

Melisa Goh

Melisa Goh

up up and away


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