Here’s A Surprising Substitute For Setting Powder

Setting powder is an essential last touch for your makeup look. Self calls it “low-key the superhero of your makeup collection,” and touts its benefits, especially for those of us with oily skin or living in hotter/more humid environments who are sick of watching our makeup slide off by the end of the workday. What if we’re meeting a friend for a drink after work? We’d rather look as fresh as we did at 9 o’clock this morning than re-apply a full face again. “Setting your makeup really means keeping everything looking flawless for as long as possible,” Sarah Lucero, Stila’s global executive director of creative artistry, told Self. “It’s like using a final mist of hairspray to hold your hair in its perfect ‘do.”

But my goodness can setting powder be expensive! Some brands charge up to $60. For a tiny container of powder? Come on now. The good news is there is a much cheaper way to “set and forget” your makeup look for the day, and you probably already have some in your house: baby powder. You might already use it to as dry shampoo. You may use it to keep your tennis shoes fresh or, of course, to keep your baby’s diapered bottom happy. And now here’s another way you can put this classic medicine cabinet staple to good use.

How to use baby powder as setting powder

We know what you might be thinking: baby powder? Weren’t there lawsuits over it being dangerous? Yes, but not all baby powders are created equal. For reference: 13,000 people sued Johnson & Johnson claiming that the company concealed its talc-based powder’s potential links to cancer. Not only did the company reportedly fail to disclose that the product contained trace amounts of asbestos between the 1970s and the 2000s, possibly resulting in mesothelioma, according to Reuters, but science is still debating whether long-term use of talc near the female reproductive organs can cause ovarian cancer. As such, talc-based baby powders are not recommended for regular use, but thankfully, many baby powders are made with other ingredients, as noted by Parents.com.

BestProducts.com lists the best nine talc-free baby powders, and on the list are Burt’s Bees Natural Dusting Powder, Nature’s Baby Organics Silky Dusting Powder, and Era Organics Honeybuns Baby Powder. Often the base of the powder in talc-free products is cornstarch, which, incidentally, is also the main ingredient in bareMinerals Mineral Veil setting powder (except baby powder comes in a much larger package). In order to use the powder to set your makeup, simply pour a little powder into a small dish, swirl a large powder brush into it, knock off the excess by tapping the brush a few times on the corner of the dish, and swirl lightly over your face, especially focusing on potential smudge areas like the T-zone and your under-eyes. 

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