Best Setting Powders for Dark Skin

In a world where banana powder reigns supreme, one size actually does not fit all and you have plenty of options when it comes to locking in your makeup and making the most out of your highlight. I’ve asked around and browsed Youtube land in order to find the most loved loose setting powders that you can use for your highlight or your entire face.

Ben Nye Powder

When it was revealed some odd years ago that Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic used Ben Nye’s Banana Powder to set highlighted areas of her face, the beauty world went crazy and hasn’t recovered since. Granted, banana powder can look good on darker skin but only if used in smaller amounts and even then it still depends on your skin tone and undertones. If you use this I would recommend simply pressing the powder into the skin with a sponge in thin layers rather than piling it on all at once and baking with it. If you bake with this it’ll probably leave an ashy/grey cast and a bit of flashback and it’ll be harder to blend out.

For reference my skin tone is around an NW45-47 and I prefer to use Topaz as it’s warmer and a few shades darker. For a slightly more highlighted look, I like to layer Banana on top of Topaz so that it’s not too light. Shades like Sienna, Coco Tan, Beige Suede and Nutmeg are some of the few other colors that you can try for brightening your face a little that aren’t ashy and cool-toned like Banana. The best part about Ben Nye powders besides the wide range of colors, is how cheap they are! You can get samples from eBay to start off or you can buy some from Do not limit yourself to banana powder ladies, there’s hope and options for all of us.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($23-$38)

This powder is definitely a cult favorite and came out with a Medium-Deep version earlier this year for those of us with darker skin. Since the Medium-Deep shade is on the darker side, it won’t give you that highlighted look and brighten your makeup like the original translucent shade would. Instead, this will give a smooth finish with a natural look, so this shade is best if you’re not aiming for a bright under-eye look. You can also use it to set the rest of your face as it isn’t heavily pigmented and it helps with oil-control.

The translucent shade is great for those who want to brighten the highlighted areas of the face even for darker skin because it’s not a stark white. This color is more of an oatmeal, off-white color but as previously mentioned, with any translucent powder you want to be cautious and do thin layers to avoid heavy flashback and grey casts. No matter how perfect and colorless translucent powders may claim to be, just putting even a little too much on darker skin can give an ashy look really quick so you can’t be too generous with application.

Coty Airspun Powder ($23)

One of the most popular dark skinned youtubers, Nyma Tang, has praised this as her favorite setting powder of all time which is a big deal for someone with skin as deep as hers. This insanely affordable and universal translucent powder doesn’t give flashback and locks in concealer for a flawless look that lasts all day with no creasing.

NARS Velvet Loose Powder in Mountain ($37)

This versatile and airy powder comes in 8 different shades that can either be used to set makeup or on its on to give the skin a more softer and even look while helping to keep oil at bay. The shade Mountain is the lightest of the 3 darker shades that they have. It’s a warm medium beige color that’s perfect for helping to brighten up the under-eye area without being dramatic or too noticeable.

Erin Dyana – “Erin Dyana is a freelance writer with a focus on pop culture, criticisms, and beauty. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Urban Social TV, Wear Your Voice Magazine, Clementine Zine, and Philadelphia Print Zine. In her free time she likes to create art, watch films, read books, and eat everything in sight.”


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