Setting powders come in two basic forms - loose setting powders and compressed setting powders. Some people prefer pressed powder because they find it easier to use than the alternative, but it's really a matter of personal choice. Those with oily skin, or those who use a liquid foundation, usually prefer a loose powder like the wildly popular RCMA No-Color Powder.
Finishing powders are usually mostly translucent, like Ben Nye's popular Banana finishing powder, but can also be made to match your skin tone. Though they also come in both compressed and loose forms, finishing powders are more fine and softer in consistency than setting powders. If you are uncertain of which type of either powder is right for you, try them both and then decide!
Setting powder is designed to be used with your foundation. It helps to “set” or hold your foundation in place and prevent it from rubbing off. Setting powder can also help reduce the sticky feeling and shine that foundation often has after it is applied. Some women use setting powder to absorb excess oil and use it to touch up their makeup throughout the day. Others use setting powder instead of a powder foundation because setting powder is more sheer and looks more natural.
Finishing powder, on the other hand, is designed to be applied on top of setting powder and all other makeup. Women and makeup artists like using finishing powder because it helps make the skin look smoother by hiding pores and fine lines, especially on camera. You’ve probably seen those pictures of celebrities with white, spotchy faces. This is a typical case of someone using a finishing powder to set makeup rather than as an all over finish. Finishing powder usually isn’t used on a day-to-day basis, but often reserved for special occasions when a lot of pictures might be taken.
Understanding how to use the tools in your beauty kit is very important. Both setting powder and finishing powder can be used to create the smooth, healthy, youthful looking skin people love. The combination of using both can also add glowing undertones to your skin and help you make an impression!