Best Setting Powders, Blushers & Highlighters – Zula Beauty Awards 2019
Once you’ve perfected your makeup base, you’ll notice an even complexion, but you may also feel a little bare. Here’s where setting powders, blushers and highlighters step in. They lock our foundation down, lend a touch of colour and add a glow to our faces when we look and feel tired.
For Zula’s first-ever Beauty Awards, we were on the lookout for lightweight formulas to add a healthy flush of colour and luminosity, all while being able to last in Singapore’s humid weather.
Presenting our judges’ picks of the 9 best setting powders, blushers and highlighters launched over the past year.
A setting powder that’s made without talc, Hourglass’ formula contains light-reflecting diamond powder, which blurs imperfections to conceal large pores. The sifter dispenses an adequate amount of powder, so you’ll never cake on too much product.
Social media influencer Chevonne Cheng awarded it 5 out of 5 “for the brilliant packaging—no pumping/tilting is needed to get the powder out. The pigment is super fine and can be easily buffed into skin for an airbrushed effect without accentuating dry skin.”
Kat Von D’s setting powder is a silky, non-drying formula that’s 30% lighter in comparison to most on the market. The Micro-Blurring Technology™ diffuses pores for a matte finish that doesn’t look chalky. It won’t create flashback too, so your complexion won’t look ashy in photos.
Makeup artist Dollei Seah loved its “nice, soft matte” texture, while hair and makeup artist Christian Maranion felt that the “finely milled product gets into every nook and cranny of the skin to give it the illusion of a smoother finish.”
Anna Sui Brightening Face Powder ($28 for case only, $42 for powder only)
Anna Sui’s powder is loaded with vitamin C, an active ingredient that helps brighten the skin. Apply it under or over your makeup for a velvety smooth finish that lasts all day. It can also be used at night as the final step in your skincare regimen to boost radiance and luminosity.
Makeup artist Cheryl Ow said, “The packaging is very pretty. It makes you want to do a touch-up even when it’s not necessary. This powder refines the look of your skin with its brightening properties and is also very soft to the touch.”
A long-wear powder blush, Laura Mercier’s buildable cheek colour swipes on sheer and smooth for a natural, healthy flush. From soft neutral to vivid shades and matte to pearl finishes, the blushers in this series look flattering on most skin tones and types.
Zula’s Video Producer Cheryl Chiew said, “From the pan, I thought it was going to make me look like a clown, but the shade ‘Grapefruit’ is actually very flattering. It goes on quite sheer and makes me look healthier.”
Chantecaille Philanthropy Cheek Shade ($40 at Takashimaya D.S.)
A cruelty-free formula, Chantecaille’s blush is made without animal, lanolin or mineral derivatives. These cheek colours are made with micro-particles that blend into the skin seamlessly for a light veil of radiance.
Christian said the shade ‘Grace’ has “beautiful pigment. I did not require a lot of product to achieve a flush of colour.” Cheryl Ow echoed Christian’s thoughts on ‘Grace’, and liked the blush’s “pretty coral tone with gold overtones. Perfect for a sun-kissed look.”
Urban Decay’s 6-pan palette contains 3 highlighters and 3 blushes, so you can use them individually or mix them for a custom glow-up. The soft, finely-milled formulas blend easily and last 8 hours.
Dollei said the palette of colours and textures can be easily mixed, while Cheryl Ow liked that it “has a good combination of blushers and highlighters with a very soft texture that is easy to apply. I also liked the lightweight packaging.”
A long-wear cream-powder hybrid, Fenty Beauty’s highlighter duo comes in unique shades to flatter all skin tones. These luminisers are incredibly pigmented and give the skin an intense metallic finish.
Swipe it on your cheekbones, eyes, collarbone and anywhere you wish to add a touch of light. Cheryl Ow said, “This has a soft, almost creamy texture that has great colour payoff. It catches the light beautifully.”
L’Oréal Paris’ multi-use dual stick adds colour and light to sculpt and highlight the skin. Apply the champagne colour on one end to your cheekbones for a healthy, golden glow, and reach for the shimmery lilac if you’re feeling a tad extra.
Cheryl Chiew liked the stick formula as it was “easy to carry around and apply. Plus, you get 2 shades for the price of one. You’re not going to get a crazy metallic sheen but it’s very pretty when the colour shifts in the light. It’s good for those who are new to makeup.”
Maybelline’s highlighting powder contains pearl pigments that give the skin a molten metallic sheen. Using a brush or your fingers, sweep the product onto your cheekbones, brow bones and down the bridge of your nose for a seamless glow.
Chevonne said it’s a “gorgeous highlighter for Asian skin tones, and it’s comparable to popular high-end ones like Becca.” Cheryl Chiew noticed it left a “nice and subtle shimmer to my skin that looked fresh. Good for creating the ‘no makeup’ makeup look.”
Zula’s 2019 Beauty Awards: Setting Powders, Blushers & Highlighters
For our first-ever Beauty Awards, our panel of judges tested notable setting powders, blushers and highlighters launched or reformulated within the past 12 months. Go ahead and update your collection with the best-performing products to look like you’ve had 8 hours of beauty sleep.