Every makeup artist I consulted seemed to agree that the best way to apply powder is with a powder puff or a small/medium powder brush. “After applying and blending all your wet products, such as foundation, concealer, and cream contour, make sure there are no creases then gently pat the setting powder into the skin,” Talias explains. “My favorite way to apply setting powder is with a triangle powder puff.”
Gabbay also has a few more tips. “If you’re looking for a light set, try using a small, tapered dome brush and dust powder just in the center of the face. Think center of the forehead, under the eyes, and chin. This technique will leave skin looking as natural as possible, leaving the outer parts of the face dewy. If you tend to get a little shinier throughout the day and want to lock in your foundation, use a powder puff. This will give you the most coverage and prevent shine from peeking through. Work your setting powder into your puff, tapping any excess on the back of your hand. Push the powder into the skin in a patting motion, making sure to never drag or pull as it will disturb the product underneath.”
For each MUA’s setting powder picks, keep scrolling—they have recs for every skin type.