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We Tried Dozens of Drugstore Powders—These Are the 5 Best (and They’re All Under $15!)

They deliver results just as impressive as their pricier counterparts.
By Hana Hong
April 07, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

I'll be completely honest: I'm a dewy skin kind of girl. Dry skin and flaky patches are my biggest skincare woes, so I've usually stayed away from powders like the plague. That is, until I recently revisited powders and realized that the latest formulas are silkier (and actually glowier?) than ever. Turns out it is possible for powders to do their job and be completely undetectable on your face (read: won't accentuate dry skin). So if you're wary of powder for fear of pilling makeup and chalky skin—hey, I like a natural look, too—don't be. I scoured the market to find the ones that lock makeup in place, blur over fine lines, and make your pores look super small. And the best part? They're all available at the drugstore for a bargain—in case you're still skeptical and want to experiment without spending a fortune.

best-drugstore-powder-Flower Beauty Light Illusion Powder

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Flower Beauty Light Illusion Powder

$14, ulta.com

This thing legit makes your skin look like it's wearing a beauty filter. If you’re aware of the amazing finish that is Flower Beauty’s Light Illusion Foundation (and if you’re not, you should try it stat), this pressed compact is the powder version with the same soft focus technology. The formula contains blurring pigments with buildable coverage for smoother skin in just one swipe. 

best-drugstore-powder-No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Translucent Finishing Powder

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No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Translucent Finishing Powder

$13, target.com

Sick of supposedly “translucent” powders leaving a white or gray cast? Even though some setting powders say they're universal on all skin tones, we all know that's definitely not true. That’s why this line comes in a range of shades for dark and light skin tones that blend in like a dream.

best-drugstore-powder-Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle Blurring Pressed Powder

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Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle Blurring Pressed Powder

$17, ulta.com

We all love makeup with a skincare benefit. Sensitive skin sufferers need not worry because this powder is free of a lot of the ingredients that can stress out your skin (read: fragrances and sulfates). Add the fact that it contains vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, and you’ll feel a lot less guilty about “accidentally” sleeping in your makeup. 

best-drugstore-powder-Maybelline SuperStay Full Coverage Powder Foundation

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Maybelline SuperStay Full Coverage Powder Foundation

$12, ulta.com

Want a powder that also serves as your foundation? Dab this on wherever you want more coverage—not only will it cover any imperfections, it’ll prevent a midday oil attack and keep shine to a minimum without making you look dull or dry.

best-drugstore-powder-e.l.f. Cosmetics Halo Glow Setting Powder

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e.l.f. Cosmetics Halo Glow Setting Powder

$8, ulta.com

Yes, it is possible for a setting powder to be glowy. If you have dry skin and want to set your makeup while still looking radiant (hi, me), apply a light dusting of this over your face for a dreamy, blurring, soft-focus finish. Finely milled synthetic sapphire particles bestow a camera-ready Photoshop finish.