What Are Ben Nye Setting Powders?
Ben Nye Setting Powders consist of a versatile array of formulas and shades that allow artists to create matte complexions, match or adjust foundation tone, limit the effects of sweat and oil from the skin on makeup, and reduce visible texture.
Our original Classic formulations have been utilized by makeup artists since the beginning of our company for stage, screen, and beauty applications. With the advancement of the digital era, we created the Luxury Powders to meet the demands of high definition technology.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the differences between all of our loose setting powders, how to use them, and what shade is best for your skin tone. Once you’re done reading, find a Ben Nye retailer to stock up on a new favorite or the one that’s always had you covered.
Luxury Powders, most known by our versatile Banana shade, are a series of silky-tinted loose face powders. These powders veil the face in a layer of pigments that add buildable sheer layers of color and contribute to a clean and refined complexion. Luxury Powders come in a range of tones that can be used alone, mixed, or paired together. The silica-based powder formula offers ultimate control over the complexion by smoothing visible texture on the skin and allowing light to blend seamlessly across the face.
Luxury Powders break down into two overarching color categories, Bella, and Mojave. Our Bella series covers shade options for all ultra light to medium skin tones with pink, neutral, and golden undertones. The Mojave series consists of shades that work beautifully on medium to the deepest of skin tones, and includes options for warm, olive, brown, and cool undertones.
These shades are available in kit-friendly sizes as 1.5 & 3oz bottles, as well as .92 oz. Dome Jars.
Classic Face Powders
Classic Face Powders originated in the theatrical environment, which generally requires more contrast between shades to create a more visibly defined complexion from the stage. These powders are designed with endurance and durability in mind, allowing them to hold up to the high demands of performance artists. That being said, shades like Fair, Chestnut, Sienna, and Ebony can be worn comfortably and elegantly in beauty and everyday application.
Classic Powders include versatile tones that can also help achieve specific stylistic techniques. Our Super White Setting Powder contains white pigments which prove to be essential in the creation of clown, character, and fantasy makeup characters. Pretty Pink was originally designed to provide an over-the-top hyper feminine look to any character. Coco Tan instantly adds warmth to the skin, making it easy to create vivid complexions on a range of skin tones that stand up to stage lighting.
Classic Face Powders come in a range of sizes including 0.9 oz. shaker bottles and a number in 8oz jar options, as they are frequently used in greater volumes.
No Pigment Powders
These powders contain no pigments and are designed to seamlessly mattify complexions of any shade without changing the tone of the skin underneath. Their translucency makes them ideal options for setting colorful makeup designs that you might find in face painting, drag, theatre, or cosplay.
Neutral Set Powder has been an essential product for makeup artists of all genres for generations. Neutral Set is our classic translucent powder and has properties that control perspiration, making it a beloved choice for performers of all kinds.
Colorless Luxury Powder is designed to achieve the same purpose, but is best suited for use in glamour or elevated makeup styles in digital media. The silky texture of this Luxury Powder helps provide a soft finish to any skin tone.
The HD Matte Powder is our specialty no pigment ultra-light finishing powder that controls oil and creates a micro-fine film across the face for use in high-definition media like film and broadcast television.
If you need one setting powder in your kit, choosing any of these will serve you will for just about any project.
When and Where To Use
Our setting powders are beloved for their usefulness in an abundance of makeup fields.
Luxury Powders broadly benefit bridal, beauty, film, and editorial makeup styles. For makeup applications that will be featured in digital media, be viewed up close and therefore require a texture focused formula, or call for a precise color match, utilize our Luxury Powder shade options or HD Matte Powder.
We most frequently see our Classic Face Powders used in the theatrical, performance, drag, character, and fantasy makeup genres. They prove beneficial here for durability, heavier applications, and sweat & oil prevention.
The genre of your makeup application doesn’t limit you from using one powder over another. Determine the ideal powder for your makeup application by assessing the challenges your specific environment calls for.
For a simple application use a fluffy brush or puff and grace the face with a dusting of powder to reduce the presence of oil on the skin and set foundations.
Dispense the desired amount of loose powder onto a tissue or flat surface. Using a full, soft powder brush, like our PA-151, apply powder on top of foundation to set and mattify the complexion. Apply a light dusting for a soft finish or use liberally to enhance the tone of the complexion.
Sprinkle powder generously onto a Velour Powder Puff. Fold puff in half and rub sides together briskly to “load” puff, allowing powder to settle between layers. Press puff onto skin to set makeup. Tap puff lightly onto the palm to release more powder to the surface as you are working.
A softer application of these powders can also be used to diffuse blush, contour, and eye shadow shades giving artists complete control over the opacity of their color application. A simple approach to setting makeup will generally be used in softer and basic beauty makeup applications.
Our Classic & Luxury Powders have both become industry standards for a technique called “baking” – a process by which excess loose powder is placed underneath the eyes to protect the complexion from eye shadow fallout, locking foundation in place, and creating contrast if desired.
Apply powder by loading up a powder puff or sponge with excess loose powder and pressing it underneath the eyes. Allow the powder to set into the foundation throughout the eye shadow application, or leave powder for several minutes to build shade opacity and create a multidimensional complexion.
After the baking process has set into the skin, excess powder can be brushed away to reveal a glamorous face. Shades can be paired together and baked in strategic areas of the face to create sculpted and defined features.
By baking powder into the skin, artists can create strong contrast in the face. Generally, to brighten the center of the face, a lighter shade of powder that matches the undertone of the skin can be baked throughout the t-zone. This technique originated in the classic theatrical and drag environment, progressed into the glamour and celebrity makeup worlds, and has now become a regular process of many people’s daily makeup practices.
Shades frequently utilized for baking are our classic Neutral Set Powder, Super White, Pretty Pink, Fair, and Coco Tan. Luxury Powders often used for baking are Colorless, Rose Petal, Cameo, Banana Light, Banana, Topaz, and Dolce shades.
Mix powders together prior to application to create custom blends of shades and characteristic details. For example, Colorless Luxury Powder mixed with Super White Setting Powder will provide artists with an HD-compatible white powder that provides a smooth and refined finish. For skin that is excessively oily, Neutral Set Powder can be added into any powder shade.
- Universally applicable powder that is truly transparent on any skin tone and undertone. Mix with other powders to soften shades.
- For fair to light skin tones with golden undertones.
- Works well with the lighter shades of our Cine (CE), and International (IS) Matte HD foundation series.
- Use as a highlighting baking powder for light skin tones.
- For light to medium skin tones with golden undertones.
- Works well with our Cine (CE) foundation shades, and lighter Shinsei (SH) Matte HD foundation series, as well as our Banana Creme Highlight.
- Use it as a baking powder to highlight golden and olive skin tones.
- For fair to light skin tones with neutral beige undertones.
- Works well with the lighter shades from our Bella (BEL), Soft Beige (BE), and Beige Natural (BN) Matte HD foundation series, as well as the Ultra Lite Creme Highlight.
- Use as a highlight baking powder for neutral skin tones.
- For fair to light skin tones with pink or rosy undertones.
- Works well with the lighter shades of our Modern Media (MM), and Ciniora (CN) Matte HD foundation series, as well as the Porcelain creme highlight.
- Use as a baking highlighter powder on light skin tones to create a porcelain glow.
- For light to medium skin tones with neutral beige undertones.
- Works well with the mid-range shades from our Bella (BEL), Soft Beige (BE), and Beige Natural (BN), and Matte HD foundation series. Buff also works well with shades from our Classic Matte series, EB-1 Naturelle, Naturelle Buff EB-6, N-1 Fair, and N-3 Buff.
- For medium skin tones with neutral beige undertones.
- Works well with the deeper end of our Bella (BEL), Soft Beige (BE), and Beige Natural (BN) Matte HD foundation series.
- Can be used to add soft definition to fair or light neutral skin tones.
- For light to medium skin tones with warm undertones.
- Works well with lighter shades from our Mojave (MH) Matte HD Foundation series.
- Use as a baking powder for highlighting deep skin tones with warm undertones.
- For light to medium skin tones with golden undertones.
- Ideal for use with the lightest shades of our Mojave (MH) and Sahara (SA) Matte HD Foundation series.
- Use as a baking setting powder for highlighting medium to deep skin tones with golden undertones.
- For medium skin tones with brown undertones.
- This balanced shade works well with medium shades from our Sahara (SA) and Natural Olive (NO) Matte HD Foundation series.
- Use as a highlight baking powder for deep brown skin tones.
- For medium to deep skin tones with olive undertones.
- Works well with our Shinsei (SH), Olive Beige (OB), and the deeper shades of our International (IS) Matte HD Foundation series.
- Can be used to add soft and diffused contours to light olive skin tones.
- For medium to deep skin tones with neutral brown undertones.
- Works well with mid-range shades from our Sahara (SA), Bamboo (BO), and various Mojave (MH) series.
- Can be used to add soft definition to light brown skin tones.
- For deep skin tones with warm undertones.
- Works well with the deeper half of our Sahara (SA) and Mojave (MH) Matte HD Foundation series.
- Can be used to add warmth to the deepest skin tones with cool undertones.
- For the deepest skin tones with cool or blue undertones.
- Works well with the deepest end of our Sahara (SA), and Mojave (MH) Matte HD Foundation series.
- Can be mixed with any of the other shades of Mojave Luxury Powders to provide depth and coolness to any shade.
- Truly colorless, mattifies any skin tone without altering the shade of the complexion.
- Helps limit the amount of sweat and oil that affects makeup.
- Works well with any of our creme colors or foundations.
- A pigmented white powder that brightens complexions and intensifies white creme color bases.
- Can be mixed with other light to medium shades of setting powder to brighten the color.
- Use as a baking powder for highlighting stage, drag, and character makeup.
- Works well with Clown White, Clown White Lite, and White (P-1) Creme Foundation
- For setting complexions that range from a fairest to medium skin tones with neutral beige undertones.
- Works well with the lighter half of our Contemporary Theatre Creme Foundation series, as well as Proscenium (P) series shades Fairest (P-41), Ultra Beige (P-42), and Alabaster (P-43).
- Bake over blushes and contour shades to diffuse color intensity.
- For setting complexions that range from fairest to light skin tones with pink or rosy undertones.
- Works well with our Lite (L) Creme Foundation series, as well as Proscenium (P) shades Ballet White (P-022), Pure Ivory (P-023), Porcelain (P-024), and Lite Pink (P-2).
- Can be used as a baking highlighting powder to brighten the complexion and give a porcelain glow to the complexion.
- For setting medium skin tones with warm or ruddy undertones.
- This powder can also be used as a highlight powder by baking into deeper skin tones with warm undertones.
- Works well with our Medium (M), Tan (T) Creme Foundation series.
- For deep skin tones with olive undertones.
- This powder works well with our Maple (MA) series, and Medium (M) shade Medium Tan (M-3).
- Can be used to add soft definition to light to medium skin tones with golden or olive undertones.
- For setting foundations on deep skin tones with warm or ruddy undertones.
- Works well with the deeper end of our Maple (MA) Creme Foundation series.
- Use it as a baking highlight powder for the deepest skin with cool undertones to bring warmth to the face.
- For use on the deepest skin tones with blue or cool undertones.
- This deeply tinted face powder works well with the deepest end of our Maple (MA) Creme Foundations, and Proscenium shade Dark Coco (P-8).
- Can be used to add diffused contours on deep skin tones with warm or ruddy undertones.