Banana Vs. Translucent Powder: The Real Difference Between The Setting Products

Anyone who loves to play with makeup knows that setting your final look is important. Setting products will help you create every makeup style you want without having it run or ruined after only a few hours. You can use various setting products to help seal and lock your hard work into place. The two main categories of setting products are setting sprays and setting powders. Setting sprays are mists mostly filled with alcohol and water that add a glow or shine to your look, apart from keeping it in place. Setting powders are loose powders that absorb oil or shine and mattify your makeup style while preventing it from moving around. Your choice will depend on your desired look and your skin's needs.


Looking specifically at setting powders, various types on the market can be used for the same purpose of setting your makeup into place. These setting powders are usually banana powders, translucent powder, or pressed setting powder. Many tend to mistake banana and translucent powders for the same product, but they have various differences. Before choosing between banana and translucent powder, know their differences to select the best one for your skin.

They're used in different places

While, in general, banana and translucent powders are interchanged in makeup routines, they have key differences that can alter which one you choose at any given time. One of the main distinctions between these two setting products is that they are used in different zones. Both powders can be used all over, but the banana powder is best applied on top of concealer and dark spots. The unique tint of banana powder can help conceal these areas and add warmth to the skin instead of just setting looks. Unlike the translucent option, banana powder best adds more color to the skin and sets your makeup.


Because the translucent powders are mainly used to set your makeup in spots with excess oil, you can find that it's usually applied in the T-Zone. Although you can also place banana powders in this area, you will most likely remember banana powders as being used in other spots as part of your makeup routine's baking process. This baking process was done to help define areas and color-correct the skin. To bake, you would tend to apply the banana powder in areas that needed extra highlighting and defining. These could be anywhere from the under-eyes to the cheekbones.

They have distinct colors

The most obvious difference between the two setting products is their tints. As its name would explain, translucent powder is colorless in nature. While this product might appear white in the jar or when first applied, it is meant to be transparent when blended in and give no extra tint. Because of its white appearance, it's possible to find a white cast on your face under specific lighting. If not blended well or used in excess, you will even find a white cast on your face in photographs when used with flash. If you have a warmer skin tone, it can be harder to use translucent powder.


On the other hand, banana powder is known for its yellow or golden hue. Like a liquid color corrector, the yellow or golden tint acts as a color corrector for the skin by adding some warmth when applied. While the banana powder is ideal for those with warmer skin tones, those with neutral or colder skin tones may have trouble with the tinted powder. The banana powder could also leave a visible yellow or golden cast if not matched correctly with your skin tone.

Have different purposes and uses

As we saw earlier, these setting products can be used in different locations since they have alternate purposes. Even though they both set makeup looks, they each have beneficial elements. As Claire Talks Beauty mentions, banana powder can also help conceal fine lines and wrinkles. The texture of banana powder provides a silky surface that blurs and mattifies these lines and makes them easier to hide. Because of the yellow tint of banana powders, these products can make for the perfect color corrector for dark or blue under-eyes. This is based on color theory which proves that yellow can help cancel out blue tint.


The function of translucent powder is much more straightforward. Besides setting your makeup, this powder can mattify your skin, absorb excess oil and shine, and blur unwanted textures. You can also use translucent powder to help illuminate and brighten areas of your skin, but beware that this will cause a white cast if it's not blended correctly or if there is flash photography. If you want to add contrasting brightness to your face, the translucent powder will be the best product for you.

Can have various applications

Because these setting products can be used in diverse circumstances for various purposes, it's only natural that their textures are slightly different. Jenna Kristina, a makeup artist and U.S. brand ambassador for Maybelline New York, tells POPSUGAR, "Banana powder is more advanced than translucent powder because it illuminates, smoothes, and brightens all at once. It's mattifying and microfine, which means it won't sit in any fine lines or attach to any imperfections. It gives you that soft focus airbrush finish we all want." Because banana powder needs to not only set your makeup but cover fine lines and wrinkles, the formula is finer than translucent powder. The microfine texture of the banana powder means it has a more velvet application and texture than other setting powders.


Translucent powder helps to brighten and illuminate the skin but doesn't have as great of an ability to mask fine lines or wrinkles without creasing. You can always bake by leaving your translucent powder on for a few minutes, but it will feel much heavier on the skin. Translucent powders are also fine, but when compared to banana powder, they are heavier and thicker. This fine texture allows the translucent powder to illuminate the area with its white cast.

Banana powders are universal

Because banana powders and translucent powders have different tints, it does mean that some may find that they can't use the latter. If you have warm or neutral-toned skin, translucent powders can cause a white cast because of the contrast of colors. On the other hand, Banana powders can be more universal than translucent powders and fit many skin tones. Dermaflage explains that those with olive, golden, and yellow undertones will most benefit from a banana powder. Despite the yellow tint, the banana powder is universal and can flatter all skin tones.


Beauty lovers often look for banana powders to flatter and color-correct their skin tones by warming up their faces. If you need color correction or have the exact foundation shade, the translucent powder will mattify and set your makeup without further problem. Because it can be challenging to find your perfect shade of foundation or concealer, many find that banana powders are the ideal neutralizing option for them. However, it can darken or warm up your look if you apply too much product.