How to Use Banana Powder, According to Makeup Artists

December 12, 2023
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | by L'Oréal
Collage of banana powders on a graphic background

Whether you watched hours of makeup tutorials on YouTube during the height of the beauty vlogger era in the 2010s, or you’re a frequent consumer of BeautyTok now, you’ve probably heard about banana powder, the light yellow setting powder responsible for bright under-eyes and smooth, doll-like skin. Once used exclusively by professional makeup artists, banana powder is becoming a staple in more and more regular beauty lovers’ makeup routines. Despite its popularity, there can be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to application.

Below, we turned to celebrity makeup artists Andrea DiSabatino and Elaina Badro to help decode banana powder. 

What Is Banana Powder?

Banana powder is a multi-use powder that has a subtle yellow tint. “It helps to set makeup, reduce shine and color-correct, particularly in areas like the under-eye area,” says DiSabatino. “The yellow tone is designed to counteract redness and create a radiant finish on the skin.” 

Like translucent powder, banana powder comes in both loose and pressed formats. “I think every professional and makeup enthusiast should include banana powder in their kit or personal bag,” says DiSabatino. “It undoubtedly contributes to a flawless finish, and eliminates color correction steps for those less familiar with the process.”

What Does Banana Powder Do?

Banana powder is primarily used for brightening and color-correcting, especially when it comes to counteracting redness and blue-ish shadows under the eyes. “Additionally, it works wonderfully as a setting powder, absorbing oil too,” says Badro. 

“Banana powder is particularly effective for medium to deep skin tones,” says DiSabatino. “Its yellow undertone helps neutralize redness and adds a brightening effect without leaving a white cast.” Badro adds that banana powder tends to work best on those with olive, golden and yellow undertones. Those with cool or pink undertones may want to opt for a translucent, lavender or blush-tinted setting powder instead.

How to Apply Banana Powder

How to Bake With Banana Powder

You can apply banana powder with a brush, sponge or power puff. “Brushes offer a more diffused application, while sponges can provide a more controlled and targeted approach,” says DiSabatino. “I particularly like a triangular powder puff.” Below she explains how to use a puff for a dramatic brightening technique known as baking

Step 1: Dip Your Sponge in the Powder

Dip the corner of the puff or sponge in a loose banana powder, then press the powder into the desired area. “A little trick is to let it sit for a few minutes to really set the powder,” says DiSabatino. The longer you let the powder sit, the brighter the area will appear.

Step 2: Dust Off the Excess Powder

After you’ve let the powder sit for a few minutes, dust off the excess product with a large, fluffy brush. To make the powder appear more seamless and lock in the rest of your makeup, you can finish by misting your face with a setting spray, like the NYX Professional Makeup Marshmallow Setting Spray

How to Set With Banana Powder

If you prefer a more diffused, allover brightening effect, simply dip a large powder brush into the banana powder, tap off the excess product and swirl it across your face or in targeted areas. Badro recommends the Elaina Badro Powder Brush, which helps evenly distribute the powder for a smooth, non-cakey finish. The tapered bristles also allow you to brighten key areas like the under-eyes.

The Best Banana Powders

Maybelline New York Lasting Fix Banana Setting Powder

This setting powder is readily available at drugstores and has a brightening, smoothing finish that rivals powders from luxury brands. Its finely milled consistency is easy to brush on without cakiness and offers a soft-focus, blurring effect.

Maybelline New York Lasting Fix Banana Setting Powder

NYX Professional Makeup HD Finishing Powder Pressed Setting Powder

The subtle yellow tint of this pressed powder is light enough for fair skin tones and will offer a serious brightening effect on tan to deep skin tones. Ideal for brightening dark spots and the under-eye area, reviewers also rave that the formula helps mattify their complexion and keep shine in check all day.

NYX Professional Makeup HD Finishing Powder Pressed Setting Powder

HUDA BEAUTY Easy Bake Loose Baking & Setting Powder

This loose powder comes recommended by DiSabatino. It’s available in four shades of yellow, from a rich marigold shade ideal for deep skin tones (Kunafa) to a pale buttermilk that will flatter fair complexions (Pound Cake). It’s non-comedogenic, oil-absorbing and won’t cause flashback in photos. There’s also a travel-size version that comes with an attached powder puff, which is perfect for on-the-go touch-ups.

HUDA BEAUTY Easy Bake Loose Baking & Setting Powder

LYS Beauty Triple Fix Setting Powder

Keep excess oil at bay and brighten up your under-eyes with this lightweight, finely milled pressed powder. Formulated with niacinamide, green tea extract and sodium hyaluronate, it gives skin a matte finish without appearing overly drying or cakey. Plus, it glides easily over texture, giving you smoother, more airbrushed-looking skin.

LYS Beauty Triple Fix Setting Powder
Visual Designer: Juliana Campisi

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