Blotting Powder vs. Blotting Paper: Which Works Better?

Erin Jahns

Tomayto, tomahto. Potayto, potahto. Blotting powder vs. blotting papers. What's the difference? Well, when it comes to purpose, there really isn't one. Regardless of name and pronunciation, a tomayto and a tomahto are the exact same thing. And though blotting powder and blotting papers do differ in physical form, they tackle one and the same problem: the unwanted oil that has a knack for creeping into our creases as soon as the clock strikes noon.

But the two monikers are slightly confusing. After all, there are so many powder-based products on the market—finishing powders, setting powders, etc. So why add another one to the mix? And why bestow it with a name so similar to blotting papers: a product that has served us well, thus far? (We've been toting the addictive sheets in our bags since the earliest, oiliest days of puberty.)

To be honest, there isn't an earth-shattering difference between blotting papers and powders. And after trying almost every formulation there is, trust me when I say it largely comes down to personal preference. However,  if we're going to split hairs, blotting powder is typically known for its totally translucent (or virtually) undetectable tint and a specifically designed formulation to nix oil and grease, presenting a diffused, poreless complexion, instead. Let's call it the more stable sister to finishing powders and the less detectable cousin to setting varieties. 

Blotting papers, on the other hand, come in a package and are known and loved for their midday convenience: zero mess and zero detectable finish—simply sopping up the oil and leaving nothing in its place. So, we're sorry to disappoint, but when it comes to blotting powder vs. blotting paper, there isn't a right answer—it completely comes to personal preference, and what works best for your daily makeup aesthetic. However, we did think it would be nice to share six of our favorite products. Blotting powder vs. blotting paper: Here are three of each that we think are best in class when it comes to banishing oil. 

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