Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
As much as we love a liquid, high-impact foundation, some days just call for a simple, no-frills powder that we can brush on in a pinch. But the quest for the perfect powder foundation isn't exactly a new one, and time after time we find ourselves experimenting with formulas that leave our skin dry and cakey, rather than soft and glowing.
And now, we're officially drawing the line. We combed through the massive selection of drugstore powder foundations to not only prove top-notch formulas are out there, but that they don't have to make an indent on your bank account.
Here are the best drugstore powder foundations on the market today.
Best Overall: Maybelline SuperStay Full Coverage Powder Foundation
Powder foundations have a reputation for being bad news for dry skin. But this option from Maybelline will do no such thing. Its creamy texture won’t make skin feel more parched. Instead, it slides onto your skin and its silky feel makes it extra blendable, leaving a matte finish. Boasting the highest coverage possible for a powder foundation, it also is long-wear for up to 16 hours. Plus, there is a wide shade range, so you’ll certainly find your match.
Best Full Coverage: NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte Powder Foundation
NYX Professional Makeup's powder foundation comes in an impressive 25 shades—all of which work to leave skin with optimal coverage. Pat onto face using the included sponge for allover color, or sweep the product with a powder brush for a lighter look.
Best Budget: CoverGirl Simply Powder Foundation
This compact has earned its classic status: it covers like a liquid foundation but has the airiness of a powder. The oil-free formula is safe for even the most sensitive skin types and won’t clog pores. It delivers enough coverage to even out skin tone and masks imperfections.
Best Shade Range: L'Oréal True Match Super-Blendable Compact Makeup
With 30 shades on offer, this product offers something for all skin tones. And once it’s on your skin, it really does stay true to color. Whether you want a dusting of light color or full-on coverage, this powder foundation is super buildable and will deliver whatever you want, all without looking cakey. The powder formula has the same weightlessness and blendability of a liquid foundation, but the ease of on-the-go, courtesy of the compact that contains a mirror and applicator inside. Another bonus: it has SPF17 to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Best for Fair to Medium Skin: Milani Even Touch Powder Foundation
This powder foundation from drugstore staple Milani is available in three shades for fair to medium skin tones. Its oil-free formula is a lightweight powder that goes on easily—a mirror and sponge applicator are included—but once it's blended, it delivers the full-color coverage of a liquid foundation.
Best for Dark Skin: BLK/OPL True Color Ultra Matte Foundation Powder
Founded in 1994, BLK/OPL is the first technologically advanced, doctor-recommended, mass-market skincare and cosmetics line designed for women of color. This powder foundation is formulated for all skin types, providing buildable light-to-medium coverage while blurring any problem areas and evening tone. It comes in nine shades (Dark is the one shown here) and has a gorgeous matte finish that's perfect for all-day wear.
Most Versatile: Iman Second To None Luminous Foundation
Iman is nothing short of iconic—and so is her eponymous line of cosmetics, which was created with medium and dark skin tones in mind. This sheer mineral powder foundation, which contains vitamin E, is one of the brand's most popular (not to mention versatile) offerings. It can be used wet or dry: For sheer to medium coverage, blot it on with a dry sponge, or for medium to full coverage, smooth it over your skin with a wet sponge.