Powder foundations are beloved because they are both powders and foundations in one, they're portable and they provide more or less coverage depending if you add a bit of water to them. Apply in the morning, stick the compact in your purse for refreshers during the day and voilá! You're set for the day. We spoke with celebrity makeup artist Hailey Hoff to get all the details and expert tips on powder foundations.
Meet the Expert
Hailey Hoff is a celebrity-favorite makeup artist who's clients include Charli D’Amelio, Ashley Tisdale, Noah Cyrus, Tinx, Stassi Shroeder and more.
Check out the best powder foundations for a glowing complexion, ahead.
If you care about putting only organic, natural products on your skin, mineral makeup is a great bet. Minerals are great for sensitive skin because the makeup is made of organic, fragrance-free ingredients. You don't have to worry that you're putting on skin ingredients that were created in a lab.
This particular powder foundation from Neutrogena gets high ratings on the review websites. It's inexpensive but acts like a more expensive powder by providing full and long-lasting coverage. Users love how they can build it up for more coverage.
Like most foundation powders, Palladio's foundation can be applied dry for a light finish or with a wet sponge for fuller coverage. You'll love the compact, which, though a bit bulky, does split into 2 separate sections — one for the powder and one for the sponge. The sponge section has holes that allow it to breathe.
The word on the street is this is an excellent powder foundation for those with normal skin and skin sensitivities (rosacea, allergies to talc) but not so great for those with bad acne or major skin discolorations they want to cover up.
It evens out skin tone, gives skin a lovely glow, won't accentuate dry skin or large pores and if you have oily skin it will keep down the oil production for a few hours (use rice blotting papers if your skin does get oily). If you have dry skin, always use a moisturizer or foundation primer first. It's a great mid-level price point, too.
MAC Studio Fix is perfect for people with oily skin who want to minimize the appearance of large pores. And Hoff agrees, "Powder foundations are definitely more on the matte side so it would be for someone with more of an oily skin type."
The trick with Studio Fix is to find the right shade for your skin tone. And keep in mind, you may need 2 different shades for the different seasons of the year — most people are usually a bit darker in summer.
A classic mineral foundation powder, bareMinerals has been around for a long time now. This powder comes in 12 shades. It gives you all the flawless coverage you want with a no-makeup look and feel that should last up to 8 hours. The creamy minerals diminish the appearance of imperfections without drying out skin. The groundbreaking formula is clinically proven to promote clearer, healthier-looking skin.
Laura Mercier is known for making great foundations and her foundation powder is no exception. You can get more coverage by applying it wet with a sponge or less coverage by applying it dry with a foundation makeup brush. Makeup reviewers claim it blends well, has great staying power and is build-able — meaning you can build up how much coverage you want. This product is particularly great for oily skin. If you have dry skin, we recommend applying a moisturizer or foundation primer on skin first, otherwise, this product can make your skin appear dry and scaly.
Chanel's best-selling powder foundation is an investment, and it's also one of Hoff's favorites. She recommends that you apply it with the Airbrush Brush ($42) by Charlotte Tilbury for a flawless finish.
It will leave you with an airbrushed, glowy, yet smooth finish. This comes in 15 shades and SPF 10, which is rather low, so we advise using a sunscreen under it.
This mineral makeup is pricey, but from what the reviewers are saying, it's well worth the money. This pressed base goes on beautifully, won't settle into fine lines and wrinkles and leaves one looking rather air-brushed and gorgeous. One downside is you may need to layer on a few applications to get the desired effect and this means you can run out of your fancy powder within a couple months.
If you're looking for a multi-tasking powder, this one is it. It can act as a stand-alone foundation, a setting powder for your liquid foundation, and a blotting powder to get rid of pesky shiny spots. The best part? It has a non-cakey, natural skin-like finish that works with oily and dry skin types alike.
Fenty Beauty's powder offering is all in the name — it really gives you a soft, matte look that lasts all day. You can use one layer for a barely there finish, or go for a full coverage look with multiple layers. Don't worry, it's not cakey at all. And it comes in 40 shades, so you're sure to find the perfect match for you.
This powder is the perfect marriage between makeup and skincare, It's formulated with ingredients like bamboo stem extract, passion-fruit leaf extract, and Chinese peony that work together to eliminate shine and blue pores. It has a silky, mousse-like texture that gives your skin a lush, lightweight wash of color for those days Zoom-heavy WFH days.
We'd expect nothing less than perfection from MUA Patrick Starrr and this powder foundation definitely delivers. This matte, medium coverage option blurs your skin with a photoshop-like precision, thanks to ingredients like rice silk powder. It has a 12 hour wear time and can also be used to set makeup or get rid of mid-day shine.