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Everything needs a finishing touch, and that includes your makeup. In this case, that’s a dusting of powder. Sweeping on pressed powder is ideal for maintaining your makeup and keeping shine at bay. The best ones can do a lot more, such as delivering an Instagram-esque filter to your face to blur imperfections like fine lines and wrinkles, evening out skin tone, bringing on the radiance, and adding skin-loving ingredients. But the wrong ones can feel thick on your skin and suffocate it, get cakey, give a flashback in photos, or give you pancake face and make it super obvious that you’re wearing powder in the first place. We don’t want any of that! That’s why we rounded up the best in the pressed powder category. These are the top pressed powders that will keep your skin fresh and shine-free.
Best Overall: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish
Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Finish is a favorite pressed powder for many celebrity makeup artists for its ability to hug the skin, giving a second-skin effect. Super lightweight, it never gets chalky, weighs down the skin, or even look like you’re wearing powder. The microfine powder has nanoparticles that bring a soft focus for a blurring effect, erasing imperfections and lines to give you perfect skin. It features breathable technology to keep skin fresh, delivering a radiant glow. Skin stays hydrated all day thanks to rose wax and almond oil, which also allow for smooth application.
Best Budget: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder
You won’t have to worry about this powder giving up on you—it lasts for a whopping 16 hours. It leaves skin looking poreless and matte, thanks to its blurring micro-powders and Perlite Mineral technology, respectively. Since it is excellent at zapping shine, it’s ideal for normal to oily skin. The coverage is buildable, so you can create your own look, whether you want to wear it solo or over foundation.
Best Drugstore Option: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Powder
Melting makeup is a real concern, especially for those with oily skin, but L'Oreal’s Infallible Pro-Matte Powder will stop it in its tracks. It works for 16 hours to absorb excess oil and shine, leaving skin with a matte finish. The lightweight, long wear powder can be worn alone for medium coverage, to set foundation to last all day, or used over the course of the day for touch-ups.
Best for Oily Skin: Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder
When you have oily skin, keeping your T-zone in check is a daily struggle. But, Clinique’s Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder is up to the task. The oil-free formula absorbs shine and delivers sheer coverage with a matte finish. You can even use it to treat oily spots, and it’ll still look and feel like you just applied it, even after multiple touch-ups. Dermatologist and allergy tested, non-acnegenic, and 100% fragrance free, it’s safe for sensitive skin, and works well on dry and combination skin as well.
Best for Dry Skin: Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder
Pressed powder can be tough for dry skin, since it can settle into fine lines and rough patches, and make your skin look even more thirsty. But Bobbi Brown’s Sheer Finish Pressed Powder is infused with Vitamin E to smooth skin and provide comfortable wear. The sheer, 100 percent oil-free pressed powder has a universal yellow base that works with all skin tones. Oil-absorbing, it adds the flawless finishing touch to your makeup.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: MAC Blot Pressed Powder
Acne prone skin also tends to be oily prone skin. And when you try to pile on powder to cover up breakouts and keep shine at bay, it gets cakey fast. Luckily, MAC’s Blot Pressed Powder goes on sheer with a barely there color and texture, plus it has a natural matte finish so that it never looks like the powder is wearing you. It’s great as the final touch to your makeup or for touch ups.
Best for Combination Skin: Make Up For Ever Pressed Powder
Having combination skin means you have to deal with both oiliness and dryness, and Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Microfinishing Pressed Powder can tackle both. It reduces shine with silica and micronized pigments that leave a natural-looking matte finish and its non-drying formula keeps skin hydrated. Every skin tone looks flawless with its blurring and light-diffusing features, plus it smooths over fine lines and wrinkles. It’ll look invisible in any light. It’s available in three shades: Translucent for light to medium skin, Banana for medium to tan tones, and Peach for tan to dark skin.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular pressed powder on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 35 different pressed powders overall, screened options from 30 different brands and manufacturers, read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 12 of the pressed powders themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.