Best powder foundation makeup

Face Makeup

You’ll need a good makeup brush to apply a powder foundation; trying to apply it with your fingers is an exercise in frustration. You can also try using a makeup sponge.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which powder foundation makeup is best?

When you need to ensure your foundation is easily applied, lasts all day without assistance from other products and ably hides blemishes, you go with a powder foundation makeup. Powder foundation makeups are also the top choice for those with oily skin or who prefer to keep their applications looking as natural as possible. 

The best powder foundation makeup is the Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Pressed Mineral Powder. This top option also includes minor protection against the sun’s ultraviolet, or UV, rays and comes in a refillable compact. And Jane Iredale is one of the best-known brands that does not engage in animal testing.

What to know before you buy a powder foundation makeup

Coverage

Powder foundation makeups use the term “coverage” to denote how large a blemish they can cover.

Full coverage: Full-coverage powder foundation makeups can cover nearly anything you could try to cover. Because of this, they can look heavier on your skin than you might desire.

Medium coverage: If you’re trying to avoid that heavy look, you can use a medium-coverage powder foundation makeup. It won’t hide everything but it will hide most average blemishes.

Light coverage: If there are only a few small blemishes you’d like to cover while you even out the tone of your skin, a powder foundation makeup with light coverage is what you need.

Sheer coverage: Sheer-coverage powder foundation makeups are strictly for evening out your skin tone. They provide no cover whatsoever.

Loose vs. pressed

Loose: Loose powder foundation makeup contains no additional ingredients to act like binding agents, so they sit inside their jar-like containers as flour might. Because they have no binding agent they provide less coverage than pressed powder foundation makeups.

Pressed: More common than loose powder foundation makeups, pressed varieties use a binding agent to both reduce the size of packaging needed — that’s how they can come in a compact — and increase the amount of coverage they can supply. They’re particularly good for traveling touch-ups.

What to look for in a quality powder foundation makeup

Shades

Your skin has a specific shade. Cosmetics of all varieties have shades, too, especially powder foundation makeups, which should blend with your skin to prevent an unnatural look. A single powder foundation makeup can have anywhere from 10 to 30 shades. 

Undertone

Base colors and shades aren’t the only concern when choosing a powder foundation makeup. You also need to consider your skin’s undertone. There are four main types of undertone.

Neutral: The baseline undertone from which the other three spring. This skin contains no noticeable undershade or tone.

Warm: Warm undertones are derived from yellowish or golden shades.

Cool: Cool undertones contain reddish or pinkish undertones, or both.

Olive: A more complex undertone. You’ll have an olive undertone should you contain a small element of green in addition to a dash of warmth.

How much you can expect to spend on a powder foundation makeup

You don’t need to break the bank to look your best, since many perfectly reasonable powder foundation makeups are available for less than $20. If you want a better product that packages in extras like UV protection, you can double it to around $40. Spending more than $40 opens your options to big brand names and stronger protections, with many of these costing $70 or more.

Powder foundation makeup FAQ

Is it possible to apply both concealers and powder foundation makeup simultaneously?

A. Absolutely. You’ll just need to apply those makeups correctly and in the proper order to prevent a nasty mess. 

The first product you need to apply is the concealer, since applying it second will cause the liquids of the concealer to mix with the powder foundation; it won’t look good. Plus, applying a powder foundation makeup as the top layer helps set the concealer so it looks better for longer.

Do you need to prepare your skin before applying powder foundation makeup?

A. Yes. Dusting your face with powder foundation makeup before preparing your skin can actually harm your skin. It doesn’t take much preparation, though, as you only really need to ensure your skin is cleaned and moisturized before applying the foundation. You can also use a primer. 

Allow a few minutes to pass after these steps before applying the powder foundation makeup.

What’s the best powder foundation makeup to buy?

Top powder foundation makeup 

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Pressed Mineral Powder

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Pressed Mineral Powder

What you need to know: An excellent powder foundation makeup, it’s made all the better by this brand never engaging in animal testing.

What you’ll love: It has a sun-protection factor, or SPF, of 20 — enough to protect your skin from minimal sun exposure.

What you should consider: Some users reported this powder foundation makeup didn’t fully cover larger skin issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Top powder foundation makeup for the money

BareMinerals Original Foundation

BareMinerals Original Foundation

What you need to know: This is a top budget option powder foundation makeup with few reported issues.

What you’ll love: There are enough shades available to match any skin tone.

What you should consider: It is one of the more drying powder foundation makeups.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

KVD Vegan Beauty Lock-It Powder Foundation

KVD Vegan Beauty Lock-It Powder Foundation

What you need to know: When animal-free testing isn’t enough, pick a powder foundation makeup without animal-based ingredients, too.

What you’ll love: It is one of the most persistent powder foundation makeups — one application almost always makes it to the end of the day.

What you should consider: Some found it dry against their skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Trending Stories