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The 15 Best Powder Foundations to Create a Flawless Base

Clare Holden
Written by Clare Holden
Best Powder Foundations

If you are looking to create a flawless base in seconds that will stay put no matter what the day throws at you, it’s time to invest in a powder foundation. Simple to apply and incredible at controlling shine, they offer customizable coverage which works for every makeup look.

With many options now infused with skin-enriching ingredients and antioxidants to protect against pollution, they also improve the overall health and appearance of your skin in the long term. It’s truly a winning scenario!

After testing out the offerings, combing through reviews and ingredients, we selected these top picks for the best powder foundations to suit every budget and skin type. Read on for our favorite finds!

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Finding the Best Powder Foundations

There is a powder foundation out there for every skin type, and while liquid color is certainly more popular, compact options have numerous benefits that make them more convenient than other types of bases.

They offer superior shine-controlling abilities and are quick and hassle-free to apply. If you are tight on time in the morning, opting for a powder foundation is a great way to elevate the appearance of your skin in seconds.

To help you find your ideal fit when it comes to a powder foundation, we have put together a compact guide to help you on your way to achieving a flawless base.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Powder Foundations

Skin Type 

Powder foundation is the perfect choice for those with oily skin, as its mattifying effects will keep you shine-free all day. Those with sensitive skin may also find using a mineral powder won’t irritate their delicate complexions as much as a traditional foundation. Those with dry skin should opt for a powder with a natural finish that has been infused with hydrating ingredients such as vitamin C or tea extracts.


Powder foundation now comes in a multitude of finishes including matte, natural and dewy. Depending on your preference, each works equally well for different makeup looks. For example, matte is perfect for a timeless classic vibe, whereas natural and dewy work for a more contemporary no-makeup makeup look.


Whether you are looking to invest in a luxury compact or in the market for a budget-friendly drugstore option, each powder foundation on our list was chosen for its high quality and lasting abilities. Lancome, Make Up For Ever and Fenty along with e.l.f, Physicians Formula and NYX are some of our standout favorites.


If you are looking for a full coverage base, use a puff or sponge to gently press the color into the skin. For a lighter, more natural look, use a large powder brush to dust the powder over the face. Both techniques can be built up to your desired level of coverage, and remember — multiple light layers of foundation is better than one heavy layer.

Skin Prep

As with all foundations, prepping the skin properly will give you a better final result. On a clean face, apply your SPF and chosen moisturizer. Once they have absorbed, apply your powder foundation.

What are the Different Types of Powder Foundations?


Pressed is the most common type of powder foundation and also the most popular. It makes for an easy application and the neat compacts are ideal for carrying in your bag and having on hand for touch ups.


Mineral powder comes in both loose and pressed form and are a great choice for those with sensitive skin, as the ingredients are gentler on the skin and generally free from parabens, fragrance and sulfates.


One of the reasons most people opt for a powder foundation is for their unrivaled mattifying capabilities. If you are in a consistent battle to keep your shine under control throughout the day, switching to a powder foundation could be the solution you have been searching for.


Best Overall: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Powder Foundation


  • Huge shade range
  • Long-lasting
  • Lightweight feel


  • Slightly more expensive
  • White compact gets dirty easily

This powder foundation from Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is the top pick in this category, as no other option can compete when it comes to how breathable it feels on the skin. Available in over 50 shades, you are sure to find a tone that works flawlessly for your complexion.

The soft matte finish is universally flattering, while the medium coverage provides just enough color to improve your base without ever looking cakey. It also works for both young and mature skin, as it doesn’t clog pores or settle in fine lines. This sweat, humidity and crease-resistant compact is a great option to carry with you at all times to make sure your skin remains looking its best.


Best Budget: e.l.f. Camo Powder Foundation


  • Cruelty-free
  • Buildable coverage
  • Non-comedogenic


  • Basic packaging
  • Doesn’t come with puff

Coming at under $10, this powder foundation from e.l.f will not only save you money, but also time — as it has been infused with a skin primer to streamline your makeup application and leave you with a smooth and even base.

There is minimal effort required when using this soft-focus effect buildable color as it glides on seamlessly to the skin. The formula is also talc-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t turn cakey or clog your pores.


Best Drugstore: NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation


  • Lightweight feel
  • Cruelty-free
  • Matte finish


  • Some shades sell out
  • Coverage might not be full enough for some

NYX is famed for its professional-grade products at drugstore prices, and this powder foundation will elevate any makeup look with its soft matte finish. It provides a veil of coverage to create a naturally enhanced base that is anything but cakey or heavy.

Surprisingly airy for a powder, this foundation will keep you shine-free all day and even comes with a mirror and hidden puff if you do need a quick touch up while on the go.


Best Splurge: Make Up For Ever HD Skin Matte Velvet Undetectable Longwear Blurring Powder Foundation


  • Full coverage
  • Waterproof
  • Long-lasting


  • Slightly more expensive
  • Might not work for those with dry skin

This is the chosen powder foundation of makeup artists and it is easy to see why. Its full coverage abilities conceal everything from redness, blemishes and pigmentation, all while keeping a smooth matte real-skin appearance.

If you are looking for a foundation to last you all day, this color is designed to hold up and stay put under any conditions or circumstances and is even waterproof. It also contains a trio-blur complex to give your skin that much desired filtered finish.


Best for Sensitive Skin: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Powder


  • Includes kabuki brush
  • Gentle formula
  • SPF


  • Only available in 3 shades
  • Compact doesn’t have a mirror

This creamy powder has been especially formulated to be free from talc, oil, fragrance and multiple other harsh ingredients that may irritate your skin. It also has the added bonus of containing SPF 30 if you are looking for an extra dose of sun protection.

This mineral powder provides a light and natural coverage, and is easy to apply and achieve an even distribution due to just how ultra-fine it is. The non-comedogenic formula also makes it a great option for those with acne-prone skin.


Best for Dry Skin: Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder


  • Even texture
  • Shine control
  • Hydrating formula


  • Not as widely available
  • Some may prefer a shimmer finish

If you thought having dry skin meant powder foundation was a no-go for you, this balm powder from acclaimed makeup artist Danessa Myricks will quickly turn you into a compact convert. The formula has been infused with squalane and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin soft and supple.

The balm-to-powder consistency works to even out the texture of your skin while also providing a light breathable coverage. It also contains the Swedish wonder ingredient upsalite which keeps your skin’s sebum balanced.


Best for Oily Skin: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder Foundation Makeup


  • Great price
  • Non-comedegenic
  • Matte finish


  • Some shades sell out
  • Doesn’t come with a mirror

Oily skin is the perfect candidate for a powder foundation, and this Fit Me Matte option from Maybelline will prevent your skin from ever turning greasy looking while also providing you with a customizable buildable coverage.

With over 22 shades to choose from, you are bound to find the right tone for your skin and in addition to its mattifying long-lasting capabilities, this base also reduces the appearance of pores and fine lines.


Best for Acne-Prone Skin: bareMinerals Matte Loose Powder Mineral Foundation SPF 15


  • Talc-free
  • Contains SPF
  • Natural finish


  • Some may prefer a pressed powder
  • Slightly messier to apply

For those with acne-prone skin, finding a foundation that won’t break you out can sometimes feel like mission impossible. This loose mineral powder from bareMinerals is a great way to achieve coverage without clogging your pores. It also has the added benefit of providing sun protection.

Suitable for all skin types, the super fine powder particles deliver an even and airy color that keeps shine under control, while also feeling silky-soft on the skin due to being infused with silica.


Best Fair Skin: Laura Geller Color Correcting Powder Foundation


  • Demi matte finish
  • Color-correcting
  • Weightless feel


  • Not as widely available
  • Doesn’t include puff

There is no fear of your makeup turning orange with this bestselling option from Laura Geller. Handmade in Italy, this powder foundation uses innovative technology to keep your base looking like your natural skin only better.

With a universally flattering demi-matte finish and a formula infused with powerful antioxidants centella asiatica and white tea extracts, it works for both young and mature skin.


Best Dark Skin: Juvia’s Place I am Magic Powder Foundation


  • Luxurious packaging
  • Skin healthy formula
  • Glides on


  • Some shades sell out
  • Not as widely available

This powder foundation from Juvia’s Place glides on like a dream to result in a radiant finish that lasts all day and even stays put against water. Packed full of skin nourishing ingredients, not only does it cover any imperfections, it improves the quality of your complexion.

Vitamins A and C rich acerola cherries work together with carotenoids to hydrate and shield the skin contributing to its overall appearance.


Best Medium Skin: L’Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Fresh Wear Powder Foundation


  • Non-comedogenic
  • Long-lasting
  • Full-coverage


  • Doesn’t include mirror
  • Some may prefer a lighter coverage

This is the foundation to reach for if you are looking for a base that will stay put when faced with sweltering temperatures and humidity. Its pore-blurring matte finish provides a full coverage base that won’t transfer or smudge.

The lightweight feel also makes it incredibly comfortable to wear making it a great option as a day-to-day foundation.


Best SPF: Supergoop (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 35


  • Silky-feel
  • Mineral formula
  • Blurring effect


  • Some may prefer a pressed powder
  • Only available in 4 shades

Keep your skin extra protected with this smooth mineral foundation that, along with its soft-focus matte finish, also provides an SPF 35. The super-soft formula feels featherweight on the skin and keeps your shine at bay without ever appearing cakey.

It blurs the appearance of fine lines and is easy to use due to its built-in brush which makes for a hassle-free application that only takes a minute.


Best Matte Finish: Double Wear Stay-in-Place Matte Powder Foundation


  • Wide range of shades
  • Oil control
  • Waterproof


  • Slightly more expensive
  • Not everyone may want a matte finish

The color-true technology of this powder foundation means your makeup stays looking as good as it did when you first applied it for up to 12 hours. The silky soft texture feels breathable and airy on the skin — making it the perfect option for all day wear.

The compact has been designed to be refillable, so when you repurchase, you only need to replace the color — making it more economical and environmentally friendly.


Best Dewy Finish: Yensa Super Serum Silk Pressed Powder Foundation


  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Skin nourishing ingredients
  • Medium to full coverage


  • Slightly more expensive
  • Not as widely available

Powder foundation is synonymous for its matte finish, but this option from Yensa manages to deliver a buildable coverage that provides a more radiant and luminous base. It has been infused with their innovative 8 SuperBlacks Essence which offers a multitude of benefits to the skin.

Black sesame seed oil works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, black tea extract tackles pollution and environmental stressors while chia seeds maintain hydration. If your skin gets irritated easily, this foundation also contains Korean black raspberry to fight inflammation and nettle to calm skin and soothe redness.


Best Full Coverage: Lancôme Dual Finish – Multi-tasking Longwear Powder Foundation


  • Incredible coverage
  • Wide shade range
  • Long-wearing


  • Might not work as well for those with dry skin
  • Not everyone may like the scent

If you are looking for a full coverage base, then this powder foundation from Lancome is truly transformative for the skin. While it offers incredible pigment, it never feels heavy on the skin. You can also achieve a lighter veil of color by using a powder brush and gently dusting the powder over the face.

The natural finish is ideal for both day wear or teamed with a statement lip for a night look, and the compact even includes both a puff and sponge for quick on-the-go touch ups.

People Also Ask

  • Q: Which foundation is better: liquid or powder?

    A:Neither is better. Both provide different benefits. Having both options in your makeup bag will give you the tools to alternate your look depending on the occasion.

  • Q: Who should wear powder foundation?

    A:Powder foundation is suitable for every skin type and age. Be sure to choose an option that works for your type or targets any specific skin concern you have.

  • Q: Is powder foundation worth it?

    A:Powder foundation will definitely complete your makeup collection. If you still aren’t sure, pick up a drugstore option or a travel size version to see if it works for you.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Clare Holden

By Clare Holden

Beauty and style writer Clare has been a fan of makeup and fashion ever since she was a child. While studying for her degree in Journalism and Communications, Clare worked part-time on cosmetic counters. After graduating she went back and trained as a makeup artist after falling in love with beauty and skincare. She now splits her time between writing about all things makeup and running her own womenswear brand White Night.
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