Beauty Q&A: Is Liquid or Powder Foundation Better?

July 21, 2020
By: Tembe Denton-Hurst | by L'Oréal
Choosing the right foundation for your skin type can be difficult. While reviews and swatches that help you “try” before you buy are helpful, at the end of the day, there's enough options to make anyone’s head spin. And that doesn’t even account for the many levels of coverage, finishes and delivery methods of foundation. In the end, it often comes down to personal preference and recommendation, whether that’s from your best friend or favorite beauty source. Two of the most popular foundation types — powder and liquid — are often pitted against each other, which is why we’re sharing their merits and explaining who they work best on once and for all. Which one will work best for you? And is liquid or powder foundation better?

Argument for Liquid Foundation

Liquid foundation works for any and every skin type. These formulas range from light to full coverage and come in every finish imaginable. If you want to even out your skin tone, select a light-coverage foundation, while full-coverage formulas will conceal imperfections and create a clean slate for a more glam makeup look. For glowy looks, we recommend opting for a dewier version that will lend a little radiance to your complexion, while matte foundations are great for oily skin types or summer days. For the beginner, we recommend Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, a favorite of makeup artists and beauty lovers alike. The formula is lightweight yet buildable and delivers a flawless, glowy finish. It’s a pricier beauty buy at $64 a bottle but worth it if you have a little extra money to spend. For the budget-conscious beauty babe, we recommend Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless, a fan-favorite option that won’t break the bank and now comes in a pouch format for mess-free application. 

There are lots of ways to apply liquid foundation, including your hands, a sponge or a brush. When using hands, rub the product between your palms to emulsify it; then, press into skin for a natural, second-skin appearance. A damp sponge will also give a natural, diffused finish. Brushes typically offer more coverage, but make sure to blend so that there are no streaks left behind.

Argument for Powder Foundation

Powder foundations tend to come in two finishes — illuminating or matte — and are great for attaining a flawless result on the go. Similar to liquids, pick the finish that best suits your desired look. While powder foundations work for a wide range of people, they aren’t recommended for those with dry skin because they tend to settle and cling to flaky patches. We recommend IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Powder for all your powder foundation needs. It’s a matte formula that comes in an easy-to-use compact. 

A dry sponge is the traditional method used to apply powder foundation and works like a charm. Powder foundations tend to stay put longer than liquid formulas, but if you want to make a powder even more long-lasting, use a primer beforehand. The key to applying primer with a powder foundation, though, is to make sure the primer is fully absorbed into the skin, so you’re not mixing wet and dry formulas that create a messy, unblendable finish. Once that’s done, if you want your skin to look more natural (the risk with powder formulas is that they can look cakey), spritz a powder or buffing brush with a skin mist like Garnier SkinActive Soothing Facial Mist with Rose Water and sweep it over your foundation to give skin a refreshed look.
Photo Courtesy of: Chaunte Vaughn

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