As a makeup artist, I often begin my sessions by asking my client what they already use. Having a sense of their comfort zone means that I can do their makeup like an extra special version of what they love.
These days, it’s rare for anyone to tell me that they use a powder foundation.
In my own time, a huge passion of mine is researching rosacea: a skin condition that causes a lot of redness, flushing and heat in the skin. So often, I search for the best foundations to offer complete coverage, and in recent years some of my best discoveries have actually been powders. They tend to last especially well on hot skin, and I’ve been surprised at how lightweight they can feel.
To be completely transparent, if you do have dry skin, a powder foundation wouldn’t be my first recommendation for you. But if you want to give them a go, there’s a way to do it.
Read more on how to ace your foundation application…
- The 3 best new TikTok viral foundations, tested and reviewed honestly
- How to get flawless foundation: easy fixes for the three most common base complaints
- 3 of the biggest makeup problems when you have redness, solved
My top tip: powder foundation application
Preparation is essential, and you’ll find no finer partner than MAC’s new Hyper Real Skin Canvas Balm, £18, Look Fantastic.
This is a moisturiser designed to ensure your makeup looks flawless. Though it boasts an impressive skincare cocktail of ceramides (buttery), niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, the real benefit is that your makeup glides over it seamlessly and evenly. Apply all over, then follow with your powder while it is still dewy to the touch.
The best powder foundations to try
Now for a few you might be into…
Maybelline SuperStay 24 Hybrid Powder Foundation, £11.99
Maybelline’s SuperStay 24 Hybrid Powder Foundation, £11.99, Boots, is the current TikTok darling. An affordable, long-wear powder, this offers alarmingly good coverage. The finish is completely matte, so keep in mind that you will likely prefer the liquid from this family if you are particularly dry.
Estee Lauder Double Wear, £39.50
One foundation synonymous with coverage is Estee Lauder’s Double Wear, £39.50, John Lewis and luckily for us it also comes in a matte powder. Use this to customise your coverage, pressing more into areas of discolouration and sweeping a lighter veil everywhere else.
MAC Studio Fix Powder, £32
With an unparalleled shade range, you’re guaranteed to find your true match at MAC Cosmetics. Studio Fix Powder, £32, Look Fantastic, is an icon with good reason, offering a silky, lightweight finish that builds easily to give a skin-like coverage.
bareMinerals Original Loose Foundation, £33.50
In an ironic twist, a feature that was meant to give you hope in new powder formulas will now become a love letter to an old one. Though I recommend all these more recent powders, I simply cannot find a rival to the bareMinerals Original Loose Foundation, £33.50, Sephora.
Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten, £29
The other day, in research for this column, I posted an Instagram Story asking for stories of favourite powders. Laura Geller’s Balance-n-Brighten, £29, Sephora, had many a special mention and quite a few opted for the Maybelline version, but the front runner was bareMinerals by a country mile.
It’s one of those that I hugely rate but never really end up using myself (I’m dry so I prefer CC Cream). But when I’ve worn this on long days and hot days, not only has it lasted exceptionally, it has also been noticeably more glowy than some of my most luminous bases. I can’t believe a powder could give such glow while still offering suitable coverage and preventing obvious shine.
Gone are the days of dry, cakey formulas. If you want long-wear and reliable coverage, the secret might just be a powder.