Should You Be Using Powder, Liquid, or Cream Foundation?

Picking a foundation can be a struggle. Between finding the right shade, the right texture, and the right coverage, things can get very confusing.

The pros and cons are complex, so we are here to give you a simple guide to pick the right foundation for healthy-looking and flawless skin.


Unlike loose or setting powders, powder foundation is a mineral or talc-based foundation that is also super pigmented and offers medium to full coverage.

Why you should use it

If you’re looking for a light, airbrush-like foundation that will not only minimize the shine but also give you a lovely flawless finish, then powder foundation is for you. It will also completely cover up your imperfections, providing a seamless matte finish that lasts all day! And did I mention how easy it is to use anywhere? Just pack it in your purse and dab it on your face, quick and mess-free.

Why it might not work for you

Powder foundations have had a bad rep for being cakey and dry for years now. Most people are afraid to use them because their formula can also highlight fine wrinkles and acne scars. If you have dry or mature skin, this formula might not work for you.

Our picks: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ AirBrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+, or Tarte Confidence Creamy Powder Foundation


Cream foundation is the most concentrated of them all. It offers full coverage, and you can usually get one in a stick or compact form. They are also the most used type among makeup artists to hide all imperfections for shoots or filming.

Why you should use it

Cream foundations will give you a beautiful dewy and glowy makeup look without looking too oily. If you’re looking for a foundation that makes your skin look flawlessly even, cream foundations are guaranteed to give you that full coverage and brightening effect.

Why it might not work for you

A downside with cream foundations is that they are so full coverage that they may appear too heavy on your skin.

Our picks: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, and Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer (for dry skin)


Liquid foundation is probably the most popular and often used. It offers a wide range of shades, formulas, and coverage. Whether you’re looking for a matte or dewy finish, light or full coverage, there’s an option for everyone!

Why you should use it

Besides the full range of options, liquid foundations are straightforward to apply and have a “flexible” formula that goes well with any skin type. You can use a sponge, brush, or even your fingers, and it will always come out nice and even. They are also very hydrating, and most of them contain some range of SPF protection.

Why it might not work for you

The reason why liquid foundations might not work for everyone is simply that you might be using the wrong kind! It’s crucial to understand your skin type and needs before purchasing a liquid foundation. Dry skin won’t work very well with a matte finish, for example, because your skin will appear cakey. So keep that in mind when buying a liquid foundation. And obviously, this goes for all foundation types, but always pick the right shade!

Our picks: Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup, or Estée Lauder Double Wear SPF Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10

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