Powder foundations, a.k.a. mineral makeup, are one of those things that sound too good to be true. They take mere seconds to apply, don’t require layers of product, and the formulas are so simple that even those with sensitive skin can use them. While mineral powders are not the perfect choice for everyone, they can certainly boost one’s beauty routine and they’re always good to have on hand for touch-ups.
In this article, I’ll get you started with all the details so you can incorporate powder foundations into your routine. I’ll explain what mineral powder foundations are, who they work best for, and how they differ from other powder products.
We’ll explain how to choose the right mineral foundation for you, and how to use mineral makeup, so you can get that quick yet flawless base. To cap things off, I’m listing all of the best powder foundations on the market, so you can get started using them!
Guide to the Best Mineral Powder Foundations: Contents
• 11 Best Mineral Powder Foundations to Try
• What Is Powder Foundation?
• Who Is Mineral Powder Foundation Best for?
• What Is the Difference Between Powder Foundation and Other Face Powders?
• Mineral Powder Foundation Pros & Cons
• How to Choose the Right Mineral Makeup For You
• How to Apply Powder Foundation
• Powder Foundation Tips & Tricks
First things first, these 11 powder foundations are some of the best on the market, so if you have decided to add mineral makeup to your beauty kit, pick the one that appeals to you the most!
1. Bareminerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
It’s important to start with the original, especially when it’s this darn good. This is one of the best mineral makeup products out there, with a simple formula that is great for the skin, and provides even, medium coverage. This powder foundation has a light luminosity, so it is not as matte as other products, and it even has some sun protection! There are 29 shades to choose from at Sephora.
2. Lancôme Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Powder Foundation
Is there anything more luxurious than touching up your makeup from a gorgeous Lancôme compact? This formula has a matte finish that works beautifully to give light to medium coverage to those with oily or combination skin. It comes in 32 shades at Nordstrom.
3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation
If you’re looking for a mineral powder foundation with a bit of a creamy feel, then this should be your go-to option. This is one of the best powder foundations for those who like a full-coverage product. It contains some gem powders that give a luminous finish to the skin, making it the perfect choice for those with normal skin that would like a glowy finish. There are 12 shades of this foundation available at Ulta.
4. Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation
This pressed powder foundation gives the skin full coverage. It’s a great choice for normal, combination and oily skin types, since it has a matte finish. Since it’s a pressed powder it’s perfect for touch-ups on the go. It comes in 21 shades at Sephora.
5. Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder
This convenient powder foundation comes pressed into a compact. It has a light-medium coverage, and a velvety finish. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, and it works with most skin types. Choose the best fit out of the 20 shades available at Sephora.
6. Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation
One of the things I find most admirable about Cover FX is their massive color range, which means everyone can find a perfect match for their skin color. This excellent mineral makeup product gives the skin medium to full coverage, with a matte formula that includes kaolin clay to absorb oil. You can pick one of the 39 possible shades at Sephora.
7. PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15
This pressed mineral foundation combines the beauty and ease of application of a powder with some skincare ingredients to nourish the skin. It’s a great choice for all skin types, and it even provides sun protection. The coverage is buildable, so you can choose your best fit out of the 11 shades at Ulta.
8. Jane Iredale Amazing Base SPF 20
This pressed mineral makeup product gives serious protection while evening out the skin tone with a light to medium matte coverage. With a whopping 20 SPF and lots of skincare ingredients, this foundation really protects the skin and prevents premature aging. Since it’s a refillable product, it’s much better for the environment than buying a brand new compact each time. There are 13 shades available at Dermstore.
9. Glo Skin Beauty Loose Base Powder Foundation
This light-coverage powder foundation neutralizes unevenness in the skin, and gives perfect, natural coverage that isn’t overly matte. It’s a great choice for all skin types, but those wanting to fight premature aging will enjoy that it contains both vitamin E and vitamin C. It comes in 9 shades at Dermstore.
10. MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
This product has been around for a long time now, and it remains one of the best powder foundations on the market. This pressed powder has a matte, medium to full coverage, and it works best with skin types leaning towards a little oilier. It covers beautifully and controls shine all day long. There are 51 shade options at Nordstrom, so anyone can find a match.
11. Laura Geller ‘Balance-n-Brighten’ Baked Color Correcting Foundation
If you’re looking for a luminous powder foundation, then this one is one of the best. It has a light coverage, and light-reflective particles that give the skin a glowy yet even look. It works well with all skin types. Choose one of 6 shades at Nordstrom.
Powder foundation, also known as mineral foundation or mineral makeup, is a face powder with a lot of pigment. This powder acts as a makeup product, giving the skin an even tone and helping to hide imperfections.
Like other face powders, powder or mineral foundations usually give the skin a matte finish, and they tend to work best for makeup minimalists and for those with oily skin. Powder foundations usually have very short ingredients lists comprised mostly of mineral powders like mica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.
It gives long-lasting coverage without clogging the pores, and it ensures a matte finish to the skin. It is a great alternative for those who don’t like to wear too many layers of products, whether it’s due to discomfort with cream or liquid foundations or simply out of the desire for a quick and simple beauty routine.
Powder foundations are somewhat easier to apply and blend when compared to cream and liquid foundations, so they’re also a good choice for beginners.
Whereas the purpose of powder foundation is to perfect the color of the skin and hide imperfections, most makeup powders will simply mattify the skin without improving its coloring. Some face powders do have a little bit of color, but they don’t provide nearly the same amount of coverage as foundation powders do.
Some face powders are setting powders that are supposed to go on top of cream and liquid foundations in order to set them in place and prevent them from smudging or fading throughout the day.
Finishing powders and HD powders act sort of like primers (only at the end of the makeup routine), to blur the look of pores and wrinkles with the help of reflective mineral ingredients. Some foundation powders can do the same thing, in addition to evening the tone of the skin.
You need to know all the pros and cons of mineral foundation powders in order to figure out whether this is the product you need in your makeup kit.
• Powder foundations provide the skin with long-lasting, matte coverage.
• Since mineral makeup has a shorter list of ingredients, it is less likely to irritate the skin or cause breakouts.
• Mineral foundations are quick and easy to apply, which makes them a great choice for those who are new to wearing makeup.
• Since powder foundations can go over bare skin, they are a great choice for makeup minimalists who don’t like to spend too much time on their makeup or to own too many products.
• Pressed powder foundations are great for touch-ups on the go, since they’re easy to carry and apply without making a mess.
• The medium coverage that foundation powders provide isn’t always enough for everyone.
• Mineral foundations can make the makeup look appear cakey and unnatural if over-applied.
• Powder foundations do not play nicely with dry skin – they bring out and emphasize dry patches and areas of flakiness.
• They tend to not work too well with the recently popular dewy or strobed makeup looks, although some mineral foundations with a glowy finish do exist.
As with any foundation product, choosing a color that will match your skin both in darkness and undertone is very important. The great thing about powder foundations is that they are very easy to test at the store.
The best place to apply powder foundations when checking their color is along the jawline – that way you can see how well the color blends into both your face and neck. You can apply a few different colors in stripes next to each other, and choose the one that seems to blend in most seamlessly.
When it comes to undertone, many companies categorize their mineral foundation powders as warm, cool, or neutral, which makes it easier to find the right shade.
If your skin has more yellow or olive tones in it, then you should opt for a warm foundation. If your skin leans a little towards pinkish, then a cool mineral makeup product will work best. Lastly, if your skin is beige or just somewhere in between, then go for a neutral tone.
• If necessary, apply a primer to your skin – this can give the powder foundation something to stick to, and will also help boost its coverage a bit by smoothing out the pores and blurring imperfections.
• If you feel like you have some discoloration in your skin that needs correction, feel free to spot apply concealer to the necessary areas in a thin layer. Common areas that’ll need additional coverage include the under eye area, around the nostrils, or areas where the skin is red or broken out.
• Now you’re ready for powder foundation! Start by dipping a firm, medium-sized powder brush into your mineral foundation powder of choice. Make sure to tap off the excess product back into the lid.
• Apply the foundation powder to your skin in circular, buffing motions. Start at the center of your face and work your way outwards. Make sure not to miss the line of your jaw, where people often stop their foundation application, ending up with a visible, unblended line.
• You can use a smaller brush to apply powder foundation to the smaller parts of the face, like around the nose and below the eyes. If you’ve applied concealer on any of those areas, apply the mineral foundation in a tapping motion instead of a buffing one.
• Give your skin a good look, and make sure there are no heavy parts of unblended corners. If there are, use a clean brush to blend the foundation further and to remove excess product from the skin.
• For more longevity, spray your skin with a makeup setting spray. If you feel like your skin is looking a little dry, use a hydrating spray instead.
• Powder foundation that is a few shades darker than your skin can make for an excellent contour shade. A few shades lighter can work beautifully as a matte highlighter.
• For ulta-full coverage, use powder foundations on top of your typical liquid or cream foundation, instead of a setting powder.
• You can use powder foundations to adjust the color of foundations that are a little too dark or too light for your skin tone. For example, if you’ve purchased a foundation that fit your skin in winter but is too pale with your summer tan, simply go for a foundation powder that is just a touch darker than your skin. Use it to set your foundation and adjust its color. The same thing works in reverse as long as the foundation isn’t extremely dark.
Photos via @bymaleiah, @fashiontipp_modeblog