A lot of people love the convenience of powder foundations. I get it. I do. However, don’t forget about the beauty of a liquid, or even a cream foundation!
Most of the powder foundation lovers in my world seem to do it out of convenience. When I have used it in the past, that was the main reason for me. ‘I have small needy children! I’ve 2 minutes to get out the door! I don’t care how I look but, I don’t want to scare anyone either!’
There are a few major differences between powder foundations and liquid foundations. Let’s discuss.
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Powder vs. Liquid Foundation
Pros and Cons of Powder Foundations
- Easy to blend and rarely leaves weird discolored lines on your jawline, i.e. the dreaded makeup mask.
- Easier to color match. Your chances of walking out of the store with a color you can use is much higher than if you walk into Walmart/Sephora/Ulta/wherever and randomly pickup a liquid foundation.
- Takes 2 seconds to put it on. (a MAJOR pro)
- Depending on the formula, it can leave a really nice finish with a lovely allover glow.
- Light coverage.
- Powder foundations tend to have a shorter ingredient list and you can usually find a formulation with less preservatives and chemicals then your standard liquid foundation. – Although there are definitely more and more options being introduced every day for both liquid and powder.
- Great for sensitive skin types.
- It will start to wear off after a few hours if you are at all oily, and/or touch your face a lot, frequently use a phone, have hair that sweeps across your face, etc. Basically, it’s pretty finicky and I find that though the application is quick, it is more maintenance throughout the day.
- I don’t know about you, but when I use powder foundation, it gets EVERYWHERE. I will have powder on my clothes, my counter tops, and if I ever attempt to apply it in my car…well, let me just encourage you to turn off your A/C. (lesson learned the hard way)
- Buildable coverage isn’t its strongsuit. In my experience, the more you put on, the cakier it looks. And it gets cakey quickly! Especially if you used a liquid primer, are oily, or didn’t let your moisturizer soak all the way into your skin.
- Powders tend to settle into fine lines and wrinkles. Sorry. It’s true.
- It can get a little funky as it wears if you are a combo skin type – wearing off in your oily areas earlier and potentially changing color as it absorbs the oil.
- Light coverage. (on both pro and con list!)
Alright. Now let’s talk about my favorite:
Pros and Cons of Liquid Foundations
- Lots of different formulas for skintype and coverage needs/wants.
- Provides beautiful buildable coverage. Have rosacea? A pimple? Dab a little extra right on top of what you don’t want to see anymore, blend it out, and bye Felicia.
- Gives you a smooth finish on your skin that powders just can’t give you.
- Some liquid foundations are designed to be long wearing and I can tell you that I have found a couple that are AWESOME. They don’t dry out your complexion, give beautiful coverage, and last until you decide that you are ready to take them off.
- Some formulas sit beautifully on your skin and help minimize the look of pore size and any fine lines and wrinkles.
- It’s adjustable. Purchased a heavy coverage, long wearing foundation but you don’t want to look too “made up” on a casual Saturday afternoon flea market shopping trip? Mix in a touch of your moisturizer to give you a lighter application AND an extra dose of hydration.
- Requires a darn near perfect color match, and a little TLC and some good lighting to have it looking well blended and flawless.
- Some don’t like the way it feels on your face. “Heavy” is the word I hear a lot.
- Depending on how you apply it, it can take a little time to get that “perfect” finish.
- Can stain clothing. I’ve seen perfectly good white button up shirts RUINED because of liquid foundation that simply wouldn’t come out!
Clearly, I am a fan of liquid foundation, but I don’t mind the extra application time. For me personally, I find there is nothing that gives you that flawless, smooth complexion than a full coverage liquid foundation.
Powders are great for those who have limited time, don’t need a lot of corrective coverage, and don’t like the feel of a liquid foundation.
Whatever is best for you and your lifestyle is the right choice for you!
Here is a list of some foundations I recommend.
High end liquids and powders:
Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Mineral Makeup SPF 15
Drugstore liquids and powders:
L’oreal True Match Liquid and Powder
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid and Powder
e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation
Originally posted March 10, 2015
Tuesday 21st of May 2019
Thank you for this great information. I appreciate the thought of providing us these list. This article will be of good use to us.
Tuesday 14th of May 2019
I love liquid makeup but unfortunately, it all makes me break out and if it doesn't the product usually doesn't work well. Powder is my only option.
Thursday 2nd of May 2019
I prefer liquid to powder foundations.
Wednesday 1st of May 2019
I too like my it powder foundation but reading all of these wonderful comments I would love to try some liquid Foundation, I I have very sensitive skin and have a big complex with people thinking I look too cakey that's why I always stay away from liquid I am 55 yikes I just said that out loud didn't I anyway I have dark circles under my eyes seriously dark circles wow really dark circles I have had a lot of medical issues with Parkinson's and dystonia on the road to a little help with my DBS surgery and now looking for a little sunshine as in some liquid foundation help I also have some areas that need to be covered as in scars from the Halo that was put in my skull on the front of my forehead which my pattern never covers what would you suggest sincerely
Monday 12th of November 2018
I love liquid foundations for a glam makeup but for everyday usage i use powder foundations. But I always prefer liquid foundations between powder or liquid foundation.