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Powder vs. Liquid Foundation — Which One Is Better?

Spoiler: Both are good for different reasons.
July 25, 2022

Foundation is a foolproof way to mask imperfections and correct skin tone to create a smooth, even canvas, so it’s no surprise that this complexion hero is a staple in so many routines. But with so many different forms of foundation to choose from, particularly liquid and powder, it can be hard to settle on the right one.

Dry skin types may want to opt for a more hydrating, liquid formula while oily skin types might prefer the hold and matte finish of powder formulas. Keep reading to get the big picture on powder foundation versus liquid foundation so you can decide which formula is right for your skin.

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What Does Powder Foundation Do?

Powder foundation is a finely milled, pigmented powder that adds coverage to your skin with a lightweight finish. It tends to be a favorite among those who like a lightweight finish, have oily skin or want to be able to touch up their makeup throughout the day. Thanks to the weightless feel of today’s powders, they allow you to provide your skin with breathable and buildable coverage that can go the distance. 

We adore the TikTok viral L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear in a Powder for its matte, sweatproof finish that lasts all day long. The L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder is another great option that offers a natural finish, great for minimizing shine and making touch-ups throughout the day.

What Does Liquid Foundation Do?

Known as a tried-and-true makeup essential, liquid foundation is a pigmented, liquid mixture ranging in finish and levels of coverage to conceal imperfections and leave the skin with a seamless look. Liquid foundation is the most common form of foundation and there are many more options to choose from than there are for powder foundation.

Liquid foundation tends to be the better choice for dry skin types as the hydrating formula flatters the skin while powder can emphasize it and cling to dry patches. We love the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation for its full coverage and hydrating, radiant finish that doesn’t look cakey. If you prefer light, natural coverage, the water-based, L’Oréal Paris Skin Paradise Water Infused Tinted Moisturizer is a great option for a your-skin-but-better look.

Editor’s tip: Oily skin can definitely use a liquid foundation — reach for a matte and oil-free formula like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation for a long-lasting, shine-free look.

Powder Foundation vs. Liquid Foundation — Which One is Better? 

When it comes to the powder foundation versus liquid foundation debate, there isn’t one true winner — it all comes down to personal preference and skin type. Liquid foundations have more options when it comes to finish and coverage but powder foundation can be paired with liquid foundation to add more coverage or set your face. 

This makes the case for using both in your routine. Hack your powder foundation and use it to set your face or when you want lightweight makeup you can touch up throughout the day. Reach for a liquid foundation when you have dry, winter skin or you want a natural base for a no-makeup, makeup look.

Which One Lasts Longer?

While powder typically wears longer in general, it really depends on the formula. The Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear in a Powder and Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation both offer a long-wearing and waterproof, heatproof and sweatproof finish. 

A matte finish tends to last longer than a dewy finish so if you’re deciding between a matte powder foundation and a radiant, lightweight liquid foundation — the powder is the obvious choice for long-lasting wear.

Plus, powder foundations come in a portable compact, making it easy for touch-ups throughout the day whereas liquid foundation is harder to touch up on-the-go.

How to Use Liquid Foundation 

Step 1. Start by cleansing the skin with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types to lift away dirt, oil and impurities.

Step 2. Reach for a hydrating moisturizer with SPF like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Skin Care Collagen Expert Day Moisturizer with SPF 30 and apply it all over your face.

Step 3. Next, add a layer of primer — we’re loving the flawless finish of the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Blurring Primer with Serum Rosy as it helps to smooth the appearance of fine lines and large pores

Step 4. Choose a liquid foundation like the aforementioned Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation or the Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation and apply it with your fingers, a brush or a sponge.

How to Use Powder Foundation

Step 1. Cleanse the skin, apply a moisturizer with SPF and prime your complexion.

Step 2. When it’s time to start applying your powder foundation, reach for the Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear in a Powder or the True Match Super-Blendable Powder and choose your beauty tool of choice. A sponge can give a more full-coverage, flawless look while applying powder foundation with a fluffy brush can give a softer, more natural look with less coverage.

Step 3. Powder foundation has lots of different uses — try it as setting powder, in place of bronzer or contour or layered over liquid foundation to conceal under-eye circles or dark spots.

Next: 3 Pro Tips for Pairing Foundation and Concealer With Different Formulas

Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Design by Crystal Simone

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