Whenever the weather heats up, I shy away from my heavier liquid foundations and start reaching for lighter formulas that will let my skin breathe. If, like me, you want a foundation that will give you good coverage while still being light enough so that your skin doesn’t feel suffocated, you should consider a powder foundation.
Powder foundations are particularly well suited for people with oilier skin types, as they can help control shine and absorb excess oil. Drugstore brands offer excellent options that leave your skin looking smooth and natural and feeling comfortable, so today, we’ll discuss the six best drugstore powder foundations for a natural-looking complexion.
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Best Drugstore Powder Foundations
If you are looking for a powder foundation that won’t break your budget, here are six of the best drugstore powder foundations that will give your skin a flawless finish.
1. Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Powder Foundation
Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Powder Foundation (shown above in the shade 112 Natural Ivory) is a full-coverage powder foundation formulated to last up to 16 hours for a full day of wear. The powder foundation feels incredibly lightweight on your skin and is transfer resistant.
This drugstore foundation is highly pigmented and works to color match your skin tone, so it covers imperfections and evens out your skin tone without looking like you have a full face of makeup on your skin. It blends easily into the skin while providing excellent coverage, as it provides the coverage of a liquid foundation.
The powder foundation, which comes with a sponge applicator, controls shine and provides a matte finish, making it ideal for combination and oily skin types.
This Maybelline foundation is available in 12 shades to work for a wide range of skin tones. You can use it alone or even over your liquid foundation for high coverage.
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2. L’Oréal Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation In A Powder
L’Oréal Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation In A Powder (shown above in the shade 130 True Beige) is formulated to cover as well as a liquid foundation while mattifying the skin. It controls shine without transfer and stays in place all day. It’s waterproof, heatproof, and sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about it melting away in the summer heat.
Use the enclosed powder sponge applicator dry for buildable medium coverage, or use the sponge wet (damp) for a full coverage foundation.
It comes in an expansive range of 20 shades to fit many skin tones and shades.
The powder foundation provides medium-to-full coverage and can be used to build up your desired level of coverage. It applies evenly to the skin and doesn’t settle into fine lines or pores.
While it’s suitable for all skin types, it works especially well for oily and acne-prone skin. It controls shine and helps to keep your makeup in place all day long.
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3. e.l.f. Camo Powder Foundation
E.l.f. Camo Powder Foundation (shown above in the shade 205 N Light) is a pressed powder foundation infused with primer that offers medium-to-full buildable coverage with a semi-matte finish. The foundation, which comes with a mirror and sponge, is formulated to provide an airbrushed finish that never looks cakey but lasts all day.
The non-comedogenic pressed powder has a very lightweight feel on the skin. It blurs imperfections and doesn’t settle into fine lines. This has the largest range of shades of all drugstore powder foundations in this post: 30 shades that work well from fair to deep skin tones.
Formulated for all skin types, this foundation works well as a finishing powder if you are looking for added coverage over a different foundation. This is a newer launch from e.l.f., but so far, I love this powder foundation!
4. Burt’s Bees Mattifying Powder Foundation
Burt’s Bees Mattifying Powder Foundation (shown above in the shade 1105 Bare) is an oil-controlling matte powder foundation that offers buildable coverage in a 100% natural formula. It’s formulated with bamboo, an ingredient that works to blur imperfections and even out skin tone.
Developed with makeup artists, the lightweight powder blends easily into your skin, making layering a breeze.
The foundation comes with a custom sponge in the hexagonal shape of a honeycomb and a mirror in the compact. This mineral powder is ideal for oily and combination skin types, as it leaves a matte finish on your skin. It absorbs oil throughout the day without drying out your skin.
This drugstore foundation comes in just six shades, but they are meant to work for a wide range of different skin tones.
5. Ulta Adjustable Coverage Foundation
Ulta Adjustable Coverage Foundation (shown above in the shade Light Cool) is a powder foundation that can be used wet or dry on the skin. It is formulated to give you a luminous finish with buildable coverage that easily glides over and blends into the skin.
The powder is formulated with granulometric silica for a soft, smooth finish that works when applied both wet and dry. (Use the enclosed sponge damp for more coverage.) Silicones and esters create a creamy moisturizing formula that lasts all day.
Active Nylon 12 hydrates and smoothes the skin to help reduce the look of wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, and imperfections.
The foundation is available in 20 shades to work for all skin types. This Ulta brand foundation feels comfortable on the skin and doesn’t cake or feel too heavy.
6. Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation
Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation (shown above in the shade 20 Natural Ivory) is an oil-free pressed mineral powder foundation. The pressed powder contains minerals enriched with antioxidants that protect the skin from environmental stressors.
This foundation is very light on the skin and provides buildable coverage. Depending on how much you apply, you can get sheer to medium coverage without feeling and looking like you are wearing a full face of makeup.
The foundation is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores, and it’s also non-drying and fragrance-free. It comes in 8 shades that blend effortlessly into the skin for a natural finish.
I have been using this mineral foundation for years when it’s hot during the summer months, and it really holds up, even compared to newer drugstore options. It feels super light on the skin and doesn’t look obvious, and like you are wearing makeup. (The compact does not come with a sponge.)
The Best Skin Type For Powder Foundations
Powder foundations work best for those with normal, combination, and oily skin, as they help control shine and absorb excess oil.
If you have dry skin, you can still use a powder foundation, but you will need to make sure that you prep your skin properly beforehand so that the foundation doesn’t accentuate any dry patches. Be sure to moisturize your skin, and if necessary, use a hydrating primer before applying a powder foundation to your skin.
Powder foundation also tends to work well for sensitive skin as they are often non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores.
How To Apply Pressed Powder Foundation
You can apply pressed powder foundations with a brush, sponge, or powder puff. If you want a full-coverage look, a dense brush will give you the best results. If you are looking for light coverage with a more natural finish, using a sponge to apply the powder foundation will help sheer out the product and give you a more skin-like finish.
Complete your skincare routine, and be sure to moisturize your skin and apply sunscreen. If you have dry skin, you may also consider adding hydrating primer into your routine before applying a powder foundation.
To apply the powder foundation, start by swirling your foundation brush, sponge, or powder puff into the powder and then tapping off any excess. Next, gently apply the powder to your face in circular motions, starting from the center of your face and working your way out.
Use a light hand so that you don’t end up with too heavy a finish, which can clump and look cakey on your skin. If you need to add more coverage, you can always build up the powder foundation and start with light coverage until you get to your desired level of coverage. Be sure to blend the powder into your jawline and neck so that there is no line of demarcation.
If you have very oily skin and need to apply additional layers of powder foundation throughout the day, using blotting paper in between layers can help to absorb any excess oil and prevent your foundation from looking cakey.
You can also use a matte setting spray after applying your powder foundation to help it stay in place and prevent any excess shine.
Benefits of Powder Foundation
One of the main benefits of powder foundation is that it is incredibly easy to apply and can be done so quickly. Powder foundations are also very versatile and can be used to achieve various looks, from natural to full coverage.
Another great benefit of powder foundation, as previously mentioned, is that it is ideal for those with oily skin as it helps to control shine and absorb excess oil. Powder foundation can also help mattify the skin and give a more matte finish to the skin.
Powder foundations tend to provide a more natural look and look more skin-like than heavier liquid or cream foundations.
Drawbacks of Powder Foundation
One of the main drawbacks of powder foundation is that it can be drying to the skin and accentuate dry patches, which is why powder foundations tend to work best for those with normal to oily skin types.
If you have dry skin, you should ensure your skin is adequately hydrated and moisturized before applying powder foundation. You can do this by using a hydrating serum that contains actives like hyaluronic acid, a moisturizer, and perhaps a face primer and/or a hydrating face mist before makeup application.
Oily skin tends to cause the powder to clump and look patchy, so be sure to remove any excess oil from your face before applying powder foundation.
Finally, powder foundation, like any foundation, can cause your face to look cakey if you apply too much. It’s important to start with a small amount of product and build up coverage as needed.
Tips For Combination Skin
If you deal with combination skin, you can use both a powder foundation and a liquid foundation to get the best of both worlds. By using a liquid foundation on areas that tend to be drier and a powder foundation on areas that tend to be oilier, you can create a custom foundation that will work well for your combination skin type.
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Final Thoughts on The Best Drugstore Powder Foundations
If you have a combination-to-oily skin type and are looking for an affordable, easy-to-apply foundation that will give you a natural-looking sheer to full coverage finish, then a drugstore powder foundation is an ideal option.
You can avoid that heavy makeup look, especially in the warmer months, when liquid foundation can melt off your face in the heat! Just remember to gradually build coverage and blend the powder foundation into your hairline, jawline, and neck for a seamless finish.
Thanks for reading!