How To Use Powder Foundation In Your Makeup Routine

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The beauty market is dominated by various products that offer different results tailored to your skin’s desires and traits. For foundations, many formulas exist, one of them being powder foundation.

You might be thinking, “what do I need this type for when other practical foundations exist?” But when it comes down to it, can you use powder foundation correctly?

Powder foundation, like other foundation formulas, has a technique for application if you want perfect coverage and a smooth finish. Don’t worry, this is not a test of expertise. However, it would help to know how to apply this product if you ever find yourself in need of the foundation.

So learn all you can about powder foundation and how to use it correctly on your face.

What is a powder foundation?

This is a foundation formula in powder form.

It’s made of minerals and pigment like other foundation types, however, it is used to provide seamless or sheer to medium coverage.

The foundation takes its inspiration from a setting powder form, but it has more pigment to cover the skin without feeling heavy-handed.

A major feature of this type of foundation is its oil-free form. Therefore, it is great for controlling oil. Oily skin will benefit from the light application the most.

Who needs a powder foundation?

As mentioned, oily skin would benefit from this type of foundation because it is usually oil-free and has a wicking feature for people who sweat on the face a lot.

Additionally, if you want sheer to medium coverage without feeling heavily layered, you can use this formula. It is basically a foundation in setting powder form.

Furthermore, combination, acne-prone, and sensitive skin that would love fewer products that clog the pores can use this type of foundation. If you want a natural finish on your face, use a powder foundation to achieve the look.

How to apply powder foundation

You apply powder foundation using different techniques and tools. Use the best method suited to your routine.

1. With a powder brush

  • Start with your skincare, especially your moisturizer, to hydrate your skin.
  • Apply primer to set your face.
  • Apply concealer. Blend to the ends and corners of the face.
  • With a powder brush, dip and swirl the brush to pick foundation from its compact.
  • Buff the skin lightly. Start from the center and work your way outwards.
  • Layer if you want more coverage.
  • Lightly apply a setting powder to create a smooth finish.
  • Set the makeup with a setting spray.

Note: The brush must have soft bristles to easily apply the powder to your face.

2. With a sponge

You can use a beauty sponge to apply this foundation. To use:

  • Wet your sponge (if you want).
  • Wring it off any moisture lodged in it. This prevents cakey makeup.
  • Then, with the damp sponge, apply your foundation in bits, starting from the center of the face.
  • Blend the foundation outwards to the edges of the face.
  • Layer the foundation based on the coverage you want.

Note: When applying powder foundation, always remember to shake off the excess foundation.

How to apply powder foundation on dry skin

Powder foundations naturally have a matte finish. So if you have dry skin and find yourself with the foundation, do not fret.

Powder foundations can be dewy on the face if you use hydrating products before applying your foundation, especially hydrating primer. Also, go for a liquid concealer with oil before layering the foundation.

And use a brush, not a sponge, to blend in the foundation. A wet sponge can create patches because of the pressure it adds to the layers.

Powder vs liquid vs cream foundations

These formulas of foundation provide different uses and features. They are distinct but with the same or almost the same result. However, some differences set them apart.

For instance, powder foundations offer sheer to medium coverage. But it does provide full coverage after much layering. However, the liquid foundation is buildable and can deliver full coverage with a seamless, natural finish.

Cream foundation, in between these two, offers sheer to full coverage, but its strongest is medium coverage that doesn’t feel too cakey. Nonetheless, it does provide light and full coverage when layered.

Additionally, the powder is most suitable for oil, acne-prone, and sensitive skin because of its composition. It will not easily clog the pores of your skin.

Liquid and cream foundations do fit in with these needy skin types. However, they are most suitable for dry and natural skin because they contain oil and hydrating ingredients.

Also, when in powder form, the pigment product is automatically matte because it has minerals and talc as a base. Meanwhile, liquid can be water-, oil-, or silicone-based.   

On the other hand, liquid and cream suit dry or oily or any other skin type. The formulas can be adjusted to fit any skin type.

Powder foundations also help reduce shine and offer a dry, natural finish. Meanwhile, liquid and cream can help improve glow and provide a radiant finish.


how to use powder foundation

Do powder foundations offer full coverage?

Yes, it does.

Powder foundation can offer full coverage with some layering. However, this is not one of its best effects because it may come out cakey.

Do you need setting powder if you use powder foundation?

Yes, you do.

Setting powder provides a staying effect to your makeup, but it is not compulsory. If you want to use it, apply it lightly to your covered face to prevent it from looking cakey.

Does powder foundation come before or after liquid concealer?

After liquid concealer.

Apply your liquid concealer first before applying your foundation because the liquid concealer can absorb the powder foundation and destroy the base. This also goes for liquid color correctors.


Yes, powder foundation is a thing, and it has proven its usefulness in the beauty industry.

If you want to use it, start with a fresh face (moisturized and primed), then pick a tool of your choice to dip and buff.

Applying powder foundation is not so different from liquid; they also offer a natural finish with varying coverage.

However, when you use your foundation, remember to layer lightly to avoid a cakey finish because of its deep pigment.

Thanks for reading.

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