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The 16 Best Powder Foundations That Won’t Budge Under the Summer Sun

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While it's debatable, we think a great foundation is the most important product in any makeup bag. Whether you're using liquid formula or powder foundation, it's an essential makeup product that is key to creating a smooth base for any makeup look you choose to execute.

 Both foundation types have their pros and cons, but for summertime, nothing beats a powder formula that stays in place when everything is prone to melting off. "It sets the makeup nicely by giving an extra layer of coverage to medium and light liquid foundations," says makeup artist Lennie Billy. "And as a retouching powder, it's great. That's my favorite way to use it." It's also an ideal product if you like to switch up how much coverage you want. Dust a light layer over concealer for a clean, natural finish, or apply it with a sponge for flawless full coverage. 

Ready to find your perfect powder foundation match? We're here to help. Ahead, discover 16 of the best powder foundations—a few of which have already been pre-approved by Ipsters from past Glam Bags.

ONE/SIZE BY PATRICK STARRR Turn Up The Base Versatile Powder Foundation
Courtesy of ONE/SIZE

While this versatile powder foundation is buildable and can be used for a light-to-medium coverage, applying it with a dense brush or soft makeup puff can hide all traces of under-eye circles, pigmentation, and breakouts. It goes on buttery smooth, boasts a soft-matte finish, and lasts up to 12 hours, even in the dead of summer. 

2. Best Powder Foundation Shade Range:

FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Powder Foundation

FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Powder Foundation
Courtesy of FENTY BEAUTY

 There's nothing worse than getting excited to try a cult-favorite foundation, only to realize it doesn't come in your shade. Available in 50 skin tone options—we expected nothing less from this fan-favorite beauty brand—this best-selling foundation compact has a featherweight formula that won't crease, sweat off, or create flashback in photos.

3. Best Powder Foundation for Oily Skin:

KVD BEAUTY Lock-It Powder Foundation

KVD BEAUTY Lock-It Powder Foundation
Courtesy of KVD BEAUTY

If you didn't catch this viral foundation making its rounds on TikTok, allow us to fill you in. With just one layer, the rice powder formula blurs away pores and blemishes while providing insane coverage. And the best part is it's packed with white kaolin clay, which is known for its oil-absorbing powers. So if you tend to get a bit shiny in the summer, know this powder formula will keep you matte for hours after application.

 4. Best Powder Foundation for All Skin Types:

M•A•C Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

M•A•C Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
Courtesy of MAC

Set it, forget it, and don't worry if you sweat it. This matte powder foundation boasts an impressive 12 hours of medium-to-full coverage that won't fade, streak, or crease. So go ahead and go about your day without worrying about your foundation getting cakey (you’ve got other things on your plate!).

Apply it with a large powder brush or kabuki brush for sheer to medium coverage, or use a makeup sponge for full coverage. However you wear it, this concentrated powder is perfect for combination and oily skin types looking to control excess oil throughout the day. It's also non-drying, so it's a great matte-finish option for those with dry skin or anyone who wants to rock a shine-free matte makeup look.

"This product has lasted forever," one Ipster writes. "It wears well, goes on flawlessly, and the shade is wonderful."

5. Best Long-Wear Powder Foundation:

SHISEIDO Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Custom Finish Powder Foundation

SHISEIDO Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Custom Finish Powder Foundation
Courtesy of SHISEIDO

When you need a powder that will stay put for hours on end, reach for this longwear formula from SHISEIDO that looks sharp for up to 24 hours. The secret is the brand's ActiveForce™ technology, an exclusive complex that "self-refreshes" while you wear it, protecting your flawless finish from sweat, oil, and facial movement. You can even apply this natural finish foundation wet or dry, depending on how much coverage you're looking for.

6. Best Powder Foundation for Sensitive Skin:

BAREMINERALS Loose Powder Matte Foundation SPF 15

BAREMINERALS Loose Powder Matte Foundation SPF 15
Courtesy of BAREMINERALS

If you have sensitive skin, you really can't go wrong with mineral foundation. With just six simple ingredients, this dermatologist-tested loose powder is hypoallergenic (meaning it won't irritate your skin), non-comedogenic (meaning it won't clog your pores), and non-acnegenic (meaning it won't cause breakouts in acne-prone skin). All of this is to say, it's a gentle perfecting powder that blends in like a dream for a weightless, satin-matte finish.

7. Best Natural-Finish Powder Foundation:

IT COSMETICS Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder

IT COSMETICS Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder
Courtesy of IT COSMETICS

For those days when you want your skin to look like skin (just a little bit better), try this lightweight perfecting powder with a natural finish. Without over-correcting, this foundation will lightly blur pores, disguise dark spots, and even out your skin tone. It even comes with some essential skincare benefits: Hyaluronic acid keeps the skin hydrated while collagen and peptides plump up fine lines. Dust it on lightly to use it as a setting powder over liquid foundation, or layer up on bare skin to create medium to full coverage.

8. Best Mattifying Powder Foundation:

MAKE UP FOR EVER Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation

MAKE UP FOR EVER Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation

This 12-hour matte foundation uses blurring technology to minimize the appearance of large pores, even out your skin tone, and reduce redness. But if matte finishes usually make you nervous, don’t worry—while this formula is mattifying, it's never drying. Throughout the day, expect this full-coverage foundation to feel flexible without ever creasing or settling into your fine lines (we all have ’em!).

"The shade was just right and it didn’t make my face look dry like most foundations," writes one Ipster. "And it covered up my freckles and pimples easily." Another says, “Great coverage and goes on velvety smooth over a light primer. I never liked powder foundations until now.”

9. Best Powder Foundation for Mature Skin:

TARTE Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape™ Pressed Powder

TARTE Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape™ Pressed Powder
Courtesy of TARTE

Typically, powder foundations should be avoided for mature skin types as this formulation is known to settle into fine lines and wrinkles. But if you have oily or combination skin (or you just prefer powder over liquid), there are a few formulas that won't emphasize signs of aging. After prepping your skin with a moisturizer and primer, you'll want to look for a powder foundation that features anti-aging ingredients, like this TARTE powder. Infused with a powerful peptide complex, this foundation provides up to 12 hours of coverage while also plumping fine lines, wrinkles, and large pores.

10. Best Wet/Dry Powder Foundation:

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation
Courtesy of NARS

Add a bit of water to your makeup sponge to use this versatile foundation as a liquid, or dip your dry brush into it for a dry, matte application. This foundation is perfect for looking balanced and not over-highlighted on camera, thanks to photochromic technology that makes skin look natural in any type of light. It’s perfect for events, special occasions, or just strutting down the street under the sunshine.

11. Best Splurge Powder Foundation:

LA MER The Soft Moisture Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 30

LA MER The Soft Moisture Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Courtesy of LA MER

This LA MER foundation contains something called “miracle broth”: the powerhouse signature ingredient found in all of the brand’s products. When you use this lightweight powder foundation, you can be sure you’re gaining anti-aging benefits as well. Because titanium dioxide is an active ingredient, you also don’t have to load up on SPF as a first step before applying this (it has SPF 30 protection!).

12. Best Water-Resistant Powder Foundation:

LAURA MERCIER Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

LAURA MERCIER Smooth Finish Foundation Powder
Courtesy of LAURA MERCIER

Whether you’re at the beach or just running errands on the hottest day of the year, this lightweight and oil-free foundation from LAURA MERCIER has you covered. It instantly reduces shine when you apply it, and resists moisture all day long for 12-hour wear.

13. Best Vegan Powder Foundation:

KOSAS Cloud Set Setting Powder

KOSAS Cloud Set Setting Powder
Courtesy of KOSAS

Makeup shouldn’t just cover up your imperfections; it should help heal them, too. And now with all of the options available for makeup products, you never have to sacrifice adding a bit of your favorite skincare ingredients into your everyday makeup products.

This KOSAS product is called a setting powder, so you know it’ll help lock your makeup in place, but it also has buildable coverage that allows it to be used alone as a powder foundation. Plus, ingredients like bamboo stem extract support the areas of the face that produce excess oil, so your complexion stays smoothed and balanced out.

14. Best Light-Diffusing Powder Foundation:

CHANEL Ultra Le Teint Ultrawear All-Day Comfort Flawless Finish Foundation

CHANEL Ultra Le Teint Ultrawear All-Day Comfort Flawless Finish Foundation
Courtesy of CHANEL

“Light-diffusing” means that the second natural or artificial light hits your face, it’s evenly distributed across your skin. That’s how the absorbent powders in this CHANEL foundation always manage to leave an even and perfectly matte finish. This formula is totally buildable and built for easy touch-ups throughout the day, and an added bonus is that the compact, applicator, and mirror are all included in the packaging. 

15. Best Concealing Powder Foundation:

BOBBI BROWN COSMETICS Skin Weightless Powder Foundation

BOBBI BROWN COSMETICS Skin Weightless Powder Foundation
Courtesy of BOBBI BROWN COSMETICS

By using a brush or the dry sponge included in this compact, you can skip the step of adding concealer and instantly blur out dark spots or even red pimples. This formula is not for those who want barely-there coverage. For medium coverage, apply one layer, or for full coverage, go for two. No matter how much you build the product up, the finish stays velvety-smooth and flawless. 

16. Best Powder Foundation for Acne-Prone Skin:

BAREMINERALS Blemish Rescue™ Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation

BAREMINERALS Blemish Rescue™ Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation
Courtesy of BAREMINERALS

Foundation can be a double-edged sword for acne-prone skin types: It's great for providing coverage, but it can also worsen breakouts. Billy warns that using certain powder foundations too frequently can clog pores and irritate acne-prone skin, so you'll need to be intentional about which formulas you use.

A top contender in our book is this mineral powder from BAREMINERALS. Not only is it a non-comedogenic foundation, but it's actually formulated with 0.5% salicylic acid to actively treat breakouts while you wear it. Full coverage and clear skin don't have to be mutually exclusive (finally!).

Want to discover the best makeup-bag staples for you? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
Stephanie Montes
Stephanie Montes
Stephanie is a freelance contributor covering all things beauty. She writes about her adventures testing the latest trends in skincare, hair, and makeup. Stephanie's bylines have also appeared on Who What Wear, Elle, Byrdie, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated March 9, 2023 12:00 AM