Powder vs Liquid Foundation: Which is Better for You?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips, Makeup Tips

If you’re looking for a way to do flawless makeup, your first instinct should be to pick the best foundation for your face. Everything will just glide on smoothly if you have a good base to work with. Since there are so many options to choose from, we have compared the two popular options: powder vs liquid foundation.

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It can be a little overwhelming when you go makeup shopping since there are quite a lot of things to consider.

With several differences in the formula and application, we have listed out what would work best for your skin type.

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Why Choosing the Right Foundation Is More Important Than You Think

Everyone has a different skin type, ranging from oily to dry skin. You can even have a combination skin type, which can mean your skin is acne-prone and dry at the same time. There’s also skin texture to consider; for example, what should be used in makeup for acne scars and large pores?

The only way you can truly have a smooth finish is to choose a foundation that caters to your own skin.

If you don’t pick correctly, your makeup can look uneven and leave streaks on your face. They can also settle in unsightly places, such as flaking areas of your face. But all these may be the least of your problems. Choosing the wrong foundation type can also trigger skin reactions including acne breakouts, dry patches, redness, and clogging of pores.

Powder vs Liquid Foundation

The formulation, texture, and application of these two foundations are vastly different.

Read on to see the comparison between them and which one would suit you.

1. Formulation

A powder foundation has fewer chemicals and preservatives in its formulation than a traditional liquid foundation.

While powder foundations have less than 1% preservatives, liquid foundations can go up to 3%.

However, with newer formulas coming into the market, liquid foundations have also begun to reduce their chemical components, moving towards natural ingredients.

This is something to keep in mind if you have sensitive skin.

The more preservatives and chemicals included in the formulation, the more likely your skin may get irritated. The best thing to do is to read the back label of your foundation and check the ingredients.

But if you do not want to go through that hassle and play it safe, you should opt for a powder foundation of your choice.

2. Texture

Powder vs Liquid Foundation_ Which Is Better - Ellis James Designs

A powder foundation can come as a pressed powder in the compact packing. That means it is not loose and will not fly about everywhere.

With that said, the texture does change with different brands, so be aware when choosing. It should feel soft, velvet-like to touch, and should have no rough particles.

If you have oily or combination skin, this foundation type would be a perfect base for you. Due to its short ingredients list, there is a lesser chance of anything aggravating your skin. The powder particles are very fine; hence, they do not cling onto your pores.

A liquid foundation, on the other hand, is either made with a water base or an oil base. A water-based foundation is usually lighter in consistency, whereas an oil base foundation makes for a high coverage base, so the consistency is usually thick.

If you have combination skin that leans on the drier side, a water-based foundation will do wonders for your skin. On the contrary, the oil-based foundation goes very well with dry, textured skin because of its rich consistency, enabling you to cover the skin.

3. Application

If you dislike the feel of makeup on your face, your best bet would be to use a powder foundation. Applying it with a sponge or a Kabuki brush will give you the best results. These foundations usually range from light to medium coverage, and you may even find rare high coverage ones in certain brands.

But the uniqueness of this foundation lies in its simplicity. The application process is easy and fast. If you want a foundation to use on the go, this one truly hits the mark because of its convenient packaging and application.

Some issues you could face would be lack of shade range and powder becoming loose, which would make a mess.

In contrast, a liquid foundation is for times when you want your skin to be covered completely and evenly. A water-based foundation is great for normal wear because it is lighter on the skin, so it does not clog pores quickly. You can apply it using a wet sponge or a regular foundation brush.

Both methods will give you a soft, dewy look that you can build up to become full coverage. While the oil-based foundation will provide you with a full coverage look in one layer because of its formulation. It is applied similarly to the water-based foundation, but you will not need much product since it’s very pigmented.

This is the best foundation type to go for if you want to completely cover dark spots, acne marks, dry patches, redness and dark circles. Once you set it in with a loose powder, this foundation will not budge from your face all day. You should use a little amount, gradually adding more to get an even finish.

A liquid foundation is used according to what you want the finish to be. You could have a dewy finish or a full coverage look that looks like you used an Instagram filter.

Additionally, liquid foundations have a better shade range than a powder foundation so you can match your skin tone easily.

4. Season and Price

If it is a hot day, and you are sweating, the liquid foundation can start wearing off. Most people use powder foundation in summer and liquid foundation in winter.

Pricing-wise, it depends on the brand you choose, but liquids do tend to be a tad bit more expensive.

Here’s a good video on the topic too:


In this powder vs liquid foundation battle, it boils down to what you want your skin to look like.

For days when you may feel like you want to go for a natural look, a powder foundation will be your best friend. Here’s some of the best drugstore powder foundation that you can try for yourself!

But the days you want to go all out, liquid foundations will get the job done.

Both types are great because of their respective qualities. The clear winner would be the one that would work for your skin and preferred style of makeup.

We hope you enjoyed this comparison and that it helps you in making your decision.

Read related posts on our blog:

Which side are you on? Are you a powder foundation, or a liquid foundation kind of gal?

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?