Looking for a new foundation? These powder foundations are kind to skin but still cover
Powder foundations may not be an obvious choice when picking a foundation, especially if you’ve got problem skin that demands strong coverage. But the latest powder foundations and technology can create a flawless base for every skin type, tone and texture.
What are the benefits of powder foundation over other textures? If you don’t usually wear foundation, many make-up artists recommend starting with powder, as it’s often easier to apply and won’t leave any telltale streaks or visible lines. Powder foundations are also great for oily or combination skin types. The powder absorbs extra oil, and can easily be topped up on shiny bits throughout the day.
Often women worry about looking old-fashioned or cakey with powder. The key to achieving a lovely, healthy-looking finish with powder foundation, along with using modern formulas, is knowing the right shade and amount of product for you. A professional can help you find your perfect match, while dipping your brush or sponge into the powder foundation then immediately tapping it to get rid of excess particles will ensure you won’t look overly dusted.
Vichy Dermablend Covermatte Compact Foundation, £20
If you’ve tried Vichy’s Dermablend range, you’ll know these bases are built to last, making them a particular favourite of make up artists on shoots. This new powder foundation certainly stands the test of time – I got from 7am to 2pm before I felt the need to top up my oil-prone chin – and completely knocked any redness out of my skin tone for that time too. The finish is full, but not fake-looking, and melts nicely into skin without sitting on top like some powders can. The sturdy compact with inbuilt mirror and sponge will withstand any amount of handbag transit as well – important. Buy Vichy Dermablend Covermatte Compact Foundation, £20
Everything about this foundation – from the sleek claret compact, the incredibly finely-milled powder to the matte but somehow also glowy finish – says luxury, The price does too, of course, but if you’ve got a little more to spend and want a truly fabulous powder base then this should be it.
Use the soft peachy sponge to apply and blend the silky powder, the coverage is light at first but you can build it up bit by bit where needed, say around the nose and under eyes, and leave a sheer look where you want skin to show through, it won’t clog up or look flat no matter how much you layer on, such is the lovely light-diffusing effect. If you fancy a weightier look you could wet the sponge down to lay the powder down in a more robust way that’ll offset a stronger smoky eye or lip look for evening.
Designed to be super long-wearing and launched alongside a liquid version, Chanel’s latest foundation formula is impressive in many ways, but it won’t be for everyone. If you love a classically ‘done’ look then you’ll love it, the coverage is high, purposely so, and covers pigmentation, rosacea and other tone issues extremely well. The formula is soft and finely-milled, and despite an initial bit of buffing work required, blends in very well, sets to a matte finish then will not budge all day long.
As I said it won’t be for everyone – if you don’t like or need full coverage, or have very dry skin that needs saturated in emollients to look healthy give it a miss. Also, the compact comes in fewer shades than the liquid, meaning less choice for darker skin, frustratingly. Otherwise, this is another excellent launch from Chanel in a chic compact you’ll be proud to whip out on the train.
You might remember this – a cult classic in the 90s, this innovative foundation has now returned to the UK market (phew) and it’s even better than we remembered! The special ingredient is the high percentage of ‘microwater’ complex – basically souped-up H20 with seaweed extracts that hydrate and plump. The texture is almost gel-like and bouncy at first, then blends down to a semi-matte powder finish with real staying power. If you have dry skin and need a juicy formula, but still want the portability and finesse of a powder, this is a perfect choice.
If you’re wedded to liquid base, loose powder foundations might seem a bit of a faff – the shaking, the blending, the potential spilling – but we promise this is well worth it. Like everything by W3ll People, it’s only made from ingredients that do kind things with your skin: yes to minerals, pigment and protective zinc; no to synthetic fragrance, parabens and other nasties. The coverage is fairly sheer, and ends up as the complete opposite of what you’d expect from powder – all soft-focus and dewy with no settling-in lines. It’s just even, fresh-faced loveliness.
Trust base maestro Bobbi to come up with a beautiful, natural powder foundation that we immediately want to swap our regular liquid for.
The main USP of Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Powder Foundation, £33.50 is the fact that it isn’t pressed in to the compact – instead a liquid-powder mix is baked for 12 hours until set. The result? A formula that covers and evens skin tone without feeling heavy or drying out. We couldn’t feel anything on our skin at all, which is basically the holy grail. Top marks for offering a wide range of skin tones too, from alabaster to espresso.
Compact foundation can be a very good thing indeed if you suffer from breakout-prone or oily skin, as the powdery formula easily absorbs excess sebum.
Sheer and perfect is a very apt description for this little beauty, which would suit you if you’ve got reasonably good skin and are looking for light coverage and a touch of radiance enhancement into the bargain.
This powder foundation is a w&h favourite. Unlike many creamier formulas, MAC’s Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation was designed with oily skin in mind, so the pigment is high and the coverage is strong – but without any of the pore-clogging heaviness you might be used to from compacts of yore.
A real cult buy, when Bare Minerals hit the UK from America, mineral foundation suddenly became a make-up bag essential. Bare Minerals Original SPF Foundation is still as good as we remember. Their Get Started Complexion Kit is great if you’re new to mineral foundation, containing buffing brushes, two shades of foundation (plus two other brilliant products) and full instructions from the pros.