Not too long ago, wearing
powder foundation was what I like to refer to as "The Terrible D's." Dry, dusty ( sooo dusty), and difficult. And that's if you could even find your shade. Unfortunately, people with really fair or deep skin tones were often left out of the mix and had only two options: Either settle on what was available (with less than ideal results) or wear nothing at all. In hindsight, it was basically just a hot mess for everyone involved.
Thankfully, those days are becoming a distant memory as makeup companies across the board have stepped up their game, offering a wider range of shades that are also comfortable to wear (regardless of skin texture), look natural, and last longer without the need for constant touch-ups. From
Lancôme and Bobbi Brown to bargain brands like NYX Cosmetics, meeting your desired price point is totally possible, too.
Click ahead for our editors' favorite powders that are anything but ashy.
Fans of this foundation are most impressed with its wide shade range and buildable, yet breathable, coverage. Made with kaolin clay, a natural mineral that absorbs excess oil, it blocks breakthrough shine so your skin stays fresh and matte (but not flat) throughout the day.
Pressed Mineral Foundation, $36, available at
Like its popular liquid cousin, a.k.a
Kat Von D’s Lock-It Foundation
, the powder version boasts a 24-hour hold and an ultra-matte finish.
Kat Von D
Lock-It Powder Foundation, $35, available at
Laura Mercier ranks high when it comes to having one of the
best translucent finishing powders
we’ve ever seen. However, some consider its Smooth Finish Foundation Powder to be just as amazing. You can apply it dry for a matte look or use it with a wet sponge to give your skin a dewy glow.
Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, $48, available at
If you could somehow transform velvet into makeup, this foundation would be it. The powder has a super soft, cream-like texture that leaves behind a demi-matte finish, which looks just like skin.
Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation, $36, available at
Lancôme’s Dual Finish Powder Foundation is an old faithful that’s perfect for a quick touch-up or on-the-go spot coverage. And there are 32 shades to choose from, with a range of undertones, so the color never looks flat.
Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Longwear Powder Foundation, $39.50, available at
BareMinerals has taken what could easily be a tricky — and sometimes unavoidably messy — concept (powder foundation) and turned it into a practical, three-step (swirl, tap, and buff) solution. The finish looks so natural, and the gentle formula is ideal for sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15, $29, available at
This lightweight foundation feels like nothing at all — and you can build it for more and more coverage.
Skin Weightless Powder Foundation, $50, available at
Let’s be real: Everyone loves a dual-purpose product that cut down on time. Clinique’s Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation + Concealer does exactly that by speeding up the process of applying a full face of makeup. All you need is a few swipes, and you’re good to go.
Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation + Concealer, $28, available at
Comparable to luxury brands, the Stay Matte Powder Foundation by NYX Cosmetics is a drugstore staple that delivers professional quality results for about one third of the price.
Stay Matte Powder Foundation, $9.99, available at
According to one fan, this powder is like an “Instagram filter for your face." What that actually means: The subtle blurring effect softens lines and pores, compared to other powders that can tend to settle into creases and enhance them.
Matte Perfection Powder Foundation, $20, available at
You can wear Pro Finish alone or on top of your liquid foundation as a setting powder. Either way, its non-chalky texture — which works well on dry skin, too — will leave you with an even, poreless complexion.
Make Up For Ever
Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation, $37, available at
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the
Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page
. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!