12 Powder Foundations That Actually Look Like Skin

Once upon a time, wearing powder foundation was a challenge. If your skin was on the drier side, the finish would look cakey. If the shade wasn't an exact match, you'd look a bit ashy. And don't even get us started on the durability — one slip up could crush your entire compact and ruin your floors forever.

Thankfully, those days are a distant memory. Brands across the board have stepped up their powder foundation formulas, offering a wider range of shades that are comfortable to wear (regardless of skin type), look natural, and last hours without the need for touch-ups.


Ahead, we've rounded up some of the best compacts on the market. From luxury finds to bargain brands, there's something for everyone's budget, and these silky formulas will quickly make up for any past transgressions.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

You don't have to worry about powder settling into any creases or lines with this buildable, cult-classic foundation that has a soft, velvety texture.
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation$31.00 Buy

Born This Way Multi-Use Complexion Powder

This product delivers undetectable yet effective coverage, but it also has hydrating ingredients, like coconut water and hyaluronic acid.
Too Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Complexion Powder$37.00 Buy

Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation

Contrary to popular belief, powder foundations can be used on dry skin, too. It's all about finding breathable coverage, like this formula that feels lightweight on the skin.
Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation$38.00 Buy

Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation

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.
Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation$38.00 Buy

Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation

Similar to the liquid version of the Kat Von D’s Lock-It Foundation, this powder has an ultra-matte finish and wears for hours. Bonus: Once you're done with the compact, you can purchase the powder as a refill at a discount, which is good for the environment.
Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation$36.00 Buy

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

Laura Mercier ranks high when it comes to having one of the best translucent finishing powders on the market. However, some consider the brand's 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.
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder$48.00 Buy

Lancôme Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Longwear Powder Foundation

This 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.
Lancôme DUAL FINISH – Multi-tasking Longwear Powder Foundation$40.00 Buy

bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

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.
bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation SPF 15$31.00 Buy

Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Powder Foundation

This lightweight foundation feels like nothing at all — and you can build it for your desired coverage from light to full.
Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Powder Foundation$52.00 Buy

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation + Concealer

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.
Clinique Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation + Concealer$29.50 Buy

NYX Cosmetics Stay Matte Powder Foundation

Comparable to luxury brands, this product is a drugstore staple that delivers professional quality results for about one third of the price.
NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte Powder Foundation$9.50 Buy

Sephora Collection Matte Perfection Powder Foundation

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.
Sephora Collection Matte Perfection Powder Foundation$20.00 Buy
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