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.
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