Everything You Need to Know About Using a Powder Foundation 

I was never really that into powder foundations. There was one from Laura Mercier that I loved, but other than that, the rest of the genre got a huge write-off from me. But lately there have been a number of formulations that have made me re-think my former judgment that powder foundation wasn’t for me. However, a powder base comes with its own set of rules, so I had to hit up my very lovely makeup artist confidante, Lindsey Williams of @crazypretty, to figure this out. She gave me a few cardinal rules that are basically like the powder foundation commandments.  

Pick Your Coverage

“For full coverage, you can use a sponge like the beautyblender or the sponge provided within the compact. For lighter coverage, a soft fluffy brush in circular motions around the face will diffuse and remove discoloration. For full concealing, use a synthetic flat brush to apply around the under eyes and nose. For lighter concealing, try a small fluffy brush to diffuse product,” she says. 

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Color Match

Another tip is to make sure you check the tone of your foundation in natural light, and even take photo of yourself wearing it to be sure. “Powder foundations have come a long way from the days when they were heavily reflective to flash or there were minimal color options, but you still need to check your skin tone in various light. Don’t forget to bring the foundation down into your jawline and buff/diffuse through the neck, especially during the changing seasons when your foundation and neck may not quite be equal in tone,” explains Lindsay. 

Use Powder with Powder

Throughout the day, you can mist to refresh powder foundation, but be sure to wait for it to dry before applying more powder. Personally, I felt nervous about using my normal concealing routine, but celebrity and editorial makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes told me that when concealing in tandem with powder foundation, concealers with a mousse texture will still work, but liquid might not lay well over powder.


Williams says she always recommends using powder blush and bronzers when using powder foundation.

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Road Test

And last but not least, try out several brands of powder foundations if you’re trying the product out for the first time. “Sephora is a great place to get samples of products, and you can see which one wears better for you or may have a great color match for your specific tone,” says Williams. 

Ugh, thank goodness for makeup artists, right? Without them we’d be truly lost.


This article originally appeared on InStyle.com/MIMI.

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