When it comes to foundation preferences, people usually fall into one of two categories: those that think liquid is superior and those that will forever sing the praises of powder. Set up a debate on which foundation consistency is the all-time best between team powder and team liquid, and you are sure to get a lively discussion filled with some very valid points on either side.
The truth is, no one is going to truly win that argument, because foundation preferences are based on so many factors, skin type, coverage needs, and more.
Not sure what foundation you prefer? Keep scrolling for four tips that’ll help you choose which consistency is right for you.
1, Ponder Your Personal Preferences
Perhaps you’re more comfortable applying liquid products than powder. Maybe you like the way powder products feel on your skin more than liquid. Personal preference is a huge part of deciding what foundation consistency to use. Considering and dissecting your inclinations in other product categories will only help you in your foundation search.
2, Keep Your Skin Type in Mind
Keeping your skin’s tendencies in mind can be a helpful tool in choosing between powder and liquid foundation. If you have dry skin, Flynn Pyykkonen, a makeup artist based in New York City, recommends avoiding powder foundation (which can sometimes make your skin look even more dry) and opting for a liquid version instead.
Many liquid foundations — like the e.l.f. Cosmetics Camo CC Cream ($14) — are infused with hydrating ingredients to boost the skin’s moisture levels and further prevent dry patches and flaking.
Powder foundations may be better suited for those with normal, oily, combination, or normal skin — especially those with anti-shine, oil-absorbing benefits.
3, Think About the Application Process and Tools
If you feel strongly about applying products with your own fingertips and avoiding all tool cleaning tasks, liquid foundation products might be up your alley. Of course, this type can also be applied with a brush or a sponge; it’s really up to you.
Powder foundation, on the other hand, can actually be broken up into two sub-categories: pressed powder and loose powder.
As for what application tools are best, Pyykkonen says she’d opt for a powder brush with a loose powder foundation and a dense sponge for a pressed powder foundation.
Many pressed powder foundations, like the W3LL People Bio Powder Foundation ($25) can also be applied with a Kabuki brush.
4, Consider The Amount of Coverage You Want
Thanks to product innovation, you can pretty much find a liquid or a powder foundation that can give you light, medium, full, or buildable coverage. So, be sure to check out the brand claims before making your purchase.
Generally though, powder foundations have a reputation for providing less coverage, while liquids are commonly thought to provide more.
However, Pyykkonen believes it’s easier to create a sheer coverage with liquid foundation — “especially if you mix it with a moisturizer.”