Loose Powder vs. Pressed: Which is best for me?

loose powder and makeup brush
Loose powder of the mineral makeup variety. Someone wisely traded the puff that came with it for a brush. Good move.

No matter how long we've been using makeup or how expert we consider ourselves to be with foundation application, blush contouring and eye-shadow blending, the issue of how to use powder still eludes many of us. Are loose and pressed powder interchangeable, or do they serve completely different purposes? Is one better than the other for certain skin types, or is it just a matter of personal preference? Do you use powder over foundation or by itself?

The answer is ... a little of everything. Both kinds of powder have the same basic function: to even out your skin tone and absorb oil. But the question of which is best for you depends on a few factors. Your skin type definitely comes into play, as does the amount of coverage you want. If you wear a full face of makeup every day and need things to stay put, you might use loose powder over foundation and carry pressed powder for touchups. But if you're the type who swipes on a couple of products before dashing out the door, an occasional dab of pressed powder could be all you need. If you have dry skin, you might find that loose powder reveals flakes and wrinkles, and oily skin might end up looking cakey with pressed powder.


Read on to figure out which type of powder is best for you.