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12 Best Full-Coverage Powder Foundations For An Unbeatable, Picture-Perfect Look In 2023!

by Tori Jones
Powder Foundation

Today, we’re delving into the wonderland of full-coverage powder foundations, those magical beauty allies that give us a seamlessly polished look and make our skin appear flawless. If you’ve ever wondered, “Which powder foundation will bless me with that ideal airbrushed finish?” or “How do I avoid the infamous cakey look?” this post has your name written all over it.

As a seasoned beauty blogger with countless foundation trials under my belt (or should I say on my face?), Choosing the proper powder foundation is an art in itself. It is an art of understanding your skin, an art of acknowledging your preferences, and an art of knowing the best in the market. So, buckle up because we will unravel the mysteries and delights of full-coverage powder foundations together!

This post explores the top picks for full-coverage powder foundations, perfect for various skin types and tones. There’s a solution here, whether you’ve got dry, oily, combination, or sensitive skin. We’ll delve into why these foundations are the crème de la crème, what makes them tick, and how you can get the most out of them.

Additionally, we’ll touch on the correct techniques for applying your powder foundation to ensure a smooth and radiant finish — no cakey surprises, I promise!

So, whether you’re a makeup guru in the making or a professional looking for new products to love, this post will equip you with the know-how and confidence to level up your makeup game. Let’s embark on this full-coverage journey and discover your next secret weapon for a flawless, camera-ready look!

From Skin Tints to Full-Beat Glory

Full-Coverage Powder Foundations
Photo by Manu Camargo on Unsplash

As devoted as I am to my skin tints (trust me, my collection could rival a small beauty store), there are those days when I want my face to be as immaculate as a freshly primed canvas. I’m talking about that full-beat, poreless, matte complexion that turns heads and makes you feel like you could conquer the world. My hand instinctively reaches for my trusty full-coverage powder foundation on those special days.

The Magic of Powder Foundations

Ideal for my beauties with oily or combination skin types, powder foundations merge the rich coverage of a liquid foundation with the mattifying properties and ease of application characteristic of a powder. Can we talk about versatility? You can confidently use them to cover your entire face for that airbrushed look or dust them lightly over your favorite liquid or cream foundation for that extra coverage boost. Oh, and did I mention how effortlessly it controls shine?

Finding the Perfect Powder Foundation

Refrain from being daunted by the array of options out there. there’sThere’s a powder foundation waiting to be your beauty best friend. It’s all about identifying the right finish, ingredients, and shade that best compliments your skin. So, to make your life a bit easier, let’s dive into my top picks of the best high-coverage powder foundations for that picture-perfect, flawless face:

The Very Best Full Coverage Powder Foundations

Embracing Full-Coverage with KVD Vegan Beauty Lock-It Powder Foundation

KVD Vegan Beauty Lock-It Powder Foundation

Ah, KVD Beauty — a brand that’s almost synonymous with high-coverage foundations and concealers. Fun fact: they once designed a concealer to cover tattoos! If that doesn’t scream coverage, I don’t know what does. So naturally, their Lock-It Powder Foundation is a powerhouse in the coverage department.

Oldie but Goldie

This foundation isn’t a new kid on the block; it’s been around for years and has amassed a devout following thanks to its excellent coverage and transfer-free finish. It has a built-in sponge applicator — a time saver for those hurried mornings.

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  •  Finish: Diffused matte finish
  •  Formulation Details: 100% vegan and cruelty-free
  •  Number of Shades: 14

Why Choose KVD Lock-It?

This is a solid pick if you’re dipping your toes into powder foundations. It delivers on its claims of buildable full coverage, and the matte yet diffused finish is a beauty lover’s dream.

I adore its staying power. When they say “long wear,” they aren’t kidding! This product doesn’t transfer or rub off — a blessing for an oily-skinned girl like me.

However, if you lean towards dry skin, beware that this foundation can dry. It’s a plus for oily and combination skin, but drier skin might want to explore other options on this list.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • It doesn’t rub off or transfer; seriously, long-wearing
  •  It comes with a sponge applicator
  •  Refillable container, which is both eco-friendly and cost-effective
  •  Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons:

  • The smallest shade range of the foundations on this list (14)
  •  It often sells out quickly and takes a while to restock
  •  It might be too drying for dry skin types

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Budget-friendly Powerhouse: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder

L’Oréal Paris Makeup Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder

If you’re looking for an excellent powder foundation that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, L’Oreal Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder is your best friend. It’s the unicorn of drugstore powder foundations — worth every penny.

Why I Love It

What’s not to love? Quick and easy to apply, it covers just as you want and stays put for 24 hours (it’s even waterproof!).

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  •  Finish: Matte
  •  Formulation Details: Non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested
  •  Number of Shades: 16

Should You Try L’Oreal Infallible?

This foundation is excellent if you want top-notch performance without a hefty price tag. Despite a limited shade range (a common issue with drugstore brands), you’re in for a treat if you find your match among their 16 shades.

And here’s a silver lining for our dry-skinned beauties: while many powder foundations can be drying, this one works surprisingly well on drier skin types. Remember, the trick is to blend, blend, and blend some more to avoid caking.

Please note that L’Oreal isn’t a cruelty-free brand. The KVD foundation might be a better fit if that’s a deal-breaker.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Super affordable (usually around $16 total price, often on sale)
  •  Smooth, easy-to-blend powder
  •  Excellent coverage
  •  Waterproof finish
  •  Works on drier skin types

Cons:

  • Not cruelty-free
  •  It might not be mattifying enough for oily skin
  •  Limited shade range

Buy Here

Unveiling the Classic: Lancôme Dual Finish Longwear Powder Foundation

Lancôme DUAL FINISH – Multi-tasking Longwear Powder Foundation

This powder foundation is a timeless classic. I remember my mom using it when I was a kid, always leaving her looking flawless and radiant, so naturally, I had to try it. And let me tell you, it’s as good now as it was back then!

A Versatile Favorite

One of the best things about Lancôme’s Dual Finish Longwear Powder Foundation is its versatility. Want a light dusting to set your makeup? Done! Craving full-coverage for a night out? This baby has got you covered — literally!

Pros:

  • Incredible versatility, buildable from sheer to full coverage.
  • Matte finish that masters oil control.
  • Blends in seamlessly, avoiding any cakey finish.

Cons:

  • Unfortunately, it’s not cruelty-free.
  • The strong floral scent might not be for everyone.
  • At $50, it’s definitely an investment.

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The Undisputed Classic: MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

MAC COSMETICS Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

Let’s take a moment to honor the OG of powder foundations: the MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. It’s like meeting an old friend; this was my first powder foundation in high school. It was love at first application, and the romance is still intense!

For The Love of Pigmentation

Buckle up if you’re all about pigmentation because this foundation is a color powerhouse. Are you seeking a shade range? With 52 options, you’ll feel spoilt for choice. Are you looking for a mattifying product? This one’s got you covered. Are you craving buildability? Look no further. Trust me; this powder won’t disappoint you — it delivers on every promise.

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  •  Finish: Matte
  •  Formulation Details: Breathable formula, sweat, and humidity-resistant
  •  Number of Shades: 52

Why I Recommend MAC Studio Fix

If full coverage and a plethora of shades are what you seek, then your search ends here. MAC isn’t messing around with its coverage game — it’s a common sight on film sets for a reason! And with 52 shades, it’s like finding your perfect match at a foundation fiesta.

However, a word of caution: While it claims to suit all skin types, I’ve noticed it can cling to dry patches. Hence, I’d recommend it for normal to oily skin types.

Also, beware of the caking phenomenon if you apply too much or use it for daily touch-ups. (My hack? Use a translucent powder for touch-ups.) Remember, MAC isn’t a cruelty-free brand, so if that’s your priority, this might not be your perfect match.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Extensive shade range (52, to be exact!)
  •  It comes with an applicator sponge
  •  It gives a beautiful airbrushed finish
  •  Excellent pigmentation that can build up to full coverage and lasts all-day

Cons:

  • Not cruelty-free
  •  It can be drying, thus not ideal for drier skin types
  •  Quite a splurge at $39

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Luxe at its Finest: Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

Laura Mercier is a name that tops my list of favorite luxury makeup brands, and their Smooth Finish Foundation Powder justifies every penny of its $50 price tag.

Customize Your Look

What sets this product apart is its chameleon-like adaptability. Want a matte finish? Use it dry. Are you craving a radiant glow? Apply it with a wet sponge. It’s like having multiple foundations ready to match your day’s mood.

  • Skin Type: All skin types
  •  Finish: Matte or natural finish (depending on application)
  •  Formulation Details: Oil-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested
  •  Number of Shades: 20

Why Laura Mercier?

If you’re hunting for a multi-tasking powder foundation, this is your Holy Grail. Laura Mercier’s powder lets you dictate the rules from sheer to full coverage and matte to natural finish. It’s also oil-free, fragrance-free, and comes with its applicator sponge!

Although the shade range isn’t as expansive as MAC’s, it offers 20 shades, which is a fair spectrum.

A few caveats: the brand isn’t cruelty-free, and it’s on the pricier side, tipping the scale at $50 a compact. So if you’re budget-conscious, there might be a better pick.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Customizable: apply dry for a matte finish or wet for a natural finish
  •  Buildable from sheer to full coverage
  •  Fragrance-free
  •  Decent shade range (20 shades)
  •  It comes with an applicator sponge

Cons:

  • The most expensive product on this list at $50
  •  Not cruelty-free

Buy Here

Vegan Alternatives

Here are two vegan powder foundations that not only offer superb full-coverage but also share a commitment to cruelty-free and vegan beauty.

Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation: For a natural matte finish and buildable full coverage, the Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation could be your new go-to. The range of 40 shades ensures a match for nearly everyone. Formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, it’s a skin-loving choice that’s both vegan and cruelty-free. I have personally found that it feels incredibly lightweight on the skin and manages to reduce shine without over-drying. It’s a bit pricey, but the quality truly speaks for itself.

Pros:

  • Vegan, cruelty-free, and free of harsh chemicals.
  • 40 diverse shades ensure a wide range of skin tones can find a match.
  • The matte finish controls shine without over-drying.
  • Provides buildable full coverage for a flawless finish.
  • Formulated with skin-loving ingredients, it’s ideal for sensitive skin types.

Cons:

  • The compact does not include a sponge or applicator.
  • More expensive than some other brands.
  • While it does control shine, those with very oily skin might need to blot throughout the day.

bareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Powder Foundation: If you’re after a vegan powder foundation that doesn’t compromise on performance, check out bareMinerals BAREPRO. This foundation is engineered for performance with 12-hour long wear and breathable formula that won’t clog pores. It offers a natural matte finish and comes in a decent range of 35 shades. What I love about bareMinerals is their commitment to clean beauty, creating products free of harsh chemicals and unnecessary additives. This foundation is no exception, and being 100% cruelty-free and vegan is the cherry on top.

Pros:

  • Vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without harsh chemicals or unnecessary additives.
  • Long-wearing, claims to last up to 12 hours.
  • Breathable and non-comedogenic, it’s suitable for all skin types.
  • Comes in 35 diverse shades catering to various skin tones.
  • Natural matte finish that gives a healthy glow.

Cons:

  • Although it’s long-wearing, in high humidity it might not last the full 12 hours.
  • The coverage, while buildable, might be too light for those needing to cover significant skin concerns.
  • As with Cover FX, the price is higher than some other brands.
  • Does not come with an applicator, so you’ll need to use your own brush or sponge.

More Top Picks for Full-Coverage Powder Foundations:

  1. bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15: This is a fantastic choice for sensitive skin. It’s a mineral powder foundation that gives a full-coverage, natural look. Plus, it has the added bonus of SPF protection!
  2. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Powder Foundation: Known for its impressive staying power, this foundation delivers a flawless and natural matte finish, perfect for those long days.
  3. Dermablend Intense Powder Camo Mattifying Foundation: If you’re dealing with acne or redness, this could be your go-to. It has excellent coverage and is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free.

Tips for Applying Powder Foundation to Avoid a Cakey Look:

  1. Prep Your Skin: Start with a moisturizer or primer to smooth the skin and provide a barrier between your skin and the makeup. This helps the powder adhere evenly.
  2. Use a Good Brush: Use a soft, fluffy brush instead of a sponge for application to prevent the product from packing onto the skin.
  3. Build Gradually: Instead of applying a lot at once, build your coverage slowly by applying thin layers until you reach the desired effect.
  4. Use a Setting Spray: After applying your powder foundation, a light mist of setting spray can help to avoid a powdery, cakey finish.

Powder Foundations Recommended for Dry Skin Types:

Powder foundations can be a little tricky for dry skin, but here are a few that might work well:

  1. IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illumination: This powder foundation contains anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides, which can be beneficial for dry skin. It provides a glowy finish which is not common with powder foundations.
  2. Laura Geller Baked Balance-N-Brighten Color Correcting Foundation: This baked foundation starts as a cream and is baked for 24 hours on a terracotta tile, creating a creamy, hydrating powder finish.
  3. Clinique Superpowder Double Face Makeup: This foundation is a powder and foundation combo that’s specifically designed for dry to combination skin.

Conclusion

And there you have it, beauties — my top five full-coverage powder foundations for that flawlessly polished look. Each of these has its unique strengths, whether it’s the full-throttle coverage of the KVD Vegan Beauty Lock-It, the budget-friendly magic of L’Oreal Paris Infallible, the expansive shade range of MAC’s Studio Fix, or the luxury indulgence of Laura Mercier. Your skin type, coverage preferences, ethical considerations like cruelty-free options, and your budget will guide your ultimate choice. Remember, the perfect foundation makes you feel confident and comfortable in your skin, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find your perfect match. Armed with these insights, I’m sure you’ll conquer your makeup routine like the queen you are! Now, go forth, and let your flawless finish speak volumes!

Feature image by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

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