the best powder foundations in Canada

The Best Powder Foundations in Canada

The beginning of grade seven (back in my school days), was defined by the day my mother bought me a compact powder foundation. Besides innocent lip-glosses and skincare that foundation was the first ‘serious’ cosmetic product I owned. Although I was thrilled by powder’s ability to eliminate pores and even skin tone, in the next few years my relationship with powder foundation was not as smooth and flawless as the advertisement promised my skin would be. I tried various products and swayed between clumpy, dry, glowing, drug-store and high-end powder foundations only to abandon the idea to find the perfect product. Based on internet reviews and stories I have heard from girlfriends, I was not alone in a search for a powder foundation that would match my skin tone and type.   

Fortunately, the beauty industry does not fall behind. Since the beginning of the 2000s (when I was in middle school) the number of powder foundations for all skin types grew. Luxury powders are no longer the only ones that offer quality, flawless coverage. Speaking of skin types, powder foundations are especially useful for those with oily and combination skin. Unlike liquid foundations, the powder can absorb any excess oil and offer easier application throughout the day. After all, it is a product that holds up the whole makeup together.  

The main challenge is to find the right product. The current market is filled with endless options: from lightweight, and medium to full coverage powder foundations. To make your search easier, further you will find the best powder foundations from famous leading brands to small niche vegan names.   

Why Trust Us

The right powder foundation might be challenging to pick. That is why after thorough research, this list includes only those products that were tested and approved by makeup artists, fashion editors, beauty bloggers and many other makeup users.  

Another factor that influenced this selection of the best powder foundations was buying guides and fashion magazines (Allure, Byrdie , and Harper’s Bazaar and others).

What to Look For

Anyone can use powder foundation. Depending on the formula, powder foundations are made to match every skin type. Compared to liquid foundations, powders allow more breathable coverage which suits acne-prone faces and controls the shine of oily skin.   

Choosing powder foundation:   

Start with selecting the right shade. It should be as close as possible to your natural skin tone. The best way to find out the right tone is to test various products in the sunlight. (If you are buying online, identify your skin tone first and then try to select a shade that blend in precisely.  

For instance, if your veins are blue or purple, your skin tone is cool. If, on the contrary, your veins are greener, it means a warmer skin tone. When buying a powder foundation online double check the description where C means cool, W—warm, and N—neutral.)   


Lighter coverage does not mean lighter formula. Most powder foundations provide medium coverage. However, to get a sheer level of coverage, simply apply a very small amount. Evenly blend powder over your face and neck so the product is evenly distributed and barely noticeable. If lightweight coverage is something you are looking for, pick a loose powder foundation instead of pressed (for instance,  !!!   ). Loose powders are easier to use when it comes to controlling the level of coverage. Simply brush over your face, especially under your eyes and any deep wrinkles.   

At the same time pressed powder is made to provide medium to full coverage. If you are looking to even skin tone or minimize redness, go for medium or full coverage pressed powder foundations. 

Oily skin can be mattified with any powder foundation that provides a shine-free finish and long-lasting coverage. 

Price: luxury vs drug-store brands   

When it comes to cosmetics or skin care the process of choosing the right product is very individualistic. We cannot say that only luxury brands produce the best product (quite often both drugstore brands and high-end cosmetic names are owned by the same companies). At the same time, based on customers’ tests and reviews, the main difference they noticed between high-end makeup and budget-friendly powder foundations is the quality of pigments and longer-lasting wear. 

The Best Powder Foundation for Oily Skin

Lancôme Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Longwear Powder Foundation

One of the best foundations to wear all day long is Lancome Dual Finish. It is a matte finish powder that is especially suitable for oily skin types. While this powder promises the full coverage, many users say that they could get a sheer and medium application with it.   

Lancome Dual Finish powder foundation is also all about versatility. It is suitable for normal, dry, oily and combination skin types. You can use it for quick touch-ups throughout the day, or cover imperfections and blemishes.   

One of the reviewers noted that she cannot say enough great things about Lancome Dual Finish powder foundation. It is long-lasting and does not feel heavy. It evens out skin tone and smooths away blemishes. “I have large pores and this foundation evens out my pores to give me a wonderful finish.” There are so many shades to choose from so you are sure to find your perfect skin tone match, she added.  

  • Suitable for all skin types. 
  • Full coverage.  
  • Sophisticated looking case.   
  • Provides long wear.  
  • Several reviewers complained about a strong scent.  

The Best Cheap Powder Foundation

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear Powder Foundation

Speaking of oily skin, L’Oreal Paris Infallible is the best affordable powder foundation that mattifies without creating a cakey texture. One of the satisfied users of this powder noted that coverage lasts her through most of the day even on her oily skin.  

The weightless texture of powder provides full coverage, with a natural, fresh-looking finish. It is a breathable formula that feels comfortable on the skin even after several hours. (Because L’Oreal Paris Infallible Fresh Wear reduced shine it is not the best choice for dry skin.)   

Another reviewer noted as she was getting older her skin was getting too dry for the MAC Studio powder. She started combining the liquid version and the powder version of Infallible Foundation, and it worked perfectly for her face. The colour stays true and shows no oxidization, she added.    

  • Affordable.  
  • Perfect for oily skin type.  
  • Full coverage and natural looking finish.  
  • Some reviewers complained that it did not last longer than five hours (which often depends on how well you prepare your skin before applying makeup on.) 

The Best Powder Foundation for Dry Skin

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Custom Finish Powder Foundation

Shiseido is another brand you can trust when it comes to creating a flawless look. This particular powder foundation features creamy texture and ActiveForce™ Technology that provides a flawless finish for up to 24 hours.   

As reviewers say, Shiseido Synchro adapts to your skin, whether normal, dry or oily and enhances its texture and evens tone while covering blemishes.   

One of those reviewers noted that this powder is all about perfect matte finish that can be layered if you want more coverage. Be careful about shades though, she added. She chose one lighter than the one recommended by her shade match and it was still slightly darker than ideal.  

  • Suitable for all skin types.  
  • ActiveForce™ Technology for long-lasting wear. 
  • Creates even, matte finish.  
  • Choosing the right shade might be confusing.  

The Best Drugstore Powder Foundation

bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15

BareMinerals is one of the best cosmetic brands that combines affordable prices and luxury quality. This loose powder foundation is made with only five vegan ingredients and minerals that provide a healthy looking, sheer-to-full coverage finish.   

Two reviewers who have been using bareMinerals for over a few decades noted, that Original Loose Powder Foundation provides natural looking finish. One of them works outside in the heat and the foundation lasts and stays on.  

This bareMinerals powder foundation also minimizes the look of pores without clogging them and covering imperfections while allowing your skin to breathe. The formula also includes SPF 15 protection against UVA and UVB rays.   

  • SPF 15 protection. 
  • Long-lasting formula. 
  • Minimizes the look of pores and imperfections. 
  • A few reviewers complained about company’s changes of shades, which made it confusing to shop.  

The Best Full-Coverage Powder Foundation

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

If you are looking to add a full-coverage powder foundation to your makeup routine, look no further than Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus. It is a pressed powder that provides twelve-hour matte wear.   

The powder is ideal for those looking to immediately reduce the appearance of pores and control shine throughout the day. It is also a favourite among makeup artists who work with photographers: this Mac Studio powder is sweat and humidity-resistance, hence does not require constant touch up.   

A reviewer, who had been using this foundation since she was nineteen years old, noted that Mac Studio Fix Powder stood the test of time. It never has to be reapplied; the powder lasts all day even during hot summer, feels weightless and gives skin a bright completion, she added. The reviewer continued that she gets compliments all the time on how flawless her skin looks. 

  • Long-lasting coverage.
  • Reduces the appearance of pores.   
  • Suitable for all skin types.   
  • Photo-friendly.
  • The application process is messy, as per some reviews.   

The Best Lightweight Powder Foundation

Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Lightweight Loose Powder Makeup Foundation

Highly rated powder foundation, Neutrogena Mineral Sheers also comes at a low price. However, based on various reviews, the quality, feel and application act as a more expensive product.   

Overall mineral powder foundations are most suitable for those who are particular about using only natural products on their skin. Minerals, as makeup components, are gentle on sensitive skin. For instance, this Neutrogena loose powder is made of organic, fragrance-free ingredients and does not irritate prone to acne or rosacea skin. The powder also contains Vitamins A, E and C which help to create a flawless finish.      

  • Made with naturally derived minerals.   
  • Sheer to medium coverage. 
  • Suitable for all skin types. 
  • Affordable. 
  • Flawless finish might not last longer than a few hours.

The Best Hydrating Powder Foundation

AVEDA Inner Light Mineral Dual Foundation

Aveda Inner Light Mineral foundation was created for normal and sensitive skin (especially those with an allergy to talc and rosacea). However, as per some reviews, stay away from this powder foundation if your skin is prone to acne or you are trying to cover up discolorations.   

For anyone else, this mineral powder does the trick of smoothing skin, giving it a glow without accentuating pores and reducing its oily look throughout the day. If your skin is more on the dry or normal side, make sure to use a moisturizer or a primer before applying Aveda powder foundation.   

  • Matte finish.  
  • Talc-free; non-acnegenic. 
  • Non-parabens, hydrating formula.  


  • At the moment the powder is only available in darker tones.  

The Best Powder Foundation For Mature Skin

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

A reviewer shared a tip for flawless application of Laura Mercier powder by using a damp sponge for more medium coverage works. “When applied damp, it covers my pores and I can use this without any under-eye concealer,” she noted.  

This Laura Mercier powder foundation is a lightweight, oil-free formula that provides a natural finish. Due to medium coverage, this powder reduces oily shine while hydrating formula reduces the appearance of pores and lines.   

Other reviewers say that the foundation lasts the whole day, even thought it feels lightweight on skin.    

  • Long-lasting coverage.
  • Reduces appearance of pores.  
  • Oil-free formula.  
  • A few reviewers complained about the size of the powder being too small.

The Best Matte Powder Foundation

Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting And Smoothing Talc-Free Vegan Powder

Kosas Cloud powder foundation is another talc-free vegan product. Unlike most previously mentioned products, this particular powder provides a light type of coverage. The formula contains bamboo stem extract which absorbs oil leaving the skin soft, and passion fruit leaf extract to reduce the appearance of fine lines.   

Basically, this Kosas power foundation is for anyone who prefers to keep their skin looking as close to natural as possible, with a slightly smoothed, healthy glow. 

“It is delicate and does not feel heavy on the skin, and removes shine without looking super matte, which is what I need,” observed one user.   

  • Lightweight coverage. 
  • Affordable.  
  • Talc-free formula.
  • A few reviewers noted that it is a scrape-top-off type of hard pressed powder.

The Best Luxury Foundation with SPF

Guerlain Parure Gold Radiance Powder Foundation

You have already seen some budget-friendly foundations with SPF on this list. However, Guerlain is not only one of the most luxurious powder foundations with SPF, but also (based on many reviews) the most comfortable, hydrating powder foundation for dry skin. A satisfied user of this foundation noted that she tried many high-end brands and this one is the softest, smoothest coverage you could find: it stays true all day long and feels light and airy on the skin.  

Dual-faceted pigments of the powder lighten the face, leaving a healthy glow, yet reducing oily shine. While it lasts long enough to get you through the day, the Guerlain Parure Gold Radiance also masterly covers signs of fatigue. It provides a youthful-looking finish even to mature types of skin. Of course, another factor is a sophisticated-looking black case that is compact enough to carry around even in a smallest purse.   

  • The soft dual-faceted pigments to create a healthy glow. 
  • Smooths and evens skin.  
  • Diminishes signs of fatigue.  
  • SPF 15 protection. 
  • Expensive.  

The Best Korean Powder Foundation

Etude House Zero Sebum Drying Powder

While you have to consider your skin tone when buying any of the previously mentioned powder foundations, this Etude House Zero Sebum drying powder suits most skin tones. It is designed to reduce facial oil and can be used not only as a powder, but also as an eye primer or dry shampoo for greasy hair.   

One of the users with excessively oily skin type applied the Etude powder and her face has not been oily all day.  

Etude Korean setting powder is talc-free and mostly contains minerals, sugar polymer and cotton extracts. Those elements help to keep skin bright and shine-free.   

  • Controls and mattifies oily skin.
  • Ensures smooth skin.   
  • Completely colourless to suit most skin types. 
  • Not recommended for dry skin.  

Questions and answers about powder foundations

What is a powder foundation?

Powder foundation is not necessarily a substitute for liquid foundation, yet it is a more convenient way to touch up makeup throughout the day. Typically, it comes in a form of a pressed or loose pigmented powder that, when applied on the face, provides a lightweight finish.   

Can powder foundation be worn on its own?

It completely depends on your skin type. Those with oily skin can easily use powder foundation as their main makeup product. However, if you wish to add extra coverage use liquid foundation prior to powder. Moreover, despite the skin type (especially with dry skin), apply moisturizer or primer before using powder foundation to avoid dryness and cakey texture.   

What are the disadvantages of powder foundation?

The main difficulty arises with applying powder foundation. If applied unevenly it can create a patchy look. Make sure to start with a thin layer at first and then build it up if you need fuller coverage.   

At the same time, when applied properly, a powder foundation can leave your skin looking matte and smooth. Compared to liquid foundations, powder foundation is a longer-lasting product.   

Does powder foundation fill up wrinkles?

Yes, and that especially applies to dry skin types. As skin naturally dehydrates with age, powder foundation applied without a layer of moisturizer can set deep in wrinkles.   

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Updated date

May 23rd, 2023

About the author

Maria Kossman

Maria Kossman is an essayist, and content specialist at Her writing appeared in a variety of fashion magazines. When she is not focused on reviewing and writing, she spends time exploring coffee shops, English literature and antique malls.
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