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Liquid foundations tend to be more ubiquitous, which is strange because their uses are more limited. They’re great for normal to dry skin types, and they look great for people who like a more dewy look to the skin. The same goes for any liquid or cream-based makeup, like blush.

But powder foundation has a host of practical uses. It’s good for those casual days when you don’t want to feel like you have a heavy layer on your skin. It’s also good for a wider range of skin types, like sensitive, acne-prone, combination, oily and even normal skin. It’s less pore clogging, since it doesn’t use oils or emollients. And it even absorbs oil.

So if you’re ready to give powder foundation a shot, below is your guide for getting the perfect appearance.

Find the right product

You’ll certainly have your choice of products once you look beyond the liquid foundations. But look for mineral-based powders, as these can give a smoother and more radiant look. They can also calm inflammation and they’ll be less irritating. An added bonus is that many of these will have an SPF component. Avoid talc-based powder, since these will crease more and show fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll end up with a stereotypically chalky look that can give powder foundations a bad name.

How to prep skin

Before you apply foundation, you’ll want to start with some basic skincare. Apply powder makeup after you’ve completed your skincare routine, usually a cleansing, toning and moisturizing regimen. Makeup should always be applied to newly cleansed skin. Also, the moisturizer will help even skin tone so the makeup goes on more evenly. You should wait a few minutes for the moisturizer to sink in, however.

Covering troubled spots

If you’re switching to powder foundations because you have acne-prone skin, covering dark marks and spots from breakouts is a priority. You’re not going to get as heavy of a coverage as you would with a liquid foundation. To make up for that, apply a normal stick concealer to troubled spots first. You can use a makeup brush or your finger to make sure you blend in the concealer well. Then apply your powder foundation right over the concealer.

Applying the powder foundation

Your best bet for application is going to be a puffy powder brush. It will give you the most even coverage. Swirl the brush in the powder, tap off excess powder and then brush it onto your face. Blend well by making light circular motions until the foundation is worked in well and you have an even tone. No need to set with powder, obviously. Then you put on the rest of your makeup, such as eye color, lip color and blush, like normal.