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Comparing Loose Powder vs. Pressed Powder

Finding Your Perfect Set

Setting Powder, makeup

Setting powder is a staple in many makeup routines, helping to lock in foundation, control shine, and create a flawless, long-lasting finish. Two popular options in the setting powder realm are loose powder and pressed powder. Both have their unique qualities and application techniques, but which one reigns supreme in the world of setting powders? In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros, cons, and best uses of loose powder and pressed powder, helping you make an informed decision and achieve a picture-perfect complexion.

Loose Powder: Lightweight, Sheer, and Buildable

Loose powder, as the name suggests, is a finely milled powder that comes in a loose form, usually packaged in a jar with a sifter. It offers a lightweight, sheer coverage that is easily buildable, making it suitable for a range of skin types and desired finishes. Loose powder is renowned for its ability to set makeup without adding heaviness or altering the color of the foundation.

One of the key advantages of loose powder is its ability to control shine and oiliness. It’s highly effective in absorbing excess oil throughout the day, leaving the skin looking matte and fresh. Loose powder is also versatile, as it can be used for baking, setting the under-eye area, and achieving an overall polished look. It is particularly well-suited for individuals with oily or combination skin.

To apply loose powder, a fluffy powder brush or a sponge can be used to gently press the powder onto the skin. The loose texture of the powder allows for easy blending and ensures a natural-looking finish. However, loose powder can be messy to work with, and the loose form makes it less travel-friendly compared to pressed powder.

jane iredale Amazing Matte Loose Finish Powder

Loose Powder, makeup

Pressed Powder: Convenient, Portable, and Buildable

Pressed powder, also known as compact powder, is a compressed form of powder that comes in a compact with a mirror and a puff or a brush applicator. It offers convenience and portability, making it a popular choice for touch-ups on the go. Pressed powder provides buildable coverage, ranging from sheer to medium, depending on the product and application technique.

One of the key advantages of pressed powder is its portability. The compact packaging makes it easy to carry in a purse or makeup bag, allowing for quick touch-ups throughout the day. Pressed powder is also beginner-friendly, as it is easy to control the amount of product and achieve a more polished look with minimal effort.

Pressed powder is great for individuals with normal to combination skin who desire a quick and convenient way to set their makeup and control shine. It offers a smoother, more velvety finish compared to loose powder, giving the skin a more polished appearance. However, pressed powder may not provide as much oil control as loose powder for those with very oily skin.

Fruit Pigmented® Powder Foundation

Pressed Powder, makeup

Choosing the Right Option:

Consider the following factors when deciding between loose powder and pressed powder:

Skin Type

Loose powder is excellent for oily or combination skin, while pressed powder works well for normal to combination skin.

Desired Finish

Loose powder provides a sheer, lightweight finish, while pressed powder offers a more polished and velvety appearance.

Application Preference

Loose powder requires a brush or sponge for application, while pressed powder can be applied with a puff or a brush.


Pressed powder is more travel-friendly and convenient for touch-ups on the go.


The choice between loose powder and pressed powder ultimately depends on your skin type, desired finish, and application preferences. Loose powder is ideal for oil control and a lightweight feel, while pressed powder offers convenience and a more polished appearance. Consider your needs and preferences, experiment with both options, and find the setting powder that best suits your skin and helps you achieve the flawless finish you desire.

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