Liquid, Cream or Powder?

From a tinted moisturizer to a BB Cream to mineral powders to compact powders to liquid makeup and now mousse. How is anyone supposed to figure out what formulation and type of makeup they should be using when every week there’s something new added to the mix?

Fear not, I’m about to break it down for you. Here are the different types of foundation formulations out there and the pro’s and benefits of each:

BB Creams














Basically just a tinted moisturizer but with more coverage. The “BB” stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm. Said to contain SPF and more “skin nourishing” ingredients and “anti-aging” ingredients than the standard liquid foundation.

Pros: Easy to apply, contains SPF, decent coverage “skin nourishing” agents

Cons: Not good for flash photography, no actual proof of any signs of skin improvement from long term use.

Who can use it: great for mature skin and dry skin.

Not recommended for people with oily skin.

CC Creams














Same as a BB Cream, only the “CC” stands for “Color Correcting”. Meant to help even out skin tone and reduce redness or any other discoloration. Most contain SPF’s and rival the tinted moisturizers.

Pros: Easy to apply, contains SPF, “color correcting” agents

Cons: Not good for flash photography, less coverage than a BB Cream.

Who can use it: great for mature skin and dry skin.

Not recommended for oily skin.

Tinted Moisturizers














Also containing SPF, these were created to give us the option of having a lighter, everyday alternative to the heavy foundations with a higher SPF than a foundation. Meant to mimic a “second skin”. Again, similar to the BB creams and CC creams but without the “color correcting” and “skin nourishing” agents.

Pros: easy to apply, lightweight, contains SPF, natural finish

Cons: Not good for flash photography

Who can use it: works on most skin types.

Liquid Foundation











Tried and true with a huge variety of formulations.

Pros: color spectrum, great for flash photography, different formulations available, works on practically all skin types

Cons: can take longer to find the right formulation that suits your skin type.

Who can use it: works on most skin types (check ingredients)

Mineral Powder
mineral powder














Said to be “better for your skin”. Most contain no Talc or Mica.

Pros: supposed benefits of “natural makeup”, makes a good setting powder

Cons: color variety not very broad, messy (requires a brush), difficult to get an even “tone” (some areas look more pigmented than others), doesn’t work on all skin types

Who can us it: normal to combination skin. Not recommended for dry or oily skin types.

Loose Powder

loose powder








Initially used as a “setting powder”, loose powders are now all the range for those that want a more “natural glow”. Many mineral powders come in the form of a loose powder.

Pros: Works great for setting foundations, photography-friendly (HD kind)

Cons: contain “pearlescent” which can often look muddy, not for all skin types, messy to use (requires a brush), can be hard to achieve and even “tone”

Who can use it: normal to combination skin. Not recommended for oily or dry skin types.

Compact Powder

compact powder_pressed powder













Another powder alternative available to consumers with varying levels of coverage.

Pros: convenience of packaging, ease of use (sponge/puff included), the mirror, size of compact

Cons: sponges that come with the powder are not built to last

Who can use it: good for mature skin and most other skin types.

Foundation Sticks (creams)

cream foundation











Yet another form of foundation, cream foundations come in stick form and in pallettes. Easy to blend, but they need to be set with a powder because they do have a tendency to transfer.

Pros: convenient to use when highlighting and contouring, decent color spectrum

Cons: don’t get as much product as you do with a liquid foundation, doesn’t work well on mature skin, must be set with a powder

Who can us it: recommended for normal and dry skin

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