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Finding the best drugstore powder foundation can be tricky, because we all want different things from our makeup. Do you want to prioritize coverage? Oil control? Wear time? There are a lot of factors to consider, which is why I tested four of the top drugstore powder foundations, comparing them side-by-side to help you pick.

Four drugstore foundation compacts sitting on a marble vanity with text: Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested | Slashed Beauty

Keep reading for the highlights of each powder foundation I tested, or watch the video at the top of the page (or on YouTube) to watch the test as it happens!

Note: These foundations aren’t listed in any particular order or ranking.

Maybelline 24H Super Stay Hybrid Powder Foundation (~$15)

Maybelline Super Stay 24HR Hybrid Powder Foundation | Top 4 Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested Before & After | Slashed Beauty

The Maybelline Super Stay Powder Foundation is a soft matte foundation that feels lightweight while offering medium-to-full coverage. It’s water-resistant, sweat-resistant, and transfer-resistant, making it a great option for summer and warmer climates. It’s available in 16 shades.

The coverage I get from this foundation is impressive– it’s able to even out my skin tone and mostly cover all of my dark spots and acne while maintaining a natural look.

Side by side comparison of bare face next to Maybelline Super Stay Powder Foundation freshly applied, then 10 hours later. | Top 4 Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested Before & After | Slashed Beauty
Wearing shade 220

I did find this formula to be slightly dry for my combo/dry skin. The powder has a tendency to catch around any dry patches or textured spots. Out of all four foundations in this post, it definitely kept me most matte, even after sweating. There was very slight settling in my expression lines, but overall it stayed looking smooth. There was a bit of coverage loss 10 hours into wear, but no patchiness.

During a waterproof test (as seen in the video), this foundation stayed completely intact and transfer-resistant when wet.

Who it’s best for: People with normal or oily skin with priorities in this order:
1. Oil Control
2. Coverage
3. Transfer Resistance
4. Wear Time

e.l.f. Camo Powder Foundation ($11)

e.l.f. Camo Powder Foundation | Top 4 Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested Before & After | Slashed Beauty

The e.l.f. Camo Powder Foundation is a vegan option that’s primer infused and crease resistant. It offers medium-to-full coverage in a semi-matte finish that blurs the skin while staying lightweight.

I would say this powder gives “entry level” full coverage on the spectrum of medium-to-full. You’ll be able to cover most unevenness, though darker spots may show through. For a powder, it’s still impressive.

Side by side comparison of bare face next to e.l.f. Camo Powder Foundation freshly applied, then 10 hours later. | Top 4 Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested Before & After | Slashed Beauty
Wearing shade Light 280N

The Camo Powder feels pretty flexible and didn’t feel drying on my dry/combo skin. However, it didn’t entirely deliver on the crease-proof claim, as it slightly creased in my deeper expression lines (like my 11s between my brows). Aside from that, it stayed looking very smooth and retained nearly all of the coverage, even 10 hours later. Some shine came through– a bit more than the Maybelline powder– but not enough to look oily.

While it doesn’t make any official waterproof claims, I actually found it to stay intact and transfer-resistant when wet.

Read my full review of this foundation in this post.

Who it’s best for: Most skin types, with priorities in this order:
1. Wear Time
2. Coverage
3. Transfer Resistance
4. Oil Control

L’Oreal Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder (~$17)

L'Oreal Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder | Top 4 Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested Before & After | Slashed Beauty

The L’Oreal Infallible Powder Foundation is the one that made powder foundation cool again, quickly going viral after it hit shelves. It’s supposed to give the equivalent of liquid coverage in a matte finish without getting cakey. It claims to be waterproof, heat-proof, sweatproof, and transfer-resistant. It’s also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.

The coverage and smooth finish of this powder impresses me every time. It completely blurs my pores like a liquid formula would, and covers redness well. Again, I think it taps out at the beginning of full coverage– your darkest spots may still peek through.

Side by side comparison of bare face next to L'Oreal Infallible Powder Foundation freshly applied, then 10 hours later. | Top 4 Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested Before & After | Slashed Beauty
Wearing shade Vanilla

The Infallible Fresh Wear Powder lasts really well, with very little coverage lost after 10 hours. Pores become slightly more visible, and a little breakdown happened around my nostrils, but nothing incredibly noticeable.

In my oily T-Zone, this powder felt fine and stayed looking even, but on my cheeks and jawline it felt more dry and slightly accentuated texture. I’m not sure I’d recommend this to people with very dry skin.

I’ve tested this several times while sweating and it doesn’t break down, though it may slightly transfer when blotting. A small amount of foundation also came off when coming into contact with water.

Who it’s best for: People with normal or oily skin with priorities in this order:
1. Coverage
2. Wear Time
3. Oil Control
4. Transfer Resistance

essence 16HR Cover & Last Powder Foundation (~$6)

essence 16h Cover & Last Powder Foundation | Top 4 Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested Before & After | Slashed Beauty

The essence 16h Cover & Last Powder Foundation is the most budget friendly in the bunch, but don’t let the price tag fool you. It offers high coverage with a lightweight, matte finish that’s supposed to stay shine free. They also claim that it’s waterproof and transfer-proof. Additionally, it’s a fragrance-free and vegan formula!

I’d say that this foundation tops out at a solid medium coverage level. The coverage I was able to achieve (seen below) was as much as I could get before it stopped building upon itself. Still a good amount, and certainly acceptable for lighter every day makeup. It also offered a really smooth finish and helped tone down the shine from my sunscreen. 

Side by side comparison of bare face next to essence 16h Cover & Last Powder Foundation freshly applied, then 10 hours later. | Top 4 Drugstore Powder Foundations Tested Before & After | Slashed Beauty
Wearing shade Classic Vanilla

Even though this had the least amount of coverage out of the four foundations, it barely faded throughout the day. Though, it wasn’t as effective in oil control and I did end up with noticeable shine in my T-zone 10 hours into wear. Aside from the shine, though, the powder still looked even with only a little bit of breakdown around my nose. 

During my waterproof test, I found that water will take off a bit of the foundation, but not much. 

I can definitely see myself wearing this when I don’t want a full coverage look, or to add an extra layer of coverage on top of liquid foundation while setting my makeup.

Who it’s best for: Most skin types with priorities in this order:
1. Wear Time
2. Transfer Resistance
3. Oil Control
4. Coverage

The best drugstore powder foundation is the one that checks your boxes, since everyone has different preferences. Which one do you like the best?

– Miranda

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