Let’s Settle This: What’s Better, Powder Or Cream Makeup Products?

There are so many products to choose from that sometimes it’s hard to know what will work best for you. Powders or creams, what’s better?

With all the options available out there these days, finding the right makeup products for you can be a little overwhelming. And I’m not even talking all the different brands to choose from, but rather the types, consistencies, finishes, prices, and other specifications that can make it pretty challenging if you’re a newbie in the makeup world. 

The very first question we all ask ourselves when hitting the makeup store (after “what do I really need?”) is, should I get powder or cream? With pretty much everything in both presentations, it’s easy to get confused. So, don’t worry, here’s the ultimate battle of the makeup products, and today we’ll see who takes the crown. Will it be cream products or powder?



Most primers come in liquid and cream form, with a wide variety of promising skin finishes. You can get the perfect primer for every single finish or issue you want to conceal. There are primers that will reduce the size of your pores, and others that will give you a matte, airbrushed, or even dewy finish. 

On the other hand, you could also use a classic translucent powder primer (although some brands sell powder primers specifically). Though I highly recommend using powder if you have oily skin, there’s no doubt that cream primers are more diverse and work on most skin types, so points for cream.



With foundation, it all depends on how much coverage you really want. If you want full coverage, you have to go with a cream foundation (though you definitely want to make it set with some powder, so it lasts longer). But if you’re one of those people who prefer an airbrushed, natural look, you’ll want to stick to powders. Just make sure that the product you choose suits your skin type.


Now, when it comes to concealer, it’s pretty much a tie. While most concealers come in liquid or cream form, it’s also true that you have to set it with powder to avoid creasing or smudging. You can definitely use a lighter foundation powder or even those that come in the contour/highlighting sets, but it won’t give you the same coverage as a cream concealer.



Contour is probably the easiest and most flexible product out there, so it’s more of a preference matter. If you’re new in this realm of beauty, I strongly recommend creams, since they’re easier to handle and blend better. However, and this is a golden rule for makeup: don’t ever put creams over powders if you don’t want a smudged, kind of muddy finish. If you’re sticking to powder foundations, you’ll want to use powder contour products. 


For bronzer, there’s no doubt that the best ones come in powder form. Using a big fluffy brush and the right shade of bronzer can give you a perfect natural-looking tan. One great tip (and that’s what I do when I want my makeup to last hours, is contouring with creams and setting the products with the right bronzer. That way it will stay on your skin longer.



I have a personal issue with cream blushes because they tend to be more showy than powders. While it’s easy to build on a good powder blush, with creams you have to be an expert to apply the right amount of blush. However, that’s a personal opinion. I also believe that cream blushes can be great for a more natural hint of color since their finish is similar to skin. 


As with bronzers, there’s no doubt that powders rule the highlighter game. Again, it’s all about what type of products you’ve worn on your skin previously. While I tend to use powder highlighter as one of the last steps of my makeup routine, I do love a good cream highlighter mixed with the foundation for a glowy look. You can also do the same trick I mentioned with bronzers, apply cream highlighter and set it with powder, though I only recommend this if you’re going for a really dazzling look.



I’m going to sound as if I were biased toward powders, but I swear I’m not! Again, in the market, there are more options for powder eyeshadows because they’re easier to work with and there are many more color options to play with. However, cream eyeshadows are a great choice for simple and fast looks. 


There’s pretty much no competition here, since basically 99.99% of the mascaras in the market are cream. However, believe it or not, there are some brands inspired by vintage makeup products who make very cool powder mascaras. You can also create your own with a bit of oil and black eyeshadow, but let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that.



Personally, I prefer cream brow products since they tend to last longer than powder ones. Besides, you can be more precise with creams than with powders (or at least I can). For instance, if you just want to fill them in, you’re probably great with powder. But if you want precision and you need to shape them, I strongly recommend a small precision brush and a good brow pomade.


This is pretty much the same as with mascara: most lipsticks are either cream or liquid. However, that doesn’t mean powder lipsticks don’t exist. When it comes to makeup, no matter how creative you get, there’s probably someone who came up with the idea first. Chanel, for instance, released their very first powder lipstick last year, and if I’m honest with you, it’s really amazing. This one’s great to create gradient effects on your lips. You’ll just need a thin coat of lip balm, your favorite pressed powder, and a gloss or lip topper to set it.


When I started writing this, my plan was to see which product won in each category and which one was the ultimate winner. But let’s be honest, no one really chooses only one type for the whole face over the other. The truth is that as long as you follow the golden rule of only powders on top of creams, you’ll achieve a flawless look.


You  might like this:

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Photos by @withlove.nadia

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