All You Need to Know: What is Loose Powder Used For? What is The Best Drugstore Loose Powder?

by Angie <3

Welcome back to Angie’s “Simply Beauty Blog!” Today we’re going to be taking a deep dive in the world of loose powder. We’ll cover the A to Z’s of what loose powder is and why you should use it in addition to letting you in on a secret; the best drugstore loose powder! Let’s jump in.

* Disclaimer: This Post contains affiliate links (if you don’t see it, please consider turning off “Adblocker” and any Anti – Tracker), which means that if you click on one of the product links and purchase something, we will receive a small commission. This helps support our blog and allows us to continue to make more blog posts like these. Thank you for the support! – Love, Angie <3! *

What is Loose Powder? What is Loose Powder Used For?

As always, let’s start with the basics. What is loose powder and why should I use it? For a while, I truly thought that loose powder was a gimmick and just a waste of my time. It seemed messy and honestly, a little bit intimidating because I simply didn’t understand how to use it and when. The point of setting powder is basically to stop your liquid or cream products (foundation) from slipping all over the face and from setting into lines or creases as well. Certain powders even work to reduce the appearance of any fine lines that you may have or pores. Sounds amazing right? Another huge plus of powders: They can increase the longevity of any products that are placed on top (blush, bronzer, highlights, etc.).

When it comes to powders, there are two common types: Loose Powder and a Pressed Powder. What’s the difference? Loose powders are sold in a jar and like the name states, it’s a loose powder (obviously). Thus, it’s definitely messier. These powders are meant to really sink into your skin and lock your base makeup in place. Pressed powder’s are powders that are typically sold in a compact and are easier to use. I’ve found that most pressed powders are meant to be used as touch-up rather than a way to lock in your foundation.

“It’s very important to know what you’re looking for before settling on one or the other.”

One common problem people encounter when they use finishing/setting powders is that they cause flashback. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google “Flashback Mary“. Now, what do we do to avoid that disaster from happening? One thing you can do is avoid taking flash photography photos, which, personally rarely happens to me on a day to day basis. Additionally, powders that typically cause flashback contain ingredients such as silica, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mica, and glitters as well. Although there may be additional ingredients that cause flashback, those are a few of the most common ones.

What I recommend is to swatch some of your powder on the back of your hand and take a picture with your phone using flash. That would easily indicate if that powder causes a white cast or not a.k.a flashback. And the last recommendation to avoid flashback, read reviews! My favorite thing to do before I purchase ANY product (not just makeup) is to read the reviews of other consumers. On Sephora’s site as well as Ulta’s, they have millions of reviews for almost every product; thus, I recommend checking those out before purchasing a powder just to make sure there are no surprises next time you take a flash photo.

Loose Powder: Another Point to Discuss

Powder’s are available either in a shade or as translucent. Whichever one you want to use is entirely up to you. Powder’s that match your skin tone or are tinted can add extra coverage on top of your foundation. Thus, they can help to cover up any additional discoloration or dark spots on your skin. Powder’s that are translucent basically just perform all the functions of a powder without adding any extra color or tint to the skin. They help to lock in your foundation and to take away any shine. Personally, I prefer to use a powder that is translucent or with a slight tint that matches my foundation; I don’t like to use a super heavy tinted powder because I feel like it looks too heavy and not natural.

Best Drugstore Loose Powder

And now, to the magical powder! As you all may know by now, I am the biggest fan of drugstore makeup. (Click here to read about some of my favorite makeup products!) Although I love me some luxury products, I’m definitely not a fan of that luxurious price. Thus, I’ve turned to the drugstore to find top-notch quality products at an affordable price (the best of both worlds!). A few month’s ago I decided to try a drugstore powder that honestly, changed my makeup game completely.

loose powder
Maybelline New York Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder, Fair Light

The Maybelline Fit me Loose Finishing Powder! When I say this powder is my holy grail, I mean HOLY GRAIL (emphasis on the capitals!). This powder is available in most drugstores as well as Ulta and it retails for $7.99 (Currently $5.33 here). It is available in 8 shades: Fair, Fair Light, Light, Light Medium, Medium, Medium Deep, Deep, and Dark. I use the shade Fair Light and I’ve found it to work perfectly.

This powder claims to give a sheer hint of color, helps set your foundation, control shine, and smooth texture. It’s not often I agree with every single thing a product claims. However, with this product, I 100% agree! I use this powder on top of my foundation using the same damp sponge that I used to apply my foundation. I press the powder into my skin and it instantly sets the foundation and it also eliminates any shine. This product smooths out my entire face and blurs my pores (a huge plus for me!). Although the powder eliminates shine, I don’t feel like it makes the face look too matte whatsoever.

“It’s not often I agree with every single thing a product claims. However, with this product, I 100% agree!”

On their website, there was a question from a customer that asked if this product causes flashback. What was Maybelline’s answer? They said that they don’t test this product for flashback so they don’t have an answer (weird? a little). However, I’ve been using this powder for months both during the day at work and also in the evenings if I go out where flash photography may be in the cards. I’ve noticed absolutely no problems! This product just LOCKS my foundation in place and makes my face look super smooth. It it super light weight so it also doesn’t feel heavy or look cakey at all.

How to Apply Loose Powder

One of the most daunting things for me about loose powder was tackling the problem of actually applying it. But! I’m here to make everything super simple. First, I apply my foundation. I use one of my favorite beauty sponges, either the ELF or the Morphe sponge (read about them here!). After I apply my foundation with a damp sponge, it’s time to lock it in with some powder. I open the cap, and I flip the jar over to deposit some of the powder into the lid. Then, I just simply dip my damp sponge into the lid, pick up some powder, press it into my skin (mainly focusing on my cheek area) and ta-da, you’re done!


After you apply the powder, your skin may have that sort of powdery look. I don’t even know how to explain it without saying it just look like you have powder sitting on top of your skin rather than sinking into your foundation. That’s definitely not a good look. Well, there’s one super easy way to eliminate this issue! Use a setting spray right after you apply your powder to just melt everything together. This step will cause your foundation and powder to really become “one” and it also helps to enforce the longevity of your makeup. Not sure which spray is right for you? Click here to read about all my recommendations! For this step, I prefer to use the Morphe setting spray because this mist is just so fine and light.

Final Thoughts

If you are on the hunt for a new loose powder, the Maybelline Fit me Loose Finishing Powder is a MUST-TRY! It sets your foundation, smoothes the skin, blurs any fine lines/pores, and is just plain amazing. I definitely recommend trying this product out next time you’re looking for a powder!

Have you ever tried this powder out? What are some of your powder favorites; luxury and drugstore? Let me know in the comments down below!

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