Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Find the Right Foundation

Pressed Powder Foundation

Pressed-powder foundations provide a matte-like appearance, but unlike liquids, creams and mousses, pressed powder goes onto the skin dry. This makes it the ideal choice for people with oily skin -- it doesn't add more shine to the face or clog pores. If you have sensitive skin, pressed powder may be a good choice for you -- this foundation contains fewer preservatives and ingredients, making it less likely to cause irritation [source: UAB]. Pressed powder is also a good choice if you spend a lot of time in the sun because it typically contains titanium dioxide, an ingredient used in sunscreens [source: Kaylor].

Mineral foundations, which are type of powder foundation, are composed of finely ground minerals. They don't usually contain chemicals, dyes or preservatives found in traditional makeup, so they're another good choice for sensitive skin [source: Bouchez].

Powder foundations must be carefully applied because they don't go on as uniformly as liquid or cream foundations -- most women use a thick powder brush or sponge to apply a solid base without clumping. And you may need to use a separate touch-up powder throughout the day because reapplying the foundation could lead to that caked-on look [source: Kaylor].

If you've had it with bottles and compacts, you may want to try a stick foundation. Keep reading to learn more.