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Million Dollar Question: What’s The Difference Between Compact Powder And Loose Powder?

Million Dollar Question: What’s The Difference Between Compact Powder And Loose Powder?

One of the most loved makeup products is a face powder. Once upon a time, there was only one type of face powder and that was a compact powder. Today, we have a variety of face powder types like finishing powder, mineral powder, HD powder, banana powder, loose powder and translucent powder. Speaking of loose powder, have you ever wondered about how is it different from compact powder? Compact powder vs loose powder – which one would you pick and why? We’re going to answer all these questions one by one. Let’s get started!

What Is A Pressed Powder?

Pressed Powder


Pressed powder is one of the most hot-selling makeup products in the market! Since it comes in a solid block form, it’s easy to carry around in your bag. It most cases, compact powders come with their own cushion to make the application process more convenient. However, you can still use a makeup brush to apply compact powder if you’re more comfortable with it. As far as the product’s texture is concerned, compact powders are lightweight and have a powdery texture. Meant to be applied over the foundation, the product is also often used to touch up makeup during the day. If you don’t wear foundation or concealer often, only using pressed powder to do your base is also fine.

What Is A Loose Powder?

 Loose Powder



As the product’s name suggests, loose powders have a fine, powdery appearance. If you’re new to using loose powders, the application process can become a messy experience. To transfer the product to the skin, you will either need a kabuki makeup brush or a beauty sponge. The loose powder’s primary job is to set the liquid foundation and concealer and make it stay on for a longer period of time. Loose powder is also a key product that’s used in ‘baking’. Baking is basically a makeup technique that involves dabbing loose powder over the concealer on your under-eye area to prevent creasing and minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. So, compact vs loose powder, how are they different? That leads us to our next question

Best Compact Powders For Oily Skin

What’s the difference between compact powder and loose powder?

So is compact powder and loose powder the same? Let the differences of a pressed powder and loose powder help you come to a conclusion.


Pressed Powder

Loose Powder


A heavy product that contains oils that helps to conceal blemishes 

Contains less oil and absorbs excess oil from the skin and sets makeup

Coverage Type

Offers light to full coverage 

Offers light coverage 


Creates a velvety finish

Creates an airbrushed finish

Skin Type

Great product for dry skin types

Great product for oily skin types


Comes in a solid block form

Finely milled and has a powdery texture


Easy to carry around while travelling

Prone to spilling and not travel-friendly


Available in a compact case packaging

Comes in a jar or tub


Powder Brush

Kabuki Brush

How To Apply Face Powders?

 Best brushes to apply compact and loose powder


Now that you have a better idea of face powders, let’s learn how to apply them! Grab a pen and a notebook, ladies!

How To Apply Loose Powder?

To prevent the product from spilling, gently shake some of the loose powder onto the grid of the jar and gently dip your kabuki or powder brush into the product. To prevent applying too much powder on the face or product wastage, gently tap the excess product while holding the brush vertically. Once you’ve moved the product into the bristles of the brush, slowly begin applying the product in the centre of your face and later sweeping it to the rest of your face like your jawline, forehead and neck to create that flawless airbrushed finish.

How To Apply Pressed Powder?

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to apply compact powder on the face, we will teach you! As compared to loose powder, compact powder has a heavier consistency. It also contains more oils than the loose powder. While it does help to conceal those blemishes, too much product will make your base look cakey. Hence, you should always follow the less is more rule. Either with a powder puff or a powder brush, swirl it into the powder and gently tap the brush to get rid of excess product. Then gently buff the powder into your skin and focus mainly on the oily parts of your face like the T-Zone area and hairline.

Which is better – Loose Powder VS Compact Powder?

Pick up both! Both products are worth the bucks if you know how to use them. Compact powders are a great product for the girl on the go. Whereas, loose powders are that special makeup product to use on important events or when you have time on your hands. Even though loose powders aren’t the easiest product to work with, they definitely deliver a more natural finish as compared to compact powders. However, if you’re a ‘less is more’ makeup kind of girl who doesn’t wear heavy foundation or concealer, then you probably should give the pressed powder product a shot. Be careful though, too much of compact powder product will cause creasing and makeup your base look cakey. 

Now that you know the difference between pressed powder and loose powder, you are welcome to give both these makeup products a shot! 

Featured Image: Shutterstock

18 Sep 2020

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