Alternatives to Loose Face Powder

Pressed powder can set your makeup and remove oil.

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Not that your makeup is running away, but it’s a good idea to set it in place before you proceed with the rest of your day. Loose powder is typically the go-to makeup option for setting your makeup because it soaks up oil and gives you a matte finish (no shiny foreheads here) for as long as it possibly can. But sometimes you don’t want to use loose powder. Maybe it’s because a huge thing of powder and a brush don’t fit in your new purse. Whatever the reason, there are alternatives that keep your makeup in place and travel more easily.

Pressed Powder

To make pressed powder, makeup manufacturers essentially take what you have in a loose powder and package it in a compact that slips easily in your purse or pocket. Pressed powders can offer a variety of finishes, from a translucent powder that sets your makeup in place to a more full-coverage powder that can act in place of a cream foundation. The compact makes it easily accessible for touch-ups later on in the day.

Blotting Papers

If you typically use loose face powder to prevent the 3 p.m. shiny face you get when oil starts to take over, blotting papers can serve as an alternative to loose face powder. Like powder, blotting papers soak up oil on your face, but the added bonus is that they don’t add more makeup. This keeps your makeup from looking heavy or caked-on. Plus, loose powders can be messy with re-application when you have your work or school clothes on -- blotting papers come in a neat little box and can be discarded with each use.

Matte Foundations

It used to be that powders made your skin matte and liquid foundations made your skin dewy. Throw out the old rules, though, because cosmetics manufacturers now make liquid foundations designed to soak up oil and appear matte after they’ve had a few minutes to set on your skin. These foundations don’t need to any extra powder on top of them. Just apply with a makeup sponge, and your skin should be shine-free and ready to face the day.


While bronzer can be a take on pressed powders, it also can act as a highlighter for your skin -- not to mention you look tanner. If you use bronzer instead of loose face powder, you’ll want to apply it in different places than you would a compact powder. That’s because bronzer is meant to touch the same places that the sun would -- think of it as a sun-kissed glow. This includes at your forehead, the apples of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. Since bronzer compacts are a powder, they can set your makeup in place in the areas it tends to run the most, such as your forehead.

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