Differentiating among the ever-growing selection of face makeups can seem daunting. But both pressed powder and cream foundation can give you the right amount of coverage mixed with the perfect glow, all while looking natural. Consider your skin type when deciding which is right for you.

Pressed powder gives skin an even, matte look, but the trick to using pressed powder is two-fold: your skin type and the right makeup tool.

First things first: One of the main reason pressed powder gets a dried-out/cake-like rep is because most compacts come with a puff or sponge. Puffs don’t allow you to evenly apply the powder and they also run the risk of collecting bacteria. The best way to apply pressed powder — and loose powder too — is with a mini kabuki brush; it creates an even, fresh-looking finish.

Second, consider your skin type. Pressed powders work better for normal, oily and combination skin, as powders help absorb oil and reduce shine, leaving you with a smooth, matte finish. If you have combination skin, apply powder only where you need it, such as your T-zone where you may be more oily. If you have flakey or super dry skin, pressed powder can cake and dry out, no matter how great your application skills and makeup tool are.

Cream foundation has a reputation for looking cakey and unnatural, but similar to pressed powder, it’s all about skin type and application.

Creamy foundations are great for normal and dry skin. Their creamy texture won’t give skin a dried-out look while offering an au naturel look. Plus, they boost skin’s hydration and moisture. If you have oily skin and you prefer cream over powder, opt for an oil-free liquid.

The trick to applying liquid foundations is to not overuse — a little goes a long way. Applying a primer first will not only help your makeup stay on longer, but it goes on more evenly.

Cream foundations in a compact are not only easy to apply — for those makeup neophytes who prefer cream over powder — but they’re great for dry complexions because they melt into skin even though they’re solid. Apply using a sponge, which gives you better control. These also work well if you’re traveling to avoid spills and messes.

Keep in mind, tinted moisturizers, and BB (beauty balm) and CC (color correcting) creams, offer light coverage. If you’re looking for more coverage, higher pigment foundations will give you more coverage without a heavy texture. Opt for water-resistant liquids, as they will last longer.

Tips

No matter cream foundation or pressed powder, if your makeup doesn’t match your skin tone it will look fake and like a mask. Visit a makeup counter for professional help to find your perfect shade.