Last week Terri and I reviewed our favorite non-toxic liquid foundations, including tinted moisturizers and straight up liquid makeup. Next week, we'll tackle loose mineral makeup foundations, but today it's on to pressed powder compacts, which happen to be my favorite form of face coverage because they're easy to transport and make it possible touch up a shiny nose quickly on the go.
These five picks represent the best of the bunch in terms of application, staying power (even on warm and humid days, note), and non-toxicity as quantified by the Environmental Working Group's amazing Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
- Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation - This plant-based powder was my favorite overall because one swipe of the stuff covered dark circles under my eyes and two minor blemishes, no other makeup required. Magic! In addition to offering a bit more coverage than the other powders, it can be applied with a dry sponge for a matte finish or a damp sponge for a dewy look. Terri wishes the compact itself were less granny-like, but agreed that the stuff inside is great. ($26.35, no EWG score but other products from the brand scored between 1 and 5 out of 10 - low to moderate hazard)
- Physician’s Formula Bamboo Wear Silk Face Powder - This budget-friendly powder is sold separately from its reusable bamboo case...in non-recyclable plastic boxes. The sliding compact is a little more difficult to use than a traditional clamshell style, but at least they're trying to go eco-friendly, and the price is great. It'll give you a barely-there look and feel, with just a hint of color and consistency as it reduces shine. ($6.95 for reusable compact plus $9.95 for powder, EWG score 1 out of 10 - low hazard)
- Jane Iredale PurePressed® Base Mineral Foundation - SPF 20 - Terri's favorite of the bunch, this powder comes in a sleek gold case and offers a light, sheer, matte finish that lets your own skin shine through. I'd say it's perfect for summer because it can go on wet or dry, offers some sun protection, and stays on well even if you start to sweat a little. My only complaint is that the puff that comes with it is flimsy, so you do have to use your own sponge or brush. ($33, no EWG score but another foundation from the brand scored a 2 out of 10 - low hazard)
- Honeybee Gardens Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation - Another budget-friendly, very natural option sold with a reusable compact to reduce waste, this powder feels light but offers enough coverage to even out skin tone. The puff it comes with is pretty flimsy, but you'll get good results with an ordinary kabuki brush. ($11.99 for reusable compact plus $9.99 for powder, EWG score 2 out of 10 - low hazard)
- Youngblood Mineral Radiance Crème Powder Foundation - This foundation goes on buttery smooth and gives you the matte finish of a powder with the creaminess of a liquid. If you're looking for something with a bit more coverage and pigment but packaged as a compact, you'll love this luxe foundation. ($56, No EWG score)