Top 10 Best Japanese Powder Foundations to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 10 Best Japanese Powder Foundations to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

It can be hard to get powder foundation to sit well on the skin. But you can’t deny that it’s oil-controlling, no-mess, and easy to apply. And even in Japan, the land of seemingly flawless skin, powder foundation is popular and in abundance; it’s got its high-end and drugstore brands, rip-offs and dupes.

So it makes sense to wonder which powder foundations actually work on this side of the Pacific. That’s why we ordered the 10 most popular Japanese powder foundations from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited two experts and had them compare the following:

  1. Finish
  2. Ease of Application
  3. Coverage

This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese powder foundations.

Table of Contents

Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge

This time around, we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artist Rika Fujiwara and Instagrammer Chie Kato.

Chie Kato and Rika Fujiwara
〈Chie Kato and Rika Fujiwara〉

Beauty Gurus

{Left: Former Fashion Retailer and Instagrammer Chie Kato}
She used to work in fashion as a retail clerk (also the time when she started her blog). After she got married, she quit her job in in the fashion industry. Now, as a housewife, she's still very active, Instagramming daily about fashion, cosmetics, and hair. She's got over 100,000 followers.

{Right: Freelance Hair and Makeup Artist Rika Fujiwara}
She's a freelance hair and makeup artist and an expert in aromatherapy certified by the Aroma Environment Association of Japan. She also pens beauty columns. She studied under Mr. Hiroki Murooka from the hair and makeup studio ThreePEACE for four years before going independent.

Sorry, but What’s Powder Foundation Again?

Sorry, but What's Powder Foundation Again?

It’s just what it sounds like–pressed powder that’s been laid into a compact. Powder foundation is great because it’s easy to carry around and lends itself easily to quick touch-ups.

We’d say that most powder foundation comes out to a matte finish, and because coverage is also usually good, powder foundation evens out skin tone. If you want to tone down shine, powder is a good choice.

How to Choose Japanese Powder Foundation – Buying Guide

We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but first we’d like to introduce two things you should look out for when choosing powder foundation.

① Make Sure the Color Looks Natural on You

Make Sure the Color Looks Natural on You

This holds true for when you’re buying any kind of foundation, but you need to make sure the color will come out exactly how you want it to. If you test out a foundation on the back of your hand, by the way, chances are that it will end up looking too dark or too light.

When trying out powder foundation, apply it somewhere between your jawline and your neck; then choose the color that looks most natural. Unfortunately, Japanese powder foundations haven’t got much to offer in terms of shade. Most everything’s ochre, with some pink or beige varieties thrown in. When possible, try out a foundation before purchasing.

② Make Sure the Foundation is Formulated to Suit Your Skin Type

We know it’s no fun, but when shopping for powder foundation, it’s important to read the ingredients list, as well as check out the formula’s intended effects. Look for something that suits your skin type.

Powder Foundation is Best for Normal, Combination, or Oily Skin

Powder Foundation is Best for Normal, Combination, or Oily Skin

Generally speaking, powder foundation will work if you have normal, combination, or oily skin. Powder absorbs excess sebum, so it’s great for controlling shine.

Actually, if you have combination skin, you can achieve an extremely lovely finish by using both liquid and powder foundation at the same time.

Look for Hydrating Ingredients like Collagen and Ceramides if You Have Dry Skin

Look for Hydrating Ingredients like Collagen and Ceramides if You Have Dry Skin

Powder foundation contains very little oil. On top of that, it’s supposed to latch on to the oil you excrete, so if you have dry skin, chances are that powder foundation will dehydrate you even more. Should you have dry skin, then look for something with moisturizing ingredients.

We actually would most like to steer you towards a liquid or cream foundation, but if you must have your powder, then formulas with hydrating ingredients like collagen※1, squalane※2, and ceramides※3 will a) ensure the foundation has something to adhere it to your skin and b) protect against dehydration.

※1 コラーゲン: collagen

※2 スクワラン: squalane

※3 セラミド: ceramides

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

Now to introduce the 10 most popular Japanese powder foundations that we ordered and the process by which we tested them.

{The Products We Tested}

  1. Cefine Silk Wet Powder (セフィーヌ シルクウェットパウダー)
  2. Maquillage Lighting White Powdery UV (マキアージュ ライティングホワイトパウダリーUV)
  3. Primavista Kireina Suhada Shitsukan Powder Foundation (プリマヴィスタ きれいな素肌質感パウダーファンデーション)
  4. Fasio Lasting Foundation (ファシオ ラスティングファンデーション)
  5. INTEGRATE Pro Finish Foundation (インテグレート プロフィニッシュファンデーション)
  6. TOUT VERT Mineral Powdery Foundation (トゥヴェール ミネラルパウダリーファンデーション)
  7. Kose Esprique Pure Skin Pact UV (コーセー エスプリーク ピュアスキン パクト UV)
  8. Visee Riche Nudy Fit Foundation (ヴィセ リシェ ヌーディフィット ファンデーション)
  9. Cezanne UV Foundation EX Plus (セザンヌ UVファンデーション EXプラス)
  10. LUNASOL Skin Modeling Powder Glow (ルナソル スキンモデリング パウダーグロウ)

We tested for each of the following things:

Test ①: Finish
Test ②: Ease of Application
Test ③: Coverage

Test ①: Finish

Finish

First we looked at the finish of the foundation.

We had our experts apply the foundations to their hands and arms. They then shared their impressions–whether the foundation left their arms looking like cake or like porcelain, for example. They even told us how the sponge performed.

The Big Takeaway: The Finer the Powder, the More Evenly It Adhered to Our Skin

The Big Takeaway: The Finer the Powder, the More Evenly It Adhered to Our Skin

Foundations that performed well on this test had two things in common: the included sponge was soft and the powder was fine. When we applied them, they never looked cakey, and they went on evenly, so we were left with clear, porcelain-like skin.

We also realized that price was not directly correlated to finish. Expensive powder foundations didn’t necessarily make us look great; along those same lines, cheap products didn’t necessarily look, well, cheap.

Rika Fujiwara
Hair and Makeup Artist
Rika Fujiwara's comment
If you want translucent, porcelain skin, look for powder that is fine and spreads out evenly.

Test ②: Ease of Application

Ease of Application

Next, we focused on application.

We asked our experts for their impressions on how easy the case and included puff were to use.

The Big Takeaway: The Softer the Puff is, the Easier It is to Apply Powder in Nooks and Crannies

The Big Takeaway: The Softer the Puff is, the Easier It is to Apply Powder in Nooks and Crannies

When we tested for application, however, the more expensive foundations tended to do better. We aren’t sure if it’s because LUNASOL is high-end or what, but even the sound of the case opening was classy

Softer puffs, we found were better at getting foundation to stick in the fine areas around your nose and eyes. On the other hand, we felt some friction when we used stiffer sponges, which we worried could damage our skin over time.

Chie Kato
Former Fashion Retailer and Instagrammer
Chie Kato's comment
Personally, I love INTEGRATE's case because it's compact and easy to carry around. There's been a trend towards smaller bags recently, and I like that this can fit into a tiny purse.

Test ③: Coverage

Coverage

Finally, we looked at coverage.

We had a member from our editing department try out all ten foundations. We then peered at her skin to see how well the products hid the pigmentation you can see in the picture above.

The Big Takeaway: Drugstore Cosmetics Apparently Have Better Coverage!

The Big Takeaway: Drugstore Cosmetics Apparently Have Better Coverage!

{Left: TOUT VERT Mineral Powdery Foundation $24.81; Right: Cezanne UV Foundation EX Plus $4.96}

At the end of the day, the products that most effectively hid the blemishes were TOUT VERT’s Mineral Powdery Foundation and Cezanne’s UV Foundation EX Plus, both of which are drugstore cosmetics.

Of course, all the other products provided some degree of coverage, but when we tried these two out, we were shocked to see the pigmentation had pretty much disappeared.

The Final Verdict: Top 10 Best Japanese Powder Foundations to Buy Online

Now to introduce the 10 best Japanese powder foundations available online. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests and given an overall grade ranging from D to A+.

10. Fasio Lasting Foundation

Fasio Lasting Foundation

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Price: $15.18

Even Though There’s Almost No Coverage, It Manages to Look Super Powdery…

This foundation did almost nothing for our blemishes. It was also powdery and made it obvious we were wearing makeup; on dry skin, it’ll probably leave behind flakes and scales. Its sole redeeming factor is its SPF rating; at least it’ll protect you from the sun.

Finish and Application B
Coverage D
Case Sold Separately
Overall Score D

9. Visee Riche Nudy Fit Foundation

Visee Riche Nudy Fit Foundation

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Price: $14.29

Even Application, but It Looks Thick

This foundation did go on to the skin evenly, so if you have a big event and want to look really put together, then it’s not a bad one to try. However, even though we didn’t apply that much, it looked thick and wasn’t letting our skin breathe. If you do pick up this foundation, make sure that your primer, at the very least, is lightweight.

Finish and Application C
Coverage C
Case Sold Separately
Overall Score D

8. Primavista Kireina Suhada Shitsukan Powder Foundation

Primavista Kireina Suhada Shitsukan Powder Foundation

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Price: $25.01

May Dry out Skin Over Time. At Least the Packaging’s Cute

Primavista gets great customer reviews over here in Japan, and the packaging is so cute, it makes you want to put on makeup. However, our experts worried that it could be dehydrating over time. You might want to steer clear if you have dry skin.

Finish and Application C
Coverage B
Case Sold Separately
Overall Score D

7. Cezanne UV Foundation EX Plus

Cezanne UV Foundation EX Plus

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Price: $4.96

Provides So Much Coverage for So Cheap! But Wasn’t the Easiest to Apply and Didn’t Come out to a Nice Finish

Our experts weren’t enamored with this one, but Cezanne’s foundation does provide amazing coverage for the price. What we didn’t like was the case. Out of all of the products we tried, this case was the only one with a lid that opened the full 180°; it was pretty annoying to use.

Finish and Application D
Coverage A+
Case Included
Overall Score C

6. Maquillage Lighting White Powdery UV

Maquillage Lighting White Powdery UV

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Price: $23.89

Has a Matte Finish but Still Leaves Your Skin Looking like Porcelain! However, Not the Best Coverage

Because it had such a translucent look despite being matte, we gave this one high points for finish. However, when we tested for coverage, Maquillage’s foundation suffered a fall from grace. Also, it didn’t come with a protective film, and we didn’t like how the powder got all over the mirror.

Finish and Application A
Coverage D
Case Sold Separately
Overall Score C

5. INTEGRATE Pro Finish Foundation

 INTEGRATE Pro Finish Foundation

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Price: $12.90

The Coverage Leaves Something to Be Desired, but Comes out to a Nice Natural Finish

This one came in the smallest compact, perfect for carrying around in a small purse. While we weren’t impressed by the coverage, it’s a good fit for those who already have nice skin or those who are looking for a more natural finish.

Finish and Application A
Coverage C
Case Sold Separately
Overall Score B

4. Kose Esprique Pure Skin Pact UV

Kose Esprique Pure Skin Packed UV

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Price: $27.78

Loved that the Powder was Silky and Spread Evenly over the Skin

The sponge that came with Esprique’s foundation was comparatively soft, and we felt like it was more gentle on the skin. It also has an SPF rating of SPF 26 PA++, which is enough protection to go through your day-to-day life without worry.

Because the powder was so fine, it spread evenly over our skin without much trouble. Those silky particles did a great job in controlling shine on oily skin, but if you have dry skin, it might leave a few dry patches and flakes.

Finish and Application A
Coverage B
Case Sold Separately
Overall Score B

3. Cefine Silk Wet Powder

Cefine Silk Wet Powder

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Price: $39.69

Leaves Your Skin Silky and yet Still Looking like Skin

This is a good one to pick out if you want to look like you aren’t wearing any makeup–in a good way. It comes out to a nice semi-matte finish.

However, the round sponge was met with mixed reviews. Personally, a lot of us preferred square puffs because it’s easier to get into the nooks and crannies around our noses and eyes.

Finish and Application A
Coverage B
Case Sold Separately
Overall Score B

2. TOUT VERT Mineral Powdery Foundation

TOUT VERT Mineral Powdery Foundation

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Price: $24.81

Despite Being an Additive-Free Drugstore Foundation, Coverage is Solid

TOUT VERT got good, but not glowing reviews from our experts. However, it doesn’t look cakey, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking to hide blemishes but still want a natural finish.

The TOUT VERT and the LUNASOL we have in first place were the only foundations that came with puffs that are feathered on one side. TOUT VERT recommends using the feathered side when you want to look natural–as if you had just dusted on some powder with a brush–and the sponge side if you’re looking for more coverage for pores and other blemishes.

That’s a lot of thought to be put into a product at this price point.

Finish and Application B
Coverage A+
Case Included
Overall Score A

1. LUNASOL Skin Modeling Powder Glow

LUNASOL Skin Modeling Powder Glow

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Price: $32.16

The Powder Foundation mybest is Gunning for

LUNASOL was an easy first. With this foundation, you can apply multiple layers without looking too cakey.

It also has quite a dewy finish, which is rare in a powder foundation. It’s probably your best bet if you want to get the convenience of powder without sacrificing the glow of liquid.

And, as we mentioned above, this one also comes with a puff that is feathered on one side and a sponge on the other; depending on your plans for a certain day, you can switch up your look. The case is also of a simple and refined design.

Finish and Application A+
Coverage A+
Case Sold Separately
Overall Score A

How to Apply Powder Foundation Like a Pro

Makeup isn’t just about what you buy; it’s also about how you apply it. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to best get a natural finish.

By Switching Between a Puff and a Brush, You Can Change up Your Final Look

By Switching Between a Puff and a Brush, You Can Change up Your Final Look

With powder foundation, you can achieve different looks depending on whether you use a puff or a brush. Puffs are good for extra coverage; brushes are good for applying thin, even layers of product, leaving you with a more translucent finish.

If you use a puff, aim to cover only about 1/3 of the surface with foundation. If you use a brush, get rid of excess foundation by swirling the brush on the back of your hand; then apply after the powder has settled evenly throughout the brush.

If you need more coverage, feel free to apply extra layers. Just be careful because over-applying can also make your makeup crease and separate.

Spread Foundation from the Center of your Face Outwards! Save the Areas around Your Eyes for Last

Apply Foundation from the Center of your Face Outwards! Save the Areas around Your Eyes for Last

Apply powder foundation first to your cheeks, then your forehead, nose, and finally, chin. Build up your base layer one area at a time.

The most powder will accumulate where you first lay down your puff, so swipe from the center of your face outwards. This will ensure that your face has some dimension (and doesn’t end up looking flat).

Foundation tends to break down and crease around the eyes. Therefore, instead of applying fresh powder there, finish up the area around your eyes with whatever product is left on your puff after the rest of your face is done.

Achieve a More Natural Finish by Blending Foundation onto Your Neck

Achieve a More Natural Finish by Blending Foundation onto Your Neck

As a finishing touch, you’ll want to blend foundation down towards your neck. If your neck and face end up different colors, you’ll look kind of like a floating head, so soften that boundary line by blending downwards.

If you applied your foundation with a puff, use the clean side to blend out the powder. If you applied your foundation with a brush, blend only after you’ve already shaken all excess powder from the brush. Pull foundation from your jawline towards the nape of your neck to even out color and produce a more natural look.

And Here’s Some Other Japanese Cosmetics You Might be Interested in

And Here's Some Other Japanese Cosmetics You Might be Interested in

We can’t help it–we love shopping for makeup. We love thinking about how a product will look on us, how it’ll bring out our best features and become a physical representation of our personality. So we’ve run the whole gamut of Japanese cosmetics, testing products here and there. Check out some of our other pieces below.

Summary

We invited two experts, purchased the 10 most popular Japanese powder foundations, and tested them all.

Your writer got to try all the products, but she was most impressed by the TOUT VERT foundation in second place. It was easily affordable, and both the coverage and finish were nothing to scoff at. She’s thinking of adding it to her own makeup arsenal.

Keep the tips and tricks we listed above in the back of your mind–and hopefully, you’ll also have a happy encounter with the perfect powder foundation the next time you’re out shopping.

Original by Yukina Matsuda; Translation by Jasmine Li

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