Liquid Foundation VS. Compact Foundations – The Invisible Big Difference

I will start off by saying that I only use Dior foundations, so in my entire review I will be referring to the difference in general, though I haven’t tried any other foundation for the past 10 years as I found nothing even comes close to Dior when it comes to creating a flawless canvas.

Foundations I use and recommend:

Dior DiorSkin Forever – Compact Flawless Fusion Foundation (shades 020 light beige and 022 cameo)

Dior DiorSnow White Reveal – Compact Foundation (shade 020)

Both above mentioned foundations come in 2 variations – liquid (30 ml bottle) and compact (9 or 10 gram pressed powder box).  I personally always favored the compact versions, and here is why:

  • easy to travel with and reapply / correct on the go without water or extra tools required
  • more flexible control over the coverage and building it up
  • lasts significantly longer
  • will not go blotchy if you apply it awkwardly
  • requires no application skills
  • offers a more matte finish, which lasts longer
  • can be used both as a dry high-coverage powder or as liquid foundation (if you moisture your skin afterwards)


For those who are concerned about the price, liquid foundation costs pretty much the same as the compact, yet your tube will last only 1-2 months, if you apply it on a daily basis. For example, you need between 0.5ml to 1 ml to cover the entire face (maybe even more, if you to your neck and decollete area as well). With a 30 ml tube, you can easily do the math, bearing in mind that every time you will have a great deal of foundation left in the foundation brush of the sponge, so that is a non-retractable “waste” of foundation that you are loosing every time. Now, compact foundation is only 10 gram (ouch, 3 times small?) but the interesting fact is that it will last  3 to 6 times longer. Regardless the tool you are using (brushes or a powder sponge), you will only swipe off a tiny bit of product every time, and the “waste” is reduced to utmost minimum because after the application your brush is nearly clean. So if cost effectiveness is important to you, compact foundation wins by far.

Ease of use cannot be compared as I find fluid foundations to be too messy, hard to travel with, can spill, break or separate if exposed to heat or left in the sun. So for me, traveling with a liquid foundation seems like a risky idea that doesn’t worth the hassle. But even if we are not talking about a long voyage, taking the foundation to work (for quick fixing) will it be easier to re-apply a little bit of pressed powder at your desk, or will you prefer to run to the ladies room every time, then wash your hands and hope it didn’t go too blotchy..?


Next, if you are looking to build coverage, working with powder-like substance is endlessly easier since you can continue to pat it on and dab in some more product until you are happy with the results.  Applying a tick layer of foundation can end up being a remarkable makeup disaster, making you look older and cakey, even if you use one of the most expensive foundations out there. Foundation that was applied in a single tick layer tends to move  and smudge quickly, so it needs to be fixed with a powder, just to nail it to the face and keep it in place for the entire day. Needless to add that compact foundation is already a 2-in-1 product so no additional powder is required. On the other hand, you can try to wear a few thin layers of foundation one on top of the other, in some cases, especially if you are a professional makeup artist — it can work, but in vast majority of cases it can make your skin look older and unevenly toned.

diormakeup foundation compact high coverageThe last benefit of pressed compact foundations is the fact that it can be used as a powder or, if you dab it on your skin the regular way and then spray a little bit of mineral water on your face, you will have a perfectly even-looking fluid foundation, as compact foundation instantly gets the properties of liquid foundations, when it comes in contact with moisture. (Same effect can be achieved if you dab a little bit of light moisturizer on top of your freshly powdered face). This way you get a gorgeously looking dewy skin in under 2 minutes.

Though I might not be objective, being a big defender of the compact foundations as you can see from all the benefits I have highlighted, but the only few times when I purchased a liquid version, which only lasted me 2 months, left me with a dirty sponge or brush that needed to be rinsed after EACH use and an older looking, heavy and cakey skin, while the very same foundation in a compact box did a marvelous job beautifying my skin.

I would love to hear your thoughts, which one do you prefer, what do you find to be more convenient and which foundations have you tried?