I’ve always struggled with oily / combination skin and whilst I am now in my early thirties and beginning to ‘dry out’ (as I like to call it), I do feel that having oily skin makes wearing make-up tricky. It can also knock your confidence and the constant checking and powdering can be high maintenance. Here are some tips, tricks and products that I have learnt along the way that I wanted to share with you (or if you want to know how to make your makeup last) just keep reading….
1. Top Tips for Oily Skin – Skincare
Skincare is such a personal thing, and so I won’t sit here and dictate what works and what doesn’t, however, I think there are a few things that can help when it comes to your skincare routine:
- The main cause of oiliness is due to dehydration so finding a balance of products that will hydrate without creating a superficial film over the skin is key to keeping oiliness at bay; using light / gel type moisturisers in the morning can help with this. Pressing a light oil at night on top of your nightly moisturiser helps to lock in hydration.
- Avoid foaming cleansers – these can strip your skin and as a result your skin will over produce oil to restore the balance within your skin. Squeaky clean does not make for good skincare.
- In the morning allow time for your skincare to sink in – the longer the better but if you can allow half an hour, great! I found this quite tricky so I had to change my morning routine in order to accommodate this; so now I cleanse, tone, moisturise, then get dressed, brush teeth, do my hair, and eye make-up and come back to skin. It’s worth the wait, trust me.
2. Top Tips for Oily Skin – Primers
Primers are key to keeping oiliness at bay and I have found that good ones are few and far between. Where and how you place them on to the skin is also crucial to reduce oil. So, for example, if you have a very oily t-zone using something like Make Up For Ever’s Step 1 Mattifying Primer patted (not rubbed) on to the troublesome area can really work. Also multi-priming can be super beneficial, but it depends how extra you want to be. For those who are combination something like Too Faced’s Hangover Primer or Becca’s Backlight Primer over the cheek area, and then either Benefit’s Porefessional or my new favourite 3CE’s Pore Velvet Primer on those annoying enlarged pores/t-zone area can really help solve a multitude of sins. I suppose in a nutshell, adapt to what your skin needs. Here are some of my fave oily / pore solving primers –
3. Top Tips for Oily Skin – Foundation
When it comes to foundation, like primers I have tested more than my fair share. Typically I find they slide off, separate or are so thick they just cake up. Now I am wiser I have found that thicker doesn’t necessarily mean it will stick around for longer. Some of my favourites include L’oreal’s Infallible 24hr Matte, Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea and Rimmel’s Lasting Finish. Oddly I have found that drugstore foundation can really nail a long-lasting, mattifying formula.
I also really like to mix my foundations / bb / cc creams that usually don’t have any lasting power which means I am not wasting money on formulas that haven’t worked out for me. The Covergirl Clean Matte is too dark for me (despite being in fair ☹) and the Nars Sheer Glow just doesn’t have any staying power but together it’s a great pairing and it means I get the best out of both products. Another combination I love is Dr Jarts BB Cream with a dash of L’oreal’s Infallible 24hr Matte – perfect for the upcoming warmer weather.
And again, much like multi-priming you could use a mattifying foundation through your t-zone and a more dewier coverage over the rest of your face.
4. Top Tips for Oily Skin – Powdering
Personally I think a powder is a powder, it’s more about your application technique than anything and less is more in this instance. A cult classic is Rimmel’s Stay Matte and more recently I came across Essence’s All About Matt! If loose powder is more your thing you can’t beat Laura Mercier’s Translucent or RMCA’s No-Color Powder. Much like applying primer, a tapping action is better than a sweeping or swirling. Start with less and apply more if needed – that’s the best way to avoid dreaded cake face. I have seen some who apply powder with a damp sponge, but I am yet to try that.
5. Top Tips for Oily Skin – Setting sprays
I think after highlighting and brows this is also the never-ending trend. But as much as it’s a trend, I am happy for this one to stick around. For those oily skinned amongst us, spraying a setting spray after primer and before foundation and then again after you’ve finished your make-up can help its longevity. If you really are super oily, spraying some on your damp sponge and bouncing this on your problem areas can help alleviate future oil production. If this does seem a bit much just a simple spritz at the end can help to keep everything in place.
6. Top Tips for Oily Skin – Touching up
Now if after all of your hard work you still get that shine coming through then using a powder, blotting sheets or my new cult product Cover FX’s Custom Blot Drops can help to reduce the shine. Try to remove oil before applying powder; blotting sheets or using some toilet paper to absorb the excess shine will help (powder + oil = paste YUCK) or what I like to do (and this is a little extra) is to apply the Cover FX’s Custom Blot Drops with a damp beauty blender… and ta dah, mattified goodness is restored. With your powders using something super finely milled is vital – I love IT Cosmetics – Bye Bye Pores Pressed Anit-aging Finishing Powder and Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder – both of these are incredibly lightweight and undetectable but aren’t drying, so when they sit on the skin it won’t cake up or fall into those cracks or creases. They also make for great under eye setting powders too.
This may seem like a lot of steps, but if you already have oily skin then I imagine you do a lot of this already. For those of you who are looking for tips for long lasting make-up especially with the summer months approaching then just adapt the above as required.
Being oily is a bit of a battle and there are constantly new products on the market, so maybe you’ll see an update from me soon, but if you have any wonder products or your own top tips for oily skin let me know below.
And don’t forget; as much as being oily is a nuisance it does mean we are keeping those wrinkles at bay for longer HURRAH!
Got questions? Ask me here
Unless otherwise indicated products reviewed are press or brand samples. Links may be affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase through one of our links we receive a small commission which helps support and run this website.