Finding makeup that will work with oily skin can be pretty tough. For those with oily skin, foundations always seem to move around after a few hours, while eyeliner smudges in seconds! It can be especially complicated these days when everyone wants to look dewy, but most products that help with that pull you straight over into the “greasy” category.
Whether you’re into that matte Instagram look or are more interested in looking luminescent and glowy, we’ve got some suggestions that’ll make it easy for you to rock foundation even with oily skin. For this guide, we collected the best foundations for oily skin, and then talk a bit about how to choose one for you.
In this article:
- Our Picks of the Best Foundations for Oily Skin
- What to Look for in the Perfect Foundation for Oily Skin?
Our Picks of the Best Foundations for Oily Skin
Since finding the best foundation for oily skin is perhaps the trickiest part, here we have compiled a list of 25 options that stay put without making you feel greasy!
1. Too Faced Peach Perfect Comfort Matte Foundation Peaches and Cream Collection
This peach-scented foundation is a holy grail for many people and is easily the best foundation for oily skin. It provides medium coverage, so it is lighter and more natural than the Double Wear foundation, but it still has that wonderful matte finish. It doesn’t move and is totally transfer-proof, so you can even give it a try without powder. It has a wonderful pore-blurring effect that is especially nice. It is available at Sephora.
2. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
This foundation for oily skin has a ton of things going for it. It is one of the most mattifying and oil-resistant foundations on the market, so you know that your oils will not show through it and that it will last all day long. Beyond that, the color selection is incredible, with options for all skin tones and undertones. The coverage is quite high for those of you who like that Instagram look, but you can sheer it out with a primer for lighter coverage. Buy it from Nordstrom!
3. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation
Just because you have oily skin doesn’t mean you want to use a totally mattifying foundation. A bit of a glow can be quite nice, and a dewy complexion is especially trendy these days. This foundation for oily skin gives a demi-matte finish that translates into dewy-not-greasy luminescence on those who have oily skin. It has an incredible shade range and buildable coverage. Find it at Sephora!
4. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Liquid 24H Longwear SPF 15 Foundation
This liquid foundation has fans from all over the skin type spectrum, but its velvety matte finish means that it’s the best foundation for oily skin. One of the best descriptions of it is that it is matte without being flat or dull, or, in other words, totally natural. The coverage isn’t too heavy, so it won’t substitute for concealer. It offers mild sun protection, which can be enough for days when you only spend short bursts outdoors. Get it from Nordstrom!
5. Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
This foundation became a major hit immediately after release, and this was almost to its detriment. This foundation has a very matte finish, but people with non-oily skin weren’t taking that into account when purchasing it and were ending up disappointed. For those with oily skin, on the other hand, this is one of the best foundations. It has very high coverage and exceptional oil control, with a shade range that guarantees that everyone will find a color match. You can pick it up at Sephora.
6. MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF 15
It seems like people have forgotten about MAC recently, which is unfortunate because this is the original brand to release inclusive foundation shade ranges. We didn’t forget, which is why we’re happy to count this as one of the best foundations for oily skin. It offers a natural matte finish and medium coverage that can be built up to full. Despite being matte, it still contains some skin-hydrating ingredients that will keep the skin feeling soft. This foundation is sold at Nordstrom.
7. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
This foundation was a favorite back when I was in makeup school, which was a whole decade ago! I’m happy to say it hasn’t lost any of its status and that it remains one of the best foundations for oily skin around. It offers natural coverage that is great for those who prefer a satiny finish rather than a velvety one, but it still is able to control oils. The coverage is medium, and you’ll probably have to use a setting powder with it. It is available at Sephora.
8. Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation
You’ll like this foundation if you have a preference for very full coverage because we can assure you that nothing will show through it, oils included. You won’t have to build up or apply multiple layers, because it’ll look flawless on the first try. It is especially well regarded for its ability to stay in place without fading or breaking up for over 16 hours. Purchase it at Ulta!
9. Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation
Considering the amount of heat Kat Von D has been under recently, she’s probably thankful for how sweat-proof her foundation is. It’s also oil-proof and very matte, and the coverage is incredible – after all, it’s meant to be able to cover tattoos. It is easy to blend, and you can also sheer it out with lighter products if necessary. The only drawback is that some people do find that it oxidizes on them. Find it at Sephora!
10. Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup
This very unique formula from Clinique offers a natural matte finish, resistance to humidity, and some phenomenal skin care ingredients. It has a medium finish and a very thin, blendable texture that feels light on the skin. The ingredients include skin-soothing and pore-tightening willow bark extract as well as hydrating glycerin and barrie- strengthening cholesterol. Pick it up at Nordstrom!
11. It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
If you’d like to have a foundation you can rely on for more serious sun protection, then this CC cream is it. While CC creams are usually associated with lighter coverage, this one actually offers medium coverage that can be built up to full and has a natural finish that looks very radiant when one has oily skin. It will also allow you to skip your moisturizer since it contains snail secretion filtrate, hyaluronic acid, and some non-comedogenic oils. Order it from Sephora!
12. Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation
This is yet another foundation that received a lot of hype, and as a result, disappointed a lot of people that did not have the right skin type for it. This foundation is best for those with oily skin and is totally inappropriate for someone who leans even remotely towards dry. It has a thicker texture and offers full coverage, which is perfect for those who like that Instaglam look. You can buy it at Sephora.
13. MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
A powder that also acts as a foundation is the quickest way to achieve an even-toned, matte complexion when you have oily skin. Studio Fix is considered the best of the best, thanks to its inclusive color range, buildable coverage without cakiness, and non-comedogenic formula. You can wear it alone or on top of a concealer. Grab a compact at Nordstrom!
14. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15
This foundation has been on the market for a while, and once upon a time, it was a personal favorite. It comes in a super convenient squeeze tube, so it is light and travel-friendly, and the formula itself is beautifully matte and full coverage. It contains a variety of skin-nourishing minerals including oil-absorbing kaolin clay. Find it at Sephora!
15. PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15
This powder formulation is surprisingly skin-nourishing, with ingredients like antioxidant ferulic acid and hydrating lactic acid. Despite that, it is quite mattifying and even offers very high coverage for a powder foundation. If you are dealing with a lot of discoloration, limited time, and very oily skin, then this is the best foundation for you. Do note that because of the SPF protection this powder does have a bit of a white cast when photographed with a flash. Buy it from Ulta!
16. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 – Oil Free
If you need a break from all the high-coverage options, you might appreciate this light tinted moisturizer, which allows your natural skin to really shine through while keeping oils at bay. In addition to sun protection, it also protects the skin from radical damage with ingredients like vitamins C and E. It has a natural finish that is neither dewy nor matte. It is available at Sephora.
17. bareMinerals Matte Foundation SPF 15
Powder foundations are mattifying from the get-go, but this one goes the extra mile to really absorb excess oils throughout the day. It comes as a loose powder, so it’s not the most travel-friendly but it does mean you get more product than you would with a pressed powder. The formula is made primarily of mineral ingredients, with no fillers or irritants. The shade range is one of the best for powder foundations. Get it at Nordstrom!
18. Dior BACKSTAGE Face & Body Foundation
This self-setting foundation will give your skin the most natural coverage imaginable while still keeping facial oils in check. It is very gentle and non-comedogenic, offering medium coverage that will not replace concealer but will also never look cakey or dry. The color range is very inclusive, with matches for every skin tone. You can find it at Sephora.
19. Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
This velvety foundation for oily skin has a liquid-to-powder formula that will allow you to get away with minimal powdering. It has a buildable medium finish, and a rejuvenating formula that includes antioxidants to keep the skin feeling smooth. There is also kaolin clay in the blend, which absorbs oils throughout the day. It is available at Nordstrom.
20. Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Longwear Natural Matte Foundation
We usually associate YSL with dewy formulas like the Touche Eclat, but they actually knocked it out of the park with this foundation for oily skin. It is a foundation with high coverage, exceptional longevity and the amazing ability to keep facial oils at bay for hours on end. Despite this, it feels fairly weightless. Order it from Sephora!
21. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
With this product Maybelline proved that the best foundation for oily skin does not have to cost more than $10. The formula is very similar to more high-end mattifying foundations, with buildable medium coverage. The formula is totally free of comedogenic ingredients, and the shade range is large enough to cover everyone. It is sold at Ulta.
22. Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation
We all know that Smashbox makes excellent primers, but did you know that they have also made the best foundation for oily skin? This foundation has a natural finish that is great for those who prefer a more radiant look, and the shade range is sizable. The formula includes vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin. Purchase it from Sephora!
23. Givenchy Beauty Teint Couture Everwear Foundation SPF 20
This foundation for oily skin feels very luxurious as it goes on the skin, covering all manner of imperfections without weighing things down or caking up. Once it’s on, it really doesn’t move at all and stays put for many hours. It helps to control oils but without overly mattifying the skin. Find it on Net-a-Porter!
24. Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15
Weightless is definitely the right description because you will neither feel nor see this foundation on your skin. It evens out the skin tone sheerly and can be built up to medium coverage, with a satin finish that works beautifully for those with oily skin wanting to look dewy. The combination of sunscreen and vitamin C makes this foundation anti-aging, as well. Pick it up from Sephora!
25. Ofra Cosmetics Absolute Cover Foundation
This foundation from Ofra is very new, but it’s already generating a lot of excitement! It’s a very high-coverage foundation for oily skin, offering a matte finish along with some serious anti-aging benefits. The formula includes peptides and antioxidants to keep the skin looking youthful. It gives the skin a flawless finish without looking heavy. You can buy it at Ulta.
What to Look for in the Perfect Foundation for Oily Skin?
Silicone-based foundations usually work best for those with oily skin because of their mattifying effect. Liquid-to-powder foundations or foundations advertised as mattifying or having a velvet finish will do the best job of controlling oils and preventing your skin from looking shiny throughout the day.
Usually, these mattifying foundations also offer higher coverage, but exceptions exist if you like light-coverage makeup. If your skin doesn’t respond well to silicone, then look for water-based foundations that contain film-forming polymers, acrylates or acrylamides, as these can also have a matte finish and oil-resistance.
Stick and cream foundations will usually have an oilier finish, so, for the most part, they won’t work well for those with oily skin.
To find your foundation shade match, swipe the foundation over your jawline and blend it in slightly. You can do this with a few foundations if you’re unsure, and choose the one that blends almost perfectly into your neck.
Photos via @sonagasparian, Instagram, Sephora