Makeup » Makeup Guide for Oily Skin: Tips for Choosing & Using Makeup

Makeup Guide for Oily Skin: Tips for Choosing & Using Makeup

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When you have oily skin, chances are you often hate wearing makeup. It might be because you still haven’t managed to find the right products for your skin type and practiced some makeup application tips specifically for oily skin. In this makeup guide for oily skin, you’ll learn everything to start embracing makeup when you have the desire.

How to Choose the Best Makeup for Oily Skin

We go into detail about how to choose different makeup products based on your oily skin, and then give a comprehensive guide about how to use makeup to achieve a flawless complexion that won’t let oils peak through after a few hours. To finish things off, we have a few extra tips and tricks that will help you personalize your oily skin makeup routine.

In this article:

What Makeup Products to Choose for Oily Skin

When you are dealing with oily skin, there are certain facts you should consider when looking for the best makeup products for your skin type.

Primer for Oily Skin

Finding a makeup primer for oily skin is actually quite easy since most primers are made with dimethicone, which has a mattifying effect. Dimethicone also helps fill in pores and make skin texture look smoother.

Look for primers advertised as being mattifying or that help reduce the appearance of pores. Throughout the day, a mattifying primer will help keep your skin from getting too shiny or greasy and it will also help prevent your foundation from fading or breaking up.

Foundation for Oily Skin

As with primers, silicone-based foundations are the best picks for those with oily skin because of their velvety matte finish and oil-controlling benefits. However, if you don’t particularly like silicone-based foundations, look for water-based makeup with film-forming polymers, acrylates, or acrylamides that also provide a matte finish.

How to Apply Foundation for Oily Skin

Concealer for Oily Skin

As with foundation, silicone-based concealers will also work best for those with oily skin. Choose a more mattifying concealer for covering up discoloration or blemishes on the face.

The area under the eyes, however, tends to be much drier than the rest of the face. Because of that, you should use a natural or demi-matte concealer for under the eyes, because a matte concealer will likely make your eye area look dry and textured.

Powder for Oily Skin

Powders are practically made for oil control, so you can’t really go wrong choosing a powder. Any powder that matches your skin tone should work for setting the foundation and absorbing oils from your skin to prevent shine.

Translucent powders are great because they won’t have an impact on the color of your foundation, while powders with color can help increase coverage. You don’t have to buy powders marketed specifically as mattifying but generally try to avoid powders that appear too white, as they might cause flashback in photos.

Eye Makeup for Oily Skin

Those with oily skin often also have very oily eyelids, so it’s hard to keep certain eye makeup products from creasing or smudging. A great eye primer can make a big difference because it’ll act as a barrier between the makeup and the oils the skin produces, which means the makeup will look better for longer. Beyond that, it’s all about finding formulas that are a little more oil-proof.

Tubing mascaras, for example, are much more oil-resistant than other mascaras despite not being waterproof, and liquid eyeliners tend to hold up between when applied directly on top of eye primer. Pencil eyeliners tend to be quite oil-resistant, especially if they are set with eyeshadow.

How to Apply Makeup for Oily Skin

How to Apply Foundation If You Have Oily Skin

  • After applying your typical morning skin care, smooth a mattifying primer over your skin focusing on the T-zone and then diffusing it outwards. You can use your fingers for this or a makeup sponge, and then give it a few minutes to set.
  • We always recommend applying foundation first, unless you’re planning a darker eyeshadow look in which case start with the eyes.
  • Using a flat-topped makeup brush, damp makeup sponge, or even your fingers, apply your foundation using a mixture of stippling and circular blending motions. Start out with a very thin layer, then stippling on more product only on areas where you need a little more coverage.
  • Next, apply your concealer where necessary – under the eyes and over any places where discoloration is showing through your foundation. Dot it on first, and then blend it out lightly either with the pointy end of a makeup sponge or with a smaller buffing brush. Once again, start out with thin layers and build up coverage slowly.
  • To set everything, powder either with a flat-topped kabuki brush or with a powder puff. Load up your applicator with powder, tap off the excess, and then use a tapping motion to apply it to your skin. Give your powder a few minutes to set (in the meanwhile you can start your eye makeup), and then use a fluffier brush to remove any excess powder.
  • To start off your eye makeup, apply a very thin layer of eyelid primer and then set it with a base eyeshadow or translucent powder. Follow that up by doing your eyeshadow however you darn well like.
  • Apply another thin line of eyelid primer along where you want to put on your eyeliner, especially if you’ll be using liquid eyeliner. Follow that up with your eyeliner. If you’ll be using a pencil eyeliner, then set it with a similarly-colored eyeshadow.
  • Apply your tubing mascara as you would any mascara. Bring the wand close to the lash line, and then wiggle the brush as you pull it to the tips of the lashes.
  • The same principle of cream first followed by powder applies when doing your eyebrows. Your eyebrows will stay put best if you first apply a brow pomade, and then set it with powder. For extra longevity, apply a sealing brow gel on top.
  • Powder blush, contour, and highlighter will give your face definition while also working to absorb oils throughout the day. Apply contour to the hollows of your face and areas you’d like to thin out, keep highlighter to the high points of the face that you would like to emphasize, and apply your blush to the apples of the cheeks and pull it up into the temples.
  • Finish off with a swipe of self-setting liquid lipstick. If you prefer a glossy finish, simply layer a matching lip gloss on top.
  • As a final sealing step, mist on some makeup setting spray. Hold the bottle around an arm’s length away from the face, and spray a few times. Fan your face so that it dries down quickly, and then enjoy oil-proof makeup all day long.
  • Blot your skin throughout the day to get rid of any shine or oil the peaks through.

Useful Makeup Tips for Oily Skin

It’s really important to remember that what will work for one person with oily skin may not work for another one. There are so many things that make us different from one another, from skin chemistry to climate to aesthetic preferences. Because of this, I’ve collected a bunch of makeup tips for oily skin, and I encourage you to play around and try things out to figure out which of these will work for your skin and makeup style!

Makeup Tips for Oily Skin
  • When it comes to cream or liquid products, thin layers tend to stay intact better than thinner layers. Avoid packing on the mattifying primer or foundation, as you are likely to end up with cakiness and separation later on in the day.
  • Layering multiple matte products will definitely control your oils, but it’ll also give your skin a very flat, non-reflective finish. If that’s what you’re going for, cool! These days, however, the dewy finish is all the rage because it makes the skin look more youthful and luminescent. By using a mattifying primer, demi-matte foundation, powdering very lightly, and using blotting sheets throughout the day instead of touch-up with powder you can end up with skin that looks healthfully dewy rather than greasy.
  • If your skin is extremely oily, then multiple layers of mattifiers might be totally necessary, and your skin may still end up looking dewy.
  • While a mattifying primer is usually the best first layer, some people with oily skin find they get surprisingly great results from using a setting spray as a primer.
  • Others love the mattifying effect of using a face powder before cream and liquid products, which is also often referred to as the “Wayne Goss Method”.
  • Speaking of powder, for maximum oil-control apply it to your skin with a powder puff, but use a brush if you’d rather compromise on the mattifying effects in favor of having a more natural skin finish.
  • Following cream products with powder will help make them more durable and less likely to smudge in the presence of both oil and water. This trick applies to foundation, of course, but it also works for other types of products like brow pomade, eyeliner, or even lipstick.
  • When it comes to tubing mascara, many people find that while they are the most oil-resistant, they are not particularly volumizing. If you’d like more voluminous lashes you can first apply a regular volumizing mascara, let it dry down just a bit, and then layer a tubing mascara over it, for voluminous, oil-resistant lashes.
Oily Skin Foundation Tips

11 Makeup Products for Oily Skin to Try

From waterproof eyeliner to makeup setting spray, here you have 11 makeup products for oily skin that will make your look last long throughout the day.

1. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Primer can be the best solution for controlling facial oils, whether under foundation or all on its own. The Veil is particularly excellent at absorbing oils and blurring pores, so when a foundation is applied on top of it, it looks extra smooth and lasts for ages. It also gives a touch of sun protection with 15 SPF. Order it from Nordstrom!

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

2. Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Invisimatte Blotting Powder

While we did recommend some foundations for oily skin that ostensibly do not require a setting powder, the fact of the matter is that when your skin is very oily that claim becomes a little less accurate. This incredible setting powder from Fenty mattifies without dulling or caking up the skin, and it actually works for all skin tones including the darkest, despite the fact that it appears white in the pan. You can buy it at Sephora.

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Invisimatte Blotting Powder

3. Rae Morris Invisible Mattifier Face Powder

This weightless mattifier is extremely unique. It is made with a collection of unique, solidified silicones, and can be best described as a mattifying primer that is applied like a powder. It absorbs oils lightly, without looking like a matte layer. You can use it alone for light-makeup days, or on top of setting powder throughout the day to absorb oils. It is sold online via Net-a-Porter.

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: Rae Morris Invisible Mattifier Face Powder

4. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

This translucent powder has rabid fans from all over the skin type spectrum, but it is especially favored by those with oily skin. It is somehow able to remain invisible while setting makeup thoroughly, and it mattifies without leaving the skin looking overly powdered. It is more heavy-duty than the Fenty and Rae Morris powders, so it is especially good for super-oily skin. Get it at Sephora!

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

5. NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

Concealing blemishes and spots is child’s play with this matte, full-coverage concealer. It comes in a pot and has a thick, creamy texture. It is definitely best applied with a small brush. Despite the high coverage, it is very blendable and doesn’t cake up. You can also play around with a darker shade for contour or a lighter shade for a matte highlight. It is sold at Sephora.

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

6. UOMA Beauty Stay Woke Luminous Brightening Concealer

This new brand just launched at Sephora, but their products are already getting an excellent response. This liquid concealer, in particular, is phenomenal for the under eyes! It self-sets, and it has a demi-matte finish that is wonderful for countering oiliness without making the under-eye area look dry. It also works for covering blemishes and acne scars! The color range is incredible, with a great focus on undertones. Find it at Ulta!

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: UOMA Beauty Stay Woke Luminous Brightening Concealer

7. MAC Cosmetics Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara

Those with oily skin often opt for regular waterproof mascaras, but that’s the wrong instinct. Tubing mascaras are where it’s at because they are truly oil-resistant. This mascara from MAC is one of the best in the category because it gives incredible length and feathery volume. While it is resistant to rain and tears, it will come off with warm water. Buy it from Nordstrom!

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: MAC Cosmetics Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara

8. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

The same issue with most waterproof mascaras also applies to eyeliners, but I’m happy to report this is one of the liquid eyeliners most resistant for oily eyelids. It is unlikely to smudge or flake throughout the day, and it has a sharp marker-style tip that makes drawing on a wing a breeze. Grab it from Ulta!

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

9. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

This lipstick does not budge, which is actually the biggest complaint about it! However, when you have oily skin, those facial oils can disrupt your lipstick or lip liner much as they would any other makeup product. You have dozens of colors to choose from, in a matte formula that doesn’t require lip liner. Put it on and forget about it! If you don’t like the matte finish, then just pop a bit of lip gloss on top. It is available at Nordstrom.

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

10. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

The masses have spoken and determined that the All-Nighter setting spray is superior to the De-Slick one, even if you have oily skin! This setting spray will keep your makeup in place and your oils under control, all day AND all night, saving you the need for touch-ups. It is sold at Ulta.

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

11. Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers

Another solution to keep the oil skin matte without over-powdering is blotting papers. These sheets are made of abaca leaf to absorb oils and impurities from the skin without disturbing your makeup. The packaging itself is made of paper, as well, to avoid unnecessary waste. You can get them from Sephora.

Best Makeup for Oily Skin: Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers

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