7 Gamechanging Makeup Tips For Oily Skin

Got oily skin? Enlarged pores and a shiny T-zone don’t have to get in the way of good makeup if you prep and prime your skin, and protect your makeup in the right way. We know that oily skin can be one of the most frustrating skin types to deal with (here’s some skincare tips for oily skin), especially when it comes to ensuring your makeup applies well and lasts throughout the day. Thanks to the wide variety of products out there designed specifically for oily skin, we no longer have to live in fear of melting makeup or a cakey complexion. Whether it’s a full glam or natural makeup look you’re going for, we’ve got the tips and products you need to see you on your way to a flawless, balanced base.

From choosing the products that will lock your eye makeup in place to layering your base correctly for long-lasting perfection, scroll down to discover our oily skin must-haves and application tips.

1. Moisturise skin

Any makeup artist will tell you that the secret to achieving perfect makeup is to focus on skincare. The clearer, calmer, brighter, and smoother your skin is naturally, the less work you’ll have to do with your makeup. Ensure your skin is well-cleansed, then apply your serums, moisturiser, and SPF. Even if your skin is oily, it’s important not to skip the essential step of moisturising. If your skin is hydrated, it’s less likely to feel the need to produce its own moisture (excess oil). Use a light, gel-cream textured moisturiser to hydrate skin without it looking greasy. 

The best moisturisers:

2. Don't forget primer

Primer helps to smooth and even skin, blurring the appearance of pores and blemishes, and building a protective layer between your skin and your makeup. This invisible layer helps to prevent oil that your skin produces from disturbing your makeup, so your makeup adheres better and lasts longer. For a double defense against oily skin, start by targeting your oily areas then spritz with a priming mist all over.

The best primers:

3. Apply makeup in light layers

You might think that applying your concealer and foundation in thick layers is the best way to keep oiliness at bay, but actually the opposite is true. Thick layers of makeup make skin look cakey and unnatural and are less likely to last as long on your skin. Instead, apply makeup in thin, sheer layers, using a damp sponge in gentle blotting motions to press the products into your skin rather than wiping them across it. 

The best sponges for layering:

4. Use mattifying formulas

It goes without saying that mattifying makeup will be your best friend if you’re an oily-skinned gal/guy. From foundations to setting powders, these formulas are specifically made without oil and usually contain ingredients designed to counteract and absorb excess oil. 

The best mattifying formulas:

5. Choose powders over creams

Due to their texture, cream and liquid formulations are more likely to be impacted by oily skin than powder ones are. If you have oily skin you may want to use powder blusher, highlighter, and bronzer instead as they will typically adhere better and last longer. However if you do prefer to use creams and liquids, then ensure you set them with a loose powder to give them longevity. 

The best powder blushers and bronzers:

6. Use an eye base

Our eyelids are typically one of the drier areas of our face, however if you have especially oily skin, you may notice that excess oil disturbs your eye makeup too. Just as you’d prime the rest of your face before applying makeup, use a separate eye primer to help your eyeshadow to stick and stay in place. 

The best eye bases:

7. Top up with setting powder

If you’ve got oily skin, chances are you’re all too familiar with using setting powder to combat excess oil. Alongside your regular powder routine, topping up your T-zone with setting powder throughout the day can drastically improve the staying power of your makeup, while controlling any unwanted shine.

The best setting powders:

8. Finish with a setting spray

If your mission is to mattify, ensure you finish with a setting spray and keep it on you at all times for touch-ups if you notice shine throughout the day. Setting sprays work by forming a light, invisible film over your makeup which helps to lock everything together and prolong the life of your makeup. For extra protection, apply setting spray between each layer of your makeup. 

The best setting sprays:

FYI: This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.