Bulletproof Your Makeup: Oily Skin Edition

How to make your makeup last all day.
Publish date:
January 31, 2015
Hourglass, mattifying, oily skin, primer, shine-free, e.l.f., oil blotting

One of the challenges of wearing makeup on the regular when you have oily skin can be just keeping it on your face. Over time and through a lot of trial and error (sigh, so much trial and error), I've found a few ways to make my makeup last all day with minimal shine.

The first step is finding the right moisturizer.

It can be tempting as a person with oily skin to skip the moisturizer, but doing this can actually dehydrate your skin and cause it to over-produce oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. I try to use a heavier moisturizer or oil overnight and then find something more mattifying for day to balance out my sunscreen. This is all going to be personal preference as far as product, but I find that it keeps me from feeling like a total greaseball.

Another good thing to invest in is primer (for both face and lids).

I like to find something that I know is going to give my foundation or shadow a good surface to adhere to without being overly drying. That’s why I love Neutrogena Shine Control Primer and e.l.f. Essential Eyelid Primer. The Neutrogena evens out the surface of my skin and absorbs some of the excess oil on my face without sucking the life out of it, and the e.l.f. primer locks my shadow down all day. If you’re oily, I’d avoid primers that have light-reflecting properties or are formulated to be ultra-hydrating; these tend to work better for people with drier skin and can make you look shinier. I’m not saying you have to avoid luminizers altogether, just be careful about using a luminizing primer all over the face.

The type of foundation you use is also important; opt for formulas that are long-wearing and oil-free.

Your foundation doesn't have to be strictly mattifying, but I do find that this helps with longevity for me. Liquid-to-powder formulas also seem to work well for me because they blend in easily and set well. My favorite foundation find has been Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation--it is super lightweight, builds to whatever coverage is needed, and most importantly STAYS PUT. If you’re on a budget, Revlon ColorStay Makeup is also a great option.

Having the right formulas for your face is important, but there are a couple of other things you can do to ensure that your makeup stays on your face.

Once I've moisturized my skin and added primer, I like to take an oil blotting sheet (or tissue if I’m out) and press it over my T-zone because that is where I tend to get oily very swiftly. Then I apply my foundation as normal, blot again, and finish with a fine translucent powder and the Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray to insure that everything is locked into place. With these steps, I've found I've had to blot a lot less frequently (I used to have to blot four or five times a day minimum and now I’m down to once a day) and my makeup stays looking fresh all day.

  • What tactics do you employ to keep your makeup in place?
  • Any oil-free HG products you've found that are great for locking in your look?

P.S. We're giving away free products in honor of xoVain Skin Care Week! Click here to enter.