Foundations For Oil Control In High Humidity, At Every Price

Three lightweight picks for the hell days of summer OR a foundation face-off.

Thanks to the hot weather and humidity, I've been on the hunt for a new foundation for my oily skin. Somewhere along the way, the search turned into a full-on foundation face-off. I chose six foundations ($9 to $45) and put them head-to-head in three categories: high-end, drugstore, and BB.

I like a medium to full coverage liquid foundation, and my T-zone is especially oily, so I picked these test subjects to suit my needs. Also: all of the below photos were taken with the same application technique at the same time(s) of day. The only variance is my eye makeup and lip color.

I'm not going to go crazy talking about colors because my goal here is to find the right consistency of foundation for the swampy hell days of summer, aka one that won't make my face feel like a glazed doughnut.

Ready, set, face-off.

HIGH-END: bare Minerals vs. NARS


bare Minerals: Thin and dry.

NARS: Thick, creamy consistency.


bare Minerals: Light to medium with SPF 20.

NARS: Medium to full (no SPF).


bare Minerals: Velvet matte.

NARS: Matte but not flat.


bare Minerals: Blends very quickly and easily.

NARS: It took a little work, but it got easier once the foundation warmed up against my skin.


bare Minerals: I blotted about three times in the course of a day (usually I blot four times per day) and still had residual shine. It didn't make me feel oilier, but it didn't reduce my oiliness, either.

NARS: I only blotted twice and it stayed put all day.

WINNER: NARS. While I loved the initial finish and feel of the bare Minerals foundation, it failed on shine control.

DRUGSTORE: CoverGirl vs. Revlon


Revlon: Very thick and creamy.

CoverGirl: Also über-creamy.


Revlon: Full (no SPF).

CoverGirl: Medium to full (no SPF).


Revlon: Very matte.

CoverGirl: Soft matte.


Revlon: Despite being so thick, this was one of the easiest to blend.

CoverGirl: Easy to blend and not too thick or slippery.


Revlon: No blotting and it stayed looking relatively fresh all day.

CoverGirl: I had to blot once, and at the end of the day I was a little dewy, but it stayed on through the end of the day.

WINNER: Revlon Colorstay by an inch. Both foundations gave great coverage, but Revlon maintained better throughout the day.

BB CREAMS: Maybelline vs. Benefit


*Maybelline: Creamy and true to its name.

Benefit: Smooth, creamy, and silky; slightly thicker than Maybelline.


Maybelline: Light to medium (no SPF).

Benefit: Medium with SPF 35.


Maybelline: A bit dewy and not totally even.

Benefit: Soft matte.


Maybelline: Easy.

Benefit: Equally easy.


Maybelline: It didn't stay fully on, but it lasted longer than I expected.

Benefit: Faded a bit, but overall pretty long-lasting.

WINNER: Benefit. I didn’t hate the Maybelline product, but Benefit is better suited for oily skin types like me.

*Note: The Maybelline foundation contains 2% salicylic acid. I don't have a huge problem with acne, but I do get blemishes. I used this during a post-period breakout and I saw some results.

After testing out all of these, I would say that CoverGirl and Revlon are my favorites! What are your go-to foundations for oily summer skin? Have you tried any of the products I mentioned?