Oily skin? Here are our favourite foundations
Is that midday shine ruining your game? We’ve got you covered
Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / June 17 2019
There’s nothing worse than looking in the bathroom mirror at midday and realising your makeup has pretty much slipped right off your face. You left the house with your complexion looking pretty darn flawless, and now, all of a sudden, you’re showing off a shiny T-zone, with a side of redness and enlarged pores. Nice! What’s worse, you probably feel like you’ve tried every translucent powder and oil-free/matte/long-lasting foundation combo that exists.
And we feel you. Trying to find a full coverage foundation that lasts all day long on an oily skin type and doesn't clog your pores or go cakey as heck, can be a serious TASK. And foundations can be pricey, so it hurts when you spend your hard-earned pennies on one that does *nothing* for your complexion.
So, what’s the go? There must be an easier (and cheaper) way than this whole trial and error thing?
Well, skin care expert and founder of Paula's Choice Skin Care Paula Begoun says as well as getting your skin care routine on track (our essential skin care tips for oily skin will help you get started), you need to look for a foundation that’ll work to minimise oil production. Begoun suggests opting for something with a soft matte finish to avoid that shiny T-zone halfway through the day – and you get even more points if it contains sunscreen.
“Foundations with SPF 30 or greater are a brilliant way to wear sun protection without having to applying a lotion or cream SPF, which generally makes oily skin feel oilier,” says Begoun.
According to Begoun, those with oily skin should avoid foundations with a greasy feel and ones that contain shine. “Oily skin shines enough on its own, adding more shine just makes someone with oily skin look like an oil slick,” she says.
We suggest starting off by applying a hardworking mattifying primer like Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish or Peter Thomas Roth Skin To Die For, before reaching for one of these oily skin-friendly foundations below.
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup
If you struggle with oily/combination skin that’s also acne-prone, you can’t find a better match than this. Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solution Liquid Makeup contains salicylic acid, meaning it actually works to treat (and prevent) blemishes, while neutralising redness and controlling oil production at the same time.
Fenty Beauty Pro’Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
We guarantee you’ve heard the buzz around Rihanna’s Pro’ Filtr Soft Matte Longwear Foundation due to its impressive shade range, but what you might not know is that it’s also one of the best foundations for oily skin. Totally buildable, its super silky formula glides onto the skin and sits somewhere in between matte and glowy (the perfect place to be, TBH), meaning your skin still looks like your skin, only better. Yep, the hype is REAL.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation
The new L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation is the latest foundation that ticks all the boxes when it comes to nabbing smooth, flawless-looking skin that actually lasts. The unique long-lasting formula *actually* sticks around (it’s waterproof, sweat-proof and steam-proof), is easy to build and blends effortlessly, without feeling too heavy or cakey (winning!). Our Review Crew® gave it four stars out of five – just check out some of the reviews.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In Place Makeup
Promising up to 15 hours of shine-free wear, Estée Lauder’s Double Wear foundation is oil-free, oil-controlling, waterproof and transfer-resistant, so lasts in hot and humid weather. The coverage is buildable and stays matte with minimal (if any) touch-ups throughout the day. It scored five out of five stars with our Review Crew®, with members raving about how the long-wear foundation also provided the most flawless coverage.
MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
You can finally forget about those midday touch-ups and blotting paper sessions, because this full coverage foundation from MAC will last the whole day without budging. It gives your skin the most glorious flawless, satin finish that both feels and looks natural. Plus, it also doubles down as a concealer. Full marks.
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
Guys, this Hourglass foundation literally *made* for oily skin. It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores), and literally transforms from a liquid into powder upon application. How cool is that?! What’s more, it’ll absorb any excess oil during the day, and keep your complexion free from the appearance of redness, blemishes and all that other annoying stuff.
BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation
This powder foundation LOVES oily skin. It’s a perfectly lightweight mineral foundation that provides the most flawless coverage, while still letting your skin breathe (almost unheard of). BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation will stay put for up to eight hours and works to even skin tone, blur redness and blemishes, and camouflage the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream + Oil-Free Matte With SPF 40
Okay, technically it’s not a foundation, but it’s not far off the mark. The IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream has received a helluva lot of hype – and for good reason. It’s a serious all-rounder that delivers a full, matte coverage that masks breakouts, dark spots and redness, while still managing to make your skin look nice and glowy (I know, we didn’t think this was possible either).
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation
If you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a lot of makeup, but still want a bit of light to medium coverage, the Ultra HD Foundation is the perfect option for everyday wear. It’s incredibly easy to blend and the finish is seamless. Plus, it won’t set all cakey and thick like most other long-wearing formulations on the market.
Maybelline New York Fit Me! Matte And Poreless Foundation
You can never go wrong with drugstore foundations like this Maybelline Fit foundation (just ask our Review Crew®) – and there’s a reason why celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta is such a big fan. While some foundations can exaggerate pores and oily skin, this pore-minimising formula contains genius blurring micro-powders that erase pores and absorb oil for a naturally matte and poreless-looking finish.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear
This cult-favourite foundation will transform oily skin in *seconds*. While most long-wearing foundations tend to be quite thick in texture, Lancôme’s unique formula is ultra-lightweight (without compromising on coverage), because it’s saturated with water molecules. It effortlessly glides over skin and hides blemishes and pores, and refuses to go home for over 18 hours. Check out what our Review Crew® had to say about the Teint Idole Ultra Wear.
Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation
Giorgio Armani’s Power Fabric Foundation features a unique combination of pigments that are blended into a concentration of oils, making this liquid foundation melt into the skin for a seamless matte finish that feels delightfully makeup-free. It blurs imperfections without ever going greasy or streaky, giving you the best of both worlds – a radiant finish combined with a flawless hold.
Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation
Laura Mercier's Flawless Fusion Foundation is an oily girl’s dream coverage – its lightweight liquid formula spreads like silk on the skin, yet provides a delightfully full coverage finish. Even without the addition of powder, this foundation dries down to a matte finish (without settling into fine lines and pores). Instead of going greasy or shiny, this formula will develop from a matte to almost satin appearance, without separating or breaking apart. It’s a serious goodie.
Bobbi Brown Skin Longwear Weightless Foundation
Bobbi Brown's ultra-silky formula features a powerful blend of skin-loving ingredients and oil-controlling actives to deliver a natural-looking coverage. Its 16-hour formula is sweat- and humidity-resistant and won’t crease or streak – so it’s perfect for everyday wear.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15
We all know clay is great at absorbing oil, so it makes complete sense that it should make an appearance in your oily skin foundation. Oily and acne-prone skin will love the matte finish of Tarte's oil-free foundation; and while it effectively masks imperfections, it still allows your skin to breathe and won’t clog pores so you don’t have to worry about making matters worse every time you cover up. Plus, it's all-natural and vegan.
Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation
Dior’s Backstage Face and Body Foundation is an all-rounder in every sense of the word, and it’s the perfect option for all skin types. While it works wonders on dry skin, its waterproof formula leaves even the most oily skin types looking perfectly flawless. Whether you’re working out or sweating it out in humid environments, this formula will stay flawless and photo-ready the whole day.
Did your favourite foundation make the cut? Let us know your top foundation pick for oily skin in the comment section below.
Main image credit: @taylor_hill
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.