8 mattifying primers for velvety, grease-proof coverage that'll last
Swap shiny for silky.
Editor / July 17 2023
Grease is the gate-crasher that nobody wants to see. Sheen is welcome, sure, but shine is not! You know the scenario we're referencing: you perfect your face beat, snap one selfie and suddenly your oil levels are harshing the whole vibe before you've even left your makeup mirror. How rude.
That's precisely why you need one of the best primers for oily skin that money can buy on your side. You can't always be expected to tote around blotting papers and mop up your face every five seconds, now can you? Well, now you won't have to!
Prep skin with the right pore-cloaking, oil-absorbing and makeup-prolonging primer and grease won't even be able to find its way to the party. A quality mattifying primer will get your face looking shine-free, there's no doubt, but even once your skin is beautifully balanced, you can also trust that your velvety coverage (in the form of a matte foundation, of course) will stick with you until cleanse o'clock. Double whammy.
So, if you're looking to mattify skin and maximise makeup endurance in one hit, here are the best primers for oily skin.
The best primers for oily skin in Australia...
Gucci Sérum De Beauté Fluide Matifiant Mattifying Primer
Give your face the best possible chance at staying fresh all day by kicking off your base routine with this Gucci gem. We know it seems like a lot to spend on a product you can't technically see on your face (it goes on totally transparent), but trust us, with the salicylic acid and bamboo power formula, you'll see the smoothing, mattifying effects even if you can't see the formula.
$82 at Sephora
Natasha Denona Magic Primer Anti-shine Flawless Face Base
Offering pore-minimising magic at its finest, this mattifying cream primer manages to fill 'gaps' (AKA ridges and enlarged pores), creating a flawlessly smooth canvas that's prepped and ready for coverage. The best bit is that it's powered by botanical emollients that allow it to protect the skin barrier, balancing shine without damaging or draining skin of the good kind of moisture.
$89 at Sephora
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Primer
File this one under 'a damn bargain'. A blurring and balancing buy able to cloak pores and evict any excess oil that still clocks in at under $20 is always a winner in our book. In fact, the only thing you'll be losing with this formula is said excess shine. If you need a quick, bargain-friendly fix, this one's your winner!
Was $20.99, now $17.49 at Chemist Warehouse
Tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer
This formula calls in the balancing benefits of optical matte-blur technology, filtering out pores and fine lines as it works its wizardry. It won't dry your skin out by any means, either; it also features a nourishing blend of nutrient-rich botanicals to rid skin of shine but not hydration. It's a beautiful balmy blend that feels more like a mask than a classic primer going on, which is a nice sensory treat too!
$47 at Sephora
Too Faced Primed & Poreless Face Primer
You might not think hyaluronic acid would be the hero you'd be searching for in a quest to mop up oil, but this option is all about building a barrier between your skin and your makeup, stopping oil from seeping through to the other side and sabotaging your makeup game. Its blurring effects are brilliant too; let's just say the phrase 'flawless finish' is tossed around often by fans of the formula (us). And yes, it costs $109, but can you really put a price tag on flawless skin?
$109 at Amazon
Estée Lauder The Mattifier Shine Control Perfecting Primer + Finisher
Think balancing but not chalky; the oil-controlling effects of this purifying, perfecting primer are both obvious and instant. Designed to bookmark your base routine, a coat of it pre-makeup will prep the face perfectly, whilst a top-up post-foundation will lock your look in and ensure absolutely no oil will be wreaking havoc as the hours pass.
$65 at Sephora
Benefit The POREfessional Pore Minimising Face Primer
This baby is Benefit's number-one selling face primer for good reason. Known and loved for its smoothing superpowers, it instantly minimises the look of pores and fine lines and blurs imperfections for silky-soft, smoother-than-smooth skin. Of course, it also helps makeup apply evenly and stay put all day long.
Starting from $27 at Myer
Rare Beauty Always An Optimist Illuminating Primer
The Always An Optimist Illuminating Primer not only plumps and smooths the surface texture of your skin, but also provides essential hydration. Infused with ultra-fine pearls, this primer effortlessly reflects light, resulting in an instantly even tone. Plus, its water-based formula makes it incredibly lightweight and perfect for those with oily skin.
$49 at Sephora
Delaney Loane is BEAUTYcrew's Editor (and resident cateye connoisseur). An expert in everything from sensitive skin solutions to lip oil options that won't leave your hair permanently attached to your face, her words have also appeared across mastheads such as ELLE and marie claire.