Dealing with oily skin can be challenging, especially when it comes to maintaining a fresh and shine-free makeup look throughout the day. However, with the right products and techniques, you can achieve a flawless, long-lasting finish. This guide will provide you with expert tips and personal insights on how to master makeup for oily skin, ensuring that your look stays put and shine-free.

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

Cleanse and Moisturize

Starting with a clean face is crucial. Use a gentle cleanser that targets excess oil without stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Follow with a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Contrary to popular belief, skipping moisturizer can actually cause your skin to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness.

I used to avoid moisturizers, thinking they would make my skin even oilier. But after incorporating an oil-free moisturizer into my routine, I noticed my skin became more balanced and less prone to excessive oiliness.

Apply a Mattifying Primer

A mattifying primer is a game-changer for oily skin. It helps to create a smooth base for your makeup and controls shine throughout the day.

Sir John, a celebrity makeup artist, emphasizes, “Primer is your best friend if you have oily skin. It helps to create a smooth canvas for your makeup and prevents it from sliding off your face.” (Source: Vogue)

Step 2: Choose the Right Foundation

Opt for Oil-Free and Mattifying Formulas

When selecting a foundation, opt for oil-free and mattifying formulas. These foundations are specifically designed to control oil and provide a long-lasting, shine-free finish. Look for keywords like “oil-free,” “matte,” and “long-wear” on the packaging.

Bobbi Brown, makeup artist and founder of Jones Road Beauty, advises, “The key to makeup for oily skin is to use oil-free and mattifying products. Look for foundations and powders that are specifically formulated for oily skin.” (Source: Bobbi Brown Beauty Evolution)

Apply with a Makeup Sponge

Using a damp makeup sponge to apply your foundation can help achieve a more natural and even finish. It also helps to absorb any excess product, preventing your skin from looking cakey.

Step 3: Conceal Strategically

Use a Lightweight, Long-Wearing Concealer

Choose a lightweight, long-wearing concealer that won’t crease or slide off your skin. Apply it only where needed, such as under the eyes, around the nose, and on any blemishes.

Step 4: Set Your Makeup

Use a Translucent Setting Powder

Setting your makeup with a translucent powder is essential for oily skin. It helps to lock in your foundation and concealer, providing a matte finish. Focus on your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), as this area tends to get oily the fastest.

I always carry a compact powder in my bag. It’s a lifesaver for touch-ups throughout the day, especially when my forehead starts to get shiny.

Apply Setting Spray

Finish your makeup with a setting spray to ensure it stays put all day. Setting sprays designed for oily skin help to control shine and extend the wear of your makeup.

Mario Dedivanovic, a makeup artist, highlights the importance of setting spray: “Setting spray is a game-changer for oily skin. It helps to lock in your makeup and prevent shine.” (Source: Kim Kardashian West Beauty)

Step 5: Eye Makeup for Oily Skin

Use an Eye Primer

An eye primer is essential to prevent eyeshadow from creasing and fading. It creates a smooth base and ensures that your eyeshadow stays vibrant throughout the day.

Opt for Waterproof Products

For eyeliner and mascara, choose waterproof formulas. They are less likely to smudge or run, even if your eyelids get oily.

Step 6: Blotting Papers and Touch-Ups

Keep Blotting Papers Handy

Blotting papers are a must-have for anyone with oily skin. They quickly absorb excess oil without disturbing your makeup. Keep them in your purse for easy touch-ups throughout the day.

Lisa Eldridge, makeup artist and author, recommends, “Blotting papers are a must-have for oily skin. Keep them in your purse and blot away excess oil throughout the day.” (Source: Lisa Eldridge Make Up)

Powder for Touch-Ups

In addition to blotting papers, carry a compact powder for touch-ups. A quick dusting can help refresh your makeup and keep shine at bay.

Step 7: Additional Tips for Oily Skin

Avoid Heavy, Creamy Products

Heavy, creamy products can clog pores and make oily skin worse. Stick to lightweight, oil-free formulas that allow your skin to breathe.

Charlotte Tilbury, makeup artist and founder of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, advises, “Avoid heavy, creamy products if you have oily skin. Opt for lightweight, oil-free formulas that won’t clog your pores.” (Source: Charlotte Tilbury Beauty)

Incorporate a Weekly Mask

Using a clay mask once a week can help control oil and keep your skin clear. Clay masks absorb excess oil and help to unclog pores.

Maintain a Consistent Skincare Routine

A consistent skincare routine tailored to oily skin can make a significant difference. Cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice daily, and use products specifically designed for oily skin.

After committing to a consistent skincare routine, I noticed a marked improvement in my skin’s oiliness and overall health. Consistency truly is key.

Studies Supporting the Tips

Primer Effectiveness

A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science evaluated the efficacy of a primer in prolonging the wear of foundation on oily skin. The study found that using a primer significantly extended the wear time and reduced shine. (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Science)

Impact of Different Makeup on Sebum Production

Research published in Skin Research and Technology examined how different types of makeup affect sebum production. The study concluded that oil-free and mattifying products are more effective in controlling oil for those with oily skin. (Source: Skin Research and Technology)

Blotting Papers and Sebum Control

A comparative study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology compared various blotting papers’ effectiveness in absorbing excess oil. The study found that blotting papers are highly effective in controlling facial sebum production. (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology)

Role of Setting Spray

The Journal of Cosmetic Science published a study exploring the impact of setting spray on makeup longevity, particularly for individuals with oily skin. The findings demonstrated that setting sprays significantly enhance the durability of makeup and control shine. (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Science)


Managing oily skin doesn’t have to be a daily battle. By incorporating the right products and techniques, you can achieve a long-lasting, shine-free makeup look that stays fresh throughout the day. Remember to prep your skin, choose oil-free and mattifying products, and keep blotting papers handy for touch-ups.

Embrace your skin type and work with it, rather than against it. With the right approach, you can enjoy beautiful, long-lasting makeup and feel confident in your skin.

By following these expert tips and making informed choices, you’ll be well on your way to mastering makeup for oily skin. Whether you’re heading to work, a social event, or just running errands, these strategies will help you maintain a flawless, shine-free look all day long.

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Hello there! I'm Rebecca Silver, a beauty aficionado with a diploma from the International Beauty Institute. I've devoted my time to crafting articles that break down the world of beauty into easy, actionable tips. Whether it’s about nurturing your hair, caring for your skin, mastering makeup, or pampering your nails, I make sure each piece of advice is simple to follow and effective. My mission? To guide you through enhancing your natural beauty with routines that are tailored just for you. Beauty is a journey, and I'm here to navigate it with you—one fun, confident step at a time. Let's embrace and celebrate the beauty in all of us.Linkedin

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