How to Apply Foundation for Oily Skin: 6 Makeup Artist Tips

Lindsey Metrus

If you have oily skin, you know how difficult it is to find a foundation that stays put. But the truth is that while the type of foundation is crucial for a shine-free look, the steps you take before and after you apply it are equally crucial. To find out the best way to prepare your skin and apply makeup without it sliding right off, we turned to L’Oréal brand ambassador Sir John and Blushington director of artistry Jessica Scantlin for their best go-to tips.

Keep scrolling to find out what they said!

Always Thoroughly Cleanse First

"It is super important for girls with oily skin to start at the skincare level before even applying makeup," says Sir John. He recommends using a Clarisonic brush and following up with an exfoliating cleanser to establish a clean base before makeup application begins. 

Apply a Water-Based Moisturizer

L’Oréal Revitalift Moisture Blur ($25)

The last thing you want to do is apply an oily moisturizer on oil-prone skin, which is why moisturizers like L’Oréal Revitalift Moisture Blur are such a home run for shiny complexions: “This product is amazing because it moisturizes but also gives a photo-matte finish. It essentially erases all fine lines and allows you to use less foundation,” explains Sir John.

Choose a Matte Foundation

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Mattifying Foundation ($38)

Matte foundation for oily skin sounds like an obvious choice, right? The trick, however, is all in how you apply it: “You are going to want to stipple the foundation all over the face since the skin is oily, and it can tend to draw foundation differently in the oilier spots. In those areas, work the foundation in a little bit more sheer and replace with powder,” says Scantlin.

Avoid Powders With Sheen

Speaking of powder, those with a hint of shine to them (like highlighting powders) are an oily-skinned girl’s worst nightmare. Instead, Scantlin suggests opting for matte, loose translucent powders, which soak up the oil a bit more than regular pressed powder.

Use a Strong Combo

Sir John loves coupling a water-based foundation or tinted moisturizer with concealer (his favourite is Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer) for ideal coverage, calling it “an oily girl’s best friend.”

Try This Primer Trick

“My favourite foolproof product for oily skin is Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. Even though it’s a primer, I place it on [after applying foundation] with my ring finger over the area that has more oil, which tends to be the T-zone. If you dab it on over the foundation, it completely erases all oil,” says Scantlin.

Ed. note: Quotes have been shortened and edited for content.

What’s your trick for shine-free makeup application? Please tell us below!

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