Start at the foundations!

Make-up for oily skin has two main aims: to tone down shine and even out the complexion. It starts with a mattifying, smoothing base, to be applied only to the T-zone if you have combination skin. Some moisturising creams for oily skin have a blurring, mattifying effect and make an excellent make-up base.

This first step is absolutely essential if you want to ensure that your foundation lasts as long as possible without having to add any more make-up. This is because foundations applied directly to the skin without any primer do not stay put very well on oily skin.

If you use foundation, choose a liquid, oil-free formula with a velvety powder finish. Above all, check that it says “non-comedogenic” on the label, which guarantees that the product has been tested for not causing blemishes. Avoid thick, compact formulas and ones containing pearls that give a ‘glowing effect’ - they really aren’t useful for oily skin.

If needed, end with a very fine, transparent powder for a truly matt finish.

Light-reflection tip: don’t put powder absolutely everywhere, leave some areas of the face - your cheekbones for instance - a little less matt. It will make your skin look more radiant. The idea is to have as little make-up on the skin as possible: leave high coverage, occlusive powders well alone, as they will give you a dull, artificial look. Not to mention the risk of spots!

Woman putting make-up

Touch-up special

During the day, people with combination or oily skin sometimes need to touch up their make-up. Once again, better avoid compact powders or foundations that are applied with a sponge, as this can result in caking. Always start by gently absorbing excess sebum with mattifying paper or some micellar water on cotton wool, then re-apply make-up lightly, only to the affected areas, using an anti-dark circles brush or a concealer, and smudge it in with your finger. Never apply powder directly to shiny patches unless you want to create a paste-like effect with optional leaden complexion!


Combination skin, 2 weights, 2 measures

It isn’t easy to find the right combination when you have some very dry, flaky areas and other shiny ones... Professional make-up artists recommend using mineral powder foundations with perhaps a little loose powder on the nose and chin, which are the oiliest areas. If your skin tends to be dry rather than oily, you can also try tinted creams or BB creams, which are lighter than foundation. For blusher and eye make-up, go for powder formulas, as they don't streak as much as a cream.