The Makeup Step You Shouldn’t Skip If You Have Oily Skin

The Makeup Step You Shouldn’t Skip If You Have Oily Skin featured image

If you have oily skin, or even combination skin where your complexion starts off dry in the morning and then melts into a greasy mess by midday), it can be tough to find the right skin care and makeup, let alone the right order to apply your products in so that everything stays in place all day. We got the scoop on what to apply and when to apply it from celebrity makeup artist Archangela Chelsea so you can finally get your routine in check, especially as the humidity rises this summer.

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Set the Tone
The one thing Yusuf says can make or break good makeup? Skin care. “When doing makeup on my clients, I always start with a skin care routine first. On oily skin, I use toner first—my favorite is Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner ($15)—and then oil-free moisturizer like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion ($28). If the skin is really oily, I will skip moisturizer entirely, but I like to use it whenever I can because it helps protect the skin.” Expert tip: Yusuf suggests letting your moisturizer absorb (at least two minutes) before applying anything on top of it. 

Next comes primer, which is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to achieving flawless makeup on an oily complexion. “I always use face primer on oily skin to make sure the makeup stays all day—my go-to has always been Laura Mercier Foundation Primer ($38),” says Yusuf. “I usually don’t use any primer on someone who has very dry skin because I find that it makes foundation look patchy.”

Time for the Eyes
As your skin care and primer set, Yusuf suggests doing your eye makeup. “The reason I like to start with the eye area is because sometimes you get eye shadows that fall out and make the under-eye area look dirty. By applying the eye shadow first, we can clean up any fallout without having to mess up or redo foundation and concealer.” Using an eye shadow primer is key on oily skin as well because the eyelids can become oily throughout the day, causing your makeup to slip and crease. “My pick is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($20), which in addition to making your eye shadow last longer, also helps intensify the look.”

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Correct and Perfect
When your eyes are done, it’s back to your complexion. “After the skin care that I applied earlier has absorbed into my client’s skin, I apply foundation. I really like Make Up For Ever HD Foundation ($43), which is a classic and works on both oily and dry skin. On top of that, I use NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30) to hide redness and imperfections. But, if your foundation gives your skin good coverage, skip the concealer. Ultimately, less is more.”

Then, set your foundation with powder (all over your face) to keep oiliness at bay. “For me, compact or loose powder is just the same, but don’t use too much or it will look cakey. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder ($45) is my current must-have.”

Finishing Touches 
To complete your look, Yusuf recommends following these steps in order: Contouring and/or highlighting if you need it (powder formulas are better for oily skin than creamy ones), a dusting of blush on the apples of your cheeks for some color, a brow product to give them shape, and a pretty lip. 

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A good lip tip from Yusuf: “I usually like to line the lip using lip liner first to get that perfect shape before filling in with lipstick. Then, I grab a tissue and place it on top of the lip and dab a little bit of translucent powder on top of it with a brush, which helps to really set the lip color to make sure it stays matte all day. The tissue acts as a layer between the lipstick and the powder so the powder doesn’t directly touch the lipstick—it also helps to remove any excess oil from the lipstick application.”

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