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Recently I watched a popular makeover show where a makeup artist gave three tips on how to make your makeup last longer if you’ve got oily skin. I was immediately interested, as someone who often struggles with oily spots on my face. So I decided to give her tips a go.

She recommended the following:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Don’t put moisturiser on in the morning
  • Use a thick moisturiser at night

I followed these three tips for a week and here is what happened:

The three tips were easy enough to follow, as it did not stray far from my normal routine. I tried drinking more water than I usually do, and I left my day moisturiser out of my morning makeup routine. I usually put on a really moisturising night cream before bed and tried to make sure to apply it every night.

  • Drinking more water didn’t affect my skin as much as I had hoped. However, my drier patches seemed less dry than usual.
  • Not wearing a moisturiser during the day did not make my makeup stay put any longer than when I did apply it. At the end of the day, my mascara still ran below my eyes and my makeup was gone on the oily spots.
  • Since I usually use a moisturiser at night, I did not see much difference.

After finding that these tips didn’t make as much difference as I had hoped, I set out to find more tips to try from other makeup artists. Most makeup artists seem to agree on the following:

makeup tips for oily skin

    • Cleansing is super important. Establish a clean base before applying makeup.
    • Apply a water-based moisturiser. I tried Clinique’s Turnaround Daytime Revitalizing Moisturizer (R600 for 50 ml, Clinique) which did wonders for my shiny complexion. This product is amazing because it moisturises well and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin. The product is very thin so it soaks into the skin super fast. I liked using quite a bit of it to give me enough moisture before applying the rest of my makeup. It also doesn’t have a scent which I like a lot.
    • Use a matte or powder foundation. The trick here is to use only a little bit of foundation on your oilier spots and to replace it with powder. I tried Elizabeth Arden’s Flawless Finish Everyday Perfection Bouncy Makeup (R485, select department stores). I had a little bit of trouble applying it at first since it was my first time using a powder foundation. After figuring out how to apply it, I really liked the satin finish and how well it lasted throughout the the day. I was a little bit skeptical about the amount of coverage it would give me, but the product is totally buildable. What I liked most about it is the fact that it hardly feels like you’re wearing any makeup. The only downside is it did tend to settle into wrinkles and became patchy on the areas where my skin was a little bit dry.
    • Avoid powders with sheen and thick textures. Opt for a matte, loose and translucent powder to soak up some of the oil. For powder I tried Maybelline’s Master Fix Setting and Perfecting Loose Powder (R171,45, select retail stores) which is a really soft and translucent powder that I applied on areas where I added some concealer. It helped make my concealer stay put. It set very well and did not settle into wrinkles. The only downside is the fact that the powder gets EVERYWHERE. Once you open it and swirl your brush in it, you’re definitely going to be covered in the powder. To minimize product loss, I used a damp beauty blender and tapped it on the areas I applied concealer. You can also use this across your T-zone to help foundation set and to reduce shine.

makeup oily skin 9Lives
Other products I added to my beauty routine included Eucerin’s Oil Control Sun Gel-Cream Dry Touch (R220,95 for 50 ml, Select Pharmacies and Clicks) to replace my usual sunscreen. I loved this sunscreen! Not only is it 50+ but it feels incredibly soft and silky on the skin. It has that typical sunscreen smell, but it’s not as intense as some face sunscreens can be. It does feel a little bit sticky on the skin, however once I applied products over it, the feeling went away.

For primer I used Sorbet’s Prep and Poreless All-in-One Super Primer (R149,95, Sorbet). This primer is quite thick and has a beige colour, which does disappear into the skin once applied. The primer has a very matte-feel to it and a subtle sweet scent which I actually enjoyed. It is very smooth and soft, and worked perfectly underneath my makeup products. I did see slight breakout on my cheeks when I just started using it, but this went away after a few uses (and it’s worth noting that I have a super sensitive skin). I still think it’s worth a shot to tests this primer, it works very well.

I also added a setting spray, using the Urban Decay’s De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray Oil Control (R460, Urban Decay). I loved this setting spray. It has a very fine mist and sits well on the skin. I liked spraying quite a lot over my makeup. It has a great feel and dries almost instantly. In terms of oil control, I did not find that it made as much of a difference than any other setting spray but it did keep my makeup in place all day. The only downside I have about this product is the fact that it has two caps; a big one, and a smaller one over the nozzle. It seems somewhat unnecessary and made it a little bit difficult to quickly spray your face when you’re in a rush.

Makeup Oily Skin 9Lives

It’s always difficult to find the right routines and the right products for your skin, especially when you’re a mix between oily and dry skin. Give the above tips a try when you’re experiencing oily skin to make your makeup last all day and let us know which worked for you in the comments below.


Part of the Self Love Club, avid believer in Girl Power and always late, mostly because of my liquid eyeliner.

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