How to Apply Makeup to Oily Skin: 11 Tips & Techniques

Skin Care
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How to Apply Makeup to Oily Skin | If you suffer from greasy skin, and need oily skin care routine tips and hacks to help you maintain a dewy, natural glow without a greasy complexion, this post is for you! We're sharing our best beauty hacks to teach you how to apply makeup for your skin type so you can look and feel your best. We've included our favorite budget-friendly drugstore products, application techniques, and skincare tips to ensure your makeup stays put all day long.

Dewy, glowing skin may be a hot skin care trend right now, but there’s a difference between donning a natural glow and having a greasy complexion. Oily skin can be tricky to tame, but once you have the right techniques and arsenal of products, you can be sure your skin will thank you. Check out our best tips for how to apply makeup to oily skin so that it lasts all day.

How to Apply Makeup to Oily Skin

1. Exfoliate with a Scrub
Exfoliation is super important if you have oily skin. It helps control any excess sebum and reduce the appearance of pores. For oily skin, it’s best to use a scrub as it will help break up impurities and wash them away. An exfoliating cleanser containing charcoal, like the Garnier Clean + Blackhead Eliminating Scrub will help absorb excess oil. Just be sure not to over-exfoliate as it can cause your skin to dry out and produce even more oil.

2. Use a Gel-Based Moisturizer
Having oily skin doesn’t mean skipping out on moisturizer. In fact, oily skin needs hydration to prevent sebum glands from going into overdrive to compensate. Use a gel-based, oil-free moisturizer, such as Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel to hydrate your skin without leaving it oily and greasy. This lightweight gel formula contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid to absorb and lock in moisture.

3. Multi-Tasking Skin Care
Try to minimize the number of products you use to ensure your makeup goes on as smoothly as possible. To cut down on products, use multi-tasking skin care, such as a tinted primer with SPF ​. This will help prevent pilling that can happen with layering too many products.

4. An Eye Primer is a Must
When you have oily skin, it’s easy for concealer, mascara and eye shadow to smudge, making an eye primer a non-negotiable. It preps your lids, creating a smooth base, plus it brightens your eyes and prevents creasing at the same time.

5. The Right Foundation
When it comes to the right foundation for oily skin, choose between a powder and a mattifying liquid foundation such as the NARS All Day Luminous Foundation. It’s oil-free, blends easily and provides excellent coverage, especially if you have large pores. To apply powder foundation, use a damp makeup sponge, and for a liquid foundation, use a stiff, flat, wide foundation brush. Never use your fingers as they’ll add more oil to your skin.

6. Work in Light Layers
Whether you’re going for a natural look or want a full face glam look, be sure not to apply thick layers of foundation or concealer. Work in light layers, only adding more in problem areas or where you need more coverage. Light layers ensure you won’t get the unwanted cakey look, plus help your makeup last longer.

7. Try the Sandbagging Technique
If you haven’t heard of sandbagging, allow us to explain. It’s all about sopping up grease and making your skin less oily. And it’s pretty simple. After you apply your foundation, cake on loose powder with a sponge, focusing on the areas underneath your eyes and around your lips. Let the powder set for a few minutes – allowing it to absorb the oils, and brush off the excess with a fluffy brush. This ensures the areas stay ultra smooth and matte from day to night.

8. The Proper Setting Technique
Instead of using setting spray after you apply your makeup, spritz it on before your base to help your foundation stay in place for longer. This will also hydrate your face and remove any excess oil. Once you’ve applied your base, you can then use a setting powder to set your makeup.

9. Use a Lip Liner
Lining your lips with a creamy lip liner will help keep your lipstick in place, giving it a barrier so it doesn’t bleed or feather. It helps preserve your lipstick throughout the day and also gives your lips a fuller look. Opt for a lip liner that’s a tiny bit deeper than the shade of your lips for a youthful, perfect-looking pout.

10. Keep Blotting Sheets Handy
If you have oily skin, it’s smart to keep blotting sheets in your bag for a midday-touch up. They’re super convenient, help control shine and soak up any excess oil that’s built up throughout the day. These ones contain organic bamboo charcoal, helping your complexion stay naturally matte for hours.

11. Add a Clay Face Mask To Your Routine
Clay is a godsend for oily, acne-prone skin as it gently absorbs any excess oil. The Gleamin Vitamin C Clay Mask is made with yellow clay to balance the skin and purify pores, turmeric to enhance your skin’s natural glow and aloe vera to boost skin healing and replenish moisture. After cleansing, apply the mask evenly to your face with the brush provided. Wait about 10 minutes for the mask to dry completely, then rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Apply 2 to 3 times per week for best results.

If you have oily skin, use these tips and techniques to apply your makeup as seamlessly as possible.

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