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When you have an oily complexion, sometimes it feels like your makeup application efforts are in vain—especially when you're working with foundation and concealer. The latter is all but essential when applying a full face of glam and any time you want to hide under-eye circles, correct discoloration, cover blemishes, blur imperfections, or highlight your best features.
If your skin tends to be greasy but not necessarily glowy, you want something that not only does what it's supposed to but also stays put for longer than a few minutes. So, what products are up for the task? "'Oil-free, non-comedogenic, long-wear, waterproof, and lightweight' are all descriptors to look for when shopping for a concealer for oily skin," says Portland-based makeup artist Analisa Marie of The Wildflower Collective. You'll want to choose a concealer in the format you prefer working with, with a matte finish and a shade that works with your skin tone. While liquids are the standard, there are other options that work well, too. The finish should be one that prevents further oiliness, and the correct shade is imperative for a natural look.
Scroll on for the best concealers for oily skin.
Best Overall: Smashbox Studio Skin Flawless Oil-Free 24 Hour Concealer
When it comes to concealer for oily complexions, Smashbox Studio Skin checks all the boxes. The creamy liquid formula doesn't contain any oil, and it won't crease, cake, or settle into fine lines. Not only that, but this multi-use product is everything you need to conceal, blur, correct, and highlight.
It comes in a handy little tube with a user-friendly petal applicator stick. This all-star concealer is buildable, too, offering light wear, full coverage, and anything in between. Best of all, it stays in place for a full 24 hours, so you can work, play, or dance the day away without worrying about it sliding off your face.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Esteé Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer
We're also big fans of Estée Lauder's Stay-in-Place concealer. Part of the brand's beloved Double Wear line, you can count on a flawless finish, all-day wear, and a comfortable, never dry or cakey feel. This oil-free show-stopper offers medium coverage that doesn't transfer, plus it won't melt off if you get a little sweaty or step outside in humid weather.
Best Drugstore: L'Oreal Infallible Pro Glow Concealer
If you're looking for something in the drugstore price range, Marie recommends Infallible Pro Glow. This luminous concealer is ideal for concealing, correcting, and highlighting, and it delivers up to 16 hours of selfie-ready coverage.
Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer
People on a budget should reach for e.l.f. Camo Concealer. It only costs a few bucks, but you wouldn't know it based on the refreshingly lightweight yet brilliantly pigmented formula. This little powerhouse has a matte finish and provides as much as 16 hours of coverage.
Best Splurge: Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer SPF 25
If you're open to shelling out a little extra for a product with serious staying power, you won't be disappointed with Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer. This cult-loved makeup stick glides on effortlessly and provides instant airbrushed coverage over blemishes, under-eye circles, and discoloration without feeling dry or looking cakey.
Best Under-Eye: Lancôme Effarcernes Waterproof Under-Eye Concealer
This tube of under-eye concealer means business for correcting dark circles. The smooth formula delivers natural-looking coverage and color correction while blurring fine lines around the eyes and leaving a soft matte finish in its wake.
Best Full Coverage: Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
You can count on Extreme Camouflage Cream for full coverage that won't fail. This oil-free concealer corrects for redness, covers blemishes, conceals dark circles, and stays in place wherever you apply it.
Best Light Coverage: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
If you want something a bit lighter for everyday wear, you can't go wrong with Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer. The breathable formula has a translucent base and delivers lightweight pigments for a natural-looking finish.
What Our Testers Say
"The Fit Me concealer is an amazing concealer for everyday wear. The product is blendable, has a medium coverage, and gives my under eyes a naturally bright appearance." — Khera Alexander, Product Tester
Best Complexion-Boosting: Beauty Bakerie Instabake 3 in 1 Concealer
Sometimes, oily skin is oily because it's overproducing oil in an attempt to correct for dehydration. If that's the case, we recommend InstaBake, a superstar concealer that hides imperfections and evens out discoloration while working to smooth, soothe, and hydrate your skin.
Best Longwear: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
Marie says liquid formulas like MAC Pro Longwear are best for oily skin. This lightweight product offers an ultra-smooth matte finish with buildable coverage. "You can usually work in light layers to create a more natural look that doesn't feel so heavy," she explains.
Best Matte: NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
If you want a truly matte finish, pick up a pot of NARS Complete Concealer. Though it's less creamy than other formulas, it effortlessly blurs imperfections, corrects discoloration, and offers complete coverage that never quits.
Best Stick: BareMinerals BarePRO 16-Hr Full Coverage Concealer
This full-coverage, undeniably creamy concealer comes in a convenient stick, making it ideal for on-the-go application. It replenishes greasy skin with natural moisturizers from raspberry seeds and blackcurrant so that it doesn't overproduce oil. What's more, it's waterproof, humidity-resistant, and lasts as long as 16 hours.
Best Multi-Use: Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick
Can you say Match Stix Matte Skinstick three times fast? All jokes aside, we're in love with the light, airy texture of this long-wear makeup stick by Fenty Beauty and appreciate that it can be used for concealing, correcting, and highlighting. Plus, the soft matte finish is clutch for oily T-zones.
Best Powder: Clinique Beyond Perfecting Powder Foundation + Concealer
Clinique's Beyond Perfecting Powder acts as both a foundation and a concealer, delivering weightless natural-looking coverage and a skin-perfecting finish. It's breathable, comfortable, and holds up all day, even through humidity and sweat.
Best Shade Range: Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer
Another rec from Marie, Vanish Airbrush Concealer is a weightless, waterproof product offering buildable coverage and up to 16 hours of oil-free perfection. We also appreciate that it comes in 22 shades, ranging from deep brown to medium golden to fair.
If we had to pick just one, we'd have to go with Smashbox Studio Skin Flawless Oil-Free 24 Hour Concealer. The all-star formula does everything from blurring and correcting to concealing and highlighting without caking, creasing, or settling. However, if you want something a little easier on your bank account, L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Glow Concealer is a wonderful product for oily skin. The luminous formula enhances your complexion while delivering a full 16 hours of coverage.
What to Look For in Concealer For Oily Skin
"Liquid concealers are usually best for oily skin and are great for buildable coverage, even if they are a full-coverage product," Marie says. You might also want to look for a formula that's oil-free and potentially waterproof, which will help it stay in place and provide you with the longest-lasting coverage.
That said, there are some really great cream formulas out there that come in little pots or sticks. They're often a little more moisturizing, which can actually help oily skin produce less oil, and typically offer slightly lighter coverage.
Concealers should generally be a shade or two lighter than your foundation. This allows you to use it for undereye circles, color correction and highlighting. Plus, it'll still blend into your skin when used to conceal blemishes or scars.
If you want something that corrects your skin's shiny or greasy appearance, look for a matte concealer. (This will usually be indicated in the product description, if not the name.) The best options deliver a flat, shine-free finish that looks smooth and soft and doesn't feel overly dry or cakey.
Can concealer be used for oily skin?
Yes, you can use concealer even if your skin is oily. Just follow the guidelines here about how it should be lightweight, matte, and oil-free. Buildable coverage is a bonus, in case you have areas that require more product.
Is matte concealer good for oily skin?
Matte concealer is your best option for concealer if your skin is oily. After all, the last thing you want to do is to add even more eye-catching shine to your oilier areas.
How do you apply concealer on oily skin?
You'll want to follow the same steps to apply concealer on oily skin as you would for dry, combination, or "normal" skin. The key is more in the product you use. Here are some tips for how to apply concealer for different functions, such as covering up under eye circles or hiding pimples.
How do you cover up oily skin?
If you're looking for an overall matte look on your face so that your oily complexion isn't visible, you can try using primers underneath your makeup. Jasmine Garnsworthy, writer and founder of skincare brand The Buff, notes that "oil-controlling primers...promise to not only make your makeup stay put all day (which is hard enough to achieve when you have a shiny complexion), but to also combat over-enthusiastic oil production."
Why Trust Byrdie?
This guide was written by Theresa Holland, a freelance commerce writer and regular Byrdie contributor with substantial experience covering cosmetics for various skin types. While she's learned to embrace her oily complexion, she always has appropriate makeup products at the ready. When she's feeling extra-greasy, her go-tos for concealing and highlighting include Smashbox Studio Skin, NARS Soft Matte Complete, and Fenty Beauty Match Stix.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough concealers for oily skin from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.