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If you have oily skin, then you know the drill. You apply your longest-lasting foundation, wait an hour or two, then find the nearest mirror or front-facing camera to touch up your melting makeup. In the summer, when humidity rises and temperatures soar, you're even more likely to see your makeup crease, smudge, and move beyond control.
Luckily, you can help prevent that ever-annoying scenario if you know which foundation formulas to use. We asked a few expert makeup artists to reveal their no-fail foundations for oily skin.
Ahead are the best foundations for oily skin that will keep you looking matte and creaseless—no matter the temperate outside.
Best Overall: Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet Skin Liquid
"This is an OG makeup artist go-to," says Christina Chen, the makeup artist behind Makeup by Quis. "It has amazing coverage but is also very buildable and blendable. It has a soft matte finish, feels light, waterproof, and works great even without a primer."
Best Splurge: Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation
Chen also recommends Dior's long-wear foundation. She uses it when she's working on brides, models, or editorial shoots since it has great coverage, a natural feel, and a waterproof finish. Apply this foundation with a stippling brush to build up to your desired coverage.
Best Shade Range: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
If your skin has a dewey glow all on its own, matte is the way to go. This best selling foundation goes on undetectably for a soft matte, shine-free finish that easily builds from medium to full coverage. Rihanna really delivered with a boundary-breaking 50 shades of breathable foundation, so you're bound to find your ideal fit.
Pro Filt’r’s rich pigments need a moment to dry down to their truest color, so when you're testing shades, remember to let the formula dry completely to find your best match.
Runner-Up, Best Shade Range: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
Blum also recommends this long-wearing foundation from Make Up For Ever. "Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation is my jam as a makeup artist working in film and TV, and it works great on oily skin or skin that can get oily under hot lights," she says. "I can create medium to full coverage that's undetectable, even in 4K, and offers a natural skin finish."
Blum also uses this foundation on herself when she wants her oily skin to look "fresh, not made up." She adds, "It never feels greasy, doesn't pool in my T-zone, or settle into my pores. Plus, with 50 shades available, anyone can find their perfect match."
Best Full Coverage: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
This Estée Lauder foundation has a slightly thicker consistency compared to the above mentioned Dior formula. Thankfully, it offers a medium to full coverage that manages to look natural, stays put, and is available in 56 shades. Plus, you won't have to worry that the color will oxidize (aka it doesn't transform into a darker orange shade a few minutes after you apply it to your skin).
Best Spray: Luminess Ultra Airbrush Foundation
Stephanie Massie, the head makeup artist on Modern Family, is a fan of this under-the-radar spray foundation. "I recommend Luminess foundation, especially when working on set under hot lights with my clients," she says. "I like it because it uses 10 times less makeup and goes on in thin layers, so it lets skin breath, helping to reduce shine while still giving even coverage."
Best Buildable Coverage: Face Atelier Ultra Foundation Pro
If pressed, Blum does have a few go-to formulas for oily skin, like this one from Face Atelier. "I love it," she says. "I use it on myself and in my kit. It leaves the skin looking dewy, not oily or greasy, needs no primer, provides lightweight, buildable coverage, and is silicone-based, which is great for oily skin." Plus, you don't need to set this liquid foundation with powder to help it stay in place.
Best Budget: Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin SPF 15
If you're in the market for a budget-friendly foundation, Blum says you can't go wrong with Revlon's ColorStay Foundation. "It is super affordable, oil-free, and transfer-resistant while giving medium to full coverage," she explains. "It has salicylic acid, which helps control oil, and even SPF 15, so you get sun protection too."
Just be sure you avoid wearing this foundation when you're going to take photos. "Its active ingredient is titanium dioxide, which causes a flashback, the annoying white cast that shows up in photos," Blum says.
Best Vegan: UOMA Beauty Say What?! Foundation
This blurring foundation is matte enough to handle your oily skin, but hydrating enough to prevent that dry, cakey look. With 51 shades to choose from, you can give your skin a flawless finish while feeling good about the vegan, cruelty free ingredients. The buildable coverage blurs the look of pores and fine lines, and users say it delivers smooth skin all day long.
Best Soft-Matte Finish: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
"It has a liquid to powder formula, so it absorbs oils and evens out skin tone. It does look like you have makeup on, but you won't need powder or blotting papers, so you can put it on in the morning and go all day," says Blum. Kaolinite clay found in this vegan and paraben-free formula helps keep oil at bay, so you look glowy, not greasy throughout the day.
Makeup artist Ashley Rebecca also swears by this formula. "It has a soft-matte finish and holds up to any oil or sweat," she says. "If you pair it with their Veil Mineral Primer, it immediately becomes waterproof and sweatproof, making it a staple product to use all summer."
Best With SPF: Jafra Long Wear Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Makeup artist and Share the Glam founder Mickey Williams swears by Jafra's long-wear foundation formula since it provides a "natural, matte finish" with a creamy feel. Plus, it has SPF 20 to protect from both UVA and UVB rays (because sun damage is real). "This transfer-resistant formula stays put no matter what while offering medium coverage," Williams says. "It's available in 10 versatile shades, so it's great on all my clients."
Best Powder: It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation With SPF 50+
According to Williams, this foundation "gets better the longer you wear it. When first applied, the powder covers imperfections and creates a glowy-matte look to the skin. There's a soft-focus or eggshell-like luminosity that you don't find with many other powder foundations." Since it's a powder foundation, it will immediately mattify the skin and keep shine at bay.
When you have oily skin, you're even more likely to see your makeup crease, smudge, and move beyond control. So we asked a few expert makeup artists to reveal their no-fail foundations for oily skin. Make Up Forever Mat Velvet Skin Liquid (see at Sephora) is an OG makeup artist go to. Makeup artist Christina Chen says, "It has a soft matte finish, feels light, waterproof, and works great even without a primer." We also recommend Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear foundation (see at Sephora). This best selling foundation goes on undetectably for a soft matte, shine-free finish that easily builds from medium to full coverage. If you're in the market for a budget-friendly foundation, makeup artist Jenn Blum says you can't go wrong with Revlon's ColorStay Foundation (see at Amazon). "It is super affordable, oil-free, and transfer-resistant while giving medium to full coverage," she explains.