How To Clean Up An Oil Spill…On Your Face: Dealing With Greasy Skin

There’s nothing worse than looking into the mirror when making a bathroom run on a date only to notice the sheen of oily shine across your face. If you struggle with greasy skin, Girl I am right there with you! I have tested and I have struggled to find make-up products that last all day and stand up to that gross, pesky oil. I have put together some of my tips, tricks, and products to aid you in your skincare and make-up journey! Below is a good representation of my skin completely natural. Under that you will see how my skin looks with make-up. It is not magic… I wouldn’t even say it is talent. It is trial and error to find the right products! 

Go ahead, cringe all you want. I absolutely hate this picture. To make it worse, this was at the start of the race… Not even the end of the day. I feel like it isn’t even me. When I look like this I keep to myself and keep my head down and try not to talk to anyone. This says a lot because I am usually very extroverted.

To make this picture even cringe worthy … A man at this race told me there was no way I could be over 12 years old when I explained I was there to support my boyfriend. After, I defended myself by saying that I normally have myself put together and have make-up on. He continued to berate me by saying that make-up is a waste of time and I should embrace who I am naturally. So he tore down my appearance and then continued to insult me. I felt so embarrassed, and, when I look like this, I am meeker in my interactions with people. 


No editing! I promise! Thank God for make-up!

This is me. i feel like I am my true self when I am put together. This is how I feel confident. Never apologize for what makes you feel confident… Unless it is belittling others, then just don’t do it. 

But before we get into the nitty gritty of how to control oil firstttt… some encouragement! If there is ever a time to have oily skin, it is now! The “Highlight” trend is upon us, and it is a God send! The shimmery cream or powder is brushed along the cheek and nose areas… where many of us experience the most oil. I cannot tell you how many times I have been approached by other women who compliment my “highlighter,” when it has simply just been the oil from my skin! 

Now that I’ve given you some positivity about your skin, and you know I really do struggle alongside you, I will share with you what I do to deal with my greasy skin. Even though, it might not be considered as bad as it once was by society,  I still understand that it can be embarrassing and annoying

1) Moisturize

You have most likely heard this a million times, but it is the truth. If you dehydrate your skin, it will produce excess oil. I apply moisturizer right after washing my face in the morning and before I go to bed.  Applying it before your make-up will make your face a smooth, blendable canvas. My favorite moisturizer is Cetaphil Pro Dermacontrol Oil Absorbing Moisturizer. As a bonus, is also has sunscreen in the formula! Anything to prevent wrinkles, am I right? 

2) Pick The Right Bases (Primer and Foundation)

There are so many make-up brands that claim to “mattify” and hold up to oil. Quick tip: none of them will 100% get rid of your oily skin. At some point you will have to touch up. However, there are some that are better than others. 

When it comes to oily skin, Urban Decay is my go-to brand. Time and time again, their products have trumped other brands in my experience. I currently use their Deslick primer and All Nighter foundation. While I LOVE this brand, there are a few things you must know. First, you have to press the primer into your face instead of rubbing. I found this makes it harder to apply my foundation because it dries quickly and is thicker in some places than others. If you want a soother primer, use Lorac or one of the Smashbox primers. I have had positive experiences from both these brands! Second, the foundation is thick because it is full coverage. I prefer full coverage because it covers any discoloration as well as acne. I have not found a brand that compares to this coverage with reducing the appearance of oil. The colors of this foundation are a bit odd, so I would advise asking one of the make-up artists at Sephora or Ulta to help match your skin to a foundation shade. I found that it is best to blend with a damp beauty blender when applying this foundation.


3) Set Your Foundation (Powder)

 If you have greasy skin, you know a liquid foundation will just not cut it, yet powder doesn’t cover your blemishes quite like liquid foundation can. For this reason, I use both to perfect my look. I am a huge fan of pressed powder. Pressed powder comes in skin tone colors, so it can even out the color of liquid foundation that might be a little different than your natural tone. I also find pressed powder to give me a more airbrushed look. Some people find this when they use translucent, loose powder to “bake” their face. If this works for you, then by all means keep doing it! I have large pores, so I find that “baking” usually emphasizes that. It also tends to leave my face looking cakey and washed out in the areas that I applied the loose powder. Even though I wear a decent amount of make-up, I like my natural skin color to show instead of bending to the ultra pale under – eye trend. Recently, I have been using Revlon’s Photoready Face Powder.  

4) Set Your Make-Up… Again (Setting Spray)

Greasy skin means you need extra weapons! Setting spray is a must if you want your hard work to last. It locks your make-up in and holds up against oil for a longer duration. I have found that not all setting sprays are made equal. If you have skin like me, you absolutely cannot go wrong with (once again) Urban Decay‘s setting sprays. They have two: De-slick and All Nighter. Some claim that All Nighter works better, but I had a similar experience with both. These are my absolutely favorite setting sprays to use. Now, if you want to test out setting spray or you haven’t used it before and want a cheaper one to use first, I would recommend Hard Candy’s Matte Sheer Envy setting spray. It’s cheap, and you can find it at Walmart. The nearest quality make-up store to me is 30 minutes away, and I don’t always have time in the week to drive there or I wait too long before ordering only to find myself panicking to find what I need… Hence, why I can tell you what cheap Walmart/Drugstore products work! 

Side Note: When you are looking for setting spray, make sure it states “mattifying” on the bottle! There are many different sprays for different skin types. Some are made for people with dry skin or to give you a dewy look. With having greasy skin, we get a natural dewy look, any more will make us look wet!

5) The Hard Truth About Touch Ups

I mentioned this earlier, and I will reiterate it again. You will have to touch up your make-up. Maybe not if you are only wearing it for a few hours, but all day wear calls for touch ups. Oil from your skin will somehow find a way to seep out. The key is to be able to touch up effectively and without ruining the make-up you already have on. 

Now, I can confess that I have dabbed my face with the closest napkin/receipt/piece of paper to get rid of the shine, as if my face was literally a greasy piece of pizza. This isn’t the absolute worst solution, but it is definitely not an effective one! Usually after I dab I apply a thick layer of powder. If I am not using the best primer/foundation/setting spray combination, this will make me look cakey. Instead, I highly recommend investing in the Stay Matte Universal Blotting Powder by Clinique. It is pricier, but 100% worth the money. It will last you FOREVER! It does not leave any white color behind and does a magnificent job of soaking up oil. It takes only seconds to pull it out and blot it over your problem areas. I trust it so much as to apply it to the areas I know I tend to get oily without a mirror. 

I hope all of this information has helped in your skin journey! Everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently to products. This is just what I do for mine! Please let me know if you have found this helpful or if you have liked the products I recommended! Thank you so much for reading!

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