The title of this post might be a little misleading, skin care is not my strong point so I can’t offer much advice on training the skin to be less oily, however I can tell you from experience how to get the most out of your makeup when battling an oily skin. My skin eats makeup, I feel like I leave the house on a morning looking quite presentable but by the time I get home I look like I’m returning from war. I work 12 – 13 hour shifts at the minute so that’s a long time for any makeup to have to last but often I feel that by lunch time the majority of my base has been dissolved by my oily skin. So recently I’ve come up with a makeup routine to help my face last as long as possible.
I’ve briefly mentioned my feelings on primers before, I’m not entirely convinced it isn’t a huge money making con that cosmetic companies have devised to make even more money out of us. I feel as though it’s a bit of an “emperor’s new clothes” situation. Everyone is telling me that a primer will help my makeup last longer, that my skin will look amazing when I apply it but people, the emperor is naked! I’ve yet to find a primer that transforms the appearance of my skin in the way I’m led to believe, or adds the longevity that us oily skinned girls are always promised from primers. Having said that I did try the Nivea for men aftershave balm craze that has been sweeping the beauty community and I must say I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Now don’t get me wrong your makeup isn’t going to last hours longer than it did before, but I have noticed an improvement on how long my base lasts when I do use the aftershave balm. Apparently it is due to the glycerin in the product, it makes the makeup you apply stick to it. I like this product because it’s cheap and it does seem to work. Yes you will smell of man after using it and yes your boyfriend/husband will think you’re having an affair when he sees it in the bathroom but it’s a good little trick for those long days when you really need the most out of your makeup. It’s the only primer I would bother with especially if you’re using a moisturiser. Now I’m sure skincare enthusiasts would argue with me on this but if you’re oily I really don’t think you need a moisturiser and a primer, just pick one and save yourself the money.
Every makeup book ever written is going to tell you that if you’re oily you need a matte foundation, and I can see why, if you’re oily you want to look less oily right? Well yeah, I do want to look less oily but my issue is I don’t want to look matte either. I still want my skin to look dewy and have that healthy sheen I just don’t want to look like I’ve spent the afternoon with my head in a deep fat fryer. I want to control the oil, keep it in most places even, just calm it down on my nose and T zone. For that reason I prefer not to use a matte foundation. If you’re more sensible than I am and figure that a matte foundation will look dewy just as soon as your skin starts producing oil then by all means go for a matte and make life easier for yourself. You can even cut out the middle man and apply a powder foundation. I’m less patient and I want my skin to look perfect straight away so I usually wear my illamasqua skin base foundation, it lasts very well on oily skin yet still has a beautiful glow to it.
This is the most important step when it comes to keeping makeup in place on oily skin as it helps to prevent the foundation from slipping around. I’m going to talk you through my powder “routine” for the days when I really need my makeup to last… brace yourself, it sounds like A LOT of makeup, and that’s because it is.
After applying foundation set your base with a very small amount of powder using a large fluffy brush. I like to use the Makeup Forever HD powder for this because it is very good at absorbing any traces of oil. You have to apply it with an extremely light hand though because this is the powder that gives you this sort of look if applied to heavily….
After setting the foundation you can bake the under eye area, nose and chin. You can also bake underneath your contour too. Baking is very extreme, it is used mainly by drag queens to keep their makeup looking perfect under the heat of harsh lights etc. To bake you’ll need a sponge of some description and a loose powder. You do not want to use the Makeup Forever powder for this as it flashes back and you’ll end up looking like the celebrities in the picture above. I like to use the Laura Mercier translucent loose powder. I’d love to find a cheaper alternative so if anyone has any suggestions I’m all ears. With your sponge apply a very thick visible layer to the area you want to bake. You should look something like this…
Once you look like this leave it to “bake” for a few minutes while you apply other powder products like blush and highlight. The reason it is called baking is because the heat from the skin is supposedly trapped in by the powder and it bakes or cooks the foundation in between. I’m not entirely convinced at how scientifically accurate that is though. Once the rest of the makeup is in place buff the excess away until you look normal again.
You should have already applied blush and highlight as mentioned above. When doing this you can be quite heavy handed, apply a layer, blend and apply again. This helps the pigments to last as long as possible before they are eaten away by the oil in the skin. Obviously this means it can all look a bit scary and strong, this is when the third and final powder stage comes in.
Take a pressed powder with a bit of colour to it rather than the translucent powders used in the previous steps. I’m currently using the HD powder foundation for this, though Rimmel stay matte is another great option (and it’s cheaper). I use this on a Real Techniques buffing brush for this step but any buffing brush will do. Buff the powder over the skin in circular motions. This will blend the contour, blush and highlight into one another and give a soft focus effect.
4. Setting Spray
By this stage you will have a whole lot of powder on your face so it can start to look a little heavy and cakey. The secret is to buff very thoroughly in the previous step to almost melt everything together. Then to prevent the skin from looking powdery soak yourself in a setting powder. This brings back the dewiness from the foundation and further melts all of the layers together.
And there you have it! It’s a lot of makeup and a lot of effort but if you need your makeup to last 15+ hours this will work wonders for you. I didn’t really touch on eye makeup but I would always recommend an eye primer (for some bizarre reason eye primers work wonders, as opposed to face primers which do diddly squat). Always layer your shadows if you’re wearing them – apply, blend, apply, blend. And most importantly waterproof mascara is a must for long lasting eye makeup, it won’t smudge or crumble. I actually love the Mac gigablack lash mascara, it’s not technically waterproof but I find that it doesn’t transfer or crumble and it will only come off with makeup remover.
Thanks for reading everyone, I know it’s a bit of a mammoth post but hopefully it’ll help if any of you oily skinned girls out there.