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Top Matifying Foundations for Oily/Combination Skin

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by Chris Nugen (subscribe)
I can't get enough of food! I'm also passionate about music, dance, writing and makeup!
Published September 7th 2013
Don't shine by having a shiny face
Our skin naturally produces oil called sebum to lubricate, waterproof and protect the skin. The face especially produces more sebum than other parts of our body. Excess sebum production on the face can lead to acne and other skin problems.

skin layers glands oil sebum

Source: Don Bliss (National Cancer Institute) / Wikimedia Commons

The sebum accumulation can also make the face look shiny so there are skin and make-up products that help with this. I will only explore the make-up products. Below is a list of the top 5 make-up foundation for combination to oily skin that gives a mattified look:

mattified shine-free oil-free makeup
Mattified makeup look
Source: Veronidae / Wikimedia Commons

1. Revlon Colorstay Makeup is Australia's number 1 long wear foundation (based on Nielsen Data YTD Oct 2012). It comes in liquid, whipped crθme, and pressed powder. The oil-free liquid foundation lasts up to 24 hours. It has two formulations; combination/oily skin, and normal/dry skin. It is a good long lasting foundation with medium to full coverage at an affordable price.

2. Make Up Forever Mat Velvet is oil-free, shine controlling, water resistant, and long lasting. It gives full coverage with a mattified non-oily powdery finish. Make Up Forever is catered for professional make-up artists but you can also buy it online.

3. MAC Face and Body Foundation is a fluid foundation that provides low-medium buildable coverage, giving a natural satin-shine finish. It is skin conditioning, water resistant and long lasting. It's a good product to use in other areas of the body such as neck and shoulders because it will not rub off on clothes. MAC is an excellent brand because of their extensive range that caters for all skin types and colours.

4. Estee Lauder Double Wear makeup is a buildable liquid foundation that gives a natural, semi-matte look with medium coverage. It lasts for up to 15 hours. It also comes in Maximum Cover Camouflage for a full coverage, or Light for a sheer to medium coverage. The only downside is the packaging; it's packaged in a glass bottle without a pump so it's a little difficult to get out.

5. Chanel Matt Lumiere is a silky, long lasting makeup that gives a matte, slightly powdery look. Fine, porous and spherical particles of silica powder provide a matte finish.

There are lots of other foundations that are good for combination to oily skin – just look for oil-free, shine-free, mattifying products. Remember, don't mattify your skin too much – this will flatten your face and give you a dry powdered look. It is better to mattify the T-zone more where the shine can be reflected off. The outer rim of the face, however, should still have a soft dewy glow to it. Also, add life and dimension back to your face by using blush and contouring with bronzer and/or highlighter. This will add colour, without the shine.

blush rouge red colour
Blush in Rouge Melba MAC Cosmetics
Source: Liwe-photos Photography / Wikimedia Commons

If you are very oily and want to go to extremes to mattify your skin, then there are also products that you can use in addition to foundation to extend the mattified look, which include:

antacids gaviscon
Some antacids.
Source: Gastro-en / Wikimedia Commons

1. Milk of Magnesia – it's very popular overseas to use as a mattifier for very oily skin. It is a medication usually used as a laxative but it's the magnesium hydroxide that acts as a mattifier by adsorbing sebum. It's not available in Australia, but other products containing magnesium hydroxide will work just as well, such as Mylanta or Gavsicon. These are available at any chemist or supermarket. Make sure you buy the liquid formula, which is a white chalky milky liquid. Shake extremely well before use. Pour a little on your palm and rub it onto the oily areas of your skin with your fingers. Make sure you rub it in well while it dries otherwise it might leave a white streak.

2. Mattifying primer – usually, I wouldn't recommend using both Mylanta and a mattifying primer because they both do the same thing and may give you an overly mattified look. It's better to use Mylanta in the super oily areas such as the T-zone, and primer in other areas as primers do also have other benefits. If your skin is very oily all over, then try using both.

3. Oil-blotting sheets – these are great for touch ups throughout the day when needed. There are a few brands available and are generally quite cheap from around $10. They only absorb the oil and should not affect your make-up. Pat them on your face gently to absorb the oil.

gisele bundchen natural makeup
Gisele Bundchen natural makeup
Source: Tiago Chediak / Wikimedia Commons

Foundations for oily skin contain ingredients that adsorb the excreted sebum and prevent them from coming to the surface so that you don't look shiny. They do not block the oil production – any foundation that does is obviously not good for your skin. Therefore, if your skin is very oily, eventually at one point, the shine will show through. In this case, you will just have to find the right combination of products that give you the mattified look for the longest. But make sure whatever you do, you still look natural, that's the whole point of using make-up - to look like a natural beauty!
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