What Makeup is Good for Oily Acne Skin?

One of the most common questions I get asked has to do with what makeup is good for oily acne skin. This is probably because oily skin is the most prone to acne.  Teens, in particular, tend to have oily skin due to the hormonal changes they are dealing with during puberty.

The most important thing to look for in a makeup for oily skin is staying power. Most foundations and concealers seem to melt off as the day goes on, leaving all those blemishes out there for the world to see. The trick is to find a foundation and concealer that are relatively long lasting, then combine them with a good primer, such as Tarte’s Clean Slate, and a setting powder. The final, essential item is a good blotting powder or blotting sheets to carry with you throughout the day.

bareMinerals MATTE SPF 15 FoundationMineral makeup is one great solution for oily skin since it doesn’t have most of the additives that liquids and creams have. My favorite mineral makeup brand for skin that is oily and acne prone is Bare Mineral Matte foundation. It doesn’t have the irritating and shimmery bismuth oxychloride of other formulations, and it helps absorb oil during the day. You will need to use the bareMineral multi-tasking concealer before and after applying the foundation if you have a lot of acne to cover. Finish everything off with some of their Mineral Veil.

Make Up Forever Foundation for Oily SkinAs a liquid foundation for oily acne skin, the overwhelming consensus among reviewers is Make Up Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation. It gives full coverage, controls shine, is both oil free and water resistant, and has a wide range of colors. Sound too good to be true? Well, I haven’t tried it myself yet, but it received an average 4 1/2 star out of 5 star rating from over 2,000 user reviews. It is definitely at the top of my list of foundations to try once the summer and hot weather comes around.

If you like a creamy foundation and have a lot of difficulty concealing redness and acne on your oily skin, consider Cover FX makeup as your ultimate concealer and long lasting makeup. Cover FX has a cult following of its own, since it has the widest range of skin tone shades I’ve ever seen. If you can’t find a shade to match your skin from this makeup line, you never will. Their Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation tops the charts with its reviews and there is a great starter kit. It does have sunscreen in it, so if you are sensitive to chemical sunscreen this product is not right for you. However, it also contains calming ingredients to combat redness.

The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 piece)Cover FX has their own line of setting powders to go with your foundation that will make it last all day. You can get a complete kit, The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 piece), to get you started with the whole shebang. The main thing to remember with this foundation is that you must use a primer with it. Otherwise it will be difficult to blend since it is so thick. With such a great range of colors, you could just use it as a concealer on its own.

As a quick recap, here are the top makeup foundations for oily acne skin, based on our own tests and hundreds and hundreds of user reviews:

Mineral Makeup: Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals MATTE SPF 15 Foundation

Liquid Foundation: Make Up Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation

Cream Foundation: Cover FX The Big Cover Up 3 Step Essentials Kit (5 pieces)

MAC Blotting Powder for Oil Control

MAC Blot Powder for Oily Skin

Don’t forget to use a primer to protect your skin and to allow the makeup to go on smoothly and last all day. For extra coverage, you can use the concealers that go with each brand, or mix and match. Just remember that you can’t mix a powdery mineral makeup with a creamy concealer. The result would be a cakey mess.

P.S. I almost forgot the best part! Carry blotting sheets with you during the day to absorb excess oil. Or try the MAC Blot Powder, which we recently reviewed and fell in love with.


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MAC Blot Powder – User Review

MAC Blotting Powder for Oil ControlThe MAC Blot Powder is a sheer, minimum-coverage blotting powder that comes in a .42 oz compact of pressed powder. It is meant for blotting excess oil off your face and perfect for midday touch-ups.

Review:

I absolutely fell in love with this powder, and I wasn’t surprised after reading such rave reviews for it online. I was matched with Medium Dark, which made me a little skeptical considering the fact that makeup brands don’t usually carry shades light enough for my skin tone. But after testing some of the other colors, I realized that it doesn’t really matter which color you get because the powder has almost no pigmentation. A lighter shade would merely have given me a ghostly, white cast that I certainly don’t want.

The oil controlling power of the MAC Blot Powder is amazing. It makes any unwanted shininess disappear without looking at all cakey. I use this powder to set my T-zone after foundation and at any point in the day when my face feels a little oily or sweaty. This is the perfect makeup item for spring and summer!

Pros:

  • Incredible blotting powder for oily skinned girls
  • Takes away shine without looking cakey
  • Perfect for midday touch-ups

Cons:

  • More expensive than a drugstore powder (But much, much more effective!)
  • Does not give any coverage (If you need coverage, use a liquid foundation, powder foundation, or concealer. This powder is not meant for coverage, it is meant for oil control.)
  • Strange color range (Make sure to buy a darker powder than usual to avoid a whitish cast.)

This powder is best for:

Any girl who gets a little (or a lot!) of excess oil and needs a quick and easy blotting fix.

Tips for Using MAC Blot Powder:MAC Blotting Powder for Oil Control

  • For flawless skin, use a liquid or powder foundation and concealer, depending on your preferences and skin type.
  • Set your foundation with the Blot Powder using a large, fluffy brush.
  • Bring the powder along in your purse for touch-ups. You can carry a travel-size powder brush with you or simply use the cotton pad in the compact.
  • If you have seriously oily skin or are sweating a lot, blot your skin with oil blotting papers first, then dust your face with the Blot Powder.

Where to Buy:

You can get many MAC makeup products at Amazon, including the MAC Blot Powder Pressed Face Powders and their loose powder and blotting sheet.

Reviewed by Rachel

Amazing Cosmetics Concealer Review

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer Medium Beige
The Amazing Cosmetics Concealer is a thick, full-coverage concealer that comes in a 0.5 oz. tube. It is meant to be used to conceal anything from acne to dark circles.

My hypersensitive skin did not have a good reaction to this concealer, but it worked very well under my eyes. The coverage is truly full-coverage and a little goes a very long way. It also comes in a pretty extensive range of colors, especially for fair skin like my own. The problems most people have with this concealer are its price and its ingredients. Since it is not oil-free, this concealer can potentially cause break outs for people with very sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Great range of shades
  • Full coverage
  • A little goes a long way

Cons:

  • Ingredients might not agree with those who are sensitive to mineral oils
  • Pricey (However, the travel size tube is much less expensive.)
  • Difficult to blend (You definitely need to use a concealer brush or small sponge to blend effectively.)

This concealer is best for:

  • People who need maximum coverage for under eye circles or skin imperfections such as acne, pigmentation, or scarring.

Tips for using the Amazing Cosmetics Concealer:

  • Apply to a well-moisturized and primed base
  • Only use a tiny amount!
  • Use a concealer brush with synthetic fibers or a small makeup sponge to dab the concealer onto your skin and blend it out.
  • Set with a translucent powder for long-wearing coverage.

Where to buy:

I highly recommend SkinStore.com for this particular concealer since they have the complete Amazing Cosmetics line, so you can explore all the colors and options, including their concealer brush (an absolute must for applying any concealer!).  They have a great setting powder too.

Amazing Cosmetics A Little Amazing Fair


Amazing Cosmetics A Little Amazing Fair

SkinStore.com also does a 10% deal for friends and family (which is basically anyone who enters an email address), and free shipping over $49.

Best Powder Foundation: Top Picks for Acne Prone Skin

People with acne prone skin are forever searching for the best powder foundation. We want something that will conceal any current acne or old acne scars, but still look natural. Below, I have listed my own favorites plus some other top-rated powder foundations that I’m going to try for myself. I made a note of a couple that made me break out also, even though they are highly rated. Those foundations may work well for some people. They just didn’t work for me.

My personal top picks that I have tried:

Bare Minerals Matte Foundation:

This mineral powder foundation is a consistent winner of beauty awards and is the most popular mineral makeup out there. I like the Matte formula because it doesn’t contain bismuth oxychloride, which can make some people break out and gives a shinier finish. If you need extra coverage, you’ll want to use the bare mineral multi tasking concealer first. You can even use the concealer, then the foundation, then more concealer if you are having a really bad day!

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation
– Brand New!

I was so excited when I heard that Korres was now selling a mineral foundation. I fell in love with their products about a year ago and, while the product selection is limited, they are all natural and high quality. I used their Wild Rose liquid foundation for a while, but it can be a little too shiny for me at times. Their mineral powder foundation is definitely less matte than the Bare Minerals, which is a big plus when your skin is feeling a little dry. I haven’t been using it long enough to give a full review for my own skin, but the Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation is topping the charts everywhere. If you find the Bare Mineral matte foundation too dry looking, then you should definitely try the new Korres one.

Tarte Provocateur Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation

Tarte’s pressed mineral powder is my go-to compact when my skin doesn’t need as much coverage and I just want a very natural look. I put on a little concealer where needed, use the sponge to dab on the powder, and the look is about as natural as you can get. This is an all-natural product, so it’s great for sensitive skin. As with the Korres products, the colors are a little limited. I was lucky that I found one that perfectly matched my skin tone.

Benefit Hello Flawless Compact Powder Foundation

If Tarte is the one I go to for lighter coverage, Benefit’s Hello Flawless is the compact powder foundation I use when my skin is having a tough day. When you use the sponge that comes with it, the coverage is phenomenal. There is also a brush you can use when you want light coverage, but I find it fairly useless. If I want some straight powder on my face, I go with the Tarte pressed powder or the new Korres mineral foundation. Benefit’s Hello Flawless has also been great for me in the summer when my skin is a little more oily.

Korres Wild Rose Compact Powder

Well, by now you guessed that I like Korres makeup.  The Korres Wild Rose Compact Powder gives more moderate coverage, somewhere between Hello Flawless and Tarte’s compact powder. It is another all natural powder foundation and gives a slightly more dewy finish to the ones by Tarte and Benefit. I have only one complaint here. The shades are very limited and I am in between two of them. I love the consistency, but I can only use it in the summer, when I have a little more color.

Also top-rated, but I haven’t tried them all:

Lancome Dual Finish Powder Foundation

I used to use this foundation for years and love the feel of it. The only problem I have now is that I can’t find a color that matches my skin tone. What happened? Either my skin got lighter or they changed the formula. It is not an unscented makeup, but that never bothered me in the past. If only they had a shade that matched my skin, I would buy this again in a second.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation

MAC Studio Fix is reported as being good for oily skin. I haven’t tried it myself, but many people love it. They said it is lightweight, but covers well. However, there are a few others who say it was too heavy and chalky and clogged their pores. Go figure! MAC’s Studio Fix powder foundation has very high ratings at most online stores, so if you are a MAC user then it would probably be great for you. Otherwise, make sure you go to a physical store and try it out first. At the minimum, make sure you can return it online.

Laura Mercier Powder Foundation

This one is a little pricey, but a consistent winner among users. It is best for summer months or if you have oily skin year-round. Buildable coverage and no break-outs reported, based on reading about a million reviews on the web! The downside is that it is not an all-natural, fragrance-free makeup. If you have very sensitive skin, you could have a problem.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Duo Mat Powder Foundation

Many people rate this as the best powder foundation ever. I guess I will have to try it next. Make Up Forever has an amazing line of cosmetics, including one of the best eyeliners on the market, so their foundation should be great also. The quick take from reviewers is that it is non-drying, has buildable coverage, and a natural finish. Good for oily skin.

Top rated, but made me break out:

Philosophy: The Supernatural. I tried this foundation after reading some great reviews. What a disaster! My face broke out right away and the makeup went straight back to the store.

Everyday Minerals. I really don’t understand why this mineral makeup didn’t agree with my skin. However, both my daughter and I broke out within a day or two. It just goes to show that just reading the ingredients is not enough. What works well for one person doesn’t necessarily work well for another, even if they have similar skin types.

Anything with chemical sunscreen. I use this as my first rule in picking out foundation. Anything that has a chemical sunscreen in it makes me break out. It is best to use a mineral sunscreen for sensitive skin first, then primer, then concealer and foundation. If you won’t be in the sun much, a mineral powder foundation with sunscreen is fine.

One last parting tip for you. Always use a primer before applying your foundation and it will go on smoother, look more natural, and last longer. As I’ve mentioned before, Tarte’s Clean Slate is my favorite primer that doesn’t make my skin break out.

Have any favorites not mentioned here? Please leave a comment and let everyone know.

Which Foundation Primer for Acne Prone Skin?

Makeup artists have consistently told me to use primer before applying any makeup. However, since my skin breaks out so easily, I have only tried out primers on and off for several years. It is only recently that I found a primer that not only works, but doesn’t irritate my skin either. It is Clean Slate by Tarte Cosmetics.

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