The Best Foundations for Oily Skin, According to Makeup Artists

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Choosing the best foundations for oily skin comes with its little challenges: When your face is already greasy and shiny, you don’t want to add anything to your T-zone that’s going to enhance the sheen you’ve got going on. Then there’s the question of how long it’ll hold up in heat and humidity. You may feel like your foundation is quickly melting away when it should be providing you with a clear, healthy-looking complexion instead. Lastly, if you have oily and acne-prone skin, not all those lightweight options out there are going to cut it for covering up the surprise whitehead that popped up this week. 

Ultimately, to find the best foundation for your oily skin, you’ll want to look for those that have long-lasting, smudge-resistant, and/or transfer-free formulas—along with enough coverage to conceal any blemishes or acne. “People with oily skin often have a hard time finding a foundation that doesn’t smudge off or fade throughout the day, so look for options that promise a longer wear time,” makeup artist and beauty founder (Beautini and Beia) Brittany Lo tells SELF.

It may seem obvious, but you’ll want to steer clear of any oil-based foundations. “Oil on top of oil equals more oil,” makeup artist Kathleen Peara tells SELF. She warns that excess oil can lead to clogged pores and even greasier skin. 

To help prevent this, makeup artist Andrea Claire recommends looking for foundations with the words semi-matte and matte right on the label or written in the product description. And on that note, avoid products that mention glowy, dewy, or radiant effects since these will only create the appearance of more shine.

To help you find the best foundations for oily skin, we turned to a handful of trusted makeup artists for the products that they use on clients. Read on for their favorite picks across a range of coverage options, shades, and price points, which include everything from wallet-friendly drugstore staples to splurge-worthy full-coverage options.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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