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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Achieving the perfect matte look when you have oily skin can be pretty tricky, especially when you just want your makeup to last the whole night without looking like a grease trap. Thankfully, there are a ton of products made for matte looks, but how does one truly achieve the perfect look when dealing with the stress of oily skin? Regardless of the products you use, it’s important to remember that no amount of makeup will stop your skin from producing oil under your makeup, but following the tips below can help reduce its effects on your makeup for the amount of time you choose to maintain your look.


1. Wash and Moisturize

Going through your skincare routine may seem like a daily norm for you by now, but just remember that after going through whatever skincare you choose to, you must let the moisturizer absorb into your skin. By doing this, you can avoid having dry spots on your skin, that can show up in your finished makeup look.

2. Use a primer

Any primer that works to control shine is a good primer to start with. Primers that work to blur the pores are also staple products to have when attempting the poreless matte look. The Milk Hydro Grip Primer is a great face primer that only needs one minute to set before it’s ready to grip onto any product placed on your face, allowing your other products to stay in place even when your face starts to show some signs of oiliness. Make sure to place that primer on the parts of your face that need the most shine control, for many, that can be the t-zone area, but feel free to place the product on all parts of your face.

When working with eyeshadow it is very important to put eye primer on your lids and not a concealer that is not meant to prime. If you forget to prime or decide to skip it entirely, your eyeshadow may crease and break apart, potentially ruining any blending you worked so hard to achieve! The e.l.f shadow lock eyelid primer is a highly recommended eyeshadow primer that works to combat creasing and the breaking down of your eyeshadow that can be caused by the oil on your skin. 

3. Apply just enough powder

After applying your primer, make sure to set your primer using a thin layer of setting powder over the oily parts of your skin only. The Cover FX setting powder works great for those who fear flashback and it has the added benefit of the ability to work as a baking powder as well. When picking out a setting powder, make sure to look for a product that works to control shine and prevents flashback.

Once you’ve set your primer, apply your foundation and concealers and baking powder if you choose to highlight and bake, and your powdered highlight if that is a part of your makeup look. Once you’ve done that, all you need to do is apply your finishing powder. The job of your finishing powder is to even out your skin tone and prevent any shine from showing through your makeup. For this step, it’s best to use a powder that matches your skin tone, and using a powder like the Maybelline New York Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder helps to make the skin appear smooth, working as the perfect product to help your foundation. The great thing about tinted finishing powders is that they can be used on their own if you choose not to wear a foundation as a base. This may seem like a lot of powder to put on your face, so make sure to not apply too much powder in one area of your face to avoid the cakey look.

4. Don’t forget setting spray!

Setting spray is a vital product for people with oily skin because it helps control oil and set all your makeup in place. The Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray is a highly rated setting spray that does the job of controlling shine and matting down the products on your face so it doesn’t move during your day. Any setting spray will do, but I recommend finding a setting spray that can double as a refresher. A setting spray that has this purpose can be used during the day to refresh your makeup and remove the dry look matte products can often cause. Also, make sure to find a setting spray that has the ability to matte, and avoid setting sprays that only have the purpose of hydrating your skin, as that serves people with dry skin better than it does for people with oily skin. 

5. Oil blotting Sheets

Even though all these makeup tips can work together to prevent your oily skin from getting in the way of the desired makeup look, it’s important to realize that your makeup will need a little help along the way, especially if you plan to wear your makeup for a long period of time. Oil blotting sheets like e.l.f’s mattifying blotting paper can help absorb oil that rests on top of your makeup and bring it back to its matte look. If you don’t own blotting paper, a paper towel can work as a great substitute. 


Now that you have these tips, you’ll be ready to take on your next night out looking flawless and oil-free!

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Shermarie Hyppolite

U Mass Amherst '23

Shermarie is currently a senior at UMASS Amherst double majoring in Communication and Journalism with a concentration in PR and is a part of the Commonwealth Honors College. When she is not writing pieces or doing homework, she is listening to k-pop music, reading, ranting about Beyoncé, and scrolling through Tumblr and Twitter.
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst