Is Your Makeup Sliding Off? Top 5 Primers for Oily Skin

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28 March 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In a world where glass skin is everything, dewy skin products and hydrating makeup items have taken over the shelves of department stores everywhere. 

One problem, where have all the matte products gone? 

Combination and oily skin types have taken the backseat for a while, and it’s time for a change. With cloud skin makeup trends and matte makeup slowly returning, let’s discuss the top 5 best primers for shine-free, long-lasting, stunningly matte skin.  

Glow Recipe Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Treatment

Glow Recipe Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Treatment $78 NZD

Glow Recipe recently released their Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Treatment. It is a one-and-done skincare primer that will help regulate oil production from the inside out and keeps your skin mattified and ready for a long day. 

While encapsulated BHA and strawberry enzymes smooth uneven texture over time, plant-derived pore-minimising strawberry leaf extract absorbs any excess oil that targets the appearance of large pores. Additionally, tapioca and rice keep the oils at bay without clogging the skin, creating a smooth and blurred surface for your foundation. 

Texture-wise, it has a cooling sensation that feels invisible when blended into the complexion. Plus, the Glow Recipe Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Treatment is silicone free! Overall, we recommend the Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Treatment for those with combination or mildly oily skin.

Milk Makeup Pore Eclipse Primer

Milk Makeup Pore Eclipse Primer $67 NZD

The Milk Makeup Pore Eclipse Primer is one of the best things to happen in the makeup world! If you have oily skin that cannot seem to hold onto foundation, you must give it a go. 

The ingredients include AHAs, peptides and antioxidants for a lovely balance of skincare and makeup. Over time, you should notice smaller appearing pores, brighter skin and less oil production. Remember, just because you have oily skin, it doesn’t mean you should avoid hydrating it. Peptides and antioxidants will keep the skin happy and mitigate excess oil production for a healthy complexion. 

As for its priming abilities, the Pore Eclipse feels like you have used a magic eraser on the skin. Instantly, you will notice a mattified complexion that feels quite dry to the touch. As such, we recommend this primer for those with very oily skin. 

Urban Decay All-Nighter Glow

Urban Decay All-Nighter Glow $79 NZD

The Urban Decay All-Nighter Glow is one of the most underrated primers for combination oily skin types. Despite its name, this is not a primer for dewy and shiny skin. Instead, it creates a sticky surface for your makeup to latch onto and stay on for hours and hours. 

Hyaluronic acid and agave extract help boost the skin without shrivelling it dry. This way, your skin produces less oil throughout the day to compensate. It turns out, reverse psychology works really well for combatting excessively oily skin! 

Press into the skin and wait a few minutes for the stickiness to activate before applying your foundation. We have found that using a sponge is better suited for this primer as you don’t want to move this product around too much once applied. 

Smashbox Photo Finish Control Mattifying Primer

Smashbox Photo Finish Control Mattifying Primer $82 NZD

The Smashbox Photo Finish Control Mattifying Primer is for heavy-duty oil control. We recommend trying the other options if you have sensitive skin as this primer contains salicylic acid. On the other hand, if your skin agrees with salicylic acid and you already use it in your skincare regime, this primer is the one for you. 

We also recommend this product for men looking for an easy oil-controlling solution that doesn’t look or feel like makeup. The Photo Finish Control Mattifying Primer has an impossibly thin consistency that disappears into the skin as you apply it. As you pat and blend, you will notice an immediate difference in the look of your skin. Any appearance of oil or shine will be picked up and absorbed away. 

This Smashbox primer is also excellent for spot priming in particularly oily areas. After your skincare routine, apply in the t zone, inner cheeks or chin and leave the rest of your face for a balanced and well-protected barrier before you apply your makeup! 

arbonne Makeup Primer

arbonne Makeup Primer $71 NZD

We thought to include the arbonne Makeup Primer for those who prioritise pore blurring over oil control. Don’t get us wrong; this primer has formidable oil-controlling abilities. However, the arbonne Makeup Primer is much better at counteracting the appearance of large pores, and this is a feature of the skin that often goes hand-in-hand with oily or combo skin types. 

Unlike the rest of the lineup, the arbonne Makeup Primer has a thicker consistency and a slightly slippery feel. Despite this factor, you can be rest assured that your foundation will not ball up or pill on the skin. Rather, the thicker texture envelops the skin in a smoothening blanket and keeps the oil from penetrating the surface. Just give the primer a few minutes to settle into the skin before applying anything on top. 

We recommend this primer for those who only wear makeup for special occasions. While dimethicone is a wonder for texture, it isn’t the best ingredient to use on the skin daily. 

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