These Foundations Were Made For Oily Skin

More often than not, using a matte foundation means shine-free, long-wear full coverage all day long. But settling on the right base that does it all without leaving skin feeling dehydrated or looking cake-y can be difficult — especially for people with combination and oily skin. So, how do you find the right foundation that keeps your grease at bay while still looking natural in the process?

To make this search a foolproof one, we asked a few makeup artists for their favorite foundations that keep shine-prone skin fresh and dewy, without turning into an oil slick by lunch. Better still, many fit a drugstore budget, and work just as well in the crisp fall weather as the middle of summer. The best foundations for oily skin, ahead.


At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Foundation

Nobody wants to feel like they have a layer of makeup sitting on their skin, especially if you tend to be oily. This matte foundation is meant to feel like your skin, but also delivers medium coverage (in 50 shades) and all-day durability.
Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation$39.00 Buy

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup

Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes is a self-proclaimed "glowy-skin connoisseur," so it may come as a surprise that this is one of her favorite bases. Instead of going in straight with a heavy dose of foundation, Hughes likes to layer it over rich moisturizers, building up the coverage with a duo-fiber brush. "If you do this, it won't dry down as matte and will slightly sheer out the formula," she says.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup$42.00 Buy

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

These mattifying drops can be worn solo or mixed with your favorite foundation or moisturizer for an extra boost of coverage.
NYX Total Control Drop Foundation$13.99 Buy

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation

Drugstore foundation doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to expansive, inclusive shade ranges; in fact, a lot are pretty limited. This line, however, is different — it comes in 25 shades — and makeup artist Molly R. Stern says it's great for anyone who needs coverage but doesn't want to feel like they're wearing a makeup mask.
NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation$7.49 Buy

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation

This one is a bit of a splurge, we admit, but Stern loves it for her clients with oil-prone complexions. The gel formula ensures breathable coverage and a smooth texture. "Chantecaille has been my first choice in foundation for almost 15 years," she says.
Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation$78.00 Buy

Revlon ColorStay Makeup For Combo/Oily Skin

For a cheaper option, Stern likes Revlon's ColorStay formula. It's ideal for combination, oily, and even acne-prone skin when you want full coverage that won't budge.
Revlon ColorStay Makeup For Combo/Oily Skin$12.99 Buy

Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 20

Stern recommends this mineral foundation from Elizabeth Arden for those who want a non-drying powder. Sure, the added SPF isn't enough protection for a day in the sun, but it's certainly a nice bonus for a mid-day touch up.
Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 20$40.00 Buy

Almay Clear Complexion Make Myself Clear Makeup

After testing dozens of drugstore foundations, makeup artist Jamie Greenberg fell hard for this formula. It treats blemishes as it covers, is lightweight, and sets to a matte finish that's perfect for oily skin types.
Almay Clear Complexion Make Myself Clear Makeup$14.99 Buy

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation

Find yourself blotting and powdering several times per day? Try this formula, which Greenberg recommends for really oily skin. "I hate to say it, but sometimes too matte accentuates issues," she says, noting that this one helps to prevent oil without turning your skin into a desert.
L'Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation$10.99 Buy

Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation

Makeup artist David Razzano is a pro national artist at Sephora, which means he's one of the makeup artists behind the gorgeous looks you see in the store's ads and social channels. Translation: He knows his way around the merchandise. He raves about this foundation because of its dreamy matte finish and waterproof texture, which will survive oil-inducing heat and a dip in the pool.
Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation$35.00 Buy

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation SPF 15

"The Amazonian clay in this formula is an amazing oil-controlling ingredient," Razzano says. "It is gentle on skin and gives great coverage."
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation SPF 15$39.00 Buy

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Some mattifying foundations feel heavy once on, but this one from Hourglass is a liquid-to-powder formula that's full coverage, but feels light. What's more, Razzano says it's his go-to for blemish-prone skin.
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation$56.00 Buy

Becca Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation

Some formulas made for oily skin can end up being too dewy or too matte, but this one just looks like skin. "It's a soft-focus finish that stays matte all day," Razzano says.
Becca Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation$42.00 Buy

Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation

Has Make Up For Ever officially perfected the matte-but-not-flat foundation formula? It's certainly possible — and, thanks to an inclusive range of 40 shades, everyone can test the waters for themselves. With a full-coverage yet lightweight finish, this brand-new offering blends easily, moves and bends with your skin, and stays breathable all day.
Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation$38.00 Buy

Becca Skin Love Weightless Blur Foundation

This lightweight foundation has a blurring complex that keeps skin shine-free and looking fresh, which is why it's a favorite of celebrity makeup artist Liz Castellanos. "It gives your skin a smooth texture with a healthy glow," she says.
Becca Skin Love Weightless Blur Foundation$44.00 Buy

Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

If you have oily skin, long days might often mean coming home at the end of it with blotchy foundation, but you can avoid that with this fade- and transfer-resistant option. "It has a matte finish that looks breathable and helps with shine, but also stays on all day for those busy, on-the-go kind of days," says Castellanos.
NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation$49.99 Buy

bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation

Formulated to specifically work for anyone who suffers from breakouts, you can bet this foundation will never clog your pores. In fact, you could consider the lightweight powder just another step in your skin-care routine since it's infused with salicylic acid and kaolin clay to help treat and prevent pimples.
bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation$29.00 Buy

Jouer Essential High Coverage Crème Foundation

This full-coverage formula feels as lightweight as its airbrushed finish looks, but thanks to the hyaluronic acid and cucumber extract, will never drown your pores by lunch.
Jouer Essential High Coverage Crème Foundation$38.00 Buy

Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation

If you ever wondered how Gigi Hadid looks like Gigi Hadid on the runway, you can assume it's because of foundations like this. Inspired by the kind of lightweight, demi-matte formulas used backstage during Fashion Week, this stuff controls shine in and out of the spotlight.
Dior BACKSTAGE Face & Body Foundation$40.00 Buy
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