9 Best Brands of Makeup for Oily Skin (Foundation, Eye Makeup, Setting Spray)

Finding a long lasting foundation for oily skin can prove to be quite the challenge. Luckily many companies have created waterproof makeup that works beautifully for oily skin types. Why does makeup dissolve so quickly on oily skin? Sebum (skin oil) actually breaks down the chemical composition of the products, leaving you with streakly makeup that fades fast. Waterproof makeup is highly resistant to this process, and lasts up to 5x longer than regular formulas. If you have oily skin and are shopping for eye liner, mascara, foundation or eyebrow pencil, look for a label that specifically states one of these benefits: "24-hour makeup", "water-proof makeup", "long lasting makeup", "oil-free makeup". 

Especially during summer months it's essential to select water resistant or waterproof makeup. When you have oily skin & your makeup is up against heat, humidity, or a day at the beach, long wearing products are a must. Even in colder temperatures, those with oily skin find that they need to wear waterproof makeup all year round. We've compiled a list of amazing items that work beautifully in combination with our Mattify Cosmetics line of makeup for oily skin - so you can shine with beauty, not with oil!

Waterproof Makeup

The list below combines product suggestions for waterproof makeup, tips for waterproofing your existing makeup, the best primers for oily skin, and the best makeup products for oily skin .

#1: Start with primer. 


One of the most important steps before applying makeup is to use a primer as your base, ESPECIALLY if you have oily skin. This helps foundation adhere to your skin, which means less smudging and creasing.  Notice how celebrities always look like they have flawless skin? Primer plays a big role in this. It helps to absorb skin oils, allowing foundation to bond to your skin for longer wear. When oil seeps out of pores, it disintegrates your makeup, causing it to fade and streak. Using primer helps prevent this makeup melt-down.  


Two of the best face primers for oily skin are: 1) Clarins Instant Smooth: At department stores for $28 and 2) Mattify Cosmetic's ULTRA Powder: Retails online for $12. Apply primer a few minutes after your toner and/or moisturizer has dried. Those with exceptionally oily skin will find it helpful to apply the Clarins Instant Smooth, and then the Mattify Ultra Powder. The combination of both will ensure that your makeup lasts for 8+ hours. Both products protect pores from foundation, while absorbing excess oil & giving you a flawless finish.




#2: Next, apply a waterproof makeup / foundation for oily skin.


Recently quite a few companies have created waterproof products such as mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.  The most difficult item to find is waterproof foundation.  A few companies have taken a stab at it, but not quite gotten it right – resulting in runny, sticky foundation.  A large percentage of the drug-store brands have also failed, which is unfortunate because customers who need waterproof makeup are forced to spend big bucks on high end brands. But, if you are going to splurge on 1 waterproof makeup item, it should be foundation! This sets the stage for a perfect complexion, and if your foundation doesn't hold up, your entire makeup look will be ruined.


Three of the best waterproof foundations are: 1) Estee Lauder's Maximum Cover Double Wear Foundation – Retails for about $30.00 at department stores and 2) Dinair Air-brush Makeup - Retails online for around $24 and

3) Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Oil-Free Foundation  – Retails Online for about $39.00. 



The Estee Lauder Max Cover Double Wear Foundation is a waterproof makeup - light weight and very simple to apply. For the most precise application, use a wedge cosmetic sponge. This foundation is so easily blended, that even when applied with your finger tips, it still looks flawless. Those of you with acne blemishes, large pores, scarring, freckling, and hyper-pigmentation will *adore* this makeup. It covers any imperfections, and in most cases concealer is not needed.


Dinair Matte Glamour Airbrush Makeup

This water-based foundation is an excellent choice if you have both oily AND acne prone skin. Since it contains no heavy silicone gel or waxes, it does not clog pores. It is also highly pigmented, and conceals nearly any blemish or scarring. While no foundation is going to be 100% waterproof, Dinair Airbrush comes close! As long as you just blot your face with a towel, or allow it to air-dry, water and sweat will bead up and roll off this foundation. It also resists disintegrating when your skin becomes oily - which means a long lasting finish that lasts all day. 


To apply Dinair Foundation, use your finger tips, a makeup sponge, or an air-brush spray gun. The foundation does dry fairly quickly, so you must work fast. Click here to view a makeup tutorial from beauty blogger Candee Johnson on how to apply Dinair Foundation without the spray gun. 


Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation provides amazing coverage and looks freshly applied for hours.  It contains gentle ingredients and also has SPF15. The Amazonian Clay actually absorbs oil, to help keep shine at bay.


Apply Tarte's Foundation as you would any other liquid makeup - using a sponge, brush, or fingertips. This makeup is highly blendable and simple to apply.



#3: To put the finishing touch on your foundation, use an oil absorbing setting powder.


Although no company has invented a waterproof face powder, these will at least set your makeup, assist in oil control and allow for an air-brushed finish. Best of all, these will not get cakey or streaky when they come into contact with water. Simply blot dry with a towel, and your face will look fresh & matte. 


Two of the best powders for oily skin are: 1) Mattify Cosmetic’s Ultra Powder and 2) Coty Air-Spun PowderThese are both loose powders that work best when applied with a brush. The Mattify Ultra Powder should be used after foundation/blush/bronzer have been applied to set the makeup. This specific powder is an oily-skinned girl’s best friend, and will soak up oil for hours to prevent it from ruining your look. Re-touches can be done with the Mattify Ultra through the day, and since it is 100% transparent, it doesn’t leave any cakey colored residue – even after multiple touchups.


The Coty Air Spun Powder can be used alone, or after the Mattify Ultra powder. Coty’s powder is mostly translucent with a slightly peachy tone, so it’s good for brightening up your overall look.

Eye Makeup, Blush & Lipstick



Now that we’ve looked at the basics of waterproof foundation, it’s time to discuss other waterproof makeup to complete your look: Waterproof Eye Liner, Blush, Mascara & Lipstick. Those with oily skin should always choose waterproof cosmetics, as they are MUCH more resistant to oil than regular makeup. Non-waterproof varieties only last for a couple of hours when they come into contact with skin oil. Luckily, quite a few waterproof eyeliners have hit the market lately.

#1: Waterproof Eye Liner:

Two of thebest waterproof eye liners are: 1) Kat Von D's "Tattoo" Waterproof Eye Liner 2) Stila Stay All Day & Smudgestick Liners.  


The Kat Von D liner is a liquid that goes on smooth using the built-in felt tip, which can be used to create a thin line or turned at a 45 degree angle to create a wider line.  This formula stays on all day and doesn’t streak when it comes into contact with water. Stila's Smudge Stick liners are perfect for ling inner rims of eyes, since they are very water resistant. Stila also makes a felt-tip liner, called Stay All Day, which is VERY water resistant. This one is very easy to apply and doesn’t budge until you wash your face.


#2: Waterproof Blush:

For water resistant blush, try Illuminaire Ultimate All Day Blush. It lasts as long as your waterproof foundation because it seems to bind with the makeup, especially when set with an oil absorbent face powder such as the Mattify Ultra. Apply a very small amount of this crème blush with your fingertips, on the apples of cheeks, and blend outward towards hairline. The color melts onto your skin, and once it dries, provides a very long lasting tint.

#3: Waterproof Mascara:

Waterproof mascara is the easiest item to find of all the products in this article.  Almost every drugstore and high-end company has come out with a waterproof formula, and most of them are up to the task. 


Two of the best waterproof mascaras are: 1) Cover Girl Waterproof Lash Blast and 2) Maybelline Volum Express Waterproof Mascara. The two fore mentioned waterproof mascaras do not clump, crumble, or smear when exposed to high temperatures or water. When it comes to mascara, it is not necessary to purchase a high-end expensive brand. Almost all waterproof formulas are close to identical, and will provide long & lush lashes. Choosing a waterproof variety will allow lashes to hold their curl all day, and look fresh from morning to night.Steer clear of mascaras marketed as “waterproof tube mascara”.  One of the worst is Clinique Lash Power.  This particular product claims to be water resistant but it flakes off when exposed to high temperatures or when touched, leaving little tubes of crumbled mascara everywhere.

#3: Waterproof Lipstick:

Waterproof Lipstickis another easy find – there are now several on the market that provide all day waterproof, food-proof wear. 


If you want to go with a less expensive brand, try Cover Girl Outlast or Maybelline Superstay Lipstick.  These come in a wide variety of colors and stay put for at least 6 hours.  If you prefer a department store brand, go for MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolor. It has a super-glossy, non sticky top coat and stays put for about 8 hours.

#4: Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil:

Creating perfect eyebrows is an important step in your makeup routine! Try Tarte's Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil for long lasting, defined brows. After your eyebrow color has been applied, seal it into place using an eyebrow sealer. This helps all types of crayon, pencil & powder eyebrow color stay in place during warm, humid weather.  

Finishing Touch: The MOST Important Step to Waterproof Makeup! 



After all of your cosmetics have been applied (foundation, blush, powder, eyeliner, lipstick) spray your entire face with a makeup setting spray.  This forms a protective layer over your makeup to further assist in water resistance and oil buildup.


Two of the best makeup setting sprays are 1) Model in a Bottle and 2) Ben Nye Final Seal. When misted over your makeup, these essentially “seal” the cosmetics while still allowing your skin to breathe. Either one of these sprays will allow cosmetics to be more water, heat and oil resistant.

How to Remove Waterproof Makeup


At the end of your day or night, it’s important to remove all waterproof makeup, to prevent clogged pores. 


An exfoliating scrub will remove waterproof foundation. Just dampen your face and rub in circular motions, then rinse. Follow up by using your usual face wash, and your favorite toner.


Basically any oil-based remover will dissolve waterproof makeup. (Afterall, the reason people with oil skin struggle to keep makeup in tact is because oil breaks down most types of makeup!) One of the best makeup removers for waterproof eye makeup and lipstick is Cover Girl Clean Waterproof Makeup Remover, which only costs about $5 at drugstores. There’s no need to spend a lot on fancy makeup remover, this one is a gentle creamy formula that removes even the most stubborn lipsticks, liners and mascaras. Just be sure to thoroughly wash your face with an oil-free face wash after using the remover, so that none remains to clog pores. 


So there you have it, an A-List of the best waterproof makeup and makeup for oily skin. These can all be found either online, at drugstores, on Ebay, or at department stores. Here’s to a beautiful summer, with smudge free makeup! 

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Makeup for Oily Skin


Our Tumblr Blog "Makeup for Oily Skin" highlights our Mattify Cosmetics Makeup Line, the best products for oily skin, waterproof makeup, informative makeup articles that we find online, and reviews of Mattify Cosmetics.


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