As the holiday party season ramps up, so do the number of photos we’re taking. While women with normal-to-dry skin can indulge in all sorts of fun highlighting powders, shimmering creams and strobing products to look extra-festive, the rest of us with oily skin spend half the night in the bathroom with blotting papers, compacts and Kabuki brushes, trying to keep the glare at bay.
If you’ve already accepted that you’ll always look super-shiny in party pictures, your mind is about to be blown. Here is how you can stay matte and fresh all night long, using products you probably already have.
- Ideally, start with clean, moisturized skin. (If you’re getting ready after work and don’t have time to wash your face and start all over again, just wipe surface oil off with a Kleenex and begin there.) Don’t skip the moisturizer, because your skin will just overcompensate by producing more sebum—the exact opposite of what you want. Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion is a hydrating, oil-free option, while January Labs Moisture Balancing Lotion includes plant oils but won’t make you greasy.
- Spritz face with a moderate veil of makeup setting spray, like the blockbuster from Make Up Forever. Yes, this usually goes on last—if you have dry or normal skin. Using it first will block oil from rising to the surface.
- Smooth a light layer of primer on your face. The holy grail for oily skin is Benefit Cosmetics’ The PoreFessional. (If you need a silicone-free option, try makeup artist Joey Maalouf’s ISH Face Primer.)
- Continue the back-to-front process by powdering only your T-zone. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder or Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder both work well here.
- Liquid foundation goes on next, ideally buffed in with a Kevyn Aucoin foundation brush or Beautyblender sponge. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup is an old favorite for shine-prone faces, but Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation gives an incomparable, lit-from-within radiance without looking waxy.
- Apply undereye concealer with the teardrop end of a Beautyblender. Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer delivers on its name, as does NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. You can also use concealer on any spots or blemishes now. Depending on how you apply it, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer doubles as both foundation and concealer, and you only need the tiniest dot to cover nicks, scars, or even tattoos.
- Take your Beautyblender and use the round end to push the makeup into the skin so that it really adheres, following with another light dusting of powder.
- Give your face another, final coat of setting spray.
Once you’ve got your base in place, you can do your eyes, blush, and lipstick. At the end of the night, your face will still be flawlessly shine-free. When you get home, do a double cleanse—as you always should after wearing makeup. If you want the mental reassurance of a deep clean (and can keep your eyes open), slap on a clay mask, such as Caudalie Instant Detox Mask, for 10 minutes after cleansing and using an acid exfoliant like Kate Somerville Clinic-to-Go Resurfacing Peel Pads. Wrap up the routine with your usual serum and moisturizer, and end the night with a phone full of shine-free photos.
Jackie Danicki created one of the first and most popular beauty blogs in 2004, and has consulted some of the world’s most iconic brands on digital content strategy and innovation. Jackie blogs at burnedoutbeauty.com, and you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat as @burnedoutbeauty.