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make pore decisions: 7 best foundations for oily skin

Oily skin can feel like a curse. Whether it’s noticing that forehead shine when you snap a selfie with your bestie, having to constantly reapply powder or waking up to an unexpected breakout, oily skin definitely comes with its challenges. But what if your skin didn’t have to be a source of frustration?

We’re here to tell you it doesn’t!

There’s a secret to maintaining soft, smooth & supple skin — even if you’re prone to oiliness — & it’s not expensive cosmetic treatments, luxury products that cost more than your utility bill or restrictive diets you’ll dread doing. It’s finding the right foundation for oily skin!

With the proper products in your makeup arsenal, you’ll be able to confidently go about your day knowing your complexion is magnificently matte & blemish free. We believe everyone should have access to the information & products that allow them to live life with confidence, which is why we’ve decided to share our favorite oily skin foundations.

We don’t just believe high-performance naturals™ work wonders on every skin type, we’ve actually heard from countless tartelettes who have experienced the miraculous results our foundations produce — including customers with oily skin who have struggled to find products that meet their needs.

For example, the tantalizing Theresa B. found the perfect match with one of our clay-based foundations:

“I have an oily T-zone & have struggled for years trying both dermatologist-prescribed products & over-the-counter products & nothing has worked! I started looking for clay-based foundation & found tarte! Now, not only do I not have oil, but the coverage is phenomenal!”

Go Theresa! Trust us, there’s a perfect foundation out there for you. You just need to know what to look for.

what to look for in a foundation for oily skin

There are lots of foundations out there making big promises, but they won’t do anything for you if they’re not a match for oily skin. Before you invest in a new foundation, it’s important to know exactly which formulas will work best for your unique skin concerns. While shopping for the best foundation for oily skin, we highly recommend keeping these features in mind:

  1. coverage level

    Because oily skin tends to break down makeup & make it appear cakey, runny or splotchy, you’ll likely do best with a full-coverage foundation. These formulas are specifically designed to cover large pores, blemishes, scars & even tattoos while providing a satiny, opaque finish that conceals for hours & hours.

  2. oil-absorbing ingredients

    This is another key factor to consider when seeking out the best foundation for oily skin. Certain ingredients — like charcoal, bentonite & niacinamide — actually draw excess sebum out of the skin & improve dryness. Foundations that include these sponge-like ingredients are best suited for oily skin as they actively prevent grease buildup over time.

  3. anti-inflammatory formula

    Oily skin is more prone to acne breakouts, redness & irritation, which can make it difficult to apply products like creams, foundations or cleansers without experiencing inflammation. For this reason, a good foundation for oily skin should include soothing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, aloe vera, or vegan squalane, which gently nourish the skin.

  4. matte finish

    Foundations that promote a sheer or dewy finish aren’t the best choice for oily skin. These products will add shine & luminosity, A.K.A. the opposite of the outcome you’re hoping to achieve.

    Matte products are also less likely to transfer onto clothing, pillow cases, napkins & so on than foundations that promote gloss or shine. This staying power is another reason why they’re ideal for people with an oilier skin profile.

    If you’re in doubt, always remember the best makeup for oily skin has an ultra matte finish.

  5. long-lasting wear

    Having to constantly slip away to the bathroom to re-powder your face or blot away excess oil is a major inconvenience. So how can it be avoided? With long-lasting foundation formulas! Seek out foundations that promise at least 12 hours of wear time for optimal results. Nobody has time to worry about their forehead shine, you’ve got life to live!

7 best foundations for oily skin

So where can you find all five of these elements? Check out these top-rated foundations for oily skin that serve up glamor all day long.

  1. Amazonian clay gem powder foundation

    Powder formulas are the preferred choice of many makeup artists & beauty professionals when applying to oily skin. They deliver a long-lasting, airbrushed effect while absorbing oil & reducing shine. Our Amazonian clay gem powder foundation does all of this, plus it nourishes & protects the skin. Oh, & did we mention it lasts for 24 hours? Now that’s staying power!

  2. shape tape™ pressed powder

    That’s right! Our best-selling shape tape™ concealer (yeah, the one that made us the #1 concealer brand) has a prestigious powder sister with 12 hour longwear. The high-impact peptide complex minimizes the appearance of wrinkles & fine lines. If you want a dynamic dual-purpose product to address both shine & the signs of aging, this is the matte foundation for oily skin you’ve been dreaming of.

  3. face tape™ foundation

    If you prefer to pair powder products with a liquid foundation basecoat, we highly recommend our face tape™ foundation. It’s our best lightweight foundation for oily skin, providing full coverage without a heavy or “caked on” feel. But don’t let the airy formula fool you — this foundation is transfer-proof, waterproof & sweatproof. Whether you’re planning a picnic in the park, heading to the beach or enrolling in a Pilates class for the first time, your complexion will remain silky smooth & shine-free.

  4. sugar rush™ skin treat poreless tinted moisturizer

    Another lightweight foundation for oily skin, skin treat poreless tinted moisturizer from our sister brand sugar rush™ is super buildable & allows you to choose how light or full you want your coverage to be from day to day. Formulated with our proprietary diamond complex™, it also blurs imperfections for a flawless, ultra-fresh finish. If you prefer to embrace your natural exquisiteness & highly-concentrated full-coverage foundation formulas from other brands have left your skin feeling pasty, our tinted moisturizer is the perfect alternative. We’re confident you’ll fall in love with its dreamy, cloud-like finish!

  5. Amazonian clay 16-hour full coverage foundation

    When customers come to us seeking the best full coverage foundation for oily skin, this is always one of our top recommendations. Our Amazonian clay 16-hour full coverage foundation is intentionally formulated to provide better, longer & truer wear. It controls oils, dries fast with a matte finish & provides crease & cake-free coverage, making it a trifecta of skin-boosting benefits.

    Last but not least, this formula also comes in more than 40 different inclusive shades, making it easy to find a product that matches your unique undertones & pigmentation. Whether your undertones are warm, neutral or cool, there’s a shade for you in this collection.

  6. Amazonian clay BB tinted moisturizer

    Looking for an ultra-lightweight product that provides buildable coverage & heals dry or damaged skin? Say no more! Our Amazonian clay BB tinted moisturizer is infused with chamomile to soothe inflamed skin, alleviate redness & leave you with a refreshed, youthful appearance. It’s also formulated to be completely oil-free, so it’ll never add shine or grease to your complexion.

    Finally, you’ll find plenty of Vitamin A in this moisturizer — a powerful hydration-booster that also strengthens the outer layer of the skin & reduces signs of sun damage, aging & irritation. No wonder tartelettes have given it a 5-star rating. There really isn’t much this moisturizer can’t do!

  7. smooth operator™ Amazonian clay pressed finishing powder

    Okay, so technically this isn’t a foundation, but we’re still including it as a contender because it provides all of the benefits those with oily skin look for in a foundation. Plus, it can be used on top of your favorite liquid foundation for an extra-mattifying effect.

    Our smooth operator™ Amazonian clay tinted pressed finishing powder keeps skin hydrated while also providing a matte, soft-focus appearance (Say goodbye to those selfie filters!). Try it & you’ll be blown away by how well it controls shine & levels out your complexion.

find the best foundation for your oily skin, formulated with high-performance naturals™

You care about what you put on your skin, & you’re tired of reading ingredient lists only to find toxic chemicals & contaminants hidden in the fine print. You’re unique, & you have unique skin needs. The last thing you want to do is irritate your skin by applying products that are packed with harmful irritants like sulfates or formaldehyde.

Here at tarte™, we’ve been there. Standing in the aisles of the store, poring over foundation labels (See what we did there?) only to find disappointment. That’s why all of our foundation makeup products are formulated with natural ingredients like fruit & plant extracts. You’ll never find parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate or gluten in our products — & that’s a promise.

We don’t just want to help you find the best foundation for oily skin. We want to help you make informed beauty decisions that better your health, your body & your life.

try before you buy

You can now shop with absolute certainty using our virtual try-on service. Choose from 90+ products & mix & match until you find your perfect shade. Because there’s no better feeling than getting it right the first time!

call on our consultants for more beauty advice

Sometimes, avoiding buyer’s remorse means getting an expert second opinion. Our beauty consultants have a wealth of knowledge & are always ready to help you find products that are best suited to your needs. From personalized shade recommendations, to tutorials tailored to your exact beauty concerns & skincare advice that truly works — we’re here for you! Book your virtual consultation today.

read up on all things beauty

You’ve got beauty & you’ve got brains, darling! Keep the beauty knowledge flowing by checking out our other blog posts. It’s where we share all our best tips & inside secrets on all things makeup, from lip plumpers to eyeshadows & mascaras. Join in on the tarte™ talk & discover what all the buzz is about.