How to Keep your Face Matte and Shine Free

I have combination oily skin which is also blemish prone so it is quite challenging when it comes to ensuring my T-zone is shine free. I don’t have too much of an issue during Autumn/Winter because my skin tends to behave itself and my makeup lasts all day. However, during the warmer season, my skin just goes nuts especially during summer. I have an arsenal of products that have been tested and trusted which help keep my skin shine free within reasonable limits. For the most part, they work well and sometimes, they don’t work as well because my skin decides to still be naughty. Now, I don’t use all these products at once but I combine them in various ways depending on how the weather is looking like, the occasion, duration of event and how my skin is feeling. I hope it does not look complicated at all and you can leave questions below if you have any. The most important thing is to test as many products as you can and stick to what works for you. Right, let's jump in....

Skincare Products
If you want your makeup to last or if you want your face to remain shine free for a long as possible, you need to use the right skin care products. If you use any skincare product that encourages oil production, it would be difficult to keep shine away. I always look out for skin care formulas that are oil free or mattifying so I can nip any shine in the bud. One of my favourite moisturisers is the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil Free Moisturiser (review here). It has been featured more than a few times on here because it is one of my HG skin care products. It does a good job in moisturising my skin without any greasy feeling and it gets absorbed so easily. I think some of its active ingredients like Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid have some mattifying properties which prevent shine. I particularly like it because it still leaves my skin moisturised. Another new discovery which I have been testing out over June is the Garnier Pure Active Matte Control Moisturiser (review coming soon).  I think it even deserves its own review because I have absolutely enjoyed using it. It has a gel-like texture which sinks into the skin and gets absorbed easily. Its mattifying effect is quite visible after use but it does not dry out your skin. I have used it on a few occasions without a primer and it helped control my shine so I am very impressed. Another skincare product which helps keep my face shine free is the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Sunscreen SPF 50* (review here). Yes, I know it is a sunscreen but it is a dry touch gel cream which means that it does not feel greasy at all. It can be a little drying  if you don’t use it correctly. I apply a pea sized amount as my last skincare product and let it sit for a few minutes before I apply my primer. It really makes a difference and helps keep everything matte and shine free. It is indeed a dual purpose product for me because it acts as a sunscreen and keeps my skin matte/shine free which is an added value.

Mattifying Primers
I already have a full blog post talking about all theprimers in my stash so you can check it out here. I always use a primer every time I wear makeup because I just can’t take chances with my grease ball of a face. However, I use various primers for different foundations because I realise that not all primers work well with some foundations and even skin types. During summer, I tend to use more of my mattifying primers which help control shine and they go well with my long lasting foundations. One of my favourite primers which has a lot of mixed reviews is the Kiko Matt Base Corrector Primer (review here). This is one of my favourite mattifying primers but it is one that you need to understand how to use to get the best results. I never use it all over my face because it just makes my foundation impossible to blend in. I just apply a teeny amount around my T-zones. Sometimes, I use my Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (review here) underneath to help my foundation glide on smoothly. Another Primer which I am quite impressed with is the Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Enhancer* (review here). I have been trialling it for the past two months and I have enjoyed using it. It is a primer hybrid which keeps the skin matte but does not leave your face flat/dull. It adds a subtle glow (not shine) which is perfect for Summer. If you don’t get on with the KiKo Matt Base Corrector, then a good one to try is the Mary Kay Mattifying Primer (review here). It is mattifying but it does not dry out your skin or make it feel tight. This is one that can actually be used all over the face because it feels quite moisturising.I have been using it for a really long while. It works best with the corresponding Mary Kay Time Wise Matte Wear Foundation. If you are after a primer that keeps the skin matte and helps your foundation last longer, then the Rimmel Lasting Finish Primer (review here is one to try. It's a drug store offering but it is one I am really impressed with. It goes on slightly thicker than some of my other primers but it has mattifying properties which helps my foundation last longer. It is very affordable and one I reach for when I am travelling because it is compact and well packaged. The last mattifying primer in my stash is the Kuddy Cosmetics All Matte Primer* (review herewhich I love. It is a silicone based primer which helps my foundation apply ever so smoothly and it has mattifying properties as well. It is perfect for summer or if you live in tropical countries like Nigeria. I had a chance to try it out when I was in Nigeria alongside the Kuddy Cosmetics Waterproof Foundation and it held up really well despite the blazing sun.

I feel like if you prep your skin well, you can get away with any foundation. However, I prefer to choose foundations that are oil-free and mattifying or at least demi-matte/velvet finish because it is the bets for my combination oily skin. I also look for formulas that are long lasting because there is no point using a foundation that is matte but disappears off my face. I would start off with the drug store options which are actually amazing. The first one I am currently loving is the Revlon Colorstay Foundation which I recently purchased. If you have combination oily skin and you want your makeup to stay put, you need to try this foundation. It applies really easily and sets in a flattering way. It is an oil free formula so the chances of it slipping off your face is minimal. I love its demi- matte finish because it does not leave the face flat at all. The next one is the Mary Kay Time Wise Matte Wear Foundation (review here) and it is one I adore. As the name implies, it is a matte finish foundation but it does not leave the skin dry at all. Its formula is slightly creamy but it sets to a beautiful velvet/demi matte finish. I have used this foundation for years and I keep repurchasing it because it really works well with warmer season. When I lived back in Nigeria, I always wore this foundation because it held up really well with the warm Nigeria sun. The next foundation is the newest addition to my stash and it is none other than the L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte foundation. It was recently launched this year but the shade range is slightly limited. If you have darker skin, just buy it from America or any other country because they don't stock darker shades here in the UK which is such a shame. I would have a separate review up soon but this is one I have been wearing since I purchased it. It also has a demi-matte finish and it lasts for a really long time. I won't go as far as saying it is 24 hours but it truly lasts almost all day with minimal need for a touch up.

The next foundation in my stash is the Kuddy Ultra Waterproof Matte Finish Foundation (review here) which I have used for more than a year now. It is truly made for summer time because it is super matte and holds up well against any temperature. I feel this is perfect for combination oily skin but if you have dry skin, I suggest moisturising and hydrating your skin before use. It also works best with the Kuddy Mattifying Primer so I highly suggest using it if you have dry skin. The last two foundations are high end foudnations which have been tried, tested and trusted. The Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation  is one of my favourite foundations for summer and keeping my skin matte because it also has a demi-matte finish and it sets in such a beautiful way. As the name implies, it is a long wearing foundation which is also oil-free so it keeps the face shine free. The last foundation in my stash for a shine free face is the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation (review here) which I purchased this year after it launched. I think this is the answer to anyone who has combination oily skin and you want a light weight formula for summer. It is super light and applies like a dream provided you use your fingers, beauty blender or a good  buffing brush. I ensure I don't use a mattifying primer with this foundation unless it would be super difficult to blend in and may even separate. I would not recommend this for dry skin at all because it may cling to dry patches unless you moisturise and hydrate your skin and even use a smoothing primer. The finish is a velvet/demi matte one with a nice glow which I love. I think this is definitely one of my favourite foundations for 2015 because it makes my skin look absolutely flawless and it stays that way all day.

Setting and Finishing Powders
Setting and Finishing Powders are the last step for me to ensure my makeup remains shine-free and matte all day. The thing with these powders is you need to understand which ones go best with different foundations. If I use a super mattifying foundation, I would just use a light weight setting powder like the Kuddy Cosmetics HD Powder* (review here). It is super light weight and translucent so it does not add any extra coverage to the face. Instead, it gives the face a soft HD glow and it really helps my foundation last longer. I even use it with the odd dewy foundation to ensure I still have the glow without the shine. The next powder which is my ultimate Holy Grail is the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Powder (review herewhich is also light weight but it does an amazing job at preventing shine. It also adds a subtle glow to my face which looks flattering during Summer. I love my Collection Setting Powder in Translucent (review hereand I use this around my T-Zones because it acts as an extra insurance to prevent any shine. I don't use it all over my face every time because it sometimes makes my face dull. However, I still use it when I have a foundation that tends to be shiny/dewy. Last on the setting powder list is the W7 Ebony Range Powder* (review here) which I just discovered last month. This powder has such an amazing coverage because it is well pigmented. I would suggest using it with a light hand or as a touch up powder. I use this sometimes on its own (without foundation) on good skin days because it still gives good coverage and my skin stays matte all day. As a touch up powder, I just blot it around my T-zones which are the areas where I get shine on super hot days. If you hate wearing foundations during Summer or the warmer season, I suggest trying the W7 Blotting Pressed Powder (Ebony Range) or using a BB cream and setting with this powder.

Overall Thoughts
Phew!! That was a long one, wasn't it? I hope you found this post useful and you discovered some products that can help you keep your makeup matte and shine free this Summer. If you have any more product recommendations, please leave your suggestions below. What's your favourite product for keeping your makeup shine free this summer?...xx
*PR Samples + Affiliate links used, read my full disclaimer here


  1. I have oily skin too which i despise but at the same time i like it because i know that it won't get dry in autumn/winter which is a massive plus. I love using nivea face primer as a moisturising cream and primer. Rimmels match perfection, l'oreal true match, maybelline fit me and estee lauder double wear are my fave foundations for summer. I keep on hearing about revlons colorstay so im going to be purchasing that soon! My fave powder is soap and glorys one heck of a blot - its a god send. I like using urban decays all nighter setting spray after I've done my makeup as it extends the wear time so much xx

    1. Awwww thanks so much for all the lovely recommendations and I need to try the Soap and Glory powder (although I am not sure they have my shade). I am totally with you on loving my combination/oily skin during A/W because it behaves really well. I once tried the Nivea Face Primer ages ago and it was great but I think i tried it during Summer when my skin goes crazy. Maybe it is time I give it a go again....the UD setting spray needs to be sampled soon....xx

  2. This post is perfect as i have oily skin! I found the L'Oreal Foundation to be useless :( The KIKO Primer sounds amazing! Some of my favourites for oily skin are the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, NO7 Beautifully Matte Foundation which is actually one of my most popular posts! x
    Emma | Emmys Beauty Cave

    1. Awww thanks Emmy and I am glad you found it useful. The Kiko Primer is really amazing and perfect for oily skin. I have not tried the No 7 Beautifully Matte foundation yet but I wonder if they have my shade because it would count towards my Boots points when I purchase it... Thanks for our recommendations...xx

  3. This is ideal for me, thanks Liv! I've had my eye on that L'Oreal foundation for a couple of months now, and do you know what's putting me off it? The packaging. Funny, right? But the product itself seems brilliant so I might need to ignore the packaging haha! I need to invest into a good primer, I've actually been looking at the Rimmel one! The primer I'm currently using is the No.7 Instant Illusions, which is quite good, but it's so small! And oh Nars, that foundation seems great and the bottle is ever so gorgeous..xx

    Jasmine ||

    1. Awww I am glad to hear it's ideal for you. You need to try the L'Oreal foundation as it is my current fav foundation at the moment. The packaging does seem a little annoying but on the plus side, it is very compact and can fit into your makeup bag. I have not experienced any spillage or wastage from it because it dispenses really well. I keep seeing No 7 pop up on various post and I may give it a well deserved try again. and yes NARS is the

  4. I really want to order the L'Oreal foundation from the US but even then I'm scared I'll get the wrong shade haha, the UK one I have is an awful match! The Body Shop Vitamin C primer and the LRP gel sunscreen are both on my 'to try' list :) xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    1. Urgggh Tell me about it!! It was a huge risk buying this online but I watched a couple of YouTube videos and I just took a risk. Why they don't have more shades in the UK drug stores I would never know!! It's pretty annoying. However, it is such an amazing foundation and I know you would absolutely love it...sometimes I even skip using a powder. Body Shop Vit C Primer and LRP Gel Sunscreen is amazeballs...xx


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