Foundation is always a bit of a struggle for me – as someone with combination skin, sometimes it’s just easier not to try. I’ve recently had the chance to road-test two foundations tailored for oily skin, and I was pleasantly surprised! Here’s what I thought of them.
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Satin 24HR Makeup SPF 15 PA++ ($50 for 30 mL) is my new favourite high-coverage foundation. I’ve been wary of high-coverage foundations since wearing MAC Studio Tech clogged my skin, but Perfectly Satin has given me new hope.
Perfectly Satin is a liquid foundation slated to be good for oily/combination skin. The finish is satin – it’s matte, with a little bit of dimension to keep it looking natural, and surprisingly I didn’t really need a powder on top to keep it from oiling up. There are 7 shades available in Australia, and my NC25 skin matched well with Neutral Bisque.
I’ve found this foundation to be very forgiving – it applies smoothly with brushes, fingers and sponges, and works fine on my bare skin, sunscreen and over a water-based primer. By default it’s medium-to-heavy coverage, but it works well mixed with some moisturiser for lighter coverage, and it’s buildable to concealer-level coverage on blemishes. In fact, I found that I didn’t need concealer while wearing this, and I’ve used it as concealer on “bare skin” days. It’s very blendable. For the heaviness of the coverage, it feels quite light, and stays on for hours (through exercise!) without settling into lines or shifting.
The only drawbacks I can think of are the heaviness of the bottle, and the fact it might not work well for people with dry skin. I also wouldn’t mind higher SPF and PA values, but I never really expect to use foundation as my sole source of sun protection anyway. Otherwise, this foundation is fantastic! It’s Holy Grail status for me.
- excellent coverage (can be built to concealer level)
- easy to apply and blend
- flattering finish
- great oil control for oily skin (don’t need powder)
- doesn’t settle or shift
- hygienic pump packaging
- heavy bottle
- may be too drying for dry skin
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol,
Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, Nylon-12, Isododecane, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Alcohol Denat., Mica, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Boron Nitride, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Aluminum Dimyristate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Citric Acid, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dipropylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lauroyl Lysine, Lecithin,
Magnesium Sulfate, Pentylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Saccharide Isomerate, Silica, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Stearate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Zinc Glycyrrhetinate, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate. May contain +/-: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).
Nude by Nature Pressed Mineral Cover ($39.95 for 10 g) is the first powder foundation I’ve ever tried – to be honest, I should’ve tried ages ago, because what better to suppress shine than something completely dry? Unfortunately there are only 5 shades available – luckily, Medium is a pretty good match for my NC25 skin. The foundation comes in a sleek compact with a mirror and a sponge applicator, and for a limited time on the Nude by Nature website comes with a complimentary double sided pressed powder brush ($24.95) with a buffing end which is great for pressing the powder into the skin for problem areas.
As I expected, it does indeed stay matte for hours. The coverage is buildable and it isn’t very cakey – I did find that it does tend to get patchy and settle around my nose by the end of the day, and it rubs off easily. A setting spray or a good primer might help with this. The foundation does contain some moisturising ingredients (Cehami extract, Vitamin E, Avocado oil, Jojoba oil and Shea butter) and vitamin C (Kakadu plum extract), but I don’t think you’d apply enough to get that many benefits from them. Powder foundations tend to have less ingredients and are less likely to harbour bacteria, so this is a good option for sensitive skin.
- Feels lightweight
- Stays matte for hours
- Buildable coverage that can reach
- Pressed format is convenient and reduces fallout
- Sleek, portable packaging
- Only comes in 5 shades (will cover most people)
- Can get patchy
- Settles into folds
Ingredients: Magnesium Stearate, Lauroyl Lysine, Kaolin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Tapioca Starch Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Coco-Caprylate, Jojoba Esters, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Centipedia Cunninghamii (Cehami) Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Seed Oil. May contain +/- [Mica, CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77491 (Iron Oxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxide), CI 77499 (Iron Oxide), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77947 (Zinc Oxide)].
Do you have oily skin? What’s your favourite foundation? Let me know!
These products were provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.