A perfectly matte (but not flat) face of makeup was, until recently, one of my greatest aspirations. Oily skin has always been my personal jihad, my own superficial cross to bear. For as long as I can remember I’ve been carrying around blotting papers, beginning with the drugstore version stashed in my sixth-grade backpack to be used while cowering in a bathroom stall (so embarrassing, then, to be a shiny mess) and progressing to the bolder custom of patting my face with expensive “blotting linens” whenever and wherever I needed them—namely, on the subway platform in August, with people staring at me from across the track.
But all throughout my long-suffering pursuit of satiny skin, I never managed to find the ultimate product that kept my oily skin shine-free all day long. Not one! Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; the miracle panacea for this plight does not exist.
I’ve read enough about self-acceptance to know that you can come to acknowledge and embrace anything. The first thing to do is to just stop fighting it and go from there. Shockingly, this applies not only to matters of self-worth and unfortunate life circumstances but to your skin type, too. Once I started to make peace with my shiny face, I almost immediately started feeling better about it. And once I started paying closer attention, I noticed that having a little bit of sheen wasn’t even a bad thing. In fact, makeup artists were making a point of giving it to models on the runway. As in, it was the desired effect.
Shiny skin is “chic” for the reason dark circles are “chic”: because it’s yours, dammit, and there’s nothing hotter than being like, Yeah, you can see your reflection in my T-zone, so what? Shiny skin catches the light. Shiny skin makes you look like you just ran through a meadow like a Marc Jacobs perfume ad, or just returned from a long slog on your horse through the countryside. Want to know how to get dewy skin? Sweat. Don’t waste the summer layering on powders and wondering if you should just go home and wash your face and start all over again.
It’s true what they say: There’s a fine line between dewy skin, skin that glows, and skin that looks like you just stepped off the elliptical. Cross that line and free yourself.