How to Achieve a Dewy Glow When You Have Oily Skin

Angelica Di Guglielmo


It seems like everywhere we turn, models and celebrities are showing off gorgeous, radiant skin that looks flawless and healthy all the time. How do they do it? Do these people not produce oils or something? If you have oily or combination skin, you understand the struggle of looking overly shiny pretty much 24/7. As much as you want to have that beautiful glow, it’s just not practical when you look like a greaseball within an hour of putting on your makeup. Dewy foundations? No, thanks. Highlighters? No way. All you’re probably thinking of is matte, matte, and more matte. But actually, with a few little tricks and a bit more maintenance, you can pull off that stunning, dewy finish in a flash. Check out our tips below to get that beautiful, just-back-from-the-beach, lit-from-within glow.

1. Mattifying primer
For all you oily skinned girls, the key to getting a gorgeous, dewy glow is to keep shine in check. In this case, a good mattifying primer is crucial. It might take a bit of experimenting to discover the perfect one, but once you find it, you’re as good as gold. Apply it to any areas where you tend to get shiny throughout the day. We recommend MAC’s Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone for all-day oil control.

MORE: 6 Ways to Make Your Makeup Last Longer

2. Apply a matte foundation mixed with a luminizer.
The same principle of keeping oil in check applies here, as well. That’s why you’ll want to use a matte foundation, like the L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation, as it keeps oil at bay. However, what you can do to be fresh faced and still stay shine free is mix in a bit of a liquid luminizer, such as Revlon’s PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator, with the foundation. Keep in mind that anything that has a radiant finish will emphasize pores. So if that’s one of your issues, keep the dewiness concentrated on the outer portions of your face and mattify the center.

3. Apply foundation with a damp Beautyblender.
If you want dewy skin, using a Beautyblender is the way to go. This egg shaped sponge has a pointed tip, perfect for getting into all the nooks and crannies of your face. But what makes it so unique is that you use it wet. Run it under the faucet for a few seconds and then ring it out until it’s damp. It will almost triple in size and have a light and fluffy texture. The damp sponge prevents foundation from looking cakey and heavy and adds moisture back into the skin, blending product out seamlessly and leaving a beautiful, radiant finish behind.

MORE: Should You Be Using a Washcloth?

4. Cream bronzers and blush
Cream products are one of the easiest way to get a glowing finish to the skin. Apply a cream bronzer around the perimeter of the face and a cream blush to the apples of your cheeks before powdering. We love the e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Cream for a quick and easy 2-in-1 product. If you’re scared that creams will wear off during the day, keep reading until the end for another tip that will ensure they stay in place.

5. Powder in strategic areas.
Once again, the key to achieving radiant skin is to not look overly shiny. Use a mattifying powder only in the areas where you get particularly oily–this is usually the center of the face. A neat trick is to apply the powder with the damp Beautyblender you just used for your foundation. The moisture in the sponge helps the product melt into the skin, eliminating that overly powdery look you can sometimes get. And ass always, keep blotting sheets and powder on hand for touch ups throughout the day.

6. Loads of highlighter
Powder highlighters are perfect for all you oily skinned gals. Apply them only to the high points of the face–the tops of the cheekbones, cupid’s bow and a tiny bit on the bridge of the nose. This will attract light to the face in all the right areas, giving you that radiant finish. Again, avoid areas that are overly textured or have larger pores, as highlighters will emphasize them. Our holy grail highlighting powder is TheBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer.

7. Setting Spray
Setting sprays are your best friend, trust us. They lock in the makeup and basically do the work of a setting powder without that cakey finish. And those cream products you were worrying about coming off? Setting sprays will ensure they stay put. Spritz a generous amount all over your face and let it dry for makeup that wears extra-long throughout the day. We love the Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray for its ability to control oil and keep your skin looking great all day.