How to not have foundation sliding off your face after five minutes

Foundations for Oily Skinned Babes

Part One: Top 3 High End Liquid Foundations

foundations all

If you have oily skin like me, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that if you take care of it, you’re less likely to look like a leather handbag by the time you’re fifty. The bad news is that you probably have yet to find a single item of makeup that will actually stick to your face.

Today I’m going to take you through the pros and cons of my Top 3 foundation picks. Unlike most people, I don’t have a “holy grail” perfect foundation, because it kind of depends what my skin is choosing to do on any given day. That’s why I keep a selection available. Nevertheless, I will tell you which ones I reach for most often on each skin occasion. Hopefully this will help you narrow down what might work for you.

Nars – All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation


The Good: Nars ADLWF (what a catchy acronym!) lasts very well throughout the day, even on the T-Zone. When you first apply it, it looks like you’ve rubbed an eraser over your face and soft touched the whole lot. I think this is largely because their colour options are SO good. Quite often foundations aren’t truly neutral toned, but this one is (I use the colour Deauville), which means that it actually manages to look natural and blend. The coverage is probably about medium, which is a plus in my book because most foundations that purport to be “full” coverage end up looking like I dunked my face in a cheesecake. No issues with that here!

The Bad: This stuff seems to rub off SUPER easy. I mean, don’t get me wrong, most foundations do to a certain extent, but I notice it more with this one than with others. It won’t come off your face because of oil or sweat, but if you actually TOUCH your skin, it’s kind of game over. This is an issue for me because I always rest my chin in my hand when I’m in meetings and the like (damn you terrible posture). Quite often, by the end of the day I’ll find that I’ve accidentally left a weird patch missing on my chin and the tip of my nose. Furthermore, because I wear glasses, the way it rubs off around the bridge of my nose is just gross. Again, this happens a lot, but it seems to be worse with the NARS. I suspect this is because it doesn’t really seem to SINK IN to the skin – which is good, because it means it won’t block your pores and break you out, but is bad because hello glasses marks.

The Ugly: The finish is problematic for me. Because it has to be applied with your fingers (not worth trying with a brush or a sponge – the ingredients are apparently activated by the heat from your fingers and I speak from experience in saying that it’ll slide straight off if you try to apply it by other means) I just find that I don’t get the same smooth look I would with other foundations.

I reach for it… when my skin is relatively clear and I’m going out for an evening event. This way, I don’t have time to accidentally rub it off my face. If you don’t wear glasses and are disciplined about not touching your face you could easily wear this daily. The only reason I don’t use it when I’m

breaking out is because of the “use your fingers” thing. The coverage is more than good enough; I just feel weird about touching my face when I’m in breakout mode.

Laura Mercier – Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation

laura mercier

The Good: This Laura Mercier foundation has the most gorgeous finish. I lean towards Matte finish foundations because of the oiliness, but sometimes the end result can be the whole cheesecake thing I mentioned before. Not so with this foundation – it just looks airbrushed and wonderful and and and *dreamy sigh*… I could go on forever about the finish here guys. I just freaking love it. Their colour selection is also excellent, especially for us pale skinned ladies. It lasts well throughout the day, and although you’ll still get the rub off problem I mentioned with NARS, it’s not as bad. Coverage is medium, but buildable.

The Bad: Now this is very much speculation but…. This was my go-to foundation for almost a year. Throughout that year, I was consistently dealing with adult acne and breakouts. When I changed foundations, my skin calmed down. Now those of you with science minds will know this is correlation not causation. There were a lot of factors that went into my skin clearing up, not least of which was a round of antibiotics and a different skin care routine. However, I can’t help but wonder if the foundation played a part too. Something to consider.

The Ugly: Can be difficult to blend as it dries fast, so be careful to check out around your chin and neck.

I reach for it… when I want a quick and easy flawless look. I found it was appropriate for any occasion.

Estee Lauder – Double Wear Foundation

estee lauder

The Good: This foundation has the best coverage of the lot. It’s easy to build up to full, though because I like a more natural look I tend to blend it down to a medium. The finish is matte but not so matte that it looks unnatural. No matter what the weather, it seems to stick firmly in place and rarely needs touching up. Even with my stupid face touching, the Double Wear doesn’t really shift. Really, what more could you ask for?

The Bad: I don’t know if the lady who colour matched me (supposedly professionally) was lighting challenged or if this thing oxidises, but either way the colour is off. Suffice to say this makes me a pretty sad panda. When I first apply it, it seems okay (in my dodgy bathroom lights), but throughout the day I notice that it seems to have a pink tinge to it. Similarly, if I’ve put it on my hand before picking it up with a brush, I notice the spot on my hand (I wasn’t kidding about the fact that this thing stays all day – the stuff that goes on my hand stays there even if I wash my hands frequently! Nuts!) does the same and gets darker and pinker. When I use up my bottle, I’m going to try getting colour matched somewhere else to see if it helps, but I suspect it’s oxidising. When you’re paying as much as you have to for this foundation, you kind of tend to hope it won’t do that. Sad face.

The Ugly: There really isn’t anything to say here. Apart from what I mentioned under bad, there’s absolutely nothing ugly going on here. I can see why it’s so darn popular.

I reach for it… every. Single. Day.

At the end of the day, foundations are trial and error. Often that trial and error involves a lot of facepalming and epic fails. Hopefully one of these will work for you, but if not, hang in there! Sooner or later when you’ve sent yourself into poverty by trying everything out on the market, you’re bound to find something 😉


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