After trying out various BB creams, I settled on the Lioele Triple the Solution BB Cream and ZA Total Hydration BB Cream, and I stuck with them for a good 5 years without purchasing any new foundations or bb creams.
I have finally broken that streak because I have heard so many good things about some of these foundations and the makeup hype is real. So, here is my list of 10 foundations (and BB creams/cushions) that I recommend for oily skin, ranked in accordance of preference.
About me: NC20, Asian, neutral undertones. Oily combination skin - oily T-zone and normal on the sides of my cheeks, occasional dry flaky skin on my t-zone area. I live in a hot and humid climate where it averages at 31˚C and 80-90% humidity.
All products were tested with Kiss NY Pro Touch Mattifying Primer underneath only. No addiontal moisturiser, serum, sunscreen, powder, bronzer, blush, highlight, etc. used. This primer is a very generic primer that claims to give a mattifying effect. No other mentions of pore minimizing, hydration or color correcting.
0-1: no coverage
1-2: blurs pores
2-3: blurs pores, evens out skintone
3-4: blurs pores, evens out skintone, reduce redness
4-5: blurs pores, evens out skintone, reduce redness, hides blemishes
1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF 10 1oz/30ml (2N1 Desert Beige) $68
Oil Control: 5/5
Oil control isn't perfect but it is pretty darn good such that I almost do not need to blot at all. I don't think there's a product out there that can make your skin feel and look fresh as if you've washed your face continuously. I gave this a 5/5 because it keeps me looking matte and I don't ever get shiny when I use this. I mean, I still get oily and I do blot but I'm not shiny at all, which is really mind-blowing.
This particular formula is meant for oily skin so if you have dry skin, try the Water Fresh version instead.
This is a really long wearing formula. It claims up to 15 hours of wear and I haven't tried it out for that long, but I have had it on for 12 hours and it did a great job in holding up without breaking up or separating on my face. There is no transferring as well when blotting but it might show some minor transfer towards 10 hours of wear.
The downsides to this foundation is that it doesn't come with a pump so it is very unhygienic and not easy to control the amount of product to dispense. Also, it is super pricey but definitely worth every penny.
2. Catrice Cosmetics HD Liquid Coverage Foundation 1.01oz/30ml (030 Sand Beige) $11
Oil Control: 4.7/5
My favourite drugstore foundation at the moment is this one. Unfortunately, it only comes in 4 shades catered towards light and fair skin. 030 Sand Beige is a perfect match for me. The coverage is also at a buildable medium-full, with natural pore coverage and great concealing properties. This comes with a dropper tip but the texture is more of a thick liquid so I think a pump would have been more suitable. I like to apply this with a brush to achieve higher coverage. It dries and sets very quickly to a smooth matte finish, which feels very lightweight on the skin. It doesn't contain any SPF which is a con to me.
Oil control on this is really good too. At 4-5 hours, cheeks and nose look a bit dewy but I can choose not to blot. However, I still like to blot it down to a matte finish and it holds up really well again for another 3-4 hours before a bit of dewiness shows. I never really get shiny unless I'm perspiring. So, I'm pretty sure I can go 7-8 hours without blotting if I really wanted to.
Since this has a matte finish, I'm not too sure if it would suit dry skin.
This foundation claims to last up to 24 hours. I have worn it for up to 12 hours only and depending on what I have done for the day, this foundation can last those 12 hours. There is minimal to no transfer when blotting but the foundation doesn't move or separate on my skin otherwise.
If you've read my Fenty vs Catrice post, you'd know that the ingredients found in this foundation are also found in the Fenty one, but Fenty has some extra ingredients. They are pretty close dupes but I personally prefer this one. Nonetheless, Fenty is next up on my list!
3. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation 1.08oz/32ml (210) $34
Oil Control: 4.6/5
Longevity: 4.5/5 (transfers slightly)
Rihanna's beauty line has received a lot of positive feedback from the beauty community due to the massive 40 shades available in her foundation line and the formula which is catered towards oily skin. I received a sample in 210 which is slightly darker than my skin tone, so I'm thinking my true match is around 190. This comes in a frosted glass bottle with a pump. The texture is a runny thin liquid that dries and sets quickly to a satin matte finish. I do find that it has a slight tackiness to it. It has medium-full buildable coverage and it definitely blurs out my pores like a filter while still looking natural. I like to apply it with a brush or fingers for maximum coverage.
I do not think the oil control is as good as the Catrice foundation but it still holds up really well. The tackiness can start to feel a little uncomfortable once it starts mixing in with your natural face oils. I start looking dewy at 3-4 hours and I blot at 4-5 hours.
I do think there is some level of hydration to this foundation because of the satin finish. With that being said, it still clings onto dry patches like any other foundation does.
This foundation does transfer slightly when blotting. However, it does not separate or break up on my face as I wear it throughout the day. I have worn it for 12 hours and it held up all the way.
4. Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation 1oz/30ml (#365C Soft Beige) $5.99
Oil Control: 4.5/5
I initially got this in Nude Ivory but that was way too pale for me. A better match is Soft Beige. Anyway, there are a total of 20 shades to choose from. The consistency is a thin liquid and I like to take a bit on the back of my hand and use my fingers or a sponge to apply this. This gives me medium buildable coverage with good pore coverage. You get a decent amount of time to work with it and it dries to a matte finish with a tacky feeling.
Oil control is pretty good. I can get 3-4 hours of wear before looking dewy (but not shiny) and another 3-4 hours after blotting before the dewiness shows again.
Despite the tacky feeling that makes the foundation feel a bit heavier than the others so far, this is definitely catered towards oily skin as I did not sense any moisturizing properties while wearing it.
This foundation holds up really well with time. It doesn't separate or break up on my face and it does not transfer when I blot.
5. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless 1oz/30ml (120 Classic Ivory) $6-8
Oil Control: 4.5/5
Longevity: 4.5/5 (transfers slightly)
I had no idea that the shade range for this foundation was so wide! There are 40 shades but I'm pretty sure they did not launch all of them in one go like Fenty did. The shades used to come in increments of 5 - 110, 115, 120, 125... but now they have some new in-between shades like 112, 128, etc. The shade 120 Classic Ivory is a perfect match for me. Similar to the Estee Lauder foundation, this doesn't come with a pump or dispenser of any sort. The consistency is a thin liquid and I like to apply it with a brush. This dries and sets quickly to a powdery matte finish and gives me medium coverage. It does cover my pores pretty well.
Oil control is similar to the Wet N Wild Photo Focus foundation. I get shiny at 3-4 hours so I will need to blot at that point. It continues to hold up for another 3-4 hours before I get shiny again.
There is a dewy finish version of this foundation if you have dry skin but this is definitely for oily skin. There is no form of hydration in this foundation and it continues to stay matte.
This foundation does transfer slightly when I blot but it doesn't separate or break up on my face as I wear it through the day. At the end of the day, most of it is still very much on my face.
6. Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control SPF 50+/PA+++ 15gx2 (#21) $30
Oil Control: 5/5
Longevity: 3.5/5 (transfers and separates after 6 hours)
This is the only BB cushion in this list and it is the second BB cushion that I've tried so far. There are about 7 shades available in the Pore Control range and the shade #21 is quite a good match for me apart from it being slightly light (but not pale or washed out). The cushion has a watery thin consistency and you're supposed to use the cushion to pat it on. I find that the cushion picks up too much product and it doesn't blend the product into my skin very well. Plus, it doesn't reach into the corners of my face very well. As such, I like to use my fingers instead. The product doesn't spread very well so you have to work in sections to blend it out. For a BB cushion, this has pretty high coverage and it completely erases my pores into non-existence. I am actually obsessed with how it looks.
Oil control is also exceptionally good. I can get 6 hours of shine-free wear with no sign of dewiness. I do get some oil bubbles on my nose but my cheeks and the rest of my face is completely matte.
There are 2 other versions that dry skin can try out but this has no hydration at all. In fact, I think it kind of dries out my skin a little because it starts looking cakey on my nose and chin after 6 hours.
This does transfer when I blot. The BB cushion starts separating and breaking up on my face after 6 hours and if you touch it, you can clearly see the cushion sliding around on the face. However, it doesn't blend back into the skin so by this point, you can either remove everything or just live with it. I will need to experiment with wearing a moisturizer with this cushion to see if I can fix the separation issues.
7. VDL Perfecting Last Foundation SPF 30/PA++ 1.01oz/30ml (V02) $20
Oil Control: 4.3/5
I tried this out because I heard it was supposed to be a dupe for the Estee Lauder DW foundation and that the oil control was good, but it didn't live up to my expectations. It's still a pretty good foundation. There are 10 shades available but I mostly see only 4 available. They are catered towards light/fair skin and I got the shade V02 Ivory Beige. It is slightly light on my skin but it's still alright. Koreans like having super fair skin and I'm okay with that as long as it isn't ghostly. This does have a pump on it and it has a thick liquid consistency. I like applying it with my fingers or a brush. This gives me medium coverage with average pore coverage. It doesn't cover my pores very well but it does minimize some of them. You do get some time to blend everything out. This dries down to a smooth matte finish.
Oil control isn't as good as all the previous foundations that I have listed so far. I get 2-3 hours of wear before my cheeks show some shine so I definitely need to blot down with this.
I did not sense any form of hydration with this foundation so it is best suited for oily skin and might be too drying for dry skin.
This foundation doesn't transfer when I blot and it doesn't separate or break up on my face throughout the day.
8. Lioele Triple the Solution BB Cream SPF 30/PA++ 1.69oz/50ml (Natural Beige) $20-30
Oil Control: 4/5
Longevity: 3.5/5 (Transfers easily)
Like I mentioned at the top of my post, I have been using this BB cream for 5 years and I loved it for the duration that I used it. However, after trying out so many other foundations, I have come to realize that this isn't the best for my skin. I still do enjoy the SPF and skincare benefits that come with this BB cream. There is only one shade available and it leans towards a natural beige which suits me quite well. This has a creamy consistency which I like to blend in with my fingers. This gives me medium buildable coverage but it doesn't fully cover darker spots or big pimples. Pore coverage is pretty good. You get a good amount of time to work with it and it dries to a satin matte finish.
Oil control is pretty average. For the kind of climate I live in, this stays matte for 2-3 hours before I start to look shiny and feel oily.
The BB cream does have moisturizing properties and hyaluronic acid so it is suitable for normal or dryer skin. I think this would perform better on my skin in dryer climates. With the moisturizing aspect, this BB cream can start to feel sticky on my skin if I start perspiring.
This does transfer pretty easily when I scratch my face or when I blot. However, I have had many full days of wear with this and a tiny amount of it does remain on my face.
9. ZA Total Hydration 12-in-1 BB Cream SPF 43/PA+++ 0.7oz/20g (Natural Beige) $11
Oil Control: 4/5
Longevity: 3.5/5 (Transfers easily)
This is another BB cream that I have been using for a very long time. It is only available in one natural beige shade that leans more pink toned. The coverage on this is the lightest so far and would look best if your skin is already really good. It does blur out pores but if you need more coverage to cover blemishes, then this will not work. This has a creamy consistency that I like to apply with my fingers. You get a decent amount of time to work with it and it dries to a satin matte finish.
Oil control is also pretty so-so. I get shiny at 2-3 hours because this is quite a hydrating BB cream. It performs better in drier climates and I like to take this along with me for traveling due to its small size. Overseas, it really prevents my skin from drying out and forming flakies.
This BB cream does transfer easily and it comes off very easily if I scratch my face or blot. However, I have worn this for many full days and I do have a tiny bit on my face at the end.
10. Etude House Double Lasting Foundation SPF 34/PA++ 1.05oz/30g (N04 Neutral Beige) $18
Oil Control: 3/5
Longevity: 2/5 (Separates and transfers)
This is supposedly a dupe to the Estee Lauder DW foundation as well but I did not find it to be so. There are 12 shades, mainly for light/fair skin and a couple of medium skin tones. I use the shade N04 Neutral Beige and it is slightly too light for me. I'm thinking 1-2 shades darker would work better for me. This does have a pump and the consistency is a watery liquid. I like using a brush or my fingers to apply this. It dries and sets quickly, giving me medium-full buildable coverage, good pore coverage and a matte finish.
The oil control is pretty bad for me. I get shiny within an hour. Subsequently, I will need to blot every 2 hours. With my Becca Velvet Blurring Primer and Innisfree No Sebum powder, I can prolong the oil control to 3 hours.
I'm thinking there might be some moisturizing properties to it because the oil control doesn't hold up well but I might be wrong.
I have only managed to wear this for a maximum of 6 hours because it starts to look really horrible. With just the Kiss NY primer, I get 3-4 hours of wear before the foundation starts separating and breaking up on my face. With the Becca primer and Innisfree powder, I can get 6 hours. The separation is really obvious because it looks very patchy on my oily areas - cheeks, nose, chin.
In essence, this foundation starts off beautiful and flawless but ends up in a hot mess. However, A LOT of people love this foundation and they do not seem to face these issues so I might just be an anomaly.
So, that wraps up the 10 foundations that I think you should try if you have oily skin. I'm definitely on the hunt and lookout for more foundations/bbs to try out and recommend. If you have any recommendations, I'd like to hear from you too!
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