Reader Question: Oily Skin, Foundation, and Redness

A reader asks a question about oily skin, foundation, and redness on A Greater Gorgeous!

Hi there! :) Love the Blog, I was just wondering if you had any foundation recommendations for someone with very yellow undertones, and very oily skin, my skin is fairly even my only concerns are redness on my cheeks, and large pores on and around my nose. The price does not really matter, drugstore or department. Just wondering if you had any leads? Or a few examples ranging from different brands and price ranges, Id really appreciate it! Alot of foundations make me look pink. :( Thanks!! <3 :)

Hi! So, a) thanks for the question, and b) thanks for reading/loving the blog! It sounds like you've got a several-part question, so I'll address them each separately.

Foundation Undertones

Picking a foundation is always really dicey. I mean, not always - if you're in a department store or a high-end makeup store like Sephora or Ulta where you can try things and people can help you, it's not as difficult. But let's be honest: we all would love to find the perfect foundation in our local drugstore. Since most drugstores don't give you the option to test anything out, this can be more difficult.

The first thing that you need to understand about your skin is what sorts of undertones you have. If your veins appear to be blue, your skin is cool; if your veins appear to be greenish, your skin is warm. This is crucial to choosing the right foundation regardless of the shade! Warm foundation on cool skin, or vice versa, will never look natural. If you look good in blues & greens, you probably have cool skin; if you look good in yellows, reds, and oranges, you probably have warm skin. Here's a chart to show you the difference. And you know what? You might be right in the middle - you might have neutral skin, and look good in everything. Reader, it sounds like you have warm skin.

The good thing is that most (if not all) makeup lines make shades in the cool range and the warm range; it's just a matter of finding it. Your best bet is to choose from a line with lots of shades - you're more likely to find one that fits your skin. L'Oreal True Match foundation (also in a more luminous finish, True Match Lumi, though I wouldn't recommend this for oily skin) has a really wide range of colors and is a great foundation. For serious. I've also heard that MakeupForever HD Foundation has a very wide range of colors, though I haven't tried it (perk: on, it tells you exactly what color skin each color is for when you hover over a shade). In drugstores, a lot of cosmetics companies have some sort of guide to help you choose a shade & show you which colors are warmer and which are cooler; if you're shopping high-end there's no good way to tell, ask for help!

Oily Skin Foundations

Foundation choice is absolutely crucial for your skin type. Choosing the right foundation for your oily, dry, or combination skin makes the difference between a gorgeous finish and an oily (or flakey) mess!

If you have oily skin, you want to avoid anything with a "glow" or "luminous" finish. You get that on your own with your skin's oil production, and anything designed to make your skin glow will only make you look more oily. These types of foundations are meant for people with dry, dull skin. Oil-control foundation is always your best friend, like Neutrogena Shine Control Makeup or bareMinerals Matte Foundation. Anything with "matte" in the title is something that will help your skin.

My favorite foundation right now is Revlon ColorStay whipped foundation, which comes in a pot. Shade choice is super difficult, unfortunately, but if you can find the right color, it's a great foundation for oily skin.

Most importantly, to keep your foundation looking good on your oily skin, you need a great primer and a setting powder. Always. Every day. I can't say enough about Benefit Stay Flawless 15-hour primer, or the makeup artist's classic Smashbox Photo Finish primer. And any pressed or loose powder dusted over your face (or at least in your T-zone) will help your foundation last.

Large Pores & Redness

Unfortunately, large pores and oily skin go together. What you need is to fill in your pores with a product that will smooth and reduce them before you put on your makeup. Otherwise, your foundation will settle into your pores and make them even more visible! Try Benefit POREfessional or Too Faced Primed & Poreless (available in cream and powder form).

As for the redness, there are two ways to look at it: one, it's a stubborn discoloration that you want to cover up; two, it's a natural flush you can use to your advantage. I don't know how much redness you have or where exactly it is, but if you're really interested in covering it up, you'll need two things. The first is color-correction. Green is opposite red on the color wheel and therefore will cancel out redness. You can try using a green primer, like Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting foundation primer, or a green concealer (nothing too heavy, as it's on your cheeks!) like Physicians Formula Conceal Rx Physicians Strength Concealer. It's scary to put something green on your face, but if you don't make it too heavy, the right amount of product will combine with the red to make neutral. If you're green, you've used too much, or you've used it on an area that didn't have redness.

The second thing you'll need if you want to cover up your redness is a full-coverage foundation. Don't be afraid to add a little extra to the particular spots where you need to cover the redness, but avoid going crazy so you don't look cakey.

My suggestion, though? Use it to your advantage. Sam & Nic Chapman, the two sister makeup artists who make up Pixiwoo (I'm obsessed), both have red cheeks and I think it makes them look youthful & beautiful! I'm always a fan of using & enhancing rather than covering up.

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