+ Makeup

BPGP: The Matte Face

For years, dewy skin was in.  Recently, magazine articles and runway shows have focused on a matte finish foundation for your makeup.  So how do I achieve the perfect matte makeup look?

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 12.11.36 AM

Foundation.  I have combination/oily skin, so even matte foundations look dewy by 3:00PM.  A college friend once asked me, “How do you get your makeup to look wet?”  Overactive sebaceous glands are my secret weapon.  But I digress…

Stay Matte Oil Free Foundation from Clinique ($23) gives me all day wear with a finish that stays matte even in humid weather.  It has moderate coverage so you don’t look overly made up, but you can layer it if need be.  I prefer to apply it with a buffer brush, mixing it with my primer for smoother application.  I just set it with a powder and go on about my day knowing my skin will stay matte without touchups.

If you’re looking for a drugstore alternative, I’ve heard good things about L’Oreal Dream Matte Mousse ($9).

Concealer.  What most women don’t know, and I only recently learned, a woman needs two concealers: one for her blemishes and imperfections that’s heavy enough to stick to skin, and a lighter, liquid concealer for the under-eye area.  Why?  Because liquid concealer will run right off a blemish, and heavier, cream concealer will cake on delicate under-eye skin.

You learn something new every day if you’re not careful.

I tried Miracle Skin Transformer Concealer ($36) for the first time this week and I like it a lot.  I apply it with a flat concealer brush in a triangle under my eyes, and even though I can still see a hint of circle, it really brightens my eye and makes me look more awake.  I think getting perfect coverage is a matter of discovering exactly how much I need to apply.

Need a drugstore alternative?  I like the NYX Concealer Wand for $5, but a number of readers swear by Maybelline Age Rewind concealer ($9).

So will you be rocking the matte look this summer/fall?  Or are you all about natural and dewy finishes?



  1. K says:

    Very interesting about two concealers. How have I gone my whole life without knowing that? It makes perfect sense though.

    June 13, 2013/Reply
  2. kc says:

    Love that concealer. I’ve used Clinique Stay Matte before, but I always felt like it settled in the wrinkles in my forehead and made them unnecessarily noticible (I’m 30). Have you had issues with this or do you have tips on avoiding it? I liked the foundation other than that issue.

    June 13, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      It settles a bit, but if you use a setting powder with silicone like Makeup Forever’s, you can avoid a lot of that. https://ow.ly/m0Dq3

      June 13, 2013/Reply
  3. Amanda says:

    Perfectly timed post. I was hoping that more people would post comments with more oily-skin products and tips… I’m 30 and still looking for ways to appear matte and fresh all summer, or really year round.

    Any other tips for keeping shiny skin under control? Or is there an older post that addresses this? Thanks!

    June 13, 2013/Reply
  4. Prague says:

    If I’d ever figured out what “dewy” meant, I’d have not tried so hard to stay matte the past decade or so….

    June 13, 2013/Reply
  5. A says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a fan of matte foundation. I think its very aging (I’m 26)

    June 13, 2013/Reply
  6. BN says:

    How do you mix your foundation and primer? Do you use a palate or your hand, etc?

    Thanks so much — regardless of what was “in,” I have battled oily (ahem, *dewy*) skin since I was 13, so this is great info.

    I know you love your NARS, but I recently started using Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector (https://www.sephora.com/ever-matte-poreless-priming-perfector-P378017?skuId=1495209). It’s AH-mazing. I dont have time to use it everyday (we wont talk about how I do my makeup in the car 3 days or more a week), but when I do, I notice a significant difference around 4pm 🙂

    June 13, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      On the back of my hand. I don’t want to clean the palette after each use.

      June 13, 2013/Reply
    • Vivian says:

      I also think Becca Ever-Matte is amazing, but I find that if I use liquid foundation over it I will break out. So I reserve it for days on which I use very little face make up.

      June 15, 2013/Reply
      • Vivian says:

        FYI I have a very oily t zone but do not break out easily.

        June 15, 2013/Reply
  7. em says:

    For oily-prone chicks who need minimal coverage – highly recommend Jouer Matte Moisture Tint SPF 15. Lasts all day in DC humidity for me, along with a light mineral setting powder (Laura Mercier or MAC).

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  8. Maharani says:

    I’ll stay with dewy as, while I have been lucky and have few lines, I am 58, and in my opinion, matte is aging and only works for the young, as do most makeup and clothing trends.

    June 15, 2013/Reply