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How to Apply Makeup to Dry vs. Oily Skin


Whether your skin changes with the seasons, or you have year-round dry or oily skin, we have some helpful tips for combating both dryness and excess oil. Follow these tips to keep your skin looking and feeling soft, supple, and ready for makeup glam that will have you looking and feeling fresh all day long! 

Dry Skin Prep

Dry skin can leave you with flaky skin that you don’t want to show off to the world, and we’ve all totally been there. Here are some essential tips for maintaining hydrated skin from start to finish! 


If they aren’t already, gentle cleansers and hyaluronic acid are meant to be your BFFs to give you hydrated and happy looking skin. To prevent dryness:

  • Use a gentle gel cleaner—try to stay away from beaded or exfoliating cleansers as your regular go-to, as they can strip your skin of additional moisturize and dry it out even more.

  • Apply a heavier, cream-based moisturizer and/or hyaluronic acid to your skin to plump and hydrate the skin, applying all over the face thoroughly.

  • Apply a hydrating makeup primer to prep your skin for smooth, makeup application.

  • Finish with a hydrating face mist for additional moisturization.


Cream-based products will be your besties—they feature hydrating ingredients in their formulas to keep your skin happy even after you’ve applied makeup. For smooth, makeup application:

  • Apply concealer all over the face to create a base. Use a lighter concealer shade under your eyes to brighten them, and a darker shade to bronze or contour the skin.

  • Use cream blush to add color your cheeks while maintaining hydration.

  • Finish with a translucent powder to set your under eye makeup, and lightly dust over any other areas that may produce shine throughout the day.

If you love these tips, check out Niara’s tutorial on skin prep and makeup application tips for dry skin!

Products used:
Etna Concealer
Ellsworth Concealer
Mauve Lip + Cheek
Shine Control Powder

Oily Skin Prep

Locking in a solid skincare and makeup routine can be tough when you deal with excess oil and shine. These key steps will help you to keep your oily skin under control and keep your makeup in check (and set!) throughout the day.


  • Start with a cleanser that features active exfoliating ingredients to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and excess oil.
  • Did you know that not getting enough moisture in/on your skin can actually produce more oil? Apply an oil-free and lightweight, water-based moisturizer—just a dime-size will do!
  • Apply a mattifying primer to your skin, focusing on areas that are most prone to oil, such as the t-zone or chin.
  • Apply a translucent powder to your bare face to absorb any excess oil on your skin. This will also help your makeup to better adhere to your skin during application.
  • Use either cream or powder-based base products with matte finishes to ensure that your makeup will stay in place and keep excess shine at bay.
  • Use an oil-free, powder-based bronzer and/or highlighter when contouring and highlighting the face to keep oil buildup to a minimum. 
  • Set your concealer and/or foundation with translucent powder. We recommend keeping your Shine Control Powder on hand to touch up any oil or shine you may produce throughout the day.

Check out Niara’s tutorial for skin prep and makeup application tips for oily skin!

Products used:
Etna Concealer
Shine Control Powder

Want more tips for your skin type? Check out our blog that covers dry vs. oily products to love or leave!

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