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9 Editor-Approved Tips for Applying Makeup on Combination Skin

Your oily T-zone is no match for these tips.
August 22, 2022

If you find that your face feels dry in some parts and oily in others, that may be a sign that you have combination skin. Putting together a makeup and skin care routine for combination skin has its own set of challenges because it needs to be tailored to your skin’s specific blend of needs. Most of the time, it just takes some pro tips and tricks for applying makeup on combination skin. So take notes, as we share nine makeup tips to help you get flawless, long-lasting makeup for your combination skin.

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1. Double-Cleanse Before Applying Makeup

Before applying makeup, ensure that your combination skin is clean and prepped by giving it a double-cleanse. Start with a gentle cleansing option like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types to purify the skin and remove any impurities.

Just saturate a cotton pad with the micellar water and wipe it across your face. Then finish with a gentle, cream cleanser like the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser to remove excess oils without stripping the skin.

Editor’s tip: Combination skin can sometimes have a dull appearance due to various causes, such as dead skin cell build-up and dehydration. To fix this, opt for a gentle scrubbing cleanser like the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser as needed, to exfoliate and reveal brighter, smoother skin.

2. Apply Water-Based Moisturizer Before Makeup 

After cleansing, use a lightweight, mattifying moisturizer with SPF to prep your skin for the day and for your makeup. A lightweight formulation is key because combo skin still needs moisture  some face creams can make the oily parts of your skin feel even slicker. We love the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift  Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream for its non-greasy finish that quickly absorbs into the skin while visibly plumping fine lines.

3. Use the Right Primer

Narrowing down the right primer can be tough when you have combination skin, so opt for a blurring, mattifying primer for combination skin across the board.  We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Lock Makeup Primer as it helps to smooth lines, hide pores and banish imperfections with a matte finish, making it perfect for combination skin.

4. Consider Using Two Primers

As we’ve mentioned, combination skin is both oily and dry so one primer that only addresses one of those concerns could be why your makeup doesn’t last throughout the day. Tend to different areas of your skin before actually applying your foundation by using a mattifying primer in the T-zone while using a hydrating primer like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Makeup Primer in the dry areas of your skin like the cheeks.

This way, you get a smooth canvas that’s primed to address all of your skin needs. The right primers can lead to better makeup application and help your makeup last throughout the day. 

5. Find the Right Foundation

Dealing with both oily and dry skin simultaneously can make it particularly tough to identify the right foundation finish. A matte finish is always the safest option for combination skin, but, if you have combination skin with more dry spots than oily spots, you can adjust. You don’t have to stick to matte makeup as long as you have a balance with your other products. For example, you could use a hydrating foundation if you use a mattifying primer. 

The experts at L'Oréal Paris advise if you lean more towards having oily skin try a demi-matte finish. Consider a hydrating foundation only for skin that's on the drier side. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Matte Foundation is perfect for combination skin that leans oily because it has a demi-matte finish, a natural matte slip that doesn’t look flat or feel dry. 

As for hydrating foundations, the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24-Hour Fresh Wear Foundation and the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup 4-in-1 Tinted Face Balm Foundation both have a buildable, radiant finish with a non-comedogenic formula so they’re perfect for combination skin that’s on the drier side.

If you prefer using a powder foundation, look no further than the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear in a Powder. This long-lasting powder blurs skin with a natural matte and full-coverage finish that won’t dry out the skin or get cakey. It’s a stellar find for all skin types, especially combination skin and since it’s non-comedogenic, you never have to worry about clogged pores. Plus, you can throw the compact in your bag for easy touch-ups throughout the day.

6. Opt for Translucent Powder Over Pressed Powder

Setting powder can be a hit or miss if you have dry areas so the key is to find the right one. A translucent powder is lighter and won’t get cakey so consider it a great option for combination skin that won’t emphasize dry areas. We love the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder as the translucent formula helps to blur fine lines and leave the skin with a soft-matte finish.

7. Use Less Highlighter

If your combination skin looks shiny by the end of the day, opt for less highlighter. Instead, focus on highlighting your eyes and brow bone for an awake and glowing look. If you have combination skin that’s dry around the cheeks, try a liquid highlighter like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer, use a light hand and lightly dab it onto your cheekbones. If you prefer a powder highlighter, try the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette. Use a small highlighting brush to dust the powder across your cheekbones and reach for a small eyeshadow brush to highlight the inner corners of your eyes and the brow bone.

8. Opt for Long-wearing, Sweatproof Formulas

Long-wearing, waterproof, sweatproof and transfer-proof formulas are always a good thing to look for if you want your makeup to last longer on your combination skin. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer offers 24-hour wear with a waterproof, sweatproof and transfer-proof formula that melts into the skin so it really complements all skin types.


Editor's tip: When it comes to blush, the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Radiant Satin Blush, will help enhance your cheekbones with a natural and luminous flush of color without adding slickness or drying out your skin. 

9. Finish Makeup With Setting Spray

Combination skin can really benefit from using a matte setting spray like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray. This formula is oil-free, non-comedogenic and helps to keep your makeup fresh all day long without settling into fine lines.

Next: How to Wear Foundation With Glasses

Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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