It’s always surprising to us how so many people with oily skin don’t shop for products that will actually work for their skin type.
We know how easy it is to fall for product marketing hype, but once oily-skinned shoppers get past that, realize that only specific products are going to give them the results they desire.
Today we highlight the best drugstore foundation for oily skin types in both liquid and powder form, so if you’ve been searching for something to help keep the sebum at bay, you will find it here.
Liquid or Powder – Which Should I Choose?
We know that many with oily skin tend to shy away from powders since sebum usually dominates the T-zone in a few short hours, but the good news is that we found some great powders for you.
The only way to decide whether to opt for a liquid or a powder is by comparing the pros and cons of each one.
- Liquid. With a liquid foundation, you’ll most likely be able to achieve full coverage with just one application, or you can build up the coverage if the solution is light.
Ideally, liquid foundations come with a pump on the top of the bottle so that you can avoid wasting product, but it’s not a deal breaker if it doesn’t have a pump.
For oily skin, a liquid foundation is a great option if it is designed for “oily/combination” skin types. Make sure you double-check the bottle so that you don’t end up purchasing something for normal/dry skin.
- Powder. We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but using primer is key to having a powder last and to prevent midday shine. We say this a lot to our readers, but it never hurts to mention it again.
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder is the best drugstore foundation for oily skin if you want a powder, but if you already tried it and it didn’t work, then two great alternatives include Maybelline New York Fit Me! Matte Plus Poreless Powder or CoverGirl Clean Matte Pressed Powder.
As matte formulas, all of them are designed to help combat daily shine.
Best Drugstore Foundation for Oily Skin: 5 Top Picks
1. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation
Number of Shades: 22
Anyone looking for a long-lasting foundation that can keep the oil at bay should opt for Revlon’s ColorStay liquid foundation.
We should point out that they have two different formulas for this product: one for Normal/Dry skin and this one (for Combination/Oily). Obviously, you need this one!
As a full-coverage liquid foundation, this does an excellent job of hiding lighter blemishes and discoloration. One layer is enough to get the job done, but if you want to go full glam, you can add another layer for maximum coverage.
We love the fact that Revlon has such a wide range of shades available! True, they don’t have a huge selection for deeper skin tones, but if you struggle to find a match with your in-between light/medium coloring, then most likely you’ll find a match here.
So, the ultimate question: does it hold up all day long and keep the oil under control?
It certainly did for us. We went about our day as normal (summer time, light humidity), and after a full day of activities, we were surprised at how well it held up. Some oil, yes, but not enough to complain about.
Revlon takes home the gold!
2. Almay Truly Lasting Color Liquid Makeup
Number of Shades: 7
If Revlon’s ColorStay didn’t work out for you, then maybe Almay’s TLC (Truly Lasting Color) foundation will.
The formulation of this foundation is rather unique; they added in a dash of lemon extract to brighten the skin, and we would say that it does just that. While the coverage isn’t quite as full as Revlon’s ColorStay, it is buildable.
We would say that it will last up to 8 hours on oily skin (even though they claim 16), which still isn’t bad since regular products (or those designed for normal skin) only last four hours.
Our one issue with this foundation is the fact that it can only be used by those with fair to light skin. The darkest color they have is “Warm,” and their shades seem to work best if you have a warm undertone.
3. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
Number of Shades: 8
Yes, we did manage to try some powders for this list, and we are happy to say that Rimmel’s Stay Matte is the best drugstore foundation for oily skin in the powder family.
The key to wearing a powder foundation when you have oily skin is to start with a good primer. If you don’t use one already, then you need to start using one because it makes a huge difference in the longevity of the product.
Once you prime, you can buff this on with a brush to achieve a light, airbrushed look that is easy to blend. They say it lasts about five hours, which we would say is pretty accurate.
This foundation is ideal for anyone with oily skin on a budget. It’s a popular choice for teens and adults alike, just don’t expect heavy coverage or ultimate blemish coverage unless you use a great color correcting concealer beforehand.
4. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte Plus
Number of Shades: 24
Fit ME! is one of the most popular drugstore foundations out there at the moment for all skin types, oily included!
Having tried the lightest shade (110 Porcelain), we noticed that it worked best with a yellow undertone. If you aren’t as fair-skinned as the porcelain color, however, they probably do have something in your tone because they offer 24 different shades.
The coverage is great (this isn’t thick and goes on smoothly), and as a lightweight formula, it doesn’t clog the pores. You can definitely build up the coverage if need be and it does give you a matte finish as the title claims.
One small con about this product: it doesn’t have a pump, and that means that you’ll probably end up wasting more product than you intend to. Be careful when you pour!
It’s still one of our favorite products for oily skin, and the range of colors is fabulous!
5. COVERGIRL Queen All Day Flawless Foundation
Number of Shades: 14
Thank goodness for Queen Latifah’s CoverGirl line! It’s one of the few drugstore brands that has a specialty line of products designed specifically for those with darker skin tones. And it just happens to be great for those with oily skin, too!
They have shades for both warm and cool undertones, so no matter your color, you’ll probably be able to find a pretty close match.
The finish is definitely matte, and it has an excellent amount of coverage without looking too cakey. We thought it did an excellent job of covering, concealing and then drying with a “powder” look before we set it.
If you’re normally a MAC fan and are in need of a more affordable alternative, we highly recommend this line!