The Secret to Perfect Matte Makeup!

If you’re someone like me that somehow qualifies as “combination skin” then look no further. This category of skincare feels so unfair, doesn’t it? How can a person be an oil slick in parts of their face and the Sahara in others?!

Anywho, after battling this poor excuse for a skin type for 22 years I’ve finally updated my foundation routine to a level that I am very pleased with! Since I do have oily skin for most of the year I tend to look for a matte finish in my everyday looks. With this new order that I’ve been trying my makeup stays just the way that I like it all day long. The only exception to this is when I sweat or when it is super humid out. In those situations, I’ve found that instead of reaching for the oil blotting papers my skin just looks dewy and healthy. I can get on board with that!!!

I’ll be taking you through my skin regimen for everyday wear from start to finish!

What You’ll Need

Facial Cleanser

  • I like one with either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. I currently use this one here by Biore. It has salicylic acid and feels cool on your skin when you use it!


  • I actually skipped this step for a VERY long time. I finally starting using one again and it has been THE difference in the clarity of my skin! I got this one at Target but you can also buy it on Amazon here.


  • For my combination and oily faced friends, I do recommend a gel based moisturizer to avoid access oils. While gel is the smarter choice IMO, I do have a surplus of cream moisturizers that I am currently using to achieve this look. Gel can also be a little trickier to find but I’ve used this one here that I really like!

Setting or priming spray

  • Now I do admit that I am not a makeup artist but I don’t entirely see why these sprays need to be different. When I started using this order to do my makeup not a lot of companies sold separate setting and priming sprays. I use a matte finish setting spray and it works great for me!

Face Powder

  • Ever since I was in high school I’ve been using the Stay Matte pressed powder by Rimmel. Any time I stray away from it I end up right back with my drugstore favorite! You can get yours here.

Skin Primer

  • I currently use the Stay Matte primer by Rimmel but feel free to use whatever you have in your makeup bag! I do like how the Stay Matte works however I am not the biggest fan of how thick it is and how moisturizing it feels on the skin. It can feel a little heavy. I used to use a few of the inexpensive ELF primers and I liked the consistency and application of those!

Liquid Foundation and Concealer

  • Whatever you have in your makeup bag should work just fine! For my skin I tend to stay away from anything illuminating or that has shimmer or is super moisturizing to avoid shine throughout the day. I am currently obsessed with the Infallible Pro Matte foundation by L’Oréal Paris.

Powder Foundation (optional)

  • While this step is optional I do think it helps to set the foundation in the T zone and give a better look overall. I switch between the Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus and the Lorac POREfection Baked Perfecting Powder.


  • I currently do most of this makeup look with only my fingers and a damp Beauty Blender feel free to use whatever you already have on hand! I use a knock off Beauty Blender from TJ Maxx but you can get the amazing Real Techniques one here for less than half the price of the original!


The Order

This is what it all comes down to: the order of application!

Step One: Cleanser

As with any good makeup routine, it starts with a clean face! As I mentioned above I like to use one that helps with my acne prone skin but use whatever you have already!

Step Two: Toner

After you use your cleanser of choice, it’s time for toner. As I mentioned above, if you have acne prone skin like I do then a toner is the way to go! It’s going to shrink your pores, tighten your skin, and remove all excess oils that your cleanser might have left behind. I even ditched my prescription topical that I had been using for 8 years because my toner was doing a better job! Okay fine, enough about my toner… but if you haven’t used one I highly recommend this one here.

Step Three: Moisturizer

DO NOT skip this step!! So many times people with oily skin think that moisturizers are going to make their skin more oily but this is not the case! When you skin is stripped away from too many of it’s natural oils it overcompensates by producing this too much. So instead of skipping the moisturizer to prevent oily skin, you actually make it worse. Instead opt for a gel based moisturizer. They feel a little different than a cream base but soon after making the switch you will fall in love with the formula!

Step Four: Setting Spray

To start the makeup portion of this look I like to start with a setting spray. Using a setting spray that has a matte finish to start will help the makeup stick.

Step Five: Matte Powder

From here I use a powder brush to put on a dusting of translucent powder. I put this on while the setting spray is still wet on my face and it helps to minimize the appearance of pores and makes the skin look more even.

Step Six: Skin Primer

I know it seems backwards to put on a foundation primer after the setting spray and matte powder but trust me. Giving a base to your base makes sure that your makeup stays in place and stays grease free!

Step Seven: Foundation and Concealer

I recently purchased a knock off beauty blender and now it is literally my go to for applying my foundation, concealer, blush, and contouring! Feel free to use whatever brushes and foundation that you already have on hand.

Step Eight: Powder Foundation

This step is optional but I always like to set my liquid foundation with a powder foundation. I think it helps lock everything in place and takes away from the plastic-like look that liquid foundations can sometimes have.

Step Nine: Matte Powder

The last step of this look is matte powder. I use the same powder from step 2 for this part except I like to continue using my beauty blender. Using a beauty blender for the final step presses the powder in place instead of brushing all the products away.


This is my current makeup routine when it comes to my foundation base. If you try this order out let me know! I’d love to hear what others have found works well to keep a matte face!

You may also like