The best coverage for sensitive/combination skin

Anyone suffering from sensitive combination or oily skin will understand that foundations will accentuate your sebum; pressed powders will highlight your dry patches; tinted moisturizers (especially those with SPF) will make your skin glow with oil; stick or cream foundations will look cakey…

It took me a while to accept the fact that I will never be one of those girls on Instagram with makeup on fleek.

You know what I’m talking about. Highlighter on point. Contour game strong.

I’m so envious of those airbrushed pores, angular brows, crisp eyeliner… But the truth is mascara and eyeliner will stain my eyelids; eye shadow and blush will run and lipstick was probably the only thing I could put on without feeling like it was going to betray me later.. I wish for days where I can dress up my face and not have to deal with the imperfections. I’ve tried many products, skincare and makeup and I discovered that the secret wasn’t to finding the perfect foundation: the secret was perfecting your skin.

1# Cleanse your face with makeup remover and skip the foam cleanser
A facialist once told me to drop cleansers from my skincare routine or pick one that wouldn’t further aggravate my sensitive skin. She told me that foam strips your skin of all oil, which in turn only makes it produce more, whereas oil based makeup removers are less drying. It also removes the buildup of sebum and dirt more effectively. Thanks to her, my pores are less clogged (goodbye, strawberry nose!) and less irritable.

Protip: Sensitive skin should avoid oil control products at all cost!

2# Exfoliate and pamper your skin regularly
People say that makeup is a lie but you can’t fake smooth and unblemished perfect skin. Therefore, your best makeup is to invest in skincare. Exfoliation is important because your skin is constantly exposed to dirt, bacteria and pollutants in the air. After you strip your skin of all its protective barriers while removing all that microscopic gunk from your face, you’ll need to nourish it with vitamins and collagen amongst other things to maintain good skin health. Visiting a facialist, drinking lots of water, staying active and healthy (this includes a nourishing diet) also works wonders!

Protip: Pregnancy killed my skin. My facialist says that my dull and bumpy skin is caused by hormones and that there’s nothing I can do about it but I found that replacing my moisturizer with masks did the trick: I alternate between clay mask, sheet masks, gel masks, basically whatever I felt my skin needed.

3# Never forget sunscreen
You might think it’s okay to skip it because you’re staying in, or that the sky outside has promised day-long clouds, but UV rays are constantly damaging your skin (even from artificial light). Sun damaged skin produces more oil which will only lead to clogged pores and a shiny face – two things that anyone with combo/oily skin wants to avoid.

Protip: You must always remove sunscreen with a makeup remover at the end of the day, even if it’s not tinted.

Now that we’ve gotten skincare out of the way, the top three products I go for are: (in order of preference)

1. Loose Mineral Powder

If you have relatively blemish-free skin and just need a light covering (or like me, you don’t want to suffocate your skin but don’t want to scare the world with your bare face), loose powder will be your best bet. Not only does it help you with oil control, it doesn’t dry out your skin and it also will not give you that cakey finish. It is the best matte option for sensitive/combo skin.

2. BB Cream

You’ll want to be careful when selecting a bb cream as they often have a greyish cast. But that works out for sensitive/combo skin because you don’t want to stress your skin – moderation is key! If you can get away with it, I’d suggest only using the cream on places that require coverage: around the nose, mouth, eyes. This will instantly brighten up your face. I can’t get away with it, so I use a beauty blender to apply my bb cream. The one pictured above is a personal favorite!

3. Cushion Foundation

For those who want maximum coverage or to achieve that dewy Korean look… Bear in mind that the problem with sensitive/combo skin is that dewy oftentimes translate into greasy and full coverage can be a bit full on. What can be done to combat that is to use a good primer in order to achieve that flawless finish. However, I personally would not recommend this on a daily basis because clogged pores might become a problem and aggravate your skin.

I hope my tips have helped! Let me know in the comments if you have anything to add or discuss – I’m all ears 🙂


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