Makeup Application Tips for Dry Skin

Oily skin definitely presents problems when it comes to makeup, since the overproduction of sebum from your pores can leave you looking shiny by lunch if you don’t continually blot and reapply powder.  And combination skin makes it extremely hard to choose a singular type of makeup because of the dual nature of skin that is equal parts oily and dry.  So the majority of women would probably love to go for dry skin if given a choice.  But alas, the grass is always greener…you know.  For those of us that deal with dry skin on a daily basis, the alternative seems more appealing.  And yet, there are many ways to prepare for the application of makeup as well as choose cosmetic formulas that will work with your skin to leave your face looking dewy, fresh, and not at all dry.  Here are a few tips for the ladies who want a flawless finish despite their battle with dryness.

  1. Choose the right moisturizer.  You might think that you need to slather on the oil in order to keep your delicate facial skin hydrated, but this is something of a fallacy.  While your pores might not produce the same amount of sebum as others, that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer from breakouts if they become clogged.  While you can likely get away with oily moisturizers in a way that those with oily skin can’t, you don’t want to add a lot of shine or use products that will gunk up the works.  What you need is something that will be absorbed without leaving you greasy.  Along those lines, consider La Mer Crème de la Mer to be the best you could do (although it’s a little steep at over $100 per ounce).  On the less expensive front, try Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream (approximately $19 for a 1.7-ounce bottle), which both consumers and testers rave about.
  2. Exfoliate.  Sometimes dry skin is just dry.  Other times, it’s flaky.  If you suffer from the latter, skip the harsh scrubs, which can cause minute tearing in the top layers of the skin (leading to premature wrinkles) and opt instead for a cleanser that contains hydroxy acids to aid in gentle exfoliation, and use a battery-operating facial cleansing brush (one that rotates rapidly) to slough off excess flakes.
  3. Stay out of the sun.  Dry skin does not cause wrinkles; the sun does (well, that and aging).  But dry skin can exacerbate the problem because the lack of hydration can emphasize any wrinkles that do appear (where as natural oils in skin tend to minimize the look of wrinkles).  The point is, women with dry skin need to be extra vigilant about avoiding the sun in order to stave off the wrinkles that will be more visible on their faces.
  4. Prep skin.  In order to give your makeup the best chance to work its magic you need to prepare the palette.  Try a smoothing primer for dry skin, like Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch (about $28), to even skin tone and create the base for flawless makeup application.  With this one a little goes a long way so start small and add if you think you need it.
  5. Choose the right makeup.  With this one you’ll likely have to try different brands to find the one that not only works with your skin condition but also matches your color palette.  Here you should not be afraid to splurge a little, since it will almost certainly make a difference in your ultimate result.  For that reason, many women prefer Chanel’s Vitalumiere foundation (about $60 in department stores), on top of which you can confidently layer a powder blush (no shimmer, it will only emphasize fine lines or other imperfections), eye makeup, and even a light, loose powder if you prefer a matte finish (or alternately, other cream makeups).

Contributed by Carol Montrose 

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  1. Try not to put too much make-up on because "less is still more". And it's very important to use MOISTURIZER everyday, before putting on anything on your face.

  2. Anonymous8:43 AM

    I have dry skin and some pimples, and my acne medicine dries out my skin too. I use Cover girl Trublend foundation and the powder and concealer from the same brand. It does a good job. My skin doesn't get dry during the day, and since it's all the same brand it matches perfectly.

  3. I just use the concealer and foundation and it does wonders to cover up my scars and it works well with my dry skin. It is a little pricey but costs about the same as Bare Minerals (which doesn't work well with dry skin). I hope you have a Sephora in your area because Makeup Forever is da bomb!

  4. Mandy8:44 AM

    Nourish your skin from the inside . Eat Salmon oil Supplements / Evening Primrose oil
    Supplement for Women.

  5. Prrethi8:46 AM

    liquid foundation are best for dry skin....tinted moisturizer are awesome for dry skin but they provide minimal coverage...
    also spray foundations!!!! but they are a bit pricey...don't use press or loose powders...they absorb oil from your face and from what you say you need your oils.

  6. Pranati8:46 AM


  7. Mamata8:48 AM

    I would recommend moisturizing your skin well before applying any make-up. The make-up I find to be the most skin friendly is Bare Minerals. Natural looking, easy to apply, it doesn't feel heavy and it's made from pure minerals.

  8. Goutami8:48 AM

    Use moisturizer before you use any foundations. That should help. Or, try some tinted moisturizer.

  9. Merlin8:49 AM

    Anything water based or oil based but never use any makeup alcohol based which dries out the skin much more so than all the others.

  10. Chaitra8:50 AM

    mineral makeup is good for dry skin.

  11. Pushpa8:51 AM

    do not buy any matte make-up it sucks out all the oils you have in your skin which will make your skin even dryer.

  12. Sharayu9:02 AM

    when i get home i clean all the makeup of, wash my face, put my hair completely up and put Vaseline on the dry parts or even my whole face. dont do it in the morning because it takes a long time for it to dry.. i do it an hour or so before i go to bed, better earlier so that it doesn't wipe off on my pillow.. it should be about dry when you go to bed and then in the morning before i put on makeup put a moisturizer on and them makeup. it helps a lot

  13. Navyashree9:04 AM

    Always use cosmetics designed specifically for dry skin. Before applying makeup, apply moisturizer and wait for a few minutes. This will soften the dry skin and bring out the best of your makeup.


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