Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: the best primers for oily skin

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and each week he tells us all we need to know about the latest make-up techniques and trends

Lancome Prep and Matte Mattifying Make-Up Primer (�28) Paddy McGurgan beauty column
L'Oreal Paris Infallible Mattifying Primer Base 35ml (£8.99, Boots)
Huda Beauty Matte Perfection Pre-Make-up Base (�26, Cult Beauty) Paddy McGurgan beauty column

We are well and truly rampaging through March and with this comes a slight increase in the temperature and lighter and brighter evenings.

I always try to tackle and respond to my amazing Belfast Telegraph readers who privately reach out to me on Instagram (@paddymcgurganmakeupartist) with their questions about their skin and their daily make-up routines. One of the most common questions I get asked is: "Why should I use a mattifying primer and which one should I choose?"

So, here are my top tips - for anyone with oily or combination skin, mattifying primer is a must.

If you are wearing make-up, then you should know your own skin type to ensure every product you use is perfectly tailored to the needs of your skin and to give you the best finish possible. For anyone with oily/combination skin you may find the following symptoms: excess shine in your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), clogged pores, shiny/greasy appearance, difficulty in make-up to last throughout the day.

Oily skin is caused by a build-up of excess oil or sebum produced within the pores of the skin, and if you are a make-up lover, then using a mattifying make-up primer will help with your make-up longevity and give you a matte finish appearance. However, I would like to press the importance of skincare in the treatment of any combination skin conditions.

Up first, I recommend trying L'Oreal Paris Infallible Mattifying Primer Base 35ml (£8.99, Boots). This will ensure your make up remains flawless the entire day.

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Mattifying Primer Base 35ml (£8.99, Boots)

As a brand, I really think that BECCA is very much a skin-first cosmetics house - and I totally adore it. I believe it is easy in the current cosmetics climate to be taken away by strong eye make-up, and strong and dramatic eyeshadow combinations, and the focus becomes less about the skin. I personally adore the skin and I love to apply a primer and watch it work on the skin.

This is what I get from the BECCA Ever Matte Poreless (£32). The product is designed to mattify oily skin for the entire day. Formulated to act like a liquid blotting paper, it works toward tackling problem areas like the T-zone. Carefully selected ingredients help to soak up excess oil and thus render make-up more durable.

If you are using your mattifying primer but find the shine is not at bay, you need to use a stronger one such as Supermatte Antishine (£17.50). It leaves skin feeling fresh and taut and won't produce that "caked on" feeling you get from powder.


It is available in three sheer shades: light, medium, and dark. Anti-shine is great, not only for women, but also for men's palms, foreheads and balding scalps.

Probably my all time favourite mattifying primer to use on any and all oily/combination skin types is Make-up Forever Step One (£25.50). This is the most amazing matifying primer for oily skin types. It's great for an evening glamour look as your look lasts right through the night.

Lancome has released a new Prep and Matte Mattifying Make-Up Primer for oily/combination skin (£28). This provides a long lasting matte finish whilst caring for your skin. The lightweight texture of this primer provides a fresh feeling and hydration.

Lancome Prep and Matte Mattifying Make-Up Primer (�28) Paddy McGurgan beauty column

Finally, the last mattifying primer that I would recommend would be Huda Beauty Matte Perfection Pre-Make-up Base (£26, Cult Beauty). Internet sensation Huda Kattan achieved incredible mattifying results when she put milk of magnesia to the test as a primer.

Huda Beauty Matte Perfection Pre-Make-up Base (�26, Cult Beauty) Paddy McGurgan beauty column

Inspired by the remarkable oil-absorbing results of this unlikely hero ingredient, Huda has created the ultimate matte primer to control shine and create an utterly flawless base for make-up. Infused with moisture-balancing plant extracts and nutrient-rich minerals, the nourishing formula minimises the appearance of pores, fine lines and uneven texture, giving you the smoothest start possible.

Five tips for a flawless complexion

1. Cleaning your face daily with a gentle cleanser that utilises effective acne treatment ingredients can help to minimise oil production.

2. Using blotting sheets throughout the day can minimise oil production and the visibility of an oily/combination appearance.

3. Use oil-free skincare.

4. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week.

5. Apply a facial mask a least once a week.

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