These Beauty Tricks Will Keep Your Oily Skin Shine-Free

It's August, otherwise known as the time of year when it feels like you've become a turkey slow-roasting in the heat of the sun. In New York, particularly, the concrete throws sunlight back up into your face and the garbage bakes, engulfing the city in a scent I like to call “street stank."

In other words, it's a gross time to be alive. Men are allowed to be stinky, smelly pieces of overgrown man-flesh, but women still have to glow, sparkle and otherwise resist the laws of the universe. We're expected to look like we just emerged from a laundry detergent commercial at all times.

As much as I'd like to shout “feminism” here, just you try walking into a staff meeting at your office smelling like overripe human body. See the reactions it gets you.

Speaking as an oily-skinned lady who lives without the palatial bonus of central air, the end of summer visibly appears on my body. Acne, enlarged pores, runny mascara — you name it, I've embarrassingly lived it.

With a few of my best beauty tips, however, you'll be set to thrive in the summer's heat. Never forget that by September, we'll be bemoaning the lack of sunshine.

Prime everything, even the things you didn't know you could prime.

Would you paint your nails without a base coat? Blow dry your hair without a heat protector? The basic beauty rules of the universe stand when it comes to your sweaty, hot face, too.

Primer will make your facial skin a canvas makeup can stick to, instead of just sliding off down your neck like a morbid cartoon.

For your skin, pick a light primer that doesn't feel like spackle. I'm partial to Urban Decay's classic Complexion Primer Potion, which goes on clear and smooths over pores. It's worth the $30 investment, especially if you experience a greasy nose and forehead halfway through the day (or you're buying it for a friend who feels the same way).

If you're not crazy about applying another product to your skin, pick NYX's First Base Primer Spray to do the job for less than $10.

NYX First Base Primer Spray, $7, Amazon 

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer, $22, Amazon 

When it comes to eye makeup, don't even think about stepping into the steamy street without first laying down a layer of protection. I stand by Too Faced's Shadow Insurance Primer, which keeps all of my shimmers and mattes in place. As an added bonus, primer will help your shadow stay vibrant throughout the day — and a single tube lasts forever.

If you're cringing over the idea of spending even more of your paycheck at Ulta, no worries. There are DIY primer solutions for the most dedicated beauty divas.

Get spritz-y (Not to be mistaken for “frisky”).

On a rare occasion, you'll come across a kind of woman who I refer to as a “facial spray freak.” She has at least three kinds of sprays with her at all times and buys that insanely priced Evian water spray before going on planes (at an airport store, that has to be $50). I've spent years writing her off as some kind of weirdo with an aerosol container.


It has recently come to my attention that I am wrong. Wrong with a capital “W,” even.

Glossier Soothing Face Mist, $18, Glossier 

A cool spray is uber-refreshing when you feel like you're walking through a person-infested urban swamp and perfectly combats the 3 pm blahs. I chalk it up to two sprays that have changed my life and made my skin more hydrated than ever before.

First, there's Glossier's Soothing Face Mist, an $18 buy so good my friends have actually asked me to please shut the hell up about it. Formulated with aloe and roses to chill your skin's redness and heat rash out, this one is a game changer.

On a more luxurious note, I can't stop making all my co-workers use French skincare brand Caudalie's Beauty Elixir Spray, relaunched in collaboration  with designer Jason Wu. (You can also buy the regular kind, but the bottle isn't as pretty.) The travel size fits perfectly in my work bag, and the mixture of peppermint and rosemary makes me feel like a very wealthy dowager empress.

The travel size fits perfectly in my work bag, and the mixture of peppermint and rosemary makes me feel like a very wealthy dowager empress.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir Spray, $15, Amazon 

This, too, can be filed under “things people hate when I mention because I mention them so often.” I have also forcefully spritzed a few people, shouting “SEE!" into their faces before snatching the bottle back.

In summation: Tighten your pores and prevent extra shine with a face spray. You won't regret it.

Choose a powder that'll keep your skin safe from the sun.

Nobody, not even the oiliest among us, likes loose powder. The old-school, oversize powder containers are bulky, carrying a separate brush is annoying and the whole situation will inevitably explode all over your little black dress in the office bathroom before a date.

Instead of lugging around your grandmother's solution to greasy, sweating skin, bring your blotting situation into the 21st century.

Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral Powder, $30, Amazon 

Several ladies in my life swear by Peter Thomas Roth's Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral Powder in SPF 30, which comes attached to a handy application brush. If blotting your shiny areas isn't enough, try brushing the powder over the part in your hair (this one's for you, blondies) to prevent scalp burn on extra-pale skin.

Thank me when you have so much more room in your purse for 14 kinds of lipstick you never wear.

Don't be afraid to chill out your skincare.

When oil sits on my face all day, a breakout is inevitable. That means I'm constantly on the hunt for clay masks to draw out my blemishes before I have to go to work with a giant whitehead on my cheek. The struggle.

Mask of Magnaminty, $15, Lush Cosmetics 

This summer, I'm relying on a solution that heals my skin while also saving on my electric bill: putting my face masks in the refrigerator. To be totally honest, it's a better end-of-workday treat than a chilled beer.

Try out Lush's Mask Of Magnaminty, which doesn't expire, allowing the pepperminty goodness to soothe your face while cooling down your bod.

Now, you're prepped for the heatwave. Go forth, and make everyone envy your skin.