Oily Skin

Melting Makeup No More: 14 Best Primers for Oily Skin

Categories : Makeup

Imagine spending an hour or two in the bathroom slapping on your favourite foundation, only for it to melt into a blotchy mess throughout the day. In Singapore where summer is perennial, humidity and heat is the enemy we simply cannot break away from. This spells even more trouble with people who have oily skin!  However, with primers, people with oily skin types do not have to give up on applying makeup anymore. 

Primers are the prep tools you need to create a flawless makeup base and they ensure your makeup stays in place all day long. Essentially, these bad boys are your answer to saying goodbye to cakey makeup. 

What Type of Primer Should I Look Out For? 


For people with oily skin types, the trouble always comes with dealing with midday shine and grease which causes makeup to slide off throughout the day. In order to combat this, go for a primer with matte finishes to banish oil shine. Also, it is best to keep a look out for primers with non-comedogenic to prevent any clogged pores.

Here are the 14 best primers that work wonders for people with oily skin types. 

Milani Prime Shield Mattifying + Pore-Minimizing Face Primer

‘Pores no more’ is what this primer promises. This primer works to blur out the appearance of large pores and fine lines to create a silky, smooth makeup base. It also boasts a translucent formula that leaves the skin with a matte finish. What’s more, this product boasts a vegan and cruelty-free formula.

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Controls oil shine
  • Minimise the appearance of pores
  • Glides on smoothly

If you are looking for a foolproof mattifying primer, this face primer is your go-to. It delivers on its promise to smoothen out any imperfections for an even skin tone and banishes midday shine. On top of that, reviewers with oily skin types love this primer for its long-lasting, mattifying powers.

“This helps fight away shine in my oily areas and is very smooth in my normal areas (not drying). It makes my foundation look even better and gives it greater longevity,” says one Makeup Alley reviewer.

Price: $21.70 at Watsons

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Filter Finish Protective Primer

This all-in-one primer is a makeup game changer. It works to blur, prime, enhance and protect the skin while leaving the skin with a smooth, soft-focus finish thanks to its pressed silk extract. With its potent blend of botanical actives, this primer also minimises clogged pores and acne breakouts to reveal radiant skin from inside and out. 

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Evens out skin tone
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and dullness
  • Minimises excess shine

A quick scroll through the reviews on Sephora will welcome you with a ton of glowing reviews on this primer. Many reviewers have lauded this product for fixing uneven skin texture and combating midday shine. One reviewer on Sephora even says that this primer is ‘the only primer I use now’. However, some reviewers have noted that this primer may be too expensive. Having said that, reviewers have said that the product still works wonders!

Price: $76 at Sephora

Benefit Cosmetics the POREfessional Face Primer


The Benefit POREfessional Primer is a powerhouse when it comes to fighting against large pore appearance. With its silky and velvety formula, this primer glides onto the skin seamlessly, keeping your makeup budge-proof for a photo-ready look. Plus, it is enriched in Vitamin E, which protects the skin from harmful free radicals. This primer can also be worn alone if you want to add a diffused finish to your skin. 

Here is why we love this product:

  • Lightweight texture 
  • Minimises fine lines
  • Non-greasy finish

With over a thousand glowing reviews on Sephora, you can be sure that this primer does not disappoint. Many reviewers have rated this primer highly for doing its job in blurring out pores and controlling oil shine. Reviewers also note that a little goes a long way with this primer and all you need is a pea-sized drop for it to work. That is a win in our books. 

“Giving this product 5 stars! I have Oily-dry combination skin and my t-zone usually gets oily within 3-4 hours. I apply just a teeny bit on my t-zone after sunscreen and I’m good to go! No shiny forehead and nose for 10 hrs! Very impressed,” says one Sephora reviewer.

Price: $56 at Sephora

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Take your makeup game to the next level and beyond with the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. This award-winning primer delivers everything you need for flawless makeup application — the ability to extend foundation wear, conceal redness and minimise the appearance of pores and fine lines. It also shields the skin from harsh UV rays thanks to its Broad Spectrum SPF 15 protection. 

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Weightless texture
  • Waterproof
  • Controls oil shine

Regarded as the holy grail of all primers, the Hourglass Veil Primer has been highly rated across many forums for its multitasking formula. Reviewers say that this product stays well even in Singapore’s hot and humid climates, with one reviewer on Sephora saying that this primer is  ‘basically a magnet’ for makeup. In short, melting makeup is no longer an issue with this primer.

Price: $89 at Sephora 

Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer

An oily forehead never looks great on camera, so banish midday shine with the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Made for oily and combination skin types, this primer works to balance out oil production and fills in the pores for longer-lasting makeup application.

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Controls oil for up to 8 hours
  • Matte finish
  • Water-resistant 

Achieving flawless skin is no longer a far stretch thanks to this primer. Reviewers have lauded this primer for living up to its promise of smoothening the skin and reducing pore appearance, with one Sephora reviewer even saying that this primer is ‘magic in a tube’. However, some reviewers have also noted that the consistency of this primer can be a little too thick for some people’s liking. 

Price: $60 at Sephora

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Mattifying Primer

This primer is the anti-shine tool everybody with oily and combination skin types needs. It smoothens the appearance of pores and extends foundation wear without drying out the skin. It also boasts a unique blend of Blue Agave Extract and fine blurring powders to instantly mattify your skin. With this primer, expect skin so smooth it almost looks like you put on a filter in real life.

Here is why we love this product:

  • Lightweight texture
  • No white cast
  • Smooth and soft to the touch

We love that this primer does its job of delivering a full, matte finish and many reviewers seem to agree. Reviewers have raved about this product for its staying powers that will not budge even under the hottest of weathers. Plus, reviewers also say that this primer works well on sensitive skin types.

Price: $48 at Sephora

Too Faced Hangover Primer

Whether you have oily skin or slept a little too late the previous night, your secret is safe with the Too Faced Hangover Primer. With coconut as its key ingredient, this primer boasts deep hydration and soothes the skin for a luminous complexion. Plus, it works to clear out all pore-clogging impurities as well!

Here is why we love this product:

  • Removes excess oil
  • Replenishes moisture
  • Leaves the skin with a dewy, glowing complexion

If matte finishes are just not your thing, this primer is the perfect alternative for oily skin.  We are loving this primer for its dewy and non-greasy finish that smoothens out the skin while adding a touch of luminosity to it. Reviewers on Sephora also say that it works well on oily and combination skin thanks to its lightweight texture.

“It doubles up as a moisturizer for me. Looks good on combination skin. Smells delicious. A bit too oily on very humid days but nothing a powder can’t fix. Makes my makeup last for more than 9hrs,” says one reviewer

Price: $52 at Sephora

Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer

Aside from covering up large pores and fine lines, this primer boasts powerful oil control powers and removes excess sebum to get rid of any midday grease. Formulated with Jeju green persimmon extract and Jeju green tea extracts, this primer also tightens pores and brightens up the skin’s complexion.

Here is why we love this product:

  • Works well on sensitive skin
  • Blurs out pore appearance
  • Glides on smoothly

For its affordable price point and high quality, this primer delivers on its job to nourish the skin and create a flawless makeup base. With that, we are not surprised that this primer has become a crowd favourite among reviewers

“It goes on so smooth and definitely minimizes all of my pores. I tend to have issues with makeup caking in places I don’t want it to, and this primer makes everything look perfect!” One reviewer wrote on YesStyle.

Price: $15.03 at iHerb

First Aid Beauty Pores Be Gone Matte Primer

This primer is your ultimate tool in the fight against large pores. With this primer, users can expect flawless and smooth skin for that #nofilter look. It boasts a myriad of skin-saving ingredients, including Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid and Oleanolic Acid to control sebum production. It is also formulated with salicylic acid, which penetrates the skin and dissolves any pore-clogging impurities. 

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Control sebum production
  • Soft-focus, matte finish
  • Non-irritant on acne-prone skin

Reviewers have glowed about this primer for its mattifying powers while quenching the thirst of parched skin. One reviewer even says that she ‘would give it 6 stars’ if she could! The countless reviews on Influenster are proof that this primer is a must-have.

Price: $43 at Sephora

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Blemish-less

If you are looking for a non-comedogenic primer, the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Blemish-less is your best bet. Offering an oil-free formula, this primer promises to not clog pores and keeps acne breakouts at bay. It also contains salicylic acid to fight acne and minimise large pores.

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Demi-matte finish
  • Non-drying
  • Lightweight texture

This primer received a solid 4.5 stars out of 5 on Influenster, so you know that this primer is a run for your money. Although the product is on the pricier side, reviewers have justified it and say that you are ‘paying for the best’. 

‘Another one of my favorites! Yes she is higher end with a higher price but for me it is worth it! A little goes a long way and is very long lasting- it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin or make me break out! Really gives a flawless foundation look!’ One reviewer wrote.

Price: $70 at Sephora

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Oily skin does not only cause pesky issues for foundation wear, but it can also melt off your eye makeup! Keep your gorgeous smokey eye in place with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer. This eye primer works to ensure your eye makeup stays in place all day long and keeps creases at bay. On top of that, this primer enhances the colours of your eyeshadows when applied on the eyelids!

Here is why we love this product:

  • 24-hour wear
  • Doe-foot applicator allows for precise application
  • Crease-free

If you struggle with oily eyelids, this primer potion is here to come to the rescue. Reviewers on Sephora are loving this product for its ultra-long staying powers that works even on the oiliest of eyelids. 

‘The best eye primer out there. It keeps my eye makeup locked in perfectly all day and into the evening. Even after a sweaty workout session which was completely unexpected.’ One Sephora reviewer wrote.

Price: $35 at Sephora

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector

A cult classic primer, trust the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector to deliver a perfectly smooth makeup base. This primer promises to target oil-prone areas and deliver a matte finish for you to get your velvety skin fix. It also works to hide the appearance of pores with its lightweight, silky texture.

Here is why we love this product: 

  • Long-lasting for up to 9 hours
  • Controls excess oil
  • Absorbs into the skin easily

Extremely oily skin is no match for this matte primer. Reviewers on Sephora have lauded this primer for being ‘super mattifying’ and working its magic in controlling oily areas. However, some reviewers also caution that this primer might be a little too matte for their liking. So if you are looking for a primer that delivers a finish that is guaranteed to be truly matte, this product is for you.

Price: $58 at Sephora

Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur

If you are looking for a Korean primer that works wonders on oily skin, look no further. This primer cream creates a veil and blurs out imperfections to reveal smoother and brighten skin. Plus, it contains SPF33 PA ++ to keep sun damage at bay!

Here is what we love about this product:

  • Brightens up dull complexion
  • Smoothens rough skin
  • Minimises the appearance of pores

Many reviewers on Amazon have fallen in love with this K-beauty favourite and we can see why. This product not only has high sun protection but it does leave the skin with an illuminating glow that lasts all day! Plus, it does live up to its promise of shrinking pore appearance.

“This stuff is absolutely amazing! Put it on and immediately your face looks dewy and blurred, and your pores are filled in and concealed,” one reviewer wrote. 

Price: $27.90 at Etude House 

Son & Park Beauty Filter Cream Glow

Eyeing that Korean glass skin? The Son & Park Beauty Filter is the answer to your wishes. Formulated with plant extracts including rose, Lilly and jasmine, this 2-in-1 primer and moisturiser controls oil production to prevent any clogged pores. It also filters out blemishes as well as acne scars, making this the holy grail for people with combination and oily skin.

Here is why we love this product:

  • Deep hydration
  • Controls sebum production 
  • Brightens up dull complexion

With its power-packed formula, it is no surprise that this primer has been highly revered by beauty junkies across makeup forums. A reviewer on Sephora says that this primer is ‘groundbreaking’ while another lauds this product as a ‘multitasking lifesaver’ for its moisturising and priming effects.

‘This is so pretty and gives the skin such a natural yet noticeable looking glow. It really just makes it look like you were blessed with soft supple skin,’ says one reviewer on Sephora.

Price: $24.90 at Lazada

Tips to Keep Your Makeup From Sliding Off

Always Apply Setting Powder


As its name suggests, setting powder works to set your makeup and allow it to adhere better to your skin by sealing in liquid-based products such as foundation and concealer. By sealing in your makeup, setting powders amp up your makeup longevity to ensure it stays in place all day! If you are a fan of the soft-focus, diffused finish, a setting powder is your go-to.

Pro tip: In order to cover up stubborn acne scars, apply your foundation before setting your makeup. Then, focus on applying another layer of concealer to the troubled area and dust some setting powder onto the area again. 

Spritz On Some Setting Spray


Even if setting powder does not do its job of keeping oily skin at bay, you still have setting spray is your last line of defence. Unlike setting powders, setting sprays are meant to lock in makeup applied all over your face, including your eye and lip makeup. What’s more, one spritz is all it takes to keep your makeup looking fresh.

For people with oily skin types, we recommend using oil control sprays to tamp down any shine and keep your skin looking matte throughout the day.

Keep Your Blotting Papers Close



Whenever you need a midday touch-up, you can always rely on a trusty ol’ blotting paper to get rid of shiny foreheads! These compact papers work to soak up any excess sebum to keep your skin shine-free without disrupting your makeup. Moreover, they can fit easily into any handbag, so you can use them at any time! 

The struggle with acne is real from people with oily skin types. Therefore, we recommend charcoal blotting papers, which work to remove excess oil and disintegrate pore-clogging impurities to prevent any acne breakouts.