Best Primers & Setting Sprays for Oily Skin

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Disclaimer: what works for me might not work for you, but considering how oily my skin is, I’m hoping it does!

A little bit about my skin: I have an oily t-zone which only behaves this way when I wear make up- great!

General tips for my fellow oily girls:

  • Use a matte foundation- YSL Fusion Ink works best for me

  • Set your face with powder- loose or pressed
  • Don’t be afraid to moisturise
  • When washing your face after removing your makeup, use a light oil before applying your moisturiser to help balance your skin

Before we get into my holy grail products, I thought you should know that I have been using them all for MONTHS in order to make sure I am giving you the best recommendations- these products have been tried and tested and all opinions are my own!

I also think it’s important not to have unrealistic expectations: if you have oily skin, you have to accept that you will need to touch up your makeup every so often, nothing will keep you matte all day, but let’s get into it!

Kiko Matte Face Base Primer- £9.90

This is the only primer I have tried that has actually worked for me. I stopped searching after trying this because for the price, I honestly can’t believe how well it works and how little recognition it gets!


  • Lasts: 8 hours
  • Price- highly affordable
  • Festival/Concert/ Clubbing proof
  • A little goes long way


  • White cast can form on face if not rubbed in properly- easily covered up by foundation but can be annoying
  • Have to wait a few minutes for it to dry before applying foundation
  • Tightness on face if too is much applied

I must admit that when I first tried this primer I didn’t like the way it felt. The weather was humid and I put on so much (I wanted to slay my bday pictures) that my face felt VERY tight, so tight that it was like the oils were being trapped in my face because I felt like a grease-ball but still looked well powdered. I quickly learnt that I didn’t need a lot of product to achieve a matte look and I haven’t looked back since!

Skindinavia Primer & Finishing Spray- $50 (without discounts)

Everybody and their mama seems to be in love with this primer and finishing spray combination, I have to admit that I am too. The primer spray alone is not as great as the Kiko Matte primer, but it does the job.


  • Lasts 6 hours
  • Spray form makes it easy to apply evenly
  • Can be bought in a travel size
  • Lightweight
  • You feel as matte as you look
  • The website has discount deals almost every day! Your favourite beauty vlogger is likely to have one too!


  • Can be expensive if purchased without a coupon
  • Delivery times- unless you live in Australia

I was put off buying this at first because all of the YouTube reviews I had seen made it seem too good to be true; but after finding out that this same brand also makes the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray that everyone raves about, I figured that if it did work, I would be saving myself some pennies. I have tried the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray and I can say that it does indeed work, but not any better than Skindinavia and so I’d rather save a bit of money. What’s also great is that you can use either the primer spray or finishing spray on their own and they both still work very well.

NYX Matte Finish- £7.00

My most recent discovery of the three, I had heard so much and tried a few other drugstore brands for both primers and setting sprays before without success; but when my Skindinavia was running low and shipping was taking too long for me, I was forced to get a quick fix that my bank account wouldn’t regret.


  • Lasts 4 to 6 hours
  • Price- it’s affordable and works just as well as higher end products I have tried
  • It drys quickly and so you don’t have to spend ages fanning your face after application to finish off your makeup


  • It doesn’t always spray as a fine mist- the nozzle is pretty hit and miss
  • You may still feel oily even if you look matte
  • When it doesn’t spray finely, it can bring out your pores which is not what we want- to help prevent this, when I know I want to use this setting spray then I apply my Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer (£7.99) on top of my Kiko Matte Primer to prevent this.

When I use my Kiko primer and the Skindinavia duo together, I promise you my makeup can last a full day without touch up! I went to see Beyonce on The Formation World Tour: did my makeup at 7am, got home at 1am and I was still matte, this was a total of 18 hours! It is also highly possible that Beyonce’s slay was transferred to me that day because I have used this same combination during a full working day and I have had to touch up during my lunch break, but regardless, it’s magic!

Hope this was helpful!


#Schmile #Slay

*Prices correct at time of posting
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