Fighting oily skin in humid weather sounds like a losing proposition—this is the Philippines, after all. But I’m happy to share that with the right products and application technique, you can keep your foundation fresh all day!
The key is to keep each layer light as a feather instead of piling products on. Yes, it might seem counterintuitive, but the sheerer your makeup is, the lesser the chances are that it will cake and fall away as the day wears on. Here’s how to do it!


STEP 1: Make sure your face is completely dry before applying your foundation. You can opt to wear a primer beforehand, or simply wait until your moisturizer has absorbed into your skin and dried completely (this is good enough to start with as a base). Blot away all sweat with tissue before starting with the foundation! Do this for EVERY layer of makeup you apply to help it stay on longer and prevent caking.

STEP 2: Choose a long-wearing liquid base like NARS All-Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. This runny liquid formula offers surprisingly heavy coverage and pretty good wear time. It can stay put for up to 10 hours, even on a hot day, and fades very little, at that!
The best way to apply liquid foundation and ensure that it’ll stay on your skin? Use your fingers! Finger application helps the product adhere better and longer, since the heat from your skin melts the pigment and waxes a bit more than a brush or sponge would.
Blend everything into an even layer and wait for this to dry before moving on to the next step.

STEP 3: Top with an oil-absorbent, translucent powder like Palgantong Theatrical Powder.
This particular powder is famously used by theater actors across Asia. It really keeps their makeup from melting, even under the hot lights on stage! Aside from setting your foundation, Palgantong helps absorb oil and keeps you from greasing up too much post-blotting.
Use a fluffy powder brush to apply a thin layer all over your face. You’ll want to focus on the T-Zone, as most people with oily skin need reinforcement in that area. A translucent powder such as this will keep your liquid foundation from caking up as it doesn’t add any more coverage.

STEP 4: During the day, be mindful of blotting your face right before you retouch your makeup with powder. You can use shine-absorbing sheets or even tissue if you don’t have any oil strips on hand.
For touchups, I love VMV’s So Clear Oil-Absorbing Pressed Powder since it smoothens my makeup while totally wicking off the oil. This makes my foundation look extra fresh, like it has just been applied!
When retouching, never, ever swipe, wipe, or drag the sponge of your compact around your skin. Remember to always pat the powder on so that the makeup underneath won’t be wiped away accidentally. My suggestion: use a brush in place of a sponge. A brush gives you more control over the amount of powder you deposit on your skin.
And there you have it!

Hope this helps you in your quest for shine-free makeup. There’s no need to look hulas when you can look fabulous every day with these fairly easy steps!

Photos by Liz Lanuzo