The Best High-End Foundations for Oily Skin

First let’s define ‘High End’. To me, these are foundations available at the department store, and there’s actually quite a range of prices. In Australia, MAC sits at the lower end of the scale at about $50 a pop, whereas a bottle of Armani’s stuff can set you back $99. Ouch.  

I have this series on my YouTube channel called ‘Holy Grail for Oily Skin’ where I test foundations to see how well they last on my incredibly oily skin and OH BOY is it a struggle. In most cases I end up looking like a melted candle by the end of the day but this list contains some of the best that I’ve tried over the past in the last year or so, with a couple of old favourites thrown in there too.

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

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Shiseido Synchro Skin Foundation

This foundation might be a bit of a curve ball because I think I’ve only used it in a tutorial once, but I really do love this stuff! I only have one shade - Neutral 3 - which is quite dark, so I can only wear it when I'm (false) tanned. I keep meaning to buy a lighter shade but then my list of new foundations to try keeps getting longer so... whaddya gonna do?

Shiseido Synchro Skin is a very thin and runny liquid foundation, similar in texture to MAC’s Waterweight or YSL’s Fusion Ink. It’s incredibly pigmented and feels like you're wearing nothing at all. The finish is smooth and flawless - without looking like a mask. It has a beautiful satin texture - definitely not dewy, but not fully matte either. It’s just gorgeous on the skin. Miraculously it lasts pretty well too, I think because you only need a very thin layer. One of my absolute favourites!


Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation

This will come as no surprise - I went through a phase of using nothing but this foundation for about six months. If you don't want to look like you're wearing a lot of makeup but you still like full coverage, this is the foundation for you. It is quite undetectable on the skin - perhaps that’s the idea behind the HD marketing.

As great as this foundation is though, it's not the most longest wearing on my oily skin. It does tend to get a bit shiny throughout the day so I find myself having to blot and powder. I can get over that though because the finish is so nice and it's actually really easy to fix - it doesn't set so much that it cakes, so it's quite easy to blend together again. People with oily skin will know exactly what I'm talking about!


Estee Lauder Double Wear Light

Again, no surprises here. I think this might be my favourite foundation of all time, I love it so much! When I wear this, I don't look like I'm wearing a lot of makeup, yet my skin looks smooth and luminous (in a good way) and even. It’s probably the most ‘skin like’ of this list.  

The finish is dewy - definitely not a matte finish - but once it’s powdered, it lasts all day! This is my go-to for holidays and for sweltering summer time here in Australia - it lasts through heat, humidity, sweat, and oil. It is phenomenal.

I also have a video comparing Estee Lauder Double Wear Light with the original Double Wear and if you’re curious you can watch that here.


Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation

I'm don't think this is formula is aimed at oily skin, but it certainly lasts well on mine. Having said that it doesn't hold a candle to Double Wear Light, but I'll let if off the hook because it has such a gorgeous finish. Again, this foundation has really lightweight, runny texture, but it packs a helluva lot of coverage. My skin look flawless but it feels super lightweight.

Lancôme Teint Miracle is not a matte finish by any stretch, in fact I can safely say it's the most luminous of the products mentioned in this post. The bottle says ‘natural light creator, bare skin perfection’ and I would agree with that assessment, I do look quite radiant when I wear this makeup. Carrying powder and blotting paper is a must as it will develop a shine, but it doesn't split or separate on my skin. 

This is a good foundation for people with normal to oily skin who like coverage, like to look radiant, and don't mind having to powder every now and then.


HourGlass Vanish Stick Foundation

This might be a bit of a surprise because when I reviewed this foundation last year, I didn't really rate it. Over time and multiple second chances though, I've grown to love the Hourglass Vanish Stick and would rank it among one of my favourites.

I love that it can be used either as a foundation or concealer - it's so densely pigmented, but glides on and feels lightweight. It’s unlike any stick foundation I've used before; slippy and very easy to blend. I tend to use this more often as concealer, and it's one of my favorite products to bring when I travel because it's so compact and versatile.  You don't get a huge amount of product for your money and it is not a cheap foundation, but when used sparingly as I do, I think it would last quite a while


I hope that's helpful and if you would like to hear about some high end foundations I really didn't like, then watch the video below!