Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Favorites: Mattifying Products

I have excessively oily skin for as long as I can remember. It's not just oily in the T-zone, it's oily everywhere, particularly on my cheeks, forehead, and the upper nose area between my eyes. While I am grateful that it's helped keep me from getting wrinkly, it's still a problem in its own right. Not only does it feel gross and look gross, but makeup often slides off my face by 10:00 a.m., and by the time I leave work at the end of the day, I look like something the cat dragged in. I will never forget my utter horror when I looked in the mirror one day back in 1997 or so, and actually saw a drop of oil sliding down my forehead. Yes, it can get that bad!

I've tried a number of methods of controlling the oilies. The Oil Cleansing Method is my skin cleansing routine of choice, as it definitely reduces oil production, but my face is still greasier than I'm comfortable with. Before I used OCM, I was going through 4-6 blotting sheets a day plus ridiculous amounts of powder for touch-ups throughout the day. After starting to use OCM a few years ago, I was using around 2 blotting sheets a day. I've tried all sorts of mattifying products from drugstore to high-end, and most haven't worked for me. There are two, however, that have done wonders for my skin, making me feel like I have "normal" skin now, and as a bonus, my makeup still looks great at the end of the day.


I "discovered" Urban Decay's De-Slick a few years ago. It was the first product that ever did what it said--it actually helps control my skin's oil production. Even after I started using De-Slick, I would occasionally try other products, but none worked as well. The trick to using the De-Slick is to spray it on your face both before your makeup routine, as well as afterward. The product instructions state to spray 2-4 times before and after makeup application. On the hottest days of the year, I don't bother to use De-Slick, because under those conditions, my skin produces so much excess oil that this product just isn't effective. But on more temperate days, and especially during the dryer, cooler winter months, De-Slick does an amazing job of reducing oil production. I may still need to blot and touch up with powder once a day at most, but even then, that's nothing compared to the number of blotting sheets I used daily before using this product.

A couple of years ago, Urban Decay repackaged the De-Slick. I bought four bottles of it when it was on sale for 50% off, and I'm just now on my last bottle of it. Along with their repackaging came a 25% price increase per ounce, which is a bit annoying. Previously, their 6 oz. bottles were $36, and now their 4 oz. bottles are $30. Still, I'll buy it again, because it's a great product, particularly during the cooler months of the year. I have found that with regular (but not daily) use, the 6 oz. bottles last me about 3-4 months. I imagine the 4 oz. bottles would last me 2-3 months of regular use.


I've used the Illamasqua Hydra Veil primer and really liked the smooth surface it gave my face for applying foundation. So when Illamasqua released their Matte Veil earlier this year, I was really excited to give it a try. I figured if it had all the same priming properties as the Hydra Veil but also helped control my oilies, maybe it would be the answer to oily skin issues. I was in London in September and of course I had to visit the Illamasqua flagship store in Soho since I had so much fun there on my trip last year. I came home with a respectable haul of beautiful Illamasqua products (I would buy everything in the shop if I were wealthy!), but what I was the most excited to put to use was the Matte Veil.

With the Matte Veil, a little goes a long way. The jar comes with a tiny scoop, and one scoop of product is all I need to apply a thin layer of the product over my face before I start my makeup routine. On the most warm, sultry days when my oil production ramps up even more, I need to apply about 25% more to the oiliest parts of my face. As long as I make sure to also powder my face, the Illamasqua Matte Veil keeps my oilies at bay all day long. I never carry blotting sheets with me when I'm using this product; I simply don't need them or powder touch-ups. This primer also provides a beautifully smooth surface for applying foundation afterward. No more Crisco face skin causing my makeup to slide off my skin! It's so effective that I actually can't use it on days that my skin doesn't produce as much oil, or it over-mattifies my skin, making it feel dry and tight.

Illamasqua Matte Veil is pricey for me at GBP £30, which is equivalent to approximately USD $47 (per the exchange rate as of the day I'm writing this). However, I can justify the purchase because:

  • It is the answer to all of my oil elimination prayers.
  • It's multi-purpose, both priming and mattifying.
  • I consider it part of my skincare routine more than my makeup routine, and I'm always happy to spend a little more on good skincare that really works and that my skin doesn't react against.
  • As I noted earlier, a little goes a long way; this jar is going to last me a good, long while. 

The Illamasqua Matte Veil is hands-down, the best mattifying product that I've used.

I think these two products are both great for my skin, and I will continue to use both of them. The UD De-Slick is perfect for the cooler, dryer winter months when my skin doesn't product as much oil. The Illamasqua Matte Veil is perfect for the warmer summer months when my skin's oil production can go into overdrive.

What I have also discovered the hard way is that I cannot use these two products together; together, they overly-mattify my skin to the point that they suck all of the moisture out of my it, leaving my face miserably dry with unsightly flakes, and then my skin goes into an even greater level of oil production in its attempt to combat the dryness. It's a constant battle to find the right balance, and using these two products together tips the scales in the opposite direction of overly dry, tight, miserable skin. However, someone with even oilier skin than I (bless your greasy little heart!) may find these two products work together really well.

Of course, your mileage may vary. These two products may not work for you, the way all of the other mattifying products I've tried were ineffective for me. However, if you have oily skin and haven't found anything yet that helps balance out your oil production, one or both of these products could be the answer to your skincare needs.  If you have tried either of them (or end up trying them), I would love to hear how they ended up working for you. 

If you have oily skin, what do you do and/or use to combat your oilies? 

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