The One Where I Talk About Oil

I have a love/hate relationship with makeup, more specifically foundation. I am cursed with the oiliest skin imaginable. I really thought that by the time I'd hit my 40's my skin would have been past all the malarki and would have settled into being nice, normal, skin. Apparently not. Infact, I've probably got more spots and oil than I ever had in my teens. That said, I don't want to have dry skin, since the oil is the reason I have no wrinkles at 40 (although I feel wrinkles are not the thing that gives away your age anyway, it's sagging, droopy skin as the collagen in your skin breaks down as you get older, resulting in 'jowels', heavy eyelids or loose chins) , but I'd like just to be a little less greasy please.

I'm also cursed with terribly uneven skintone and whilst I don't wear foundation every single day, for days when I need to look presentable, such as when I'm at work, I want my skin to look nice. However, my skin makes short work of every foundation I have ever tried. I, at best, get 2 hours before it slides off my face. The last straw came earlier in the week when I spent £32 on a Bobbi Brown foundation, which the woman at the BB counter told me would work for me because it was was long lasting, but it barely stayed on my skin for an hour. Annoyed, I took to Twitter for help.

There was much discussion and sharing of oily skin woes. Over the course of the Twitter discussion, I ended up with some great advice and product recommendations, which I'll be trying over the coming months. In the interim however, I decided to take a non-product approach first.

Having read pretty much everything out there about treating oily skin, I came across something which I hadn't read before, which goes against almost every other bit of advice I'd previously read - don't wash your face very often. Um, 'scuse me? The thought of not washing face twice a day seemed horrifying to me. But since I'd tried everything else, I thought I'd give it a bash. So for the last week or so, I have only been washing my face at night, and in the morning simply splashing it with water. Thus far, I've seen a vast improvement. I expected to wake up finding ever increasing black heads and open pores, but no. Infact, after the first day my skin got incredibly dry and flakey which thankfully settled down the day after. Whilst my skin isn't oil free, by any stretch of the imagination, it's much more manageable than it's ever been.

I decided to try a new foundation with my less oily skin. Someone had pointed me in the direction of Lisa Eldridge's makeup videos as she recommends products all the time. So I found one where she talks about foundations for oily skin and she recommended No7 Beautifully Matte.

I headed off to my local Boots in search for this. I was greeted by a lady brandishing a machine which she told me would match me with my perfect shade. I was dubious. I personally prefer to err on the side of deathly pale when it comes to foundation and makeup counter ladies don't like that. They always want to "warm up" my skintone. So I did expect the result to come back much darker than I'd ever consider wearing. Can you imagine my shock then when the results from the little machine came back with the perfect shade for me? Sure, it's warmer than I'd ever chose for myself but it's still on the pale side and I have to admit, it makes my skin look amazing. It feels lovely on and gives a full coverage without being heavy. It blends really nicely and I'd most definitely buy this again. With my new face regime too, it stays on my skin for at least 4 hours, which might not seem long lasting to most people, but for me it's positively miraculous!

I'm going to try and find the guts to return my Bobbi Brown foundation. I'm normally happy to return unsuitable products, but I find returning makeup a bit terrifying therefore I tend to avoid it at all costs. But £32 is a lot of money to simply through away, so wish me luck readers! I'll also be investing in some new products to further fight the battle against oily skin and I'll be sure to report back.

Does anyone else have any tricks or tips for skin problems, oily or otherwise?


Edit: Thank you to reader Katrine for recommending the blog of Caroline Hirons. It's an incredible resource for seeringly brilliant advice. Even if you don't want advice on skincare, go for her chat because she's amazing!