How to Deal with Oily Skin

This is a reponse to the article ‘How to Deal With Oily Skin‘ on It said “oily skin is a beauty junkie’s nightmare, a makeup artist’s stumbling block and an everyday battle for many of us.” 

I agree. A ‘smoothen’ photo filter can’t follow you around.

Although far from impossible to deal with, there is always a comfort in seeing a client for the first time and finding healthy skin. If you are like me and don’t have that luxury, here are practical and personal ways I beat the oily skin blues:

REMOVE any trace of makeup before going to bed.

Virgin Coconut Oil for anything waterproof always does the trick: mascara, eyeliner, or lip color. Try not to rub or tug, the effects of doing so only come when its too late. Also, use makeup remover wipes instead of dry cotton pads. It removes with less friction, therefore less tugging. For the rest of the makeup, I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

If you want the same effect, less effort and can spare a few extra bucks, Cleansing Water by Koh Gen Do does just that. I especially love this when travelling!

CLEANSE with a cleanser formulated specially for oily skin. Harsh soaps and cleansers can strip too much oil from the skin and dry it out, causing the sebum glands to produce more oil, so look for gentle options.

I use Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser everyday and occasionally, I use a mild scrub on my face, neck, and the part of my back i can reach with my hands. I love Human Nature Balancing Facial Wash.

MOISTURIZE. It’s a common misconception (one that I had until a good one on one with my dermatologist) that oily skin doesn’t need moisture because it has enough. The truth is, skin actually produces more oil when it is stripped dry. Avoid anything alcohol based or anything with parabens, instead look for oil-free or water-based hydrators.

I love using Lancome Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate at night and Genefique Youth Activating Eye Concentrate as a treat. It’s light enough even in humid weather. During the day, a recent discovery is Skin White Face Cream Powder. It acts like a tinted moisturizer, but it finishes matte so it also acts like a makeup primer. Plus it has SPF! I am a fan of anything that saves me time and lets me sleep in more ;)

On clients with oily skin, a quick spritz of MAC Mineralize Charged Water does the trick.

PRIME with a lightweight primer. I adore Guerlain L’Or Radiance Concentrate with Pure Gold Makeup Base. Mix it into your favorite liquid concealer for a good face base. It’s easily absorbed into the skin, makes your makeup last longer and makes me feel fancy for special occasions.

For makeup clients, Makeup Forever HD Microperfecting Primer has my heart. It’s lightweight, easily absorbed and does the job… well.

MATTE, BLOT, POWDER on long days.

Shoot days are always long days and locations are not always comfortable but I like feeling comfortable and looking fresh. A quick spritz of MAC Mineralize Charged Water is energizing and refreshing. Evian works too.

To blot, I use hard tissues because it absorbs oil and sweat then finish with a translucent powder so makeup doesn’t cake on the build up of pigment.



On the go

The no-makeup makeup seems to be all the rage these days, with celebrity photos popping up bare-faced. Some still pretty, some surprisingly even prettier, some not so much..

Elizabeth Olsen
Lindsay Lohan

But what if you can’t afford it? I know with the easy access to phone cameras and instant sharing, I wouldn’t dare. Here’s a quick 5 minute fix to make you and I less camera shy.

First of all, prepare beforehand and keep your brows groomed. If you absolutely don’t have time or simply can’t do it yourself, have it professionally done. Then simply maintain it by removing any growth. Keep a tweezer near your toothbrush and make it part of your nightly routine.

Something just as important is to moisturize. If your moisturizer has sun protection better. If it is tinted, then that is best! The Balm’s Balm Shelter Tinted Moisturizer SPF18 does all these. Dab dots on your forehead, cheeks and chin and spread in an upward motion.




For a mattifying finish, try Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer SPF15 with Dermaxyl Complex. Use the tinted moisturizer and then the primer and you double the purpose and compound its sun protection.

We’re down to two minutes!

Next up, liven up the face with color. A quick way is to use The Balm’s Stainiac Tinted Gel Blush which works for lips and cheeks. That way you won’t have to worry about matching cheek and lip color. Line up three dots of the product on each cheek and quickly spread. Then dab on your lips and pucker up. It will give the most natural, born-with-it color into your face.

For extra moisture and a healthy plump shine, dab light gloss on your lips and you’re out the door.

The Deal with Primers

“Do I really need it? Which one should I get? What is it really for?” I get asked often. Here’s what I think about the top makeup primers available at Beauty Bar Philippines.

First of all, KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE.

If you have dry skin, try a hydrating primer. It prevents flaking which makes your foundation look uneven. It’s also handy to travel with when the stress of long flights and sudden change in temperature takes a toll on your skin.

 For oily skin, try a lightweight mattifying primer. You don’t need a lot, about a pea-size amount spread around your face, concentrating on the oilest parts of the face: forehead, nose and the corners of the nose. Try mixing it in with your favorite liquid foundation for a barely-there makeup look.


If you have sensitive skin, use a light-weight primer that is free of talc, perfumes and chemical dyes. It’s great for pregnant women who don’t want to worry about unnecessary ingredients.

When going through skin treatments that leave your complexion redder than usual, or if you fell asleep under the noonday sun a day before taking your graduation picture ( I speak here from experience), use a color correcting primer. In this case, a green-tone will neutralize that redness in the skin.

A pink/lavender-toned color corrector will liven up pale and sallow skin, which explains the popularity of BB Creams particularly in the Asian market. And if you have dark spots, a yellow-tinted primer is for you! It will neutralize the darkness and even out your skin tone.

Lastly, KNOW THE DESIRED MAKEUP EFFECT: luminous vs. matte

A luminous skin finish will diminish the appearance of lines while a matte skin finish a more flawless, airbrushed look. I usually mix a pearlized primer with a liquid foundation so it doesn’t look overly luminous or oily, especially on camera.

So, do you really need a primer? Honestly, when in a rush, it’s one of the first things skipped, but always have it in routine for special dress up days or when I know I’m going to need to look my best the whole day.

Let confusion be gone about foundation primers and try one! Test drive your favorite foundation first without the primer. See how smooth it spreads, how long until you need a touch up. Then try it with a primer and compare. If you don’t have the luxury of a trial period, try it on the back of your hand.

ck one Color Collection

Ah grunge. This brand has always had deep roots in my… olfactory nerves. A whiff of the unisex fragrance takes me back to 1994 when the most stressful feat to face was homework. So it wasn’t absurd that it caught my attention when launched as an independent brand early in 2011 as cK one.

And last month ck one launched its color collection, which I have yet to try but already think I love because of it’s philosophy on self-exploration and enhancing what exists already, rather than transformation or dramatization. Read more on the launch by The Moodie Report here.

Despite the discontinuation of the Calvin Klein Collection, a makeup range by Unilever Cosmetics International in 2003 and again by Markwins in 2008, the ck one following might be more welcoming to its simplified approach to beauty, embracing individualism and defying stereotypes. It is said to be authentic, confident and cool – all core values of the wider ck one brand.

I am especially eyeing the handy foundations in capsule-like packaging, perfect for tossing in your tote on those don’t-think-just-say-yes travel plans. Knowing it comes in SPF is pretty nifty too.

What People Think I Do / What I Really Do

Thanks to NikolaM other artists and I can share in this internet meme on

First one is NOT TRUE personally. It used to be but my mom, along with the rest of matriarchal family, benefits from it and I appreciate the crazy support.

Next one is SOMETIMES TRUE although only when I was younger and thought I had to attend fashion events.

TOTALLY TRUE! Especially with executive business men.

TRUE. it doesn’t just take five minutes or I can’t just use cheap makeup.

TRUE along with preparing days before, making sure I’m on time and dressed for the job, making sure I give my very best.

TRUE: negotiating, processing, accounting, sourcing, emailing and everything else people in suits do, only not in a suit.