How to Create Dewy Skin Without Looking Oily

Updated on November 22, 2019
punkmarkgirl profile image

Punkmarkgirl is a freelance writer with a passion for DIY projects, natural health, and makeup featuring the best products for oily skin.

How do you get dewy-looking skin without looking greasy?
How do you get dewy-looking skin without looking greasy? | Source

There’s a fine line between dewy, glowing skin and greasy, oily skin! Apply the wrong foundation or the wrong highlighter...and you will end up looking like you've dunked your face in a vat of vegetable oil.

When applying your base foundation it's essential to select the right type of products for oily skin. Advertisements bombard us with ads for BB Creams and Tinted Moisturizers that will give you a “natural glow”. However, these are simply not suited toward oily skin. Many contain oils and/or moisturizers that will clog pores and cause oily skin to feel sticky all day long. Pasty and oily is not what they had in mind when advertising products for “glowing” skin!

How to get natural looking dewy makeup - even if you have oily skin.
How to get natural looking dewy makeup - even if you have oily skin.

As a general rule, you always want to achieve a matte complexion first, then add your highlighting products afterwards, to create a dewy look. Matte makeup will create the perfect base, allowing highlighter to last all day, and helping you stay oil-free.

Right: Notice in the top "right" picture, how the model's face is matte and shine-free - yet still looks fresh and vibrant? That's because she applied matte foundation and powder before applying highlighter.

Wrong: In the lefthand "wrong" picture, the model's face looks like she needs some serious oil removal! Shine is present on her nose, forehead, cheekbones, and under her eyes. That black eyeliner is beginning to smudge. This is not your optimal fresh-faced look!

Step 1: Apply Matte Makeup

As I’ve mentioned in a few of my other posts regarding makeup for oily skin, selecting a water-based foundation is a must. Any makeup with an oil base will not be long-lasting and will cause skin to look greasy. It can also plug pores and lead to acne breakouts. This also applies to moisturizer—make sure to select one that is lightweight and oil-free.

Use Matte Foundation Before Highlighting
Use Matte Foundation Before Highlighting

Dinair Glamour Foundation is water-based and provides amazing coverage. The website advertises its use with the airbrush spray gun, but you do not need a bunch of fancy equipment to apply this makeup. It can be applied like any other foundation, using fingertips or a makeup sponge. As an added bonus, this foundation is water-resistant!

If you're looking for a drugstore brand, try L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation. This is one of the only drugstore brands that stays matte for a few hours, blends well, and also provides decent coverage.

Step 2: Apply Highlighter

Next, apply highlighter to the key areas below. Makeup artist describe these areas as “locations where light naturally hits your face.” Place highlighter according to the circles on these diagrams, following either Method # 1 or Method # 2.

Whether you have light skin or dark skin, these sections normally house dark shadows, which can make you appear tired & older. Highlighting enhances any skin tone. By adding a hint of brightness with highlighter, you’ll automatically achieve a dewy, youthful glow—without looking oily.

How to Highlight for a Dewy Look Without Looking Greasy
How to Highlight for a Dewy Look Without Looking Greasy

Best Highlighters

Here are my best recommendations for highlighter products:

Benefit Cosmetics High Beam: This one is a liquid highlighter, housed in a small bottle with a tiny brush. It allows for very precise application and provides a beautiful glow. Since it's in liquid form, it's best for those with combination to oily skin.

ELF All Over Color Stick Highlighter: This product in "Persimmon #3102" makes a great dupe for Benefit if you're looking to save a few bucks. The main difference is that the Benefit is in liquid form, and the ELF is in stick form. Since it isn't as liquid as the Benefit formula, it's good for those with oily skin. When applied to the skin, the two look almost identical.

Mattify Cosmetics Highlighter: This is a mineral powder highlighter (perfect for people who don't like the way liquid or stick highlighters can smudge foundation). It feels feather light—yet still provides a dewy, glowy look. The product also contains a built-in primer for added oil control and is best for those with oily to very oily skin.

Step 3: Apply Matte Powder

In order to lock your look in place, it’s important to use a matte setting powder. Without this, you will find that oil begins to ruin your look within a couple of hours. Setting powder will help absorb oil as it begins to surface, and prevents foundation from dissolving—giving you longer-lasting makeup.

Try Mattify Cosmetics ULTRA Powder for Oily Skin. Use a fluffy brush to apply the powder, or pat it on with a powder puff until it becomes invisible. This powder is completely transparent and can even be applied before your foundation as an oil absorbent primer. If you’re acne-prone or oily, this is a must-have product for staying shine-free.

Set makeup and highlighter using transparent matte powder
Set makeup and highlighter using transparent matte powder

Mission Accomplished! A Non-Greasy, Dewy Complexion

Your complexion now looks youthful and dewy, without a greasy layer of shine. Matte foundation takes care of oiliness, while highlighting adorns your face in a beautiful glow that will bring new vibrancy to your makeup look.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Mariana Fuzaro profile image

      Mariana Fuzaro 

      4 years ago from São Paulo, Brazil

      Thank you! I have extremely oily skin and always use pancake instead of foundation. I've tried oil-free foundation but my skin ends up sticky even so.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)