Setting Sprays For Oily Skin

By now, you know I have oily skin. Finding a setting spray that will check my sebum production at the door is key, but difficult. Trial and error is annoying, time consuming and costly. However, thank me later because I’ve done some of the searching for you. Below are three products I’ve tried and two more that I want to try:

Left: NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray. Middle: Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray. Right: M.A.C Prep + Prime Fix+ Spray


NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

This doesn’t do a damn thing for me besides keep my makeup in place. It does nothing for controlling shine. In fact, it makes my face oiler, therefore, it doesn’t do much to solidify its claim of achieving a ‘matte finish.’ The only benefit is its cost. It’s the cheapest out of the three products in the photo above.

Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray

This is very similar to the NYX product. It keeps my makeup in place, but it doesn’t control shine. After spraying, my face is always oiler than normal. I had high hopes for this brand because people rave about it. Thank goodness I bought the travel size.

M.A.C Prep + Prime Fix+ Spray

It looks like water, so you’d think it wouldn’t be effective, but looks can be deceiving. This product is the truth; it’s my holy grail setting spray. It also does a great job of combating shine and keeping my makeup in place. My makeup stays matte for hours, and I don’t really need to blot my t-zone, but I still do because of habit. Prep + Prime is a multi-use setting spray, too. I also use it to dampen my Real Techniques Complexion Sponge for blending foundation and concealer or add moisture to my contour palette. I used this product in the photo above, and I only had to blot once. This photo was taken when I got home at like three in the morning. Face was still popping!

I still want to try the Ben Nye Final Seal Matte Makeup Sealer and Boscia White Charcoal Mattifying Makeup Setting Spray. I heard these were good, but I won’t be holding my breath.

What are some of your favorite setting sprays? Let me know in the comments section below.


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Video: My Nighttime Skincare Routine

Just some fillers: I don’t usually wear a full face of makeup, but when I do, I remove it with makeup remover wipes, Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre or coconut oil.

Products mentioned in this video include:

  1. L’Oreal Clean Artiste Eye Makeup Remover
  2. Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel
  3. Clarisonic Mia 2
  4. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
  5. Be The Skin Botanical Pore Serum
  6. Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Eye Treatment
  7. Jojoba Oil

Thanks for watching my nighttime skincare post! Feel free to comment or ask me any questions. Subscribe to my site to keep up with me, too! 🙂


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Le Struggle: Four Seasons, Three Skin Tones, Two Foundations & Two Tinted Moisturizers

Like many women, my skin tone changes colors depending on the season. During the summer months, usually starting in May, my skin tone starts to get darker. It’s chocolate, yet bronzy with a banging glow! I love it! When October rolls around, my complexion gradually gets lighter. By Christmas, my tan is completely gone. As a result, I have to use two different foundations/tinted moisturizer. Perhaps it should be three different foundations/tinted moisturizers, but I never liked math – so let’s just stick with the number two. It’s hard af to find tinted moisturizer for my skin tone in the summer. This is when the struggle gets real. No brand makes a dark enough color that’s a perfect match, and I am not playing chemist anymore (ahem, Laura Mercier). No time for it. My only option in the summer is foundation, and the selections are extremely limited in color and coverage. Most of the time, I roaming around with a fresh face because I can’t be bothered.

Since June, I’ve been using Clinique Even Better foundation in Pecan. It’s described as a “golden/red shade for deep skin tones with golden undertones.” The color is a perfect match to my warm and red undertones! Whenever summertime hits, my undertones go from warm/golden to red, and Pecan is the perfect color. My only issue with Even Better is that the formula is a bit heavy and more suitable for those looking for moderate-to-full coverage. I prefer light, sheer coverage as I don’t need to cover any scars/blemishes, and I’m not concerned about my little hyperpigmentation issues. The color is perfect, so I’m just managing. Thankfully, I never committed to buying a full size bottle, so I’ve been using a sample. Plus, I only wear makeup on the weekends when I go out, so I don’t wear it everyday. My sample is almost done, but summer is basically over. I’m hoping that by next summer, more brands will have more lightweight foundation options for black women. Still, I think Even Better is a great formula for women looking for medium-to-full coverage. They color range is decent, it’s long-wearing and it even includes broad spectrum SPF 15.


On the cooler side, I’m really looking forward to fall because I get to start using my Nars Tinted Moisturizers again. I use both the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Polynesia. It’s described as “dark with warm, chocolate undertones.” I’m out of my Pure Radiant, so I need to buy more. I was introduced to the Velvet Matte sometime in May, but once I started tanning, I had to stop using both of them because they no longer matched my skin tone. They’re both lightweight and Polynesia is the perfect color for my complexion in the cooler months. The only difference between the two products is that one has a bit of a luminous finish with lightweight coverage, and the other has a soft, matte finish with medium, buildable coverage. They’re both oil free products with broad spectrum SPF 30. Even though I have oily skin, my favorite of the two is Pure Radiant because it’s lighter and leaves a more natural-looking finish.



My Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition foundation came through this past May, and I fell in love with it. Too bad I could only use it for about a month. As soon as June hit, it was a rap. It doesn’t help that I use 12.0, the last color in the line. It’s described as a “dark shade with deep, golden undertones.” It has a luminous, demi-matte finish – but it’s not shiny. SO GOOD. It doesn’t feel like I have anything on, it doesn’t break me out and the color is too perfect. I think I may have found my holy-grail foundation for the late fall/winter/spring months. FYI, the coverage is buildable, too.


An honorable mention is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I use 11.5 which is described as “deep skin with red undertone.” Once again, I used this for a hot second because I bought it in the beginning of May 2015, and then my skin tone started to change. I only used it for a weekend while on vacation. SMH. Honestly, I forgot all about it once the weather cooled down because I started using my Nars tinted moisturizer again. I’ll have to revisit the Luminous Silk this year once my complexion starts changing. What’s interesting is that even though this formula has red undertones, it doesn’t work for me in the summertime. It’s weirdly too light, and I look ashy. This is why I hate trying on foundation in stores. That artificial light never tells the truth. All lies. It’s still a bomb foundation, though lol. I’m going to give this another shot when it gets cooler. This may not be a viable option in the winter, but I’ll see. Anyway, it’s oil-free and lightweight with a silky, airbrushed finish. I remember that much. I know a lot of makeup artists use this foundation for editorial shoots on models because it’s that bomb.


If you know of lightweight foundations or tinted moisturizers with a plethora of color options for black women, please advise!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post!




Prime Time For Oily Skin

When is prime time? Every time you wear tinted moisturizer or foundation.

My 16-year-old cousin inspired today’s post. Hey, Arlyn, hey! She spent a weekend with me last month, and we chatted about makeup. How could we not? I found out she doesn’t use a primer, and I couldn’t believe it. It’s such an essential part of applying makeup. How does one skip it? Come to find out, some people just don’t think it’s necessary, don’t know how or when to apply it, don’t know that it is an actual thing or can’t be bothered with spending money on it.

The truth is primer gives your foundation or tinted moisturizer something to hold onto, so that your makeup stays on longer, even in extreme weather. It also creates a smooth base for makeup application, and in my case, helps control oily areas. Eyeshadow primers do the same thing. The best way to apply primer is with your fingers. This allows for you to really work the product into your skin.

laura mercier

I have textured, oily skin and I must say, my two holy-grail primers do an amazing job of combating shine and allowing my makeup to go on smoother. I’ve even worn primer alone; it just gives you a more polished, fresh face. I’ve only done this with Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer (LM), though. All the others I have tried leave a white, powdery finish. In fact, I used to use Milk of Magnesia (MoM) as a toner (doubles as a toner and primer for external beauty purposes), and then I would apply Laura Mercier’s primer to cover up the powdery finish. This combination kept my face matte forever, promise. I specifically used these two together when I traveled by airplane. I don’t know about you, but when I board a plane with just a fresh face, I deplane with a grease-bucket face. Not cute. The MoM and LM combination helped so much. The only thing I didn’t like about the combination is that it made my face feel cakey. It was a weird, heavy feeling – and I assume it is because MoM isn’t exactly the most translucent product when applied to the face. It does leave a fairly thick ghost-face finish even if you use a small amount. Adding a creamy, gel product like LM’s primer isn’t going to make everything feel lightweight, either. Still, my skin looked flawless and oil-free. This partnership is the essence of a no-makeup makeup look.

milk of magnesia

I’ve tried several primers:


  • Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer
  • Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector
  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer


  • No. 7 Beautifully Matte Make Up Base
  • Maybelline Master Prime by Face Studio Blur + Smooth Primer
  • Milk of Magnesia


Laura Mercier and Milk of Magnesia stopped controlling my oil when I wore them separately with foundation/tinted moisturizer. MoM used to be my holy-grail primer, but then it decided it wasn’t going to come through anymore. Or, maybe my skin is maturing? I don’t know, but it dumped me. I decided to dump Laura Mercier. It just wasn’t working out, so I moved on. No.7 just doesn’t work for me, period. It is not mattifying at all. Maybelline also sucks as a primer for oily skin. The only things I will say it does a great job at are blurring/smoothing fine lines and textured skin. It does not control oil.

no 7 primer

maybelline primer

Now, Becca and Make Up For Ever? Those two queens are my jam! They really help keep my makeup matte for about eight hours. I only have to use blotting tissue once, and not much oil transfers onto the tissue. I should also note that the application process matters. It is critical that these two products aren’t smeared across your face with your fingers, but instead, dabbed or patted. For some reason the formula will ball up and start to look flaky if you rub it on your face – and that’s not going to give you a smooth-looking finish when it’s time to apply foundation. So, just dab. A raisin amount of primer will suffice for your entire face or just focus areas. Also, wait for your primer to dry before applying foundation. Major key. After I moisturize, I apply my primer and then start to do my eyebrows. This way the primer has time to properly dry and be more effective underneath my makeup.

becca primer
Holy-grail primer.
make up for ever primer
Holy-grail primer.

I still want to try Dr. Brandt Pores No More Refiner, Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Smashbox Photo Filter Pore Minimizing Primer and Givenchy Mister Mat Matifying Primer. I heard they’re great. I’ll be the judge, though. There should be travel sizes in the Hourglass and Smashbox primers at Sephora, which helps because they’re prestige products (pricey).

Last repetitive piece of advice: use a primer because you should have something in between your moisturizer and foundation, always. Your good looks will last longer.

Feel free to share your thoughts or questions below. Thanks for reading! 🙂