Best Cushion Foundations for Oily Skin (2018)

Updated 5 years ago

If you have the preconceived notion that cushion foundations are only great for giving you a dewy, glowy complexion which makes it a major no-no for those with oily skin, you are definitely mistaken. Cushion foundations are the same as any other types of foundations - cream, powder, liquids - they all come in different finishes to suit a variety of skin textures and concerns. In fact, to accommodate oily skin needs, beauty and skincare brands are increasingly rolling out new cushions designed specifically to provide long wear, sebum and shine control, as well as great coverage to give oily skin users a matte yet natural finish. Without further ado, let’s break down the best cushion foundations on the market that are most suitable for oily skin.

Top 11 Best Cushion Foundations for Oily Skin

Etude House AC Clean Up Mild BB Cushion SPF50+ PA+++

This cushion is formulated with non-comedogenic, acne-fighting ingredients such as tea tree leaf oil and salicylic acid to help prevent breakouts while regulating sebum production, thereby making it the ideal foundation for those with oily, acne-prone skin. It has a light to medium coverage that blends well, making your skin look poreless and smooth. It dries down to a matte finish with a lightweight texture that allows the product to sit comfortably on your skin, making it a great choice for daily wear.

Pony Effect Cover Stay Cushion Foundation

Created by the renowned South Korean celebrity makeup artist, Pony, this cushion foundation with a matte finish is intended for those with oily skin. Users reported only requiring a small amount to completely hide blemished skin without looking like they had too much makeup on. The lightweight product is also easily blended to achieve a flawless, creaseless look. Infused with sebum control powder, it keeps oiliness in hand while preventing the foundation from breaking up after hours of wear. Go for this if you want to have decent coverage but still sporting the “no makeup” look.

Peripera Ink Lasting Mint Cushion

Peripera released its Ink Lasting Cushion in three versions - Pink, Mint and Lavender to target different skin concerns. The Mint Cushion is specially formulated with a chock full of green ingredients such as tea tree, centella and peppermint to give you shine-free, evenly-toned complexion. Users reported great coverage for an unblemished look without looking cakey or dry. As such, this is the perfect foundation match for individuals with oily, troubled skin.  

LABIOTTE AMI-GOM Classic Made Fitting Cushion Foundation SPF 50+ PA+++

With a sweet girly-pink compact that has a cute image of two bears embossed on the front, the foundation looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Yet, the product does not rely only on its appearance to capture the heart of users as its long-wearing foundation provides up to 25 hours of coverage! Reviewers commented that there was little need for touch-ups or reapplication when using this product which provides ample evidence of its longevity. Using 98% Pure Juniper Berry Water, it helps to purify pores to give you a refined look while improving your skin’s elasticity. Moreover, it is enriched with Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate your skin, keeping it comfortable and fresh all day long.

Clinique Super City Block BB Cushion Compact SPF 50

Designed specifically for urban users, this high-performing cushion gives you buildable coverage for an immaculate and matte finish while letting your skin breathe. It is imbued with high SPF and antioxidants to arm you with sun protection, and defense against impurities and environmental aggressors characteristic of living in the city. With a parabens- and fragrance-free formulation, it does not irritate sensitive skin.

Yves Saint Laurent Le Cushion Encre de Peau

The exotic name translates to “Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation”. This high-end product is worth the hefty price tag attached as vouched by reviewers for its perfect coverage in hiding imperfections while regulating sebum production. It provides a matte yet luminous finish to give added dimension to the user. Containing moisturizing Tamanu Oil, it hydrates your skin to enhance radiance without any dry patches. As this foundation sets very quickly, it saves you time in your makeup routine, making application fast and easy.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation SPF 50

Praised for its amazing coverage due to its patented Polar Cushion technology which has an ultra-absorbent fiber network to lock in high coverage texture, this lavish cushion foundation is long-wearing with a matte finish to ensure you still look well put together even after a long work day. The oil-free foundation also has a cooling hydration that makes the product sit comfortably on your skin. Topped off with a high sun protection (SPF 50), this is the go-to product for oily skin users who want a matte look while still looking natural.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Light Velvet Cushion SPF50 Liquid Foundation

Touted as a 3-in-1 liquid foundation, this multi-tasker provides you with long-lasting wear of up to 12 hours, high sun protection (SPF50+/PA+++), as well as offering medium coverage that promises to hide all blemishes. It is well-equipped to control oiliness and shine with the help of its silicon powders while giving you a smooth, poreless and semi-matte finish. The packaging is unique as it is comes with a tray rather than a sponge-like feature to keep your compact hygienic and less muddy compared to other conventional cushion foundations.

Hera Black Cushion

This cushion offers a matte finish courtesy of its Matte Finish Gel. It is further complemented with its Double Lasting Layer feature that provides a hard layer and another soft film to enhance the staying power of the foundation. This makes it perfect for those who want to avoid looking like a greaseball at the end of the day. With its Ultra Fine Powder Dispersion technology and mica coated amino acid derivatives, it gives you full coverage with a lightweight feel while brightening up your look. It also has SPF34/PA++ to protect your skin from sun damage.

Dior Prestige Le Cushion Teint de Rose

This luxurious cushion foundation is worth the splurge as it is infused with the “revitalizing power of 500 rose petals” to give you a soft, glowy, rose-petal complexion. It is made with Rose de Granville, which is the first rose created by Dior for skincare due to its regenerative benefits. The end product is a creamy foundation that adheres closely to your skin to give you a second skin effect, which enhances its long-wearing ability, thereby making it perfect for oily skin types. Furthermore, the Rose Light pigments found within the cream will give your face a soft glow to avoid a one-dimensional texture that is often associated with matte finishes.

Shu Uemura Petal Skin Cushion Foundation SPF 40 PA++

This innovative cushion utilizes a liquid-to-powder technology to provide a matte finish which makes it suitable for oily skin users. It is enriched with Sakura Duo to diminish the appearance of large pores while smoothing out uneven skin tone, giving you impeccable coverage that is reminiscent of Japanese women with their refined skin texture. The cushion is made with high quality petal skin so that you will not experience streaky or patchy application. With a decent sun protection of SPF25 PA+, this is great for those who don’t mind splurging a little.  


With so many options specifically catered towards oily skin individuals, it’s time to get rid of the notion that cushion foundations are only created for normal to dry skin users. Start including one in your makeup routine today to get an impeccable, shine-free complexion!  

Becoming a Cushionista

For all you oily skin users out there, cushion foundations can also work well with your skin type without looking like you had just doused your face in a tub of oil. In fact, most cushion foundations designed for oily skin are equipped with sebum-regulating properties as well as hydrating ingredients to keep your skin well-moisturized so that it does not feel the need to secrete excess sebum.  

How to Prevent Your Foundation From Melting Off

When using the cushion foundation, one of the greatest concerns of oily skin individuals is that the product will not stay on long due to the excess sebum secreted on the skin which causes the foundation to break up and look patchy at the end of the day. To help you get extra longevity out of using your cushion foundation, let’s look at some tips from makeup artists:

Tips to keep your foundation fresh and matte all day:

  • Let Your Moisturizer Sink In: if you try applying a primer or base product to a moist surface, you will definitely find it difficult for the product to adhere to your skin or in worst cases, cause pilling or balling up. So make sure your serums, moisturizer or any skincare products used previously have been fully absorbed into the skin and whisk away excess moisture before applying makeup.
  • Prime Your Skin: using a primer is the golden rule when it comes to increasing the staying power of your foundation while creating a smooth canvas so that it goes on better. Choose an oil-free primer to tackle excess sebum concerns.
  • Invest In A Setting Powder/Spray: after all the hard work of meticulously applying your makeup to achieve a flawless look, you definitely don’t want them to be messed up or disappear within a few hours. Use a makeup setting powder or spray to lock everything in place so that you can look just as good when the day ends. Go for those with a matte finish or oil control to help keep excess sebum away.
  • Keep Blotting Papers Nearby: blotting papers are an excellent way to take away the excess shine without disturbing your makeup too much. Keep these handy tools in your handbag or in the drawer of your work desk whenever you feel the need to blot.
  • Press & Roll Outwards: the puff inside your cushion foundation can be used to achieve a matte finish while expertly covering up blemish spots. Instead of just tapping the product all over your face, press the puff in and then roll outwards to ensure that the product is closely adhered to your skin which will enhance the staying power of the foundation.
  • Midday Touch-ups: the beauty of the cushion foundation is its convenience for touch-ups. Use the accompanying mirror inside the compact to lightly re-apply areas that look a little shiny and your foundation will look as good as new.

What is the right way to apply foundation?

  • Use Downward Motions: the key to an immaculate finish is to apply your foundation in downward motions so that you do not disturb the peach fuzz on your cheeks which grows downward. This makes them less noticeable so that your foundation looks smooth and natural.
  • Blend Seamlessly Around the Ears & Neck: if you want to avoid looking like there is clearly defined line of where your foundation starts and stops, make sure to apply some foundation over your ears and a little down the neck to achieve an overall evenly-toned complexion.
  • Apply In Natural Light: to ensure that the shade of the foundation matches your skin tone perfectly, always do your makeup in natural light. If natural light is not available in your room, you can opt for bathroom light instead and then double-check the final look in natural light streaming in of your nearest window.

Armed with these tips and tricks designed to enhance the lasting power of your foundation while providing maximum shine control, you never have to worry about it slipping and sliding by the end of the day.

What Causes Oily Skin?

People often mistook oily skin as being moisture-rich which is why you have excess sebum on your skin right? Not really. In fact, most of the times, having oily skin is a sign that your skin is dehydrated. However, do note that there is a difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin. Dehydrated skin refers to the temporary condition of the skin that lacks water and can happen to any skin type - oily, combination or normal. On the other hand, dry skin is a skin type that is characterized by little sebum production. It is also possible for dry skin to suffer from dehydration. Due to insufficient moisture within the skin layers, dehydrated skin overproduces sebum as a way of compensation, which is why you can have oily skin that is actually parched internally. One way to tell if you have dehydrated skin even though you are of an oily skin type is to gently pinch your skin and wait to see if any fine lines appear. If there are fine lines visible, it shows that your skin is thirsty and in need of a good moisturizer. This is also why some cushion foundations tailored for oily skin types contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid to help your skin retain moisture and regulate sebum production.

More causes for oily skin

  • Sleep Deprivation: not getting enough shuteye during the night means that your body is deprived of rest time. This could lead to insulin resistance which produces a hormone called IGF-1 that triggers increased sebum production, thereby contributing to oily skin.
  • Hormonal Changes: the hormone androgen is mainly responsible for the excess sebum on your skin. Androgen production tend to increase during times when you are stressed, before menstruation as well as during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, which leads to your skin looking its worst.
  • Diet: certain foods such as dairy products, refined carbohydrates and sugars, salty food, alcohol, and foods high in saturated fats and trans fats can worsen the oil slick on your face. It is best to avoid these foods on the whole which is not only beneficial to your skin health but also to your overall well-being.
  • Genetics: if your parents have oily skin, chances are likely that you will have it too. This is because the larger sebaceous glands that increases sebum production are a hereditary trait that can be passed down to you.

The next time you are in a beauty store and are reluctant of purchasing the latest cushion foundation because you are afraid it won’t hold up well on your oily skin type, don’t hesitate! With a few lifestyle changes as well as choosing the right cushion foundation that has shine-control properties and a matte finish, you can enjoy becoming a cushionista without worrying about your foundation breaking up.