'I'm a beauty editor. Here's the best makeup for dry skin.'

There's nothing quite as humbling as looking into the mirror at 1pm and seeing your makeup clinging on to dry, flaky patches of skin. It sucks. And it's a very helpful reminder that not all makeup products are made for dry skin. You gotta be choosy. But, that's why you have me.

As someone who tries a lotta makeup (YES, it's a real job mum), I've tested a lot of good and not so good makeup products on my skin. Because often, what works for everyone else won't necessarily work for dry skin — and there are a few 'special' considerations you need to look out for.

You want stuff that's going to give you a hand on the hydrating front and not mess with your moisture barrier. The kind of products that are going to keep your skin smooth and even, and not b**ch out on you and make your skin look dull, tired or really bloody thirsty.

Watch: Remember that time I applied 10 pumps of foundation to my face? I do. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Before I get into it though, it's probably best to tell you a little bit about my usual makeup look, yeah? I tend to lean into a glowy, dewy makeup finish and prefer a lightweight, sheer finish for my everyday base. As someone covered with freckles, when I reach for formulas that are full coverage, my skin doesn't look like my skin. You know? 


I feel better wearing makeup that works with my skin's quirks instead of covering them up — so I always try to go for that fresh, natural-looking vibe that fools people into thinking you drink a lot of water and do pilates. Ha.

When it comes to eye makeup, I'm notoriously boring and very lazy — but I do love a chic brown creamy formula that compliments my green eyes. Something you can simply apply with your fingers and go. Same for blush, bronzer and highlighter — I'm all about creamy, easy-to-blend textures that aren't drying and cakey. For lips, I'm not my of a lipstick gal (too drying) but love a tinted balm or gloss.

Okay, okay, okay. From hydrating foundations to non-drying mattifiers, here's my round-up of the best products for dry skin.

The best primer for dry skin.

Image: Holme Beauty Base Primer, Benefit The POREfessional Hydrate Pore Primer, elf Hydrating Face Primer. 


The key to nice makeup on dry skin is prep (surprise) but beyond good skincare, you're going to want to make sure you use a product that's not only going to help your look last but also act as a nice smooth canvas.

I love glow-giving primers like Holme Beauty Base Primer, $65, but also pore smoothing formulas like Benefit The POREfessional Hydrate Pore Primer, $60 or elf Hydrating Face Primer, $14.

The best foundation for dry skin.

Image: Flower Light Illusion Liquid Foundation, Rimmel Kind and Free Foundation, Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation, Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Beautiful Skin Foundation.


When it comes to foundation, I'm firmly on the liquid team and do not faff about with anything with the word 'matte' written on it. Matte and I just don't work together. (Plus, he never messages back).

For this reason, I turn to illuminating, sheer formulas that are hydrating, lightweight and blend well. I'm particularly partial to foundation you can slap on with your fingers (sometimes brushes irritate my sensitive and dry skin), and anything that quickly makes my skin look better but not different.

Some of my favourites are: Flower Light Illusion Liquid Foundation, $9.69, Rimmel Kind and Free Foundation, $19.95, Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation, $53 and Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Beautiful Skin Foundation, $70.

All beautifully hydrating formulas that don't look like poo by midday.

The best blush for dry skin.

Image: Charlotte Tilbury Glow Wands, Milk Makeup Sticks, Mecca Max Sticks.


As with most of my makeup routine, I pretty much exclusively use cream blushes and bronzers — they blend beautifully into the skin and they're pretty hard to mess up. The same goes for highlighter, too. My favourite picks are the Charlotte Tilbury Glow Wands, $60, Milk Makeup Sticks, $48 and Mecca Max Sticks, $19.

The best eyeshadow for dry skin.

Image: Revlon ColorStay Shadow Sticks, Rare Beauty All Of The Above Weightless Eyeshadow Sticks, Mecca Max Zoom Flex Fluid Liquid Eyeshadows.


Also part of the dry lids club? Welcome. As someone who has experienced eczema in the past, I'm blessed with flare-ups of dry skin, redness and irritation around my eyes on the regular. It's great fun for no one.

This means things like powdered eyeshadow can kindly f**k off, because they only end up going patchy or cakey or just feel gross on my lids. Instead, I use creamy formulas — and thanks to a bunch of new launches in the last year or so, there's never been so many great creamy shadow sticks to choose from.

Some of my favourites include: Mecca Max Zoom Flex Fluid Liquid Eyeshadows, $22, Revlon ColorStay Shadow Sticks, $19.95, and Rare Beauty All Of The Above Weightless Eyeshadow Sticks, $39.  They're simple, easy to blend and take seconds, to apply.

The best setting spray for dry skin.

Image: Hourglass Veil™ Soft Focus Setting Spray, Morphe Continuous Setting Mist, Holme Beauty Setting Spray. 


For a glowy makeup look and hydrated skin that lasts, you'll want to look for a formula that hydrates the skin instead of drying it out. I love spritzing on glow-giving formulas that give you a slightly illuminated effect or to refresh my makeup and give my skin look healthy. Some of my favourites include Holme Beauty Setting Spray, $49, Hourglass Veil™ Soft Focus Setting Spray, $79 and Morphe Continuous Setting Mist, $20.

The best setting powder for dry skin.

Image: Rae Morris Invisible Mattifier.


I've literally only ever found on 'setting powder' that works great on my dry skin — and it's not actually a powder. It's called Rae Morris Invisible Mattifier, $80, and it's a gel-to-powder type formula that changed my makeup. It lasts longer than powder, doesn't cling to dry skin or go patchy — it just gives your skin the most beautiful velvety, mattified finish. I wrote a whole review on it here.

Want to hear more beauty stuff from Erin? You should follow her on Instagram. But not if you're looking for directions (her internal positioning system is broken).

Feature image: Supplied/Canva.

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