Collage by Danielle Moalem


The Best Mattifying Beauty Products That Aren’t Blotting Sheets

True shine erasers

Is there a more divisive beauty product than the blotting sheet? On one hand, they work really well—for the most part, anyway. On the other, you can only appreciate their effects if you're able to tolerate seeing all of the oil your face contains (and it's a lot) condensed onto the surface of one tiny, now-super-gross sheet. It's a toss-up.

I still use blotting papers, despite not liking such concrete evidence about how greasy my face really is. (Though, I usually don't use them in front of other people, because ew.) But lately, I've started to gravitate toward other products that similarly promise a face featuring minimal shine. Now, let's be clear, there's nothing out there that can completely eliminate oil. Though annoying, having some kind of lubrication on your skin is actually necessary to help deliver essential nutrients and stave off pollutants. But there are some options that can help keep excess oil at bay during the more unbearable summer days, when it seems like people can see their reflection in your forehead. 

After trying a ton of oil-eliminating products during recent high-humidity days, I've found plenty that worked wonders. Hopefully, you too will find your matte soul mate in one of the following products. There's only a month and change left to this summer; we got this, my oily friends.

I've always felt that micellar waters leave me with a film of dirt after using them. Can your face truly be clean without the help of soap? Maybe! Garner's mattifying version has at least convinced me of this for the time being. It eliminates oil like no other.

Garnier, SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-In-1 Mattifying, $8.99, available at Ulta.

Follow the micellar cleanser up with this toner that turns from a gel into a water-like formula once you've swiped it across your face. I've been using it for a couple of months now, and the cooling factor is also a lifesaver on hotter days.

Sunday Riley, Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner, $55, available at Sephora

This is like Milk's Blur Stick (which you can read about here), but instead of directly targeting different areas of the face, you can spritz the Blur Spray everywhere for an all-over transformation.

Milk Makeup, Blur Spray, $38, available at Sephora.

Don't sleep on indie labels! There are a ton of big names with mattifying primers, and a lot are very good, but small brand 100% Pure has one of my favorites. It absorbs super fast, has a gel-like consistency (which, confession, I'm a sucker for), and it's silicone-free, meaning it won't clog your pores. If you're looking for a more "natural" option, this is it.

100% Pure, $47, available at 100% Pure.

I've always thought finding a sunscreen that's non-greasy and above SPF 30 was an impossible mission, but Skinceuticals changed that with this formula that hits all the right marks, and has a pleasing mousse-like texture.

Skinceuticals, Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50, $34, available at Skinceuticals.

These are like blotting sheets but better. The Blotterazzi is made from the same cushiony material as a regular Beautyblender, but the flattened shape allows for easy, convenient touch-ups throughout the day. One annoyance is that it will pick up some of your makeup, but that's par for the course with any kind of blotting product.

Beautyblender, Blotterazzi, $20, available at Sephora.

I use a lot of mud masks and, outside of the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, this is one of the only ones that actually leaves my skin with that just-left-the-spa clean feeling. The matte effect won't exactly last all day, especially given the fact that you should follow it up with a moisturizer, but it will help in the long run.

Sephora Collection, Mud Mask Purifying & Mattifying, $20, available at Sephora.

This cult favorite is best when swiped on the T-zone, I've found. Use it in the morning before leaving the house or keep it at your desk for midday touch-ups. Most setting powders are only available in one shade, and though Laura Mercier's selection only actually expands to two, hey, at least it's a start.

Laura Mercier, Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38, available at Sephora.

Using clay in a moisturizer is pretty ingenious. It helps control sebum protection, is lightweight, and works great under makeup (it won't pill like other mattifying products have a tendency to do). The smell, which I'd describe as in the cucumber family, isn't for everyone, but if you can get past it, it's worth it.

Fresh, Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion, $36, available at Sephora.