My Teen Beauty Essential Has Had A Modern Makeover: Oil-Blotters Are Making A Comeback

Most of my teenage years were spent attempting to tackle a shiny nose. I may have skipped over the major breakouts and greasy roots, but my one area of concern was an incredibly oily t-zone that never seemed to let out. As I was yet to discover the power of a great primer, my ultimate backpack essential was undoubtedly a pack of blotting papers that could quickly and effectively absorb any excess moisture. Rather embarrassingly, I can vividly recall being fascinated with seeing how much oil could be lifted away and monitoring the residue left on the paper surface; gross, but incredibly practical when your hormones are going into overdrive. Although now I’ve got that oily t-zone mostly under control, my complexion still needs a freshen up in the afternoon when oil starts to mix with makeup and cause a touch of slippage: nothing is worse than your makeup caking or separating on a warm summer’s day. Embracing the power of a primer and layering cosmetics effectively will get you so far, but for many of us there’s always the issue of a little excess lubrication around the nose and chin that we’d rather see the back of.

This summer makeup is definitely going retro, with many brands launching their own modern version of the classic oil-management technique that was blotting papers. For years I can remember struggling to track down a pack at all, but in 2017 there are plenty of innovations on offer to help rid you of an oily t-zone and keep your makeup in check.

THE SIMPLE ONE: Beauty Blender Blotterazzi (£16.00)
For a brand that have made their name from a uniquely shaped sponge, Beauty Blender actually have diversified rather successfully into new areas of beauty – including this ‘Blotterazzi’ that simply blots away any excess shine and ‘re-blends’ makeup to ensure it looks fresh. Made from the same material as the original blender, this comes packaged in a convenient mirror compact and includes two sponges that can be washed and re-used as many times as you like. Although it won’t remove huge amounts of excess oil, it’s great for a faff-free touch-up that’s effective and discrete.

THE CLASSIC ONE: Clarins Pore Perfecting, Matifying Kit (£33.00)
Like a grown up version of those 90’s blotting paper packs, this dual-action kit from Clarins includes oil-blotting papers to mattify skin and remove excess sebum, alongside a
translucent powder to provide a soft matte
finish. Together they ensure makeup is left looking and feeling refreshed, allowing you to get on with your day and not worry about any slippage. I adore the luxe feel of the compact, which is also incredibly discrete and can be re-filled once you use up the product inside (re-fills are cheaper.) Definitely one for those of us that loved oil-blotters the first time around.

THE CLEVER ONE: Murad MattEffect Blotting Perfector (£32.00) 
A rather unusual wet formula, this liquid-to-powder compact contains ‘soft-focus mattifying spheres’ to absorb oil and minimise appearance of
pores and imperfections, whilst marshmallow powder provides ‘touchable
softness’ – which is a posh way of saying your skin feels smooth again. Proven to keep pore appearance minimised for up to eight hours and absorb excess oil immediately, you need only a little of this to touch up makeup and leave your look refreshed. Although it’s not as practical for on-the-go, it’s a great tool to have in your desk drawer for when you need to perk up your makeup.

Can you remember blotting papers from the first time around? Would you
be tempted to re-embrace the trend, or give it a go if you’ve not tried
it before?


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  1. Jenny
    April 25, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    I've got oily skin and it drives me mad! I did used to use blotting sheets but I find so many of them are so expensive for what they are xLuxeStyle

    • Hayley Carr
      April 26, 2017 / 9:29 am

      That's why I like the Beauty Blender one – it's reusable and so offers much more value. I think you can still pick up some cheaper alternatives too, but they're not as fun to write about 😉

  2. Sincerely Sarah
    April 25, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    I've actually never used blotting sheets but I do get oily through my T-Zone so am definitely keen to try some out. Like the sound of the Clarins ones. xx

  3. Vivian Yuen
    April 26, 2017 / 4:55 am

    I use blotting paper every single day! The Clarins kit is so luxurious~Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE~

  4. lasoti
    April 26, 2017 / 7:15 am

    Nyx do good mattefying blotting papers and they're not at all expensive 🙂

    • Hayley Carr
      April 26, 2017 / 9:29 am

      Ooooh good shout! I'm going to hunt some down.

  5. Rachael Dickinson
    April 26, 2017 / 9:55 am

    Great post – I use the Nyx blotting papers and they work really well for me! I love them. I definitely think my skin thinks I am still a teenager!!Rachael xox

  6. liza
    April 26, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    I use the NYX blotting papers and the beauty blender dupe I found at TK Maxx for £4.99 and does the pretty much the same thing. I've always had oily skin so I don't leave home without my blotting papers and sponge :)Liza |

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