April 07, 2009

Review: Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Oily skin

Having used Revlon Colorstay SPF8 for Combination/Oily skin for almost a month now, I feel ready to review it! The first time I tried using it as an all-over foundation (pre-softflex formula) I absolutely loathed it. No matter what I did it looked cakey, flat and just well... weird. It became a concealer.

Then they reformulated it and killed my then-foundation, Revlon Colorstay Stay Natural (yes it IS an awful name) so I gave it another go. I STILL hated it, it STILL looked weird. It became a concealer. Now, about 4 years later I believe they’ve quietly reformulated it because it’s now sheerer, has a more natural finish, and is a pretty great long-lasting foundation! Not so good as a concealer though...

Full review after the jump.

First up, the bottle is the same – glass with a wide mouth, and the formula still smells funky. Fortunately even over-sensitive-nostril-ed me isn’t bothered by the smell once I put it on.

The formula is definitely sheerer and has more slip than I remember – this does result in a need for concealer undereye and over the worst spots, but I’m really not complaining about it. Coverage is medium when applied sheerly to pretty complete when layered over the areas that need it. Although it sets rapidly, it will feel sticky until you set it with powder. This however, can be a good thing as you will see later on.

For the absolute best finish combined with highest coverage, you should use the stippling method with a dual-fibre brush. Unfortunately, when they say long-lasting they MEAN long-lasting and it’s impossible to get this stuff out of your brush! I ended up using every single remover I had from cream, to oil to foaming to get the stuff off.

Now, I just my right index and middle fingers and wipe them off on a baby wipe. Much much easier.

To get the required amount, I cover the bottle’s opening with my index finger (it’s juuuust the right size) and upend the bottle. Then I dab the amount on an area and blend quickly, going back for more and blending it as I go. Dabbing it all over your face then blending would result in patchy coverage as this stuff really does set very fast. Once I’ve evened out my skintone, I go back for one more dab of foundation and dot it over areas that need more covrage, pat-blending it out with a foundation brush (this is easier to clean than a dual-fibre brush, a baby wipe will do for daily cleaning).

I find that this foundation works best over well-moisturised skin, and the shade I have, Sand Beige, covers redness well but works less well on dark brown spots and undereye circles. I’m looking out for a salmon-undertoned illuminating concealer for this purpose now.

This foundation lasts and lasts and lasts. If I’ve been sweating a lot and unable to keep up the blotting and powder it does fade – but not completely so I still retain some amount of coverage. Even after a long day at work the foundation continues to look quite fresh.

I also find that this foundation does have a measure of oil control – always welcome – and I stay matte for longer with it. For absolutely best oil-control set with compact Mac Blot. This is a little pricey in the long-run though, so thanks to ParisB’s rave reviews for MUFE Super Mat loose powder in Translucent Natural #12, I now use that. It’s not as oil controlling as MAC Blot, but it’s pretty darned good! Review coming up!

To my surprise, my skin has actually been clearing up while using this product. While I don’t credit this product for it (I’ve started using another miracle product that I will review after using it for a month), I am delighted that it’s not making my skin worse.

The key, I found, is to be sure that you remove every scrap of the foundation at the end of the day. This is no easy task I must admit. I generally take 2-3 rounds with Neutrogena Deep Clean lotion followed by dry-applied Johnson & Johnson’s Head to Toe cleanser to get it all off. Yes it’s inconvenient, but I did ask for long-lasting didn’t I?

Added bonuses
This foundation is even good for a few more things you wouldn’t expect a foundation to be good for!

As an Eye Shadow Primer. While not as great as Mac Paint Pot, I find that for a 6-8 hour day unset Colorstay works great as a primer! It helps shadows cling, last, stay and not crease. Same goes for eyelienr. Set with translucent powder after applying shadow and lining.

For making blush last the day. Before setting, while the foundation is still tacky, gently stipple powder blush on with a dual-fibre brush or a flat-top brush. Be careful because the foundation does make the colour appear more intense. It will grab onto the pigment and make it last just about all day! So much for my hunt for the perfect portable blush.

As a concealer. For skin with only minor to no blemishes, this foundation really is enough coverage to work as a concealer. And it’s a almightily large bottle of concealer too!

Phew this review really is rather long. Take heart though, I’m going to stop.

At around RM50 a bottle I will definitely always repurchase this foundation to either use or keep as backup. While I still think the absolutely perfect foundation of my dreams is still out there, Revlon Colorstay comes awfully close to being the one for me.


Askmewhats said...

Hello dear! thanks for this review! If ever I have this on hand, at least i know what to do with it!

Connie De Alwis said...

Excellent review!! And Thanks for the additional tips :) I just received mine and I can't wait to use it! But I need to get through my other foundations first. Grr...

Eli said...

Doesn't "Soft flex" sound like a new sports shoe technology? =P

Thanks for the great review. I'm definitely checking this out over the weekend. Think Priceline is having a Revlon offer for Easter.. The idea of washing my face thrice is a turn off though. Hmm.

Nikita2471 said...

I use Coverstay when I need to use a liquid foundation and I love it.

I've also found the best way to remove the Coverstay foundation/stains from a brush is to use a paint brush soap. I've tried using cosmetic brush cleaners and they could never completely remove the foundation or the stains on my stippling brushes. But when I used a paint brush soap (from my acrylic paint kit as I sometimes paint dolls as a hobby), it removed the foundation/stains AND conditioned the brush beautifully. The white fibers on my stippling brush are super clean now!

Sue said...

Detailed review! I got the old old old version of Colorstay but I didnt quite like it coz it is quite thick in texture. But this changes my mind. I'll check this out next time! :)

LyNn said...

yeah i heard that this foundation is the best liquid foundation in drug store level :)

Jenn said...

^^ I heard so too!! I'll have to check that out someday!

was just wondering if there's a replacement for the old Skinlights foundation?? I heard that one's really good!! :D

kahani said...

Hey girls, I'm replying from beijing using the hotel's free wi fi on my blackberry - how's that for connectivity?

Nikki, connie, end eli : you are most welcome!

Sue: that's why I mentioned the formula change :)
Give it another try.

Nikita: thanks so much for the tip!

Lynn: I think I agree with that.

Jenn: I don't think they have one. The best approximation is usually to mix a light foundy with some liquid highlighter. That was essentially what skinlights was. :)

fashionasia said...

I loved colorstay since before the 'soft flex'..what i like about it is that it is waterproof! it stays on and on! It does not melt even when you sweat buckets..unlike many foundation that turns whitish and melt when you go under the hot sun...yuck..ugly.
Especially now with a baby, i like it cos it does not come off easily, which is important bcos i dont want my baby's mittens to accidentally touch my face and put her hands into her mouth.

Organic Cosmetics said...

I have also used Revlon Colorstay SPF8 foundation recently and found it quite good but I guess nothing can be compared with a good concealer. :-)

petra said...

great review.

but holy moley - washing 3x?

kahani said...

fashionasia: Ooh thanks for mentioning that. It takes a mom to notice points like baby safety. =)

organic cosmetics: exactly! I'm still looking for one btw, am considering MUFE's full coverage concealer. Got any suggestions?

Petra: That's what it takes, babe. Any less and wee pimples start aborning.

Tine said...

Mine smells bad. Very shellaq-y. I reckon I bought a lemon bottle. Still, it was pretty good on my oily skin, so if it really does smell okay for the rest, then it's a thumbs up for me as well.

Natalie said...

I've been waiting this for a week, great review! and, the bottle is now added to my make-ups family. hehe. oh, and the cleansing part, i have to be xtra careful. :)

plue said...

uh oh. sounds good! but i hate it when it requires so much cleansing!

and huh, kenot get rid of this from the brush? OMG >_< i'd die!!!

haven't been using my fingers for ages for foundie application as i think the finish using a brush is much better :(

dilemma right now.

Kahani said...

Natalie: How's the foundie working out for you?

Plue: You don't need it lah dear, your skin is lovely. At most you could use it as a giant bottle of concealer. It will come off the brush with cleansing oil. But this is one of those foundies that apply best when patted on with fingers.

plue said...

Thanks dear. My skin isn't behaving lately. It's dry at the cheeks. And my t-zone is much drier than normal. Dunno what happened.

Perhaps the warmth of the fingers helps the foundie to adhere better, since it's sticky? Hm... I'll just have to take a peek sometime later :P

Am very curious!

Anonymous said...

I've been using Revlon colorstay with softflex for over five years now. I LOVE this product, and have not found a foundation that goes on as evenly or stays on as long as this one.

Best and quickest way I've found to apply it: Use a make-up wedge sponge. Dabbing it on with a sponge makes coverage way more even then using your fingers. You also keep your fingers clean and reduce dripping foundation around your sink (which is hard to remove after it dries!)

Yes, getting it entirely off my face is a challenge. Neutrogena, Oil of Olay and Nivea cleansers that claim to remove make up don't get much off at all. I've recently discovered that Lush's Ultra Bland cleanser (peanut-oil based with beeswax) takes it right off. I then wash my face with a gentle cleanser if I feel the Ultra Bland is too greasy. No breakouts this way.

Pond's cold cream is another great alternative for this difficult-to-remove (but awesome) foundation.

Maho Lucil said...

This product is easy to apply and is an oil free foundation suited for all types of skin. It stays on for 7-8 hours without fading. It has effective ingredients such as Aqua , Cyclomethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol and Dimethicone. You should also try Revlon's eye wrinkle creams as well.

Anonymous said...

Good review of Revlon’s Colorstay, thanks for the application tips! Originally this stuff was a disaster for me, it felt all sticky, smelled like paint, and made my face look oilier than ever. I tried the stippling technique, which works much better than just slathering it on with a makeup sponge. It also helps to wear a powder primer underneath – my favorite is Mattify Cosmetic’s Mattify Ultra Powder (around $14 at www.mattifycosmetics.com) . You put it on both under and over your foundation to soak up oil and protect your pores from the liquid makeup. Since it soaks up the oil, it prevents my foundation from fading, helping it to last longer. It has also prevented me from getting breakouts, which has always been a problem for me.

Lauren said...

Thanks for this detailed review! I've heard so many great things about this foundation and I'm looking forward to trying it. I have combination to oily skin in the summer and I was wondering if it helps to use the Revlon Colorstay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder over the top. Is it necessary and would it help with moisture control during the warmer months?
Also. I'm 14 and need a foundation to cover my pimples but don't want really heavy coverage so that it looks caked on at school. I want pretty good coverage, yet a natural looking foundation. Would this do the job?
Thanks so much :)

Kahani said...

Hi Lauren,

I'm afraid I've never tried Revlon Colorstay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder so can't advise you on it. If you're unsure, why not go with tried and tested MAC Blot powder?

At 14, light coverage is definitely the way to go. I'd actually recommend a tinted moisturiser and then using this foundation as a concealer - very well blended. If you want to use this foundation, use a damp sponge to stipple and blend out tiny amounts of it, working one section of your face at a time. Then go in with a tiny brush if you need extra coverage. If you have acne, see about going to a dermatologist so you don't end up concealing scars the rest of your life. =)