Revlon ColorStay Foundation Review

February 21, 2011

This foundation has been on my list of things to try for about a year now. I’m not sure why it took me so long to try it, but this week after cruising the beauty aisles at CVS/pharmacy I finally decided to take the plunge and give this foundation a whirl.

Many people have compared this foundation to MAC Studio Fix Fluid, and since this is my holy grail foundation that I’ve sworn by for several years, I had a feeling I would like Revlon ColorStay just as much.

They have similar formulas and both offer more of a full  coverage which I tend to stick with to cover up my freckles. ColorStay, just like Studio Fix Fluid, has a dewy, satin finish without being too shiny and also isn’t completely matte. I purchased the Revlon ColorStay Foundation in the formula for normal/dry skin. The foundation also comes in a formula for combination/oily skin which I believe has more of a matte finish from what I’ve read.


My year-round shade in MAC Studio Fix Fluid is NC25 and picking as close a color as I possibility could, I went for ColorStay foundation in 180 Sand Beige. This is the third lightest shade. It took me a while to choose a color as the shades provided either looked too tan or had too much of a pink tint to it. Sand Beige seemed to be the perfect match. When compared to Studio Fix Fluid, ColorStay seems to be more of a muddy light beige. MAC foundations tend to have more of a yellow tint to them, specifically the NC shades, which work well with my skin tone. ColorStay definitely has more tan and brown than yellow making it a bit of a darker tone and less bright than Studio Fix Fluid. They also both have SPF 15 in them.

As you can see in the swatch below, Studio Fix Fluid in NC25 (on the left) is much brighter with more yellow than ColorStay in Sand Beige (on the right). But despite the slightly darker difference, it actually blends quite nicely with my skin tone. I do look a tad bit more tan without the nasty orange look that foundations typically result in if it is too dark for your skin tone. And hey, how can I complain if my foundation makes me look naturally tan?

MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC25 (on left) and Revlon ColorStay 180 Sand Beige (on right)


Blended out: Studio Fix Fluid (on left) and ColorStay (on right)

I have been applying the ColorStay foundation with the e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush, a flat top synthetic bristle brush which works wonders with liquid foundations. I apply the foundation in sections to allow for proper blending as this foundation does dry and set quickly. The best part about this foundation? It stays put all day! It looks just about the same as when I first applied it. No oil separation or patchiness with this foundation, which is awesome because I don’t usually carry around makeup with me meaning no touch-ups throughout the day. I’ve tried setting it with MAC Blot Powder, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish and Rimmel London Stay Matte Transparent Powder and all of them work great with ColorStay foundation.

My only gripe with ColorStay? It doesn’t come with a pump. *Update – it does now!!* I hate it when foundations don’t come with any type of pump. This makes applying foundation a messier process and I find you waste a lot more product without a pump. And although the ColorStay bottle appears to be the same size and style of Studio Fix Fluid, the MAC foundation pump sadly does not fit on the ColorStay bottle. Big bummer. So I have to pour out a little foundation at a time using the back of my hand as a palette.

Wearing Revlon ColorStay Foundation in 180 Sand Beige set with MAC Blot Powder in Medium.



At $13 a bottle, Revlon ColorStay Foundation is a bit pricey for a drug store brand, but definitely worth a try. Just a heads up, this foundation is pretty heavy so if you typically like light-weight foundations, this may not be the right product for you. But if you prefer a full coverage, then you will love ColorStay. I almost like this better than my coveted MAC Studio Fix Fluid. And it’s half the price!

  • L
    September 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Thank you for your review and swatches! I think Sand Beige will be the shade for me too. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    March 2, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Avon Daily Shine Dry End Serum pump fits Revlon Colorstay.