ColorStay Makeup with Softflex for Combination/Oily Skin SPF 6
Category:Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:05.02.2013
Jar Packaging:False
Tested on animals:Yes

This liquid foundation comes in an astounding 20 shades, almost all of which are wonderful (avoid the unflattering Natural Beige and Golden Caramel). However, it’s frustrating that Revlon chose such a low SPF of 6 since your skin needs more than that (minimum SPF 15, and more is better) to ensure adequate protection. Further complicating matters, the darker shades don’t offer any sun protection (Golden Caramel, Toast, Rich Ginger, Caramel, Cappuccino, Mahogany, and Mocha). Make no mistake: Women with dark skin tones need daily sun protection, too. It doesn’t have to come from your foundation but dark skin tones can develop many of the same sun damage issues as women with lighter skin tones.

If you’re willing to pair this with an effective sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher, this is a slam-dunk recommendation for normal to very oily skin. It has a superb texture that blends effortlessly and allows enough time to do so before setting to a solid, but not flat-looking, matte finish. It’s tricky to get less than medium coverage from this, but you can buff away any blending mistakes, it wears beautifully, and it removes with a water-soluble cleanser.

Note that this contains fragrance in the form of ethylene brassylate.


Active: Titanium Dioxide (7.3%), Other: Water, Cyclomethicone, Trimethyl Siloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol, Boron Nitride, Dimethicone, SD Alcohol 40B, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Nylon 12, Tribehenin, Isododecane, Polyisobutene, Sodium Chloride, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Bisabolol, Serica (Silk Powder), Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Lilium Candidum (Lily) Bulb Extract, Lactobacillus/Eridictyon Californicum Ferment Extract, Cymbidium Grandiflorum Flower Extract, Alumina, Polydimethylsiloxane/Polymethysilesquioxane Copolymer, Ethylene Brassylate, Methicone, Trisiloxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Brand Overview

Revlon At-A-Glance

Strengths: Superior foundations with sunscreen and each of them provide sufficient UVA protection (though one has a disappointing SPF 6); several outstanding concealers and powders; one of the best cream blushes around; great cream eyeshadow and liquid eyeliner; a beautiful selection of elegant lipsticks, lip gloss, and lipliner; some worthwhile specialty products.

Weaknesses: Average eye and brow pencils; inaccurate claims surrounding their Botafirm complex; mostly average to disappointing mascaras.

It may surprise some of you to know that Revlon has been around since 1932, when the company launched a unique nail polish that used pigments instead of dyes. Lipsticks followed years later, and then a full line of cosmetics, which is how we know Revlon today. Although the company has had its continual share of ups and downs over the years (largely due to out-of-control debt coupled with aggressive spending), the line has recently made numerous improvements, especially in the realms of foundations, powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras. It is quite a feat that Revlon products earned more Paula's Pick ratings per category than any other drugstore line reviewed. If their goal was to close the competitive gap between themselves and L'Oreal, for the most part they have succeeded. Revlon definitely has the edge for foundations with reliable sunscreens. But despite Revlon's attempt to improve their mascara range, L'Oreal remains the clear winner (as well as L'Oreal-owned Maybelline New York).

Revlon's vast selection of makeup is divided into three main brands: Age Defying for the forty-something and older woman concerned about wrinkles, ColorStay for the teen to mid-thirties woman concerned about keeping oily skin in check and making sure her makeup stays put, and PhotoReady for women of all ages. These brands present some outstanding options and include products for all skin types (although the range of skin tones is not as well-represented here as it is by L'Oreal).

An intriguing fact is that the longevity claims for ColorStay are quite accurate: this collection of products really does offer extraordinary staying power. Conversely, Revlon jumped on the works-like-Botox bandwagon with their Age Defying range, going so far as to name their antiwrinkle complex Botafirm. Is there any confusion about what that term is supposed to relate to? Despite the claims, Botafirm won't reduce expression lines or control the muscles that cause them, though the products themselves do have many impressive qualities.

Note:Revlon is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Revlon may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.

Suffice it to say, Revlon has more commendable products than ever before, and although they rely heavily on celebrity spokespersons, their best products ably speak for themselves.

For more information about Revlon, call (800) 473-8566 or visit www.revlon.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Monday, May 13, 2013
Not for me

1. Runny 2. Cakey 3. Smells sickeningly sweet Don't waste your 9 bucks

Reviewed by
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Revlon Colorstay certainly does wear beautifully. I wear it over Paula's Choice Skin Balancing lotion spf 15 and they both marry wonderfully! My only question is that if alcohol is bad for skin why is this particular review getting such a positive mark when alcohol lists as the seventh ingredient? Is it not too harsh in this particular formula?

Reviewed by
Paula's Choice Research Team Response
Replied on: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thank you for your comments! We only rated this product "average," in part because of its ingredient list, which does include SD alcohol (one of the forms of alcohol to avoid).

—Paula's Choice Research Team
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Great for summer because it lasts through perspiration and the oilies.

While this is tricky to apply, if you have problems w/ foundation not lasting, it's wonderful. I have found that a damp sponge works better for application than a brush or fingers. Since the SPF is so low, I wear a sunscreen under it, which helps tremendously with blending & buys me more blending time. Another trick is to mix it w/ a little PC Moisture Gel for sheerer coverage & easier blending. I use a MU remover before washing it off. If I don't, some remains behind and clogs my pores.

Reviewed by
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Something is different

I used this foundation a few years ago and I loved it. I stopped using it because the color, Early Tan, was close, but just not quite right. I discovered MUFE & MAC Face & Body Foundations, which blow Colorstay out of the water, but the MAC can be a little to moisturizing, and the MUFE is very expensive and sometimes hard to find in my shade (34). Recently I ran out of my MUFE & I needed a quick, cheap replacement. I turned to Colorstay, recalling that I'd liked it a lot. Either the formulation has changed, or, I suppose, my skin could have changed, because the finish that I'd remembered as "matte" and "flawless" was now uneven and streaky. I used to have to blend Colorstay quickly, but when Colorstay set, I was "set" for the day. Now Colorstay feels "creamy", and thicker to me, and it seems to glob up in places. I kept checking my bottle to see if I'd purchased the dry skin formula by mistake...nope. I have never liked heavy foundations, so I can't imagine how I would have liked this one if it was as heavy as it now feels. In addition, I purchased Warm Golden because it appeared closest to my skin in the glaring lights of Target, but when I put it on my face I looked pale. The range of shades available at my Target were limited, almost to the point that I wonder if Revlon is discontinuing this formula in favor of the new "whipped cream" one? (I tried that one as well, and I liked it even less. Too greasy and heavy. No shade match.)

Reviewed by
Shani A.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Tricky application

After my favourite Lancome foundation got discontinued, this was my first attempt to find a suitable replacement. I have extremely oily skin so I always go for mattifying foundations. This foundation certainly delivers a mattifying look without looking mask-like. Coverage is medium-full and it hides redness fairly well. However, application is time-consuming and tricky. Firstly, trying to pour out just a small amount from the jar bottle is difficult, I would have much preferred a pump bottle that dispenses a small amount at a time. Secondly, it doesn't seem to really 'set' the way my old Lancome foundation used to. I prefer foundations that give you a few seconds to blend before setting to a matte finish. With Revlon's ColorStay, it seems to give you all the time in the world to just keep blending, application is streaky, even when applied with fingertips. You have to spend a bit of time buffing out the streaks. Once this is done then it eventually gives you a nice matte finish. While the end result is good coverage with a nice finish, it's more obvious with this foundation that I'm wearing make-up than it was with my old Lancome. As far as keeping my oily skin in check, it performs about as well as my Lancome, I don't find I have to blot any sooner, but what I do notice is that when my face starts getting oily, the foundation starts to become much more obvious, it seems to settle into creases and pores, whereas with my Lancome foundation, even though my face appeared shiny by the same time, the foundation still looked smooth. However in saying that, after blotting the Revlon foundation, a nice matte finish is restored and the unnatural look disappears once again. It's as though you have just freshly reapplied the foundation. Also worth noting, the colour remains the same throughout the day and doesn't turn darker as your skin gets oilier the way some other foundations do. The 'ColorStay' part of this foundation's name certainly rings true. When I blot my skin whilst wearing this foundation, I notice not nearly as much foundation comes off onto the blotting paper as compared to other foundations. Overall this foundation is not too bad, but due to the time required to get a nice application, and the importance of blotting before it starts looking unnatural, I'm going to keep searching for something better.

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