Colorstay Makeup Combination/Oily Skin
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Revlon's reformulation for both of its Colorstay foundations (one for Normal/Dry Skin, and this one for Combination/Oily Skin) did not result in improvements over the original; in fact, some of the positive qualities are gone. The original Colorstay for Combination/Oily had sunscreen, but that's been removed, and the new version doesn't hold back shine, which is really disappointing. This certainly isn't a terrible foundation by any means, but it's not as impressive as some of the other foundations you can find right next to it on the shelf of your local drugstore.

This foundation is easier to blend than its Normal/Dry counterpart, and provides good medium coverage for blemishes and redness. It dries to a soft matte finish and does indeed last all day, but ignore the 24-hour claim because you should never leave your foundation on overnight!

Colorstay, true to most Revlon foundations, comes in a variety of attractive shades, from very fair to very dark, and most are wearable for their intended skin tones.

Unfortunately, as this makeup wears, it begins to emphasize expression lines and wrinkles, leading to significant creasing about three hours post-application. That quality is essentially an aging effect, which is definitely not attractive! Also note that this formula differs very little from its Normal/Dry counterpart, except that this one contains a small amount of alcohol and more orchid extract, a fragrance ingredient. Ideally, the Normal/Dry version should be markedly different from this version for Combination/Oily skin, given that normal to dry skin has needs that are very different from the needs of combination to oily skin.

  • Provides good medium coverage for blemishes and redness.
  • Lasts several hours before fading.
  • Comes in a wide variety of shades for many skin tones.
  • Emphasizes expression lines and wrinkles, leading to creasing as the day wears on.
  • Doesn't hold back shine.
  • This version does not have sunscreen.
  • Formula isn't much different from the Normal/Dry version except that this one includes alcohol and a greater amount of the orchid extract for fragrance.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Tribehenin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Nylon-12, Cymbidium Grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Lactobacillus/Eriodictyon Californicum Ferment Extract, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bisabolol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Alcohol Denat., Alumina, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Methicone, Laureth-7, Magnesium Sulfate, Silica, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Ethylene Brassylate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dimethicone/Silsesquioxane Copolymer, PEG-12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Salicylic Acid, Silk Powder, Sodium Citrate, Dipropylene Glycol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Serica (Silk), Tetrasodium EDTA, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben. 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 new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Holy grail-until they messed up the formula

I discovered this foundation around 2008.I was hooked from day one. My face looked so flawless, almos ethereal.It stayed put alllll day, even through an entire night of sweaty dancing. I could pat the sweat dry and incredibly, the foundation still looked fresh, unstreaked and natural. About a year later I realised that the formula (caramel in combo/oily), looked slightly peach than golden, it was heavy, and rubbed off. I'm sooo disappointed.

Reviewed by
Alphea S.
Not flattering

I used this for many years for its staying power but it's just not flattering on the skin. As soon as I changed I got compliments on my improved makeup. The staying power isn't worth the full look you get with this foundation.

Reviewed by
Kelly G
Thank you!

I've never understood why this has a cult following among the beauty community. It's heavy even for a full coverage foundation, and if you're not careful it's super easy to make it look caked on. Plus it breaks me out because I can never get it all off. I can't stand this stuff!

Reviewed by
Stay away if you don't want break outs!

I bought this foundation on a youtube recommendation. The color match was perfect and the coverage was good. At first it was OK, but I noticed it did nothing to control the oil. I then started breaking out. It seemed I had a pimple or whitehead every week. I do have acne prone skin and the stuff is hard to remove! My Clarisonic had traces of it left on the brush head. I don't recommend this foundation at all. My skin is finally clearing up after I stopped using it.

Reviewed by
Apply with a damp sponge !

I'd say if you want an affordable fully coverage foundation this one will do the trick. Let it dry so you get that matte finish. Apply in sections as it's not the most "blendable" once it's on your face for a bit. I had to play around with the right tool to apply this with but I have found that using a damp beautyblender or sponge to get the desired look without it looking cakey.

Reviewed by
Awesome.. until a week later

I needed a heavier non-powder foundation to wear to the beach over my acne scarring. This definitely held up in the surf. It gave even coverage that was thick, pigmented and hard to wash off in the waves. Apparently I wasn't doing a good enough job washing it off or the product is just bad for acne-prone skin because halfway through my vacation my face broke out into tons of tiny whiteheads all over. I've never had a reaction like that before, and have never since. It was really bad.

Reviewed by
Anna G.
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