Thursday, November 28, 2013

Revlon ColorStay Foundation; Normal/Dry -V- Combo/Oily

Despite the misleading colours above, both formulations I tested are in the shade #150 Buff.
Recently I read a post by fellow Irish blogger and Youtuber Dani aka 'The Glamour Nazi', where she compared the 2 formulas of the Revlon ColorStay Foundation; Combination/Oily & Dry/Normal.
Having owned the Combo/Oily formula myself for a few years now, (currently on bottle #2 of the colour Buff 150), I found her results intriguing enough that I was urged to test the differences out for myself!

At the minute my own skin is very combination; oily t-zone and normal to dry everywhere else, sometimes quite dry in small patches under the right circumstances. Because of this unbalance, I often change between dry and more moisturising formulas of foundation depending on my skin's condition at the time. 
For this test I applied the Colorstay foundation for Combination/Oily skin to the left side of my face and the formula for Dry/Normal skin to the right side, both in the colour Buff; the second to lightest colour available in the range, comparable to MAC shade NC15/NC20 (depending on which MAC product you compare it to).

Before I share my findings, here are the most notable differences between the 2 formulas....

Bottle Packaging;
Both come in a 30ml glass bottle with a black screw-on lid. In some other countries the bottles come with a pump, which would be definitely favourable. I almost always accidentally pour out too much of the liquid when tipping it onto my hand/palette, very annoying and wasteful! To distinguish between the 2, Revlon have covered the black lid of the Dry/Normal bottles with a clear plastic, leaving the Combination/Oily bottle with a plain black lid. 

The Dry/Normal formula contains a higher sun protection factor of 20 while the Combination/Oily formula contains either SPF6 or SPF15, again depending on which country you buy if in. The bottle I have contains SPF6 and was bought almost 2 years ago. Dani had a newer bottle of the same Normal/Dry formula which had a SPF15. I have no idea why the two formulas have different sun protection factors. 

Both claim to be long-wearing, up to 24 hours, and lightweight. They both claim not to cake, fade of rub off throughout the day. Interestingly, they both also boast a time release technology though each one does something different; The Combo/Oily formula to control Oil absorption and shine, and the Normal/Dry formula to continuously provide hydration and balance moisture. 

The Combination/Oily formula comes in a total of 20 shades, impressive for a pharmacy/drug-store foundation line. The Normal/Dry formula comes in only 12 shades in comparison. Again though, I have no idea why they don't balance.

Side by Side Comparison;
For the test I applied the Combination/Oily formula to the left side of my face (right side of the pictures below) and the Normal/Dry formula to the right side of my face (left side of the pictures below). 
My first observation was that the Normal/Dry formula offers better coverage using the same amount of product.  Other than that, they offered a similar demi-matte finish that left a nice natural sheen to the skin. I did notice that at first the Combination/Oily formula offered a marginally more matte finish to the skin. 
The picture below was taken before setting the foundation with powder to test for any 'Flash-back'.
My face does appear a little lighter compared to my neck when photographed with flash as opposed to the picture taken in natural light where there is more of a contrast between my face and neck, but it's not particularly bad. 
Normal/Dry formula on the left cheek, Combination/Oily on the right cheek.
Picture on the left taken with flash, picture on right in natural light.
Same as above but with the rest of my makeup applied.
Left Swatch; Normal/Dry
Right Swatch; Combination Oily
One other observation was that the Normal/Dry formula is slightly more yellow than the more neutral/cool Combination/Oily shade of the same colour 150 Buff.

6 Hours Later.....
The most surprising finding was that after about 6 hours on my face, the side that had the Combination/Oily formula on it was noticeably shinier than the side with the Normal/Dry formula.
So even though the Normal/Dry formula started out a tad dewier, it didn't allow my skin to get much more oilier throughout the day compared the the other formula which didn't work as well at controlling my shine. 
Neither side faded much though which was impressive.

Watch the video for more information.....

Hope this helps!!!

As always, feel free to leave your own opinions in the comments below.

Cheers Guys :)



  1. Thanks for this, I have the combination/oily formula and although the shade ivory is perfect for me (a rare occurrence!) it clings to my dry patches and looks awful so I've been wondering about trying the normal/dry one, now I know I have to give it a go! The link to the Glamour Nazi's blog was helpful too x

    1. Good Sarah! Glad it helped :) The Normal/Dry version is now my favourite of the two. x

  2. This was super informative! Thank you so much (and Glamour Nazi) for these comparisons. I haven't had too many issues with the combo/oily version of ColorStay, but I'm definitely going to check out the normal/dry version.


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