From the name, I had the understanding that this foundation should have a demi-matte finish, which is my favorite finish for foundation. I have very oily skin, so I prefer a matte look, but I hate that unnatural, "makeup-face" look that completely matte foundations and powders can give you.
I'm very oily, but I get the occasional dry patches on my cheeks and around my nose from time to time, but it's not enough to say that my skin is combination. I'm pretty much oily all the time, so in my experience it's been difficult to find a foundation that can withstand a full day's wear. My oils seep through most foundations at about the 4-hour mark. I was hoping this NYX foundation could hold up and be a suitable everyday foundation.
There are only five shades available, and I purchased the color Nude, which is the second lightest shade. The first shade is called Ivory, but if I'm able to wear the second shade up, Ivory must not be that light. The shade range is as follows: Ivory, Nude, Cream Natural, Soft Beige, and Medium Beige.
(This lighting is kind of yellow, but I took these so you could see the packaging)
Here are some comparison swatches.
Just for a reference, I am about an NC30 in MAC colors. I would say I'm actually a tiny bit lighter than NC30, but not enough to be NC25.
Lancome Teint Idole 24 HR Ultra in 250W Bisque is on top.
Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua in 40 Beige (summer color) is on the bottom.
Here is a picture of my bare face. Right now, my skin is in pretty good condition, but I do have redness around the nose and some unevenness in tone on my cheeks.
Here is my face with one coat of foundation. Much better, right?
I used a flat top kabuki brush to buff in this foundation. This NYX foundation is a true medium coverage foundation, which I happen to like. The packaging says it is full coverage and can be achieved by layering. I had one dry patch on my cheek that isn't visible in this photo, and unfortunately this foundation clung to it, making it pretty noticeable. This is a common problem with many matte foundations, and this one did not overcome that obstacle.
Another issue I noticed with this foundation that I thought was quite strange was that it took longer to set compared to other matte foundations. Because of this quality, this foundation is prone to streakiness when applied with a brush. As much as I tried to smooth out the foundation, it just didn't look very good on my nose. The packaging also mentions that this formula is oil-free and water based, so it's weird to me that it took so long to set. But after it set, it did leave a nice demi-matte finish as I expected.
Here's a picture for a flash photo test (with brows/eyes, no blush or powder):
This foundation has no SPF, and actually photographs quite nicely! As you can see, it's not completely matte from the light that is bouncing off my cheeks.
I wore this foundation several times so that I could get a solid idea of how this wears on my oily skin. I have to say, it's really not that long-lasting. It transfers easily, and when my oils seep through, it starts breaking down all over my T-zone. And when I say breaking down, it's like you can see the foundation starting to separate when it reacts with my skin's oils. It also oxidizes, but just slightly. The color doesn't darken to a completely different shade.
THE GOOD: The NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat foundation looks beautiful in photos. It has good coverage with just one application.
THE BAD: For a matte foundation that is marketed toward oily skin, it doesn't really work well at all.
This product is most suited for those with normal skin who prefer the matte look. It's best applied with a damp sponge such as a Beauty Blender, and can be worn daily or as a special occasion type of foundation due to its good photographic qualities.
The NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation can be purchased for $7.49 at Ulta.