Any beauty enthusiast can attest to the difficulty of finding a foundation formula that perfectly balances everything you need out of one product: color, finish, hydration, et cetera. Some products take their claims to far extremes, while others are definitely lacking. Clinique, to its credit, attempts to find good balance with the Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup Foundation, and does so with… moderately fine results.
This portable tube of foundation delivers good coverage with just a few drops of product dispensed and blended out, almost like a BB or CC cream, but noticeably heavier. The product sets and finishes absolutely beautifully—not so matte that it looks dry, but not so luminous that it makes you look oily either. True to its name, the foundation does offer a sort-of blurring, mattifying effect that’s just enough to be serviceable. Related to that, it’s definitely hydrating in a way that you wouldn’t expect a matte-finish foundation to be, but for this product, it’s all in the balance.
There are a few possible issues with this product, though. The first (and the easiest to resolve) would probably have to be the color change when the product oxidizes. While it doesn’t oxidize as intensely as products like the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Long Wear Foundation (check out our review here), it could definitely be an issue for some people. But this problem would best be resolved by physically swatching the product, and seeing how it wears after setting onto the skin.
The second has more to do with the product’s overall formula. While “balance” is one of the intended strong suits of the product, it’s also a disadvantage for a product that claims to “stay matte.” In the end, it doesn’t quite have a hold on shine as other matte foundations do, so it may not be suitable for people with extreme oiliness issues.
But honestly, there’s not much bad we can say about this product other than that because it’s an overall hardworking product that still managed to look gorgeous on the skin. Definitely worth a try!
SUITABLE FOR: Normal, combination, and moderately oily skin.
- The Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup is available in 20 shades.
- This product is the sister product of the Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder (which we’ve also reviewed on the site here).