Revlon Colorstay Foundation – Combination/Oily Vs Normal/Dry Versions

Revlon Colorstay Foundation - Combination/Oily versus Normal/Dry version

I have been promising this post for months now and literally just continuously forgot to write it! I have already planned my new year’s resolution and that is to get myself some kind of diary or planner so I can keep track of things and write myself reminders. I have alluded to the fact that there is a huge difference between the formulas of the Revlon Colorstay foundations before but now I want to break it down for you and tell you exactly what they are.

Revlon Colorstay was one of the first foundations I ever used when I began to wear makeup at about sixteen. I loved it for its full coverage but as I began to do to makeup courses, I started to experiment with other brands and my beloved Revlon Colorstay was forgotten. That is, until a few months ago when somebody mentioned it and having had a good experience with it for years, I decided to give it another go. I did hear that it was recently reformulated which made me want to try it even more. The review I heard stated that the Normal/Dry version was best, despite the fact that the reviewer herself had oily skin. I have combination skin – mainly normal (although drier in winter) with an oily t-one but my hatred for looking shiny means I always opt for products aimed at oily skin. I took the plunge and bought the Normal/Dry, instantly falling in love. Yet being a curious blogger led me to pick up the Oily/Combination version when I was repurchasing, just to see if there was a difference. And boy, was there?!


Firstly, it is important to notice that there is not a major difference between the bottles of the two formulas. The Combination/Oily version has an all black lid while the Normal/Dry one has a clear cap over a black lid. I have no idea whether this has some kind of metaphorical significance (could the clear lid symbolise water/moisture? Am I reading too much into this?) but basically this is not a strikingly obvious packaging difference and you could easily be forgiven for picking up the wrong formula because of it. The only other small difference is the miniscule white writing which labels one Combination/Oily and the other Normal/Dry so beware if you are purchasing one that you make the right choice!


According to the Revlon website, the Combination/Oily version promises longwearing coverage, a lightweight formula with no caking, fading or rubbing off. It has a ‘Time Release Technology’ that is specially formulated for normal or combination skin to control oil absorption and shine.

On the other hand, the Normal/Dry version promises longwearing coverage, a lightweight formula with no caking, fading or rubbing off. It has a ‘Time Release Technology’ that is specially formulated for normal or dry skin to continuously provide hydration. It also claims to be oil-free and moisture balancing.

To me, these promises seem strange. Whatever this time release technology is, it claims to do completely opposing things. Unless of course there are two different technologies, in which case, they probably should have changed the wording! I also find it interesting that it is the Normal/Dry version that labels itself as oil-free when that is usually an issue for those with oily skin.


I won’t bore you by retyping the entire ingredients list of both but after the initial few main ingredients, it seems there is a huge difference in what each foundation contains which is not surprising when you see the comparison in consistency between the two.


Revlon Colorstay Foundation - Combination/Oily versus Normal/Dry version
I hope this picture shows the huge consistency difference between both formulas. On top, the Oily/Combination version is a lot thicker while the Normal/Dry one is runnier. I found the Oily/Combination one prone to leaving  brush marks and streaks on my face – an issue I never experienced with the slicker Normal/Dry version.


The photograph also demonstrates the huge colour difference between both formulas. Both are labelled ‘150 Buff’ – the second lightest shade available in a twelve-colour range – but as you can see, the Oily/Combination foundation is a lot more yellow-toned while the Normal/Dry formula is pinker. I didn’t notice a huge difference on the skin – neither were too pink or too yellow for me (I am pretty neutral though) but it is definitely worth mentioning. It is also probably worth noting that both formulas have the tendency to oxidise (get darker) throughout the day but not unbearably so.


I found the coverage good for both although the Combination/Oily version was a little more work. I found that I would have to layer it quite a bit over areas that needed more coverage and it would require a good bit of concealing too. While a concealer wasn’t completely unnecessary with the Normal/Dry, it just seemed to cover pigmentation, blemishes etc. better and faster.


This is where the Combination/Oily version really failed for me. While it didn’t disappear completely or go patchy on the skin, I found the coverage faded throughout the day, so my pigmentation began to show through. I never ever experienced this issue with the Normal/Dry formula. Both claim to last 24 hours – something I hope to never test – and I found both to last well through nine hour work days etc.


It is interesting to note that the Combination/Oily version offers an SPF15 while the Normal/Dry one offers SPF20.


Both offer a natural or demi-matte finish. They remain a little tacky on the skin for quite a while before they set but then the finish is quite beautiful and offers a hint of dewiness or healthiness to the skin. Despite that I still do powder my T-one out of habit if nothing else. I found that at the end of the day, my skin looked a little oilier when using the Combination/Oily version which was odd.


While I have listed the differences between the two, I still find it a little difficult to point out how different these two actually are. I find the Combination/Oily one thicker in consistency which leaves brush marks and streaks yet needs to be built up coverage-wise on my problem areas. It also seems to fade on those areas throughout the day.
The Normal/Dry one applies like a dream, offers medium to full coverage and is longwearing. Neither dry out my skin or increase its oiliness. In my eyes, the Normal/Dry one is the clear winner and the one I reach for daily.

I also recorded a video comparing both.

 What do you think? Have you tried either? Will you? Do you have a preference?


9 thoughts on “Revlon Colorstay Foundation – Combination/Oily Vs Normal/Dry Versions

  1. I haven’t tried the oily/combination one, but I love the normal/dry formula and have been relying on it a lot lately as I’m having some skin issues. I do have to mix it with a tiny bit of another foundation first because it’s a tad too yellow toned for me. Other than that though I’ve never had any problems with it.

    • As I’ve said countless times, I love it. Although I watched a YouTube video by Sharon the Make Up Artist today and she claims to hate it. I was really shocked and then worried others would feel the same after buying it on my review! Haha

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