NYX’s Stay Matte But Not Flat

If there is one makeup item I’ve struggled to find in my #bblogger escapades, it is the perfect foundation. My specifications aren’t overwhelming: it needs to be cruelty-free, of course, and suited to oily/combination skin; medium to full coverage but not heavy, and preferably not prone to patchiness or oxidisation. My test spectrum isn’t exhaustive but I’m already tired of spending my money on foundations that deliver very short of what they promise.

A couple of months ago, a misjudged tester of Estée Lauder’s Double Wear foundation led to my first NYX purchase. The Stay Matte But Not Flat foundation costs a demure £6.00, and I bought two shades, ‘Ivory’ and ‘Soft Beige’, to mix together to suit my skin tone.


I honestly can’t make up my mind about this foundation, as it has some good points and some not-so-good points. Everything seems to have a pro and a con.

Firstly, I like that I’m able to mix my perfect colour so easily without breaking the bank, especially as I tend to whack my tanning mousse out in the summer, but it’s also slightly annoying that I should have to buy two shades. I know it’s only £12 for two tubes, but surely there should just be more shades ready-mixed?


Secondly, I really like the formula because it’s lovely and thick without being gloopy; however, a few uses into the tube and I was getting a kind of watery dribble coming out before the actual foundation, which was disconcerting. It’s also pretty decent coverage, and buildable if I want it a little thicker, without feeling cakey or heavy.

After foundation, before concealer/contour/highlight etc.

However, with my olive-ish complexion comes dark hair and more of it on my face than a fairer skinned lady. It doesn’t necessarily bother me, but I can’t help but feel a little self-conscious of it when my foundation appears to cling to every single strand. Also I know this sounds ridiculous but I have quite a few ‘laughter lines’ and creases around my eyes and forehead, and this foundation seems to emphasise those by sinking into all the crevices after a few hours.


In terms of consistency, it’s blends out very evenly on the face, but turns patchy after a few hours without my holy grail UD setting spray, which I obviously don’t want to use EVERY SINGLE DAY because I’m not made of money. That being said, it is a really wonderful base for other products. Both powder and cream contours, highlight, eyeshadow, blush, etc.; it can all be blended out really well on top of this foundation.

Lastly — and before you say anything, I know this is really nit-picky — I’m not 100% gone on the design. It’s really simple, which is good, but the screw-cap/squeeze-out/toothpaste feel isn’t exactly elegant. It’s not complicated, but it’s messy, and makes it hard to get the last drops of product out without hacking it in two with a pair of scissors. Not ideal.

It’s also branded as cruelty-free, as per all NYX products, but L’Oreal is their parent company, who are not cruelty-free, so you can understand my doubts.


Overall, I like it, but I don’t love it. It’s okay. I wouldn’t condemn it, but I’m not really in a hurry to recommend it either. I feel like it’s so nearly really great, but just needs a bit more attention and a few tweaks.


  • Affordable
  • Buildable
  • Customizable
  • Good coverage
  • Blends well


  • Not many shades
  • Formula settles in tube
  • Messy dispenser
  • Clingy
  • Doesn’t last well

So, sadly, the quest for my perfect foundation continues. Any recommendations will be lapped up!

What foundation would you recommend?


I'm Juliet and I'm a twenty-something Creative Writing graduate based in the U.K. with a love of books, cats, and cosmetics.

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  1. Oh kind of soul destroying as I was going to get this – but every time I go to boots they do not have my shade! Maybe I dodged a bullet! x

    1. Juliet says:

      It wasn’t awful, and it could work really well for some people. It just wasn’t perfect. I wouldn’t mind having to buy it again if pushed x

  2. I loved how in depth this review was lovely, it really has helped in making my mind up.. p.s – apologies for the stalking, as I’ve just managed to grab some free time to read all the posts that I have missed xx

    1. Juliet says:

      Thank you very much, I’m glad you liked it! And no worries my love, notifications make my day! 💗

  3. Have you tried the maybelline fit me matte and poreless, I have heard its really good.

    1. Juliet says:

      No, I haven’t! I’ve just bought one from Kiko so fingers crossed this one works well for me x

What do you think?