January 5, 2010

Revlon PhotoReady Makeup Foundation Review

The cosmetic world keeps telling me I have to be HD and Photo ready, I’m gonna take a chance here and say that translates into they want me to have flawless skin because honestly I really don’t need to be HD ready now do I? I’m not going to be on the tube anytime soon so it’s doubtful I really need any of the fanfare and hype that surrounds HD makeup…or do I?

Revlon PhotoReady Makeup 1


Picture it.

The Muse as the next Paris Hilton.

I think I heard the screeching of a record in the background. Yea, well, I guess my big dreams and hopes of being the next Paris aren’t happening in this lifetime.


I shall worm my way through HD makeup and see how flawless I can be. You see I want to give my skin the potential of being the best it can be.

Revlon PhotoReady Makeup promises to deliver just that….

We shall see!

Check it after the jump!

It was only matter of time that the drugstore world broke into HD makeup now wasn’t it? Revlon Photoready Makeup promises light weight, non greasy coverage that hides imperfections, gives skin a dewy glow, and contains sunscreen.


I hate it.

No go for my skin. Been testing two full weeks once when my skin was behaving semi-normal and once when my skin was dry. On both occasions the foundation produced wicked bad results.

Revlon PhotoReady Makeup 2

I’m gonna throw it out there that if you’re used to using drugstore foundation day to day you may like this but if you’re not you’ll probably end up like me, terribly disappointed and left feeling how cheap a formula it is.

The formula starts out creamy but it’s really, really drying. It hits the skin and suddenly becomes a tad difficult to blend because of how dry it is. It’s almost as if it’s old, something you left under your vanity sink and forgot about. As you blend it cracks on your skin and sort of rolls off. Not good, not good at all. After a little struggle blending it was on, yay me! I proceeded to look in the mirror and took note of how it simply flaked around my skin in patchy dry areas. Now this happened when my skin was normal and proceeded to happen and look worst when my skin was busy being dry. The foundation looks unnatural, flaky, patchy, and just a hot mess on my skin. It seems to sink above the skin instead of absorbing which in turn creates a full makeup look, the point is to look makeup-less right?

Overall, I’d say being HD ready looking like this might be an epic fail. I’m not sure how oily skin will react but normal/dry skin may want to keep the receipt if they do purchase, just in case you have the same experience I did. I love the packaging, felt like it came with a very generous amount for the price, and like the idea of flawless skin but sadly the formula needs a ton of work before I’d consider anything about my skin photo ready after using this.

Big no likey.

Disclosure: The following item was purchased by me for review purposes (and because I like flinging my money at makeup products of any kind) on Musings of a Muse. For further information please see my FTC Guidelines or my Disclosure/Disclaimer posts.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • mary_in_wonder

    seems like everyone hates this LOL but it’s weird you didn’t mention the Cullen-esque part HAHA I don’t understand the hype about being HD ready….walking the streets we won’t be taken photos of every second, nor being filmed. These HD foundations are meant for people under spotlight and high resolution cameras. There it’s needed for flawless look, but if we go near those people, we will see how fake their skin is up close.

    • the Muse

      ha mary I didn’t get the cullen effect. I didn’t notice a bit of sparkle or glitter to it at all! I’m hearing tales of major shimmer but nothing here just dry, chalky formula πŸ˜› I can never understand the hype either, flawless yes, hd ready? absurd. LOL true, pretty ironic it’s made for high res cameras when in fact it actually MAKES you look like you have makeup on rather than create a makeup-less natural flawless finish!

      • mary_in_wonder

        wow then maybe they change the amount of shimmer with the shades? Or just there’s some major problem with this foundation @[email protected]
        Now, this is one thing I don’t mind not having access to XDDD

        • the Muse

          i dunno mary…or maybe I’m so immune to shimmer I didn’t notice LOL!

    • Beautyncharm

      Mary_in_wonder, I found mine to be super sparkly too!

      There is a rumor that they have two formulations that were sent out to different parts of the US to see what people preferred. I HATE IT! My skin isn’t that dry so I think if it were not for the shimmer I’d keep using it.

  • Fee-ona

    Hello Muse!

    I hope I’m not being naughty on an off comment here. ._.; Just happened upon your blog whilst reading up on Steamcream (bought two today, loving it!).

    It’s great to read up on products from a fellow geeky lass, I sometimes feel out of place reading anything from ‘professionals’ or girls who seem to live in a different world.

    Never used to bother about my appearance (I’m 25, it took me long enough!) but now I love keeping my skin clean and fresh and using the right make-up properly (or even better, having those days where you don’t even need make-up).

    To sum up.

    Hurrah! *Subscribes*

    • the Muse

      hi fee-ona! How are you? Happy New Year!

      Not at all, love reading comments πŸ™‚ and reply. Yay! How’s it working for you? are you using on your face or body?

      Mmm me too, I’m a big reader of blogs as well as babbling on my own and I understand how you feel. I always feel like I don’t get alot from the writer b/c they don’t put much personality into the posts, sounds like an advert doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

      Ha it’s ok, some of us are just late bloomers, I started out life as a junkie hahaha!!!!! But I can relate sometimes especially during college and such folks can’t be arsed to worry about makeup/appearance when everything else is going down πŸ™‚ gosh I wish I had more days when I don’t need makeup! πŸ™‚

      Aw I loved reading your comment dear, thanks for sharing! I hope you’ll step up and comment some more!


      • Fee-ona

        Oh no, I made a nice big reply and wordpress ate it. πŸ™

        Happy new year! I’m using the cream on my hands and arms as they tend to get dry/tight/sore in this cold weather. It seems to take a wee while for it to sink in (I have Luke Cage skin or something) but once it does it’s fantastic. My hands are so smooth!

        I sell comics in a mail order internet type thing so I’m living in the work basement, as such you can see why it’s taken me a while to bother. No one from the outside world really sees the basement monster, hee. πŸ™‚

        Hell yeah! Totally going to be your comment junkie, especially on all your Dr Who musings.


        • the Muse

          Happy New Year fee-ona sorry for the delayed reply hun!

          awesome! πŸ˜€ I’m glad it’s working out for you! ha! sounds awesome I’m a fan of comics myself, manga, etc…geek type stuff.

          LOL! come and join in all the doctor who Musings! can’t wait to hear your thoughts!


  • MarTina

    OMG. Thanks for the heads up. I wanted to test this as a possible less expensive option than my MUFE HD or MUFE Matte but obviously this will not be the case. πŸ™ bummer

    • the Muse

      martina just not good for me doll. very bad results ugh! Going to keep trying but looks like a return for me!!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜›

  • suz

    you just killed it :P…I was ready to dish out 13 bucks!!! but now nope…I’ll spend it on ebay and buy one of my favorite bb creams instead!

  • beeks

    I have oily skin and have had great results with the formula, in that it keeps my oiliness in check and keeps my skin looking fresh. My bottle does have noticeable silver sparkles in it though, which is enough to keep me from buying it ever again. It also irritates my skin a bit when first applied, which is unusual for me. Just a question, Muse: When you applied, did you use your fingers, or a brush? From everything I’ve been reading, it seems like the best way to apply this is with the fingers, and very, very sparingly. I can see why many don’t like it, but for oily skinned people who don’t mind the microglitter effect, I deem it “worth a try.”

    • the Muse

      hey beeks thanks for the deets I’m always curious how others get along with a product compared to how I did. I’m dry at the moment since I really messed my skin up with 360 cleanser but also tried when it was behaving normal, same results, currently debating whether to keep and try in the Summer when I’m oily!

      Almost always use my fingers for foundation application so def did use fingers and used very small amount as I normally use a tiny amount of foundation and never a ton. But still it kinda rolls off, sits on top of my skin, and just makes it like patchy/dry. The formula itself felt very old and strange. No shimmer/glitter as per other reviews I’ve seen but very much drying on me.

      I think I agree, deem it worthy of a try too considering it’s $13.99 and at the moment BOGO so you can get foundation and powder free or two bottles if you’d want but in the long run didn’t work for me at all πŸ™

      Thanks for sharing again as most readers will like to hear how the results are on oily skin!

  • Susan

    I am oily and am really liking this so far. I bought Vanilla but I think it’s a tad too light, I think I should have picked up Shell.

    Muse, can I ask what your MAC shade is and if Shell was a good match? I’m NC15 but have a little peach-i-ness to my skin..

    Thanks and great review!

    • the Muse

      Hey Susan!

      Must be my norm/dry skin for sure b/c I am hearing alot about how much oily skin users are liking this one! I really haven’t a clue hun I think I’m an NC25? But don’t quote me. The shade was actually very dull on me, bit too beige-y and not as bright as I like.

      My pleasure πŸ˜€

  • Brandon

    Ugh, reminds me of the Coastal Scents concealers i tried once. They kinda rolled, and flaked off the skin. Not cute!

    Its sad you had to waste your hard earned money of such a bad product πŸ™ I wish you luck next time you buy a drugstore foundation.

    • the Muse

      brandon same deal with this, no likey at all. totally sat on my skin without absorbing and just pilled and looked patchy, not a good look!

      aw thanks hun! I believe I can return with my receipt, wish me luck! πŸ˜€ I don’t feel too bad as it was a BOGO offer so at least I got one item free that I LIKED so I chalk this up as not really paying for it πŸ™‚

  • Kristina

    I almost bought this at Target this morning! The only thing that stopped me was that their lightest shade looked too dark for me. Good thing I guess since yours and another blog I read both posted not so great things about it today.

    • the Muse

      hey kristina another review for a nay eh? I’ve been reading reviews today and it seems norm/dry experience same application/results as me while oily types seem to love it. Really didn’t work for me at all so I’m glad you saved some $$$ after reading this πŸ˜€

  • jackieg02

    I am not a fan of MUFE HD makeup, so I probably wouldn’t like this one. Just because its HD. I personally don’t need to be HD.

    I like Revlon, as a brand. So I may try this one day.

    • the Muse

      me either jackie what’s the point? I mean I take pics for my blog but aside from that HD makeup? seems such a hype!

  • Tammy

    ewww glad you reviewed it because it was literally sitting in my hand earlier today as I contemplated buying. Good thing I set it down (should have put a sticky note next to the stand to advise other victims too).

    • the Muse

      I dunno tammy I couldn’t dig on it so it’s good you ended up not buying imho! just applied patchy and weird!

  • Heather

    Hi Muse – I am so surprised to hear that you don’t love this foundation! I have been wearing this for two weeks and I really like it! I even find it comparable to my MAC Select SPF 15. (For reference I am an NC 25 and I purchased the Revlon Photo Ready in the Nude Shade.) I have normal skin and I find that this foundation helps cover up redness, and it gives me more of an even skin tone. I love the coverage! I also found that it stays on all day, which is a plus. Sorry to hear that it didn’t work as good for you as it did for me!

    PS – Love the blog!!!

    • the Muse

      hey heather! Loving it? I dunno hun I’m not sold sadly. I wonder if maybe I got an old one…it really crumbled on my skin and just applied patch and dry! yak! But I’m so glad to hear it’s working well for you!!!!!! I think I’m a little spoiled as I’ve been using BB Creams for most of the year and going back to regular foundation is…different.

      This one was sadly a no go but sure am glad to hear a ton of success stories w00t! especially since it’s cheap!

      Thanks πŸ˜€ glad you’re enjoying my babbles hun!

  • Tinkerchelle

    I have been using Revlon Colorstay for a long time with great results for my formerly combo/oily skin. Every since I started using the Clinique acne solutions skincare, however, I’m like you: normal/dry. Colorstay is too drying for me now. I was sooo close to giving this a whirl and I’m really glad I read your review before I did! Thx for saving me $13!! πŸ˜‰ What foundation do you reccomend for normal/ dry skin? (high or low end). Appreciate the insight!

    • the Muse

      hey chelle! interesting b/c same prob here…very patchy application for me. Not good at all, hard to blend as well! Your most welcome hun! πŸ˜€ mmmm honestly right now on the US market I’m saying the Stila One Step Foundation is a must have, it’s incredible imho!

    • katiemorgan

      There are TWO Colorstay lines! One for combo/oil skin, and one for normal/dry skin (it says on the front of the bottle). Exact same shades. I suggest if you like Colorstay try the normal/dry line. That’s what I use.. my skin tends to get really dry and other foundation just emphasizes little flakeys of dry skin lol…

      Hm I still want to try the PhotoReady. My friend hates ColorStay (I love it), she couldn’t find a good shade for her…but she loves the new photoready one. So I guess it all depends on your skin.

      • the Muse

        hey katie!

        I’m sure tinker will find this helpful!

        Photoready was a fail for me sadly πŸ™

  • Jodie

    Hey Muse! I feel your pain! I have wacky skin that can be dry in some spots and oily in others. I actually got this foundation to work on the dry spots… try a wet sponge. That stops the gross flaky spots for me, anyway. The main thing to make this foundation work is moist skin… or else you will look like the crater of the moon. haha.

    • the Muse

      jodie interesting thanks hun! Will def try wet! YES! exactly! I tried with Beauty Credit primer but still wasn’t moist enough! thanks for the tip doll!

  • Yasmine Flaggs

    Have you tried Coastal Scents Liquid HD Foundation? I’m started to see it pop up in YouTube videos and now i’m curious about it. I like Makeup Forever but I never could bring myself to spend the $$ for the HD foundation. Honestly, I don’t wear foundation much anyway but there is something apealing about all of the HD talk! Did you do a review for Revlon ColorStay Foundation with Softflex? I thought you had but I couldn’t find the post.

    • the Muse

      i haven’t yasmine I’m not a big CS fan but sounds great. HD kinda confuses me at times hehe. is that the instant rewind one? not sure I did a softflex review hun!

  • Bbbbbbb

    i use the shade shell 03 and its works great for me. I have normally combination skin with a oily t-zone but my cheeks have been dry because of the season. I applied it last night with my fingers and it went on very smooth and matte finish. The shade matches my NC20/revlon colorstay buff: winter skin and I loved how it looked. I applied a little maybeeline shine free loose powder and rimmel’s natural bronzer on my cheeks and forehead and i made my skin looked airbrushed!
    Definately recommended for combination/oily skin!!

    • the Muse

      hi bbbbb that’s great hun! No luck here sadly. I’m so glad you’re loving it though! Cool! πŸ˜€ my oil skin ladies will love to hear it!

  • kurlybella

    i’m right there with you chica!

    this is a hot mess that revlon has created. i just did a review on this product as well.

    you mentioned you have dry skin. i have oily skin and this “hi def” foundation turned into an oil slick on my face after only TWO hours!

    they need to get back to the drawing board with this one! lots of bad reviews floating around.

  • Ava

    I have been wanting to try Revlons Photo ready foundation for a while but was skeptical since any liquid foundation makes my skin look even more oily, and even read up on all the comments. I decided to go ahead and try it and for a few days and have had nothing but GREAT results. I use Vanilla, and it keeps my oily skin in check all day long. My T-zone area has always been a big problem for me, and my cheeks are almost always red. This liquid foundation covers up the redness of my cheeks and helps keep my Tzone from getting oily! I am actually really happy with it. I have not invested in the matching powder, but will soon. I almost think it isnt neccesary becuase just the liquid does so well. My best guess, judging by all the other comments from oily skinned women, is that it works for us…too bad it isn’t quiet working out for dryer skin types.

    • the Muse

      hey ava so glad this is working for you!!!!! sadly it was a no go for me. I’m def in the dry skin group however lately my skin is fairly normal and still no go :0D

      but good to know it’s working so well for oily skin! thanks for your mini review!

  • Michelle

    I have tried so many different brands of makeup, high & low , however I haven’t purchased any drugstore makeup in a long long time, I am not a high-end brand snob and I have noticed that lately drugstore brands have been giving some higher ends a run for their money. I purchased this & have been using almost a week, and I must say I’m HIGHLY impressed with the quality, it really blew me away! I really liked the fact that it had the {barely noticable} shimmer. I bought the Vanilla, I’m a NC20 in Mac & have “Dry” skin. It really gave me a flawless face! I also bought the Maybelline Instant rewind Eraser one & was also highly impressed with that as well! Being that I just turned 3o! I dont have any major problems, but a few fine lines here & there & after I applied it, it was like looking at myself in the mirror when I was 19! And the L’oreal Magic Primer stuff was really lux too!
    However I must say I find it a bit annoying for people to not be willing to give something a try just because 1 person doesn’t like it , or because it didn’t work for just 1 person. I definately am one who loves reading reviews, but I wouldnt pass something by I was curious in just because someone else didn’t have good results, regaurdless if they had the same skin type as myself I’d still give it a shot!

  • Ally

    Hi Muse! Love your stuff! I was wondering if you a listing on here of your favorite drugstore foundations? Thanks so much!!!

    • the Muse

      ally I rarely use drugstore foundation as most of my bases are bb creams, I gotta say there aren’t any US drugstore foundations that have made a good impression on me that I use really πŸ™ sorry.

  • Ally

    Wow I finally found someone who agrees with me about this stuff!! All of the youtube gurus I like seem to love this stuff! I have been sitting around wondering if I got a bad batch or something since mine’s so awful! It’s very hard to blend and I find gives me very little coverage. And mine seems to have a good dose of sparkles, which I’m not fond of. Currently debating on whether to return it to Walgreens or not as it performs very nicely when mixed with my Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation (I use the photoready to lighten the rimmel as the lighest is much too dark). But I think I will return it and mix another lighter foundation with the Rimmel to lighten it as the Photoready is a little expensive for a Drugstore foundation.

  • Jean

    I bought it at cvs (full price) and was thinking it didnt go on well because i bought the wrong shade so i was going to exchange it. maybe i will just return it now and put my money towards something better. thanks for the heads up and the review.

  • Ally

    I can’t believe so many people love this stuff! All the Youtube people seem to love it and everyone else as well. I hated it!! Maybe they don’t have good quality control? It doesn’t blend, doesn’t cover and is shimmery as crap! Glad someone agrees with me πŸ™‚ And I’m a drugstore foundation girl all the way so it’s not like my standards are super high! Love you Muse!

    • Mary

      i bought it too.. i have combination skin and i could notice the shimmer everyone is talking about.. small shimmery particles.. like u get after erasing a shimmery eyeshadow from ur skin.. there are some particles left..
      Anyway i had the feeling my skin will turn oily..
      I tried to make a picture to test that Cullen_ish effect .. and i was so white compared to my skintone. Overall idk if ill try it again.
      I like Colorstay more.. but i got an weird sensation like my eyes are smarting.

  • Jess_from_Oz

    As a make-up lover and make-up student, I adore this product. Although it may not be as refined as Chanel Pro LumiΓ¨re (which I also adore) for every day use it’s great. I agree that it does not go well with dry skin, however if put on top of a good primer (I would recommend Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer) It is fantastic! The fact that a “drug store” company has released a product without Titanium Dioxide which effects flash photography is great!

    • the Muse

      hey jess glad to hear how much you are loving this sadly was a no go for me even with proper prepping and priming πŸ™

  • noppi

    seriously, all of the shades available in singapore (they are just released) are too pink, it would look like I’m wearing blush all over my skin. -_-

  • savannah

    this foundation works great for me. i am a medium skin asian and it looked almost as good as my laura mercier one. πŸ™‚

  • Lys

    That does not sound very promising, but I think I’m going to try the foundation anyway – pale warm shades are hard to find so Vanilla at least sounds perfect. If it’s overly glittery I’m going to mix it with some other foundation πŸ™‚

  • Shannyn

    I just bought this today. When I tested it on my arm in store I didn’t notice any glitter and the colour seemed like a nice match but when I got home and was washing my hands, it looked as though a glitter bomb had gone off all over my arm! There are still remnants of it now (and I’ve had a shower since testing) so it seems even after you’ve removed your makeup, you’re still gonna be a shinin’ for days to come.
    Total waste of money.

  • Abby

    .. I’ve been using MUFE HD Foundation, but I ran out and didn’t have a Sephora or anything nearby. And I had an orchestra concert that day, and needed good foundation so i wouldn’t look like a scurvy victim on stage. Sooo I ran to CVS and bought this stuff. its not that bad!! I’m really fair, and it didn’t seem patchy or disco-ballish at all on me! It worked for my boyfriend’s sister,who is13 and experiencing the same acne issues I had 3 years ago. :/ I used Vanilla 002 which was a good match for my porcelain ginger skin (-_-) and her medium asian skin tone. All in all, its not as good as MUFE but pretty good for drugstore!!:D

  • Tee

    I hate this Photo ready foundation. I have been using Mocha shade for three years and the mocha shade of Revlon Photo Ready is not a Mocha it made my skin turn Brick-red when Im outdoors or when my face is reflected by the sun. I only have a day of using a product but it have disappointed me and the stores do not have refunds for makeup products. So watch out girls with dark skin tones do not use this product it makes your skin looks horrible…..ANGRY

  • Jeni

    Hey gals, I went specifically today and purchased Revlon’s Colorstay for normal/dry skin, foundation, and I really like it. I have always been a Clinique or Estee Lauder fan but this is really good, and also I purchased the revlon PHOTO Ready #002 vanilla along with the revlon photo ready concealer, and woot!, I am loving it all. I really like it. I am a woman of age so therefore I need all the help I can get. I will give you more reviews after I have used it about a week kay? Love your site….

    • the Muse

      looking forward to hearing your thoughts jeni! aw thanks <3!

  • Nadya Sadri Mulok

    Have this! I am in the shade 003 Shell Coquillage (Heyy same shade!) About the gold shimmer glitter, I do see tiny micro flecks of glitter. A vlogger on youtube mentioned that she had glitter on her face when she tried this one.

    I use this to work, it’s an okay foundation, but can be too drying. I’d mix this with the Rosken BioSerum πŸ™‚ smoother application.