May 16, 2012

Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup Review and Swatches

In need of a matte foundation?

I am, my skin is in freak out mode. With the weather turning from hot to cold, I’m oily one second and dry the next.

This week in particular was a good time to test out the new Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup since I got a new brush head for my Clarisonic and it seems I have to break it out because my skin is going all oily after using it for the past few days.


Take a look!

Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup is an oil free (obviously right? Hence the name!) foundation that promises a light texture with full coverage.

This range is offered in 20 shades and claims that it can hold out in 88 degree temperatures without fading or streaking.

The gel-like formula is a rich and creamy. I felt like it blended out flawlessly and it proved very easy to work with due to the moisturizing feel of the product during application. I tried it when I was dry and I tried it when I was oily and each time it blended out to a truly lovely finish. On my dry skin it didn’t accentuate patchy areas and on my oil skin, it mattified shine.

It indeed offers sheer to full coverage that will conceal redness, acne scarring, and darkness. So if you have needs for a fuller coverage foundation rest assured this will easily offer you the coverage you need be it lighter or heavy.

My problem with it was the fact it oxidizes fairly fast on me and fades away very quickly. I experience this with a good deal of foundation products so it might not be fault with the formulation just my crazy skin.

One thing I did notice was that on my oily areas it did well to mattify on application but I did see shine and oil return within a two hour period. I think the texture is pretty hydrating for something that’s supposed to dry down matte so I do question if this will work with someone who has super oily skin.

(Swatched 09 Neutral)

Overall, Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup is a luxurious formula and feels more expensive than it actually is ($23) however I do wonder how mattifying truly oily skin will find it because on my very tame oily areas it didn’t do too well providing a matte finish. On the upside, don’t be scared of it if you have drier skin as I thought it applied and looked beautiful on such a skin type.

This is available now at Clinique counters.

Tried it?

What did you think?

Do share!

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.

Leave a Comment


  • Barbara

    If it fades away quickly, then it sounds like a no go for oily skin people like me. Makeup normally fades away faster than other skin types because of the oil, so I don’t think I’ll be checking this out tbh.

  • KaylaK

    I got a sample of this to try so I will hopefully give it a test drive tomorrow! I have oil slick skin so we’ll see how this does! My problem seems like the colors weren’t light enough for my pasty self!

    • anne

      My friend got Linen which i think is the lightest shade. She isnt super fair but it seems like there isnt anything lighter either

  • Southern Gorgeous

    Sounds promising. I wonder if this can finally replace my Superfit I had so long ago!

  • Mandi

    After the first I may try this on my now oily summer skin. If I do, I wil report back for the oily gals/guys out there.

  • Candee702

    Perfect timing. I’ve been looking at their foundation line. I’m gonna head to Ulta tomorrow to get a few samples. I’ll make sure to pick this one up.

  • LouAnne

    Did not work on my oily tzone/combo skin at all… I usually love Clinique products and was really excited about this one.because I usually get a perfect color match with Clinique. .. but this foundation never mattified my tzone at all.. .not even when applying…and it certainly didn’t keep me from getting more shiny… my tzone was shiny the entire time I had it on. and the foundation oxidized on me slightly and then was gone by lunchtime. Glad I just got a sample to try… but the color match, alas, was perfect. and it did apply easily and looked nice for about 5 minutes. oh well…

  • JenJ

    Loves like I need to find me a Clinique counter. Color me curious.

  • Candee702

    I was finally able to track this down today after 3 separate stops. Got my sample I went ahead and ordered this from since I can return it if I don’t like it. Hopefully it works out well.

  • sarah

    Hi Muse!
    I purchased this a couple of weeks ago and I’m very happy with it so far (lets see how it holds up to a wedding forecasting 85 degrees tomorrow)…i’m pretty oily all year round and found that this needs minimal touch ups or blotting sheets…so far so good!

    • the Muse

      awesome sarah, how’s it doing now that it is a little warmer?

  • Nubian QT

    I have been using this product for a week. I am IN LOVE WITH IT!!!!!. I have very oily skin that decided it would go into breakout mode last summer. I have been fighting with controlling my acne which in turn made me more oily than I was…go figure. In my quest to combat my acne I began trying Clinique’s acne solution makeup (I was an avid Mac user). That was just ok but I wanted more. I then began using Even better but that slid off my face although it was beautiful when applied. This new formula gives me the best of both formulas. I may have to touch up but I am literally touching up which is ok bc typically I would be running to the ladies room or looki (not reapplying like I was doing)or checking in my computer monitor to guage how oily I get throughout the day…what a pain! Now I rarely check unless Im already in the ladies room. I can feel that I have not begun to break through so I dont feel the need to constantly be checking to oil…I essentially feel more confident in my appearance due to this new and improved formula. As far as the color- I have brown skin and my color is matched so well, I have to remind myself that I have on makeup from time to time. Bravo Clinique…no more wasting money on so called mattifying formulas!!!!!!

  • anne

    I love it~ I don’t necessarily consider myself oily, more so combo. i get oily a lil around the nose/chin after about 6-7 hours, nothing too crazy and just sheen pops through. Love the consistency and how it feels going on, I havent experienced any oxidation, but thats with most formulas. I do always set with powder, idk if that makes a difference. I would get samples first though because the colors are named a lil off. I wear Golden Neutral and its considered a moderately fair shade, when im medium lol. But anyway i love that I can build this up, whilst on vaca in new orleans 95 + humidty it lasted all day and didn’t wear off or anything. In fact i felt fine wearing it and I normally dont like liquid when its super hot.

  • Sephora

    I tried this in shades 21 & 23. 21 is my shade but being that the outside parameters of my face are darker than the center of my face, it gives me an ashy look when looking from my side. The 23 is a little too red/orange for my skin but works perfect for the outside parameters, so I use the 2 in conjunction with each other. Aside from the the formula is very souffle like, it gives a beautiful airbrushed finish, but it doesn’t control the oil and look as matte as I would like. I was really excited about trying this and hoping it would sub in for the more expensive MUFE Mat velvet +. I guess if it aint broke, don’t fix it.

  • Kayla

    I personally have oily skin and I absolutely adore this product! I first use Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and then a primer. This honestly lasts in the hottest of hot! It’s definitely my go-to foundation for summer! With the right products, I won’t get oily for at least 5-7 hours. I recently just purchased my second one and I just love it! You must give it a try!

    • Stacy

      Kayla- which primer do you use? Can you say on this site? I have been looking for a good one, but hesitant to just start purchasing. Thank you!

  • Katrina

    Hello! Is this a bit dark on you? I’m really hoping you have a pic of before and after with this shade. I bought golden neutral, but it oxidized a bit and makes me a bit more yellow. I bought Neutral and I’m planning to swatch it to Cream Chamois. What do you think? Thanks

    • Isabella Muse

      Very dark, the shade isn’t good for me. Not sure on the mixing of shades as I haven’t tried or swatched Neutral or Cream Chamois! You’re prob better off getting a suitable shade from another line!