NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation

NYX’s Stay Matte but not Flat foundation has been a loved product in the makeup community for a few years. I grabbed mine quite a while ago, but I got caught up in other products and didn’t get around to spending some time with it for a review. In fact, I think mine is so old that the packaging now looks slightly different.

About the Product

This is a powder foundation with a matte finish. The description for this product emphasizes flawless skin and a flawless finish, but doesn’t provide more detail about what the “not flat” part of the name means.

It comes in 25 shades, and I have the shade SMP02 Nude, the second shade from the lightest. A handful of the shades are available online only, so if you don’t see one you like at Ulta (or wherever you find it), check online.

You get 0.26 oz/7.5 g with this product. A cursory glance through my powder foundations and setting powders tells me this is an average amount, but perhaps slightly on the small side. Without any discounts, this foundation is $9.99, which is about the average for drugstore foundations. With a coupon or promotion, you can get this foundation for a steal.

If it matters to you, this product (like all NYX products) is cruelty-free.


This foundation comes in a plastic compact with a mirror and a compartment with a sponge included. This makes it easy to bring with you for touch-ups. It snaps shut and has a button to release it, although I can open mine without pressing the button. Even so, it feels secure when shut.

Product packaging

Product in compact

Compartment with sponge

The compact is a bit thick, but I don’t find it to be too clunky. I hate compacts that waste space, and this one isn’t too bad with that.

Application and Wear

I’ve worn this a few ways: alone, mixed with my IT Cosmetics Celebration Illumination foundation, and over a liquid foundation. I’d say that on its own, it’s probably medium coverage.

Alone, this foundation goes on nicely and blends well. It’s also buildable, so you can add extra coverage here and there without losing its natural finish. It doesn’t look powdery or dry as long as my skin is well taken care of. I like to work in sections instead of slapping it all over because I find it’s easier to blend that way. As for the supposedly flawless finish? I’d say it’s not flawless, but it evens my skin tone and hides the shine from my sunscreen. And it definitely doesn’t look “flat.” It leaves a natural sheen to my skin.

Before applying the foundation, bare face

After applying the foundation

However, this foundation wears off fast. I start noticing some extra shine about 3 hours in, so basically by lunch time on a typical work day. So, I think this foundation tends to work best when it’s mixed with my IT Cosmetics foundation or as a setting powder for liquid foundation. But even so, that only prolongs the mostly-matte finish for an additional 3 hours or so. I still notice some shine by the end of the work day. For context, I have normal-combination skin, and it’s not oily enough to normally go through a powder so quickly.

Final Thoughts

If you’re eyeing this as a full-coverage powder foundation, I’d encourage you to look at something else. But if you want something that looks natural as a foundation but also has the versatility of mixing and matching with other products, this is definitely an awesome and affordable option. Just keep in mind that reapplying might be inevitable depending on your skin type.

I’m surprised that this product isn’t mind-blowingly amazing, given the street cred it has. What do you think of this foundation?

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