Sunday, January 26, 2014

NYX Mineral Foundation Stick Review & Swatches of Shades

NYX Mineral Foundation Stick
New for Spring 2014
Price: $10.00- $10.99 for 6 grams
(approx $1.70/gram)
Available from Ulta or NYX Website

I've always equated NYX to a drugstore MAC. It may just be their packaging but I think its more the fact that they have loyal fans who would rather die than live without their NYX lipstick & eyeshadows, just like MAC, and their foundations, while coveted by some, generally have a sort of "it's a toss up" reputation so I hadn't really given them a chance to wow me. I knew I was being unfair so when I saw their spring 2014 lineup I jumped.

How high? Well, that's the question isn't it?

I first saw NYX's new "Mineral Foundation Stick" on the Ulta website. First I laughed because, well, about 95% of all foundations ever made can on some level be classified as "mineral." Titanium Dioxide and Talc are both minerals and Titanium Dioxide is used as both a pigment and very effective sunscreen ingredient. Talc is, well, Talc. Anyways,

I was initially thrown off by the Mineral Foundation Stick name since I'm not a huge fan of mineral/powder foundations, but then I came to my senses and realized it was a simple marketing scheme to help customers overcome their extreme phobias of foundation sticks, while somehow implying that the product was more beneficial to ones skin because of the mineral label.

*If you want more information on the mineral makeup mayhem, check out Paula's Choice and browse the Expert Advice Section.*

Despite the deceptive and crafty advertising, I had to order the stick (and NYX Invincible Full Cover Foundation...and the Dark Circle Concealer....). Choosing a shade was somewhat of a royal pain in the butt. All that was available was Ulta's crappy computer generated swatches. I chose "light medium," for a few reasons. It was the only semi-light shade that seemed to have clear yellow undertones on the swatches and I figured since I use the 4th from lightest shade in their full coverage concealer (beige) that it would be at least somewhat close. (I did call my local Ulta but they had not heard of any new NYX foundations yet.) Lucky for me, Light Medium worked out fine.

I have to say, I LOVE this foundation. It isn't greasy & heavy like Bobbi Browns or Laura Geller and it has far more coverage than Sonia Kashuk's. I wouldn't compare it to Shiseido's The Makeup Foundation Stick because that has a powder finish, but if I was forced to pick, NYX Foundation Stick it's really almost a combination of Flower Beauty's  Skincognito Foundation Stick (available at Walmart, by Drew Barrymore) and the New Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick

It has the consistency of Drew Barrymore's Skincognito, but much better coverage and blendablity. It's similar to Shiseido's, but without the fragrance (which I kinda like), SPF, or *true* powder finish.

***UPDATE: Despite the fact that no ingredients changed, Bobbi Brown's "new" Skin Foundation Stick is being absolutely raved about and while it does perform great, it's STILL not as good as NYX's Mineral Foundation Stick. Is that just crazy when a $9 product creams (ha ha, no pun intended) the $44 one?***

I really can't tell if it is designed to be a cream to powder or just cream foundation since its really in between, but that's what I like about it. Sometimes when they become too powdery after setting they can become blotchy and cling to dry spots more.

 Keep in mind I'm going off of  swatches, so who knows what the shades actually look like? Anyways, Light/medium is a pretty good match for me and overall I am really really really happy with this foundation. My Ulta manager is calling me as soon as they get this in, so I will head up there straight away and swatch all the shades!

NYX has this listed on their website with the descriptions for each shade now. I think I have to order Light, since that has Yellow undertones. It may be like the Light in the Invincible Fullest Coverage Foundation which is peach vs yellow, but I really liked that shade's brightness.

This is available in a total of 9 shades, and the good news is that they kept the same shade descriptions for each name, so if you're golden beige in Invincible Fullest Coverage Foundation, of their Stay Matte Not Flat Foundation, you probably should order that shade. The shade range for this is a little more limited than some of their other options (9 vs 15) so they did do away with a few. Who knows, if its a popular product, they may release them eventually, but for now, if you're VERY pale (Ivory), or darker than "Medium Deep", you may have a hard time.

*Keep in mind that because they don't dry out thoroughly like some liquids, there is usually a lack of comparative oxidation, especially if you don't use powder, so cream products will usually stay truer to their original color than many liquids. I usually have to go a shade darker with emollient based products because of this.*

For Fair Skin:
  • Fair- MSF01: FAIR skin with BEIGE undertones

For Light Skin:
  • Porcelain- MSF02: LIGHT skin with PINK undertones
  • Light- MSF03: LIGHT skin with YELLOW undertones

For Light/Medium Skin:
  • Light Medium: MSF04 LIGHT/MEDIUM skin with BEIGE undertones

For Medium Skin:
  • Medium Beige- MSF05: MEDIUM skin with BEIGE undertones
  • Golden Beige- MSF06: MEDIUM skin with GOLDEN undertones
  • Cool Tan-MSF07: MEDIUM skin with PINK undertones
For Medium/Deep Skin:
  • Warm Tan-MSF08: MEDIUM/DEEP skin with RED undertones
  • Caramel- MSF09: MEDIUM/DEEP skin with BEIGE undertones

Standard for cream/creme foundations and stick foundations is typically between 8 and 9 grams. (A standard lipstick is about 4-4.4). NYX only gives you 6, but it still evens out to about $1.70 a gram so that's not too bad. If it was a full 9 grams they would probably charge $16 so I'd actually prefer the $10.99 price point and 6 grams. (At least they didn't pull a Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Foundation Stick and give you 3 grams!!!)

This is definately a great option for any cream/creme or stick foundation lover and I HIGHLY recommend trying it. The fact that its Cruelty Free, well that might qualify it for Holy Grail material just yet!!!

Tried it? Do you Adore or Abhore?
NYX Mineral Foundation Stick Review & Swatches of Shades 01 Fair, 02 Porcelain, 03 Light, 04 Light/Medium, 05 Medium Beige, 06 Golden Beige, 07 Cool Tan, 08 Warm Tan, 09 Caramel
NYX Mineral Foundation Stick Swatches of Shades
01 Fair, 02 Porcelain, 03 Light, 04 Light/Medium,
05 Medium Beige, 06 Golden Beige, 07 Cool Tan, 08 Warm Tan, 09 Caramel
Top to Bottom, Bobbi Brown Sticks 3 &2, Shiseido Stick o20, Nyx Mineral Foundation Stick Light Medium, Right NYX Jar Concealer in Beige
Top to Bottom:
 Bobbi Brown Stick 3 Beige,
Bobbi Brown Stick 2 Sand,
Shiseido The Makeup Stick O20 (Light Ochre),
(To the right is
NYX Full Cover Above and Beyond Concealer 
in Beige)

Top-Bottom: Bobbi Brown Sticks 2 &3, Shiseido Stick o20, NYX Mineral Stick Foundation Light Medium, Right NYX Full Coverage Concealer Beige
Top to Bottom:
 Bobbi Brown Stick 3 Beige,
Bobbi Brown Stick 2 Sand,
Shiseido The Makeup Stick O20 (Light Ochre),
(To the right is NYX Full Cover Above and Beyond Concealer in Beige)
Below is the Mineral Foundation Stick in "Light/Medium," Compared to other NYX products so you can get an idea of the shade consistency. Light/Medium MSF04, is not identical, but nearly equal to Beige (CJ04) in the Fullest Coverage Concealer in a jar, AND their HD Concealer in CW04. Due to the formulary differences, it would be nearly impossible to get an exact match, but its close enough to use as a foundation/concealer combo.
Invincible "Light," Mineral Stick "Light/Medium," Full Cover "Beige," Dark Circle "Light"

Invincible "Light," Mineral Stick "Light/Medium," Full Cover "Beige," Dark Circle "Light"


  1. Thanks for your post on these foundation sticks especially the color explanation it really helps.

  2. Oh good, I'm so glad it was helpful! Be sure to compare the pictures with the shade descriptions before you buy, I was really disapointed with how pink 03 Light was & its described as for "yellow undertones," but at this price, I can't complain too much!

  3. Hi I appreciate the swatches esp the last one.
    May I know roughly what shade you are in MAC? Just so I can gauge more accurately which shade I should buy.
    I'm using MAC NC25 Studio Fix.


  4. Hi Kouzuke,
    So sorry for the delayed reply! I'm going to start by saying that I am NOT an expert in powder foundation. In MY experience, it typically starts off light and ends up pretty dark as the day goes on, oxidizing with your skin's natural oils. If you told me that you were a Mac cream or liquid foundation in NC25, I would say go with 05, 06, or 08.

    Here's the thing to keep in mind. NYX has some shades to accommodate "Beige" (ie. Olivey) undertones. Mac doesn't. I am NC15-20 in Mac depending on the foundation.

    I just pulled up some pictures of studio fix nc25, and Here's my best recommendation, if you like Studio Fix in NC25, and find that it works well for you, go with 06 Golden Beige. If you think from the picture it might be too yellow, then swatch some Studio Fix on you hand (moisturize first) then compare it to the above picture to see what direction you want to go. If you're happy with the shade match of studio fix in NC25, go with 06 Golden Beige!

  5. Can you post some more images of these blended? The nyx foundation mineral sticks? I am looking one for a contour and highlight. I'm of asian skin tones, a bit paler in the winter and warm in the summer...I'd say a beige color and olive in the summer. Do you think you could recommend which colors would blend best together as high light and contour?

  6. hI Jace,
    Thanks so much for your response. I wish I could post some pictures of the shades blended, but unfortunately, I only have the two (Light & Light Medium), and to be honest, they both blend out really well on my skin, to the point where I dont think that It would photograph well enough to do any good. That being said, even though they are both matches for my skin, I wouldn't use them together, they're way too different.

    Now, as for your shading, and keep in mind I'm relying heavily on your description of "beige & olive," I would probably go with either shades 2, Porcelain & 4 Light Medium, OR 04 Light Medium, & 05 Medium Beige. Which option depends on the depth of your actual skintone. I would say 02 & 04 would be a good pairing for like an NC15 (me), and 04 & 05 would be better for NC20-25, maybe NC30.

    Are you using these OVER another foundation as just a highlight/contour combo? I only ask because if you are planning to use them on top of another foundation, I would probably recommend a different stick foundation which is a little less opaque (like Flower Skincognito Foundation Stick).

    ***NOTE: NYX Claims that 01 Fair, is made for people with Beige Undertones and shade 02 Porcelain is designed for people with Pink Undertones. Looking at the picture, you can see that that is not the case at all. 01 has a distinct pink shade to it, and 02 looks just like a lighter version of 04 Light Medium which is described as having beige undertones, and actually does. I don't know if the sticks I swatched at Ulta were a fluke, but I suspect not since the 03 & 04 shades they had, matched mine. Because of this, I would toss the shade descriptions from Nyx, or at least heed with caution.****

    If your're like many Asians, you may actually vary a good deal shade wise depending on the season, especially if you're heritage can be traced to a more southern region. (I am generalizing here, so please don't take offense, I'm just thinking of the difference between someone from the mountains of Japan, versus someone from a southern area like Cambodia.) If that's the case, you may want to order all three for year round use.

    (If you actually get to a medium/tan level in the summer, you may need to go with 05 Medium Beige & 07 or 09 for a contour.)

    As for your actual intentions with contouring & highlighting, the suggestions I just made were based off of creating a natural highlight/contour effect in which one uses 2 or 3 shades, all of which are the same TONE & UNDERTONE, but vary only in intensity/darkness. Some people who get really crazy with advanced level contouring will have separate shades for under their cheek bones. They will look for shades with a purple/grayish tint to them so that they resemble shadowing. That is all a wee bit past my application abilities, I just look for something slightly lighter and darker than my skin and go to town!

    Let me know what you decide to try & how it works for you! Good Luck and Feel free to contact me with any other questions or concerns; I may not be much help, but I'll do what I can!

  7. If you're NW10/NW15 in MAC. Would Fair or Porcelain or maybe both work?

    1. Either one should work. It just depends on how pink you actually are/want to be! They describe it the opposite of the way it appears. Fair is supposed to have "beige undertones," but looks as pink as a corrector, and Porcelain is supposed to have "pink" undertones, but looks like a very neutral beige!

      I would suggest ordering porcelain if youre comfortable with Mac's undertones since its seems like it would be a much more realistic shade that they would carry, but that is the ONLY basis for my suggestion. As for the color saturation/intensity, either should work, but I think that Fair may be too light?

      I think its a 6 of one, half dozen of another situation, much like how I can go between Light/Light Medium. I wonder why cosmetic companies don't realize, sometimes having too many shade options with no rhyme or reason to them is just as bad as having too few!

      Let me know what you decide and how you like it! Good LucK!

  8. YOU ARE AMAZING for adding the swatches thankk you!!!!

  9. NO problem at all! Glad they were useful!

  10. Hi. I just want to say THANKS A LOT for the review, it helps so much!!! I guess we can't rely on the color description until we apply them on our skin.. I have very yellowish bright skin, I wonder which one suits me better, SMF02 or SMF04? Arigatou!

    1. Hi Sekar,
      I'm glad they were helpful! As for which one will suit you better, it probably depends on how deep your skin tone is and if you're more of a peachy bright yellow or an olivey bright yellow! I know that's probably not too helpful but SMF02 is similar in tone to SM04, it's just alot lighter. Both of those have olivey undertones, though they are VERY faint in SM02 because that is a pale pale shade, so unless you are like NC05-10 in Mac, it will probably be too light for you.

      SMF03 isn't a bad shade, its really not, and it does have that bright characteristic you're looking for. The only thing is it really seems more peach than yellow, so for those who have strong pink/yellow undertones, it may suit both ends of the spectrum or may not suit either. I personally like it, and I am more yellow than pink, but I'm more of a neutral yellow than a yellow yellow. Does that make sense or just sound insane?

      The one with the most true yellow/golden undertones would be SMF06, but that's ore of a lighter medium shade so I don't know if it would be too dark for you.

      I hope that this was somewhat helpful, although it probably sounds insane, but if you let me know your skin tone I can try to send you some swatches tonight from Ulta!

    2. Ignore my last response, I don't know why I misread and saw SMF03 as one of your choices. I think that you could easily get away with SMF02 or SMF04 or you could highlight/contour with both shades because they are the same tone.

      I looked at your facebook, and when you are at the music festival, your face looks more 02, but your body looks more 04. I don't know if that's a lighting issue or if its like that in real life, or if you WANT to be lighter. (I know using lighter shades is big in Asia and hopefully will carry over to the U.S. where everyone just tries to go darker.)

      Basically, I think either one could work and be a decent "match", but depending on the season, you may find that your perfect match is a combination of the two, or using 02 with a bronzer, or 04 with a highlighter/lighter concealer. It depends on what you have in your makeup drawer & how badly you don't want to buy two products and how light/deep your skin is, but you can't go wrong with either!

      Hope that helps! Let me know how it works out for you, I'm seriously curious to hear!

  11. thank you so much for this review!! helped a lot!


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