Etude House Stay Up Foundation Review, Swatches and FOTD

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Etude House's Stay Up Foundation SPF40/PA++ is the brand's latest liquid foundation, and it claims to have a smooth texture and moisturizing properties for a smooth and flawless base. It also claims to have whitening properties to boot. On the product box, it says that it has a "smooth up, cover up, moist up 'Stay Up' formula" - so now you know where the name comes from!

Etude House Stay Up Foundation: Liquid Foundation with moisturizing properties

I found it interesting that Etude House launched a liquid foundation - after all, in the age of BB/CC/DD creams/cushions/what-have-yous, a liquid foundation seems pretty old school. But, Etude House does have some pretty good makeup, so I was interested to see the brand's take on the good ol' traditional liquid foundation - I imagine it's probably good!

Etude House Stay Up Foundation Shades
Etude House Stay Up Foundation: I have 4 shades of the liquid foundation for review

These come in a variety of colours, and I have four shades for review today - Ivory, Rosy, Beige, and Sand. Without further ado, let's take a look at the swatches!

The shades I have basically consist of two fairer shades (one cool, one warm), and a medium and a dark shade. Surprisingly, none of the shades I have were super pale, which ran contrary to my expectations of the shade range in Korean brands. All of the shades were actually very wearable. That said, the shade range I have was generally in the light-to-medium spectrum, I didn't get any very dark shades.

Etude House Stay Up Foundation Swatches
Etude House Stay Up Foundation Swatches: Ivory, Rosy, Beige, Sand

Ivory is a fair light yellow based beige that isn't too pale. I think this will probably be the most popular colour here, as the default choice for lighter skintones. It's also the closest match to my own skin (around NC20 in MAC).
Rosy is a light-medium pink-based beige. This is slightly darker than Ivory and a lot pinker, too.
Beige is a medium yellow-based beige. I have a suspicion that along with Ivory, this will be a best-selling colour too, since it would be the default choice for most light-medium skintones.
Sand this is a medium tan shade, and also on the warmer side.

Texture-wise, these feel quite light, and have a very liquid texture, but dry down to matte finish. The coverage was also good, and for minor imperfections, this had more than enough coverage. The little tiny blob of foundation was enough to produce the swatches you see in the photo above. There was a faint powdery scent to the product, but it's not obvious, and you can't smell it during application.

And just for fun, I decided to subject the swatches to the various tests I normally reserve for eyeliners - the rub test (rubbing with a finger when swatches are dry), the water test (running under a tap), and the rub and water test (rubbing with a finger under water). I thought it would be a good indication of the ability of the foundation to withstand daily wear. So here we go!

After the rub test, below. As you can see, not much budging here once the foundation has "set" on the skin and has dried down.

Etude House Stay Up Foundation Rub Test
Etude House Stay Up Foundation: After the rub test, not much budging

After the water test, below. Again, not too much moving or fading. You can definitely take a dash in the rain without worrying about your foundation fading away.

Etude House Stay Up Foundation Water Test
Etude House Stay Up Foundation: Also survived running water from a tap

After the rubbing under water test, below. This one is where you can see the colour coming off, although there is still some residual colour left on my arm. You can definitely wipe off your foundation this way, so if you have to remove water/sweat from your face while wearing the foundation, it's probably better to use gentle dabs rather than a swiping motion.

Etude House Stay Up Foundation Water and Rub Test
Etude House Stay Up Foundation: Starts being wiped off when the foundation and skin are wet

Because it dries down to a matte finish, you don't have forever to blend the foundation into your skin, so you can't exactly blend at a leisurely pace (although I found I had enough time to blend everything before it dried). For dry skin, or skin with lines or creases, it might also help to use a moisturizer or primer before applying the foundation, since it might sink into lines/pores/dry patches when it dries down.

Below, you can see me testing the foundation out on my face, with a fairly standard everyday makeup look. I've worn just the foundation alone (no concealer, and no powder on top), so you can get a sense for the coverage and the finish on the skin. I did, however, prep my skin with a light moisturizer (Hada Labo ES Milk, which I've reviewed before), and waited awhile for it to sink into the skin before applying foundation. I also got extra coverage out of the foundation by applying a second layer over spots that needed more coverage, e.g. my undereyes, and pimples. I found that helped to build up the coverage quite nicely that way, although if you want something more heavy duty, you might need a separate concealer.

Etude House Stay Up Foundation FOTD
Using Etude House Stay Up Foundation for one of my everyday looks

Here are full breakdown of what I'm wearing:
Etude House Stay Up Foundation (blended once all over face, and then used to go over spots that needed more coverage, e.g. undereye)
Illamasqua Kiss Powder Blusher, previously swatched
TheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer Powder Highlighter (on high points of cheek, center of nose, chin)
Milani Snow Frost Eyeshadow,
Stila Rain Eyeshadow,
Stila Cloud Eyeshadow, previously swatched here,
Clio Finger Cara Mascara, previously reviewed,
Urban Decay Rockstar 24/7 Eyeliner,
Shu Uemura Stone Gray Eyebrow Pencil
Lancome Beach Plum Juicy Tube

I found that the Stay Up Foundation generally had good wear, and didn't fade or flake or oxidize in a very weird way. It did start looking a bit shiny after a few hours, but since I was wearing the foundation alone, I think this issue could be easily fixed with a light dusting of powder.

And finally, for those interested, a look at the ingredients, for those interested to know what goes on behind the scenes of this light-textured, quick-drying foundation. A key ingredient in this is Cyclopentasiloxane, which is the second ingredient - that's a silicone that is quite volatile and evaporates quite quickly, giving the foundation a "dry down" effect - so if you're applying the foundation and noticing how quickly it spreads and mattifies on your skin, you can thank the evaporation of Cyclopentasiloxane! Another important class of ingredients are also the sunscreen filters, Titanium Dioxide and Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, which are high up in the ingredients list due to the comparatively high SPF value of the sunscreen.

Etude House Stay Up Foundation Ingredients
Etude House Stay Up Foundation ingredients: Key ingredients include silicones, and sunscreen filters

The rest of the foundation consists mainly of other silicones and polymers (PEG-10 Dimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Diphenyl Siloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer), various emollients (Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Isohexadecane), and humectants (Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol). Some of these have skincare benefits, such as the humectants and emollients, while others, such as the silicones, help the product to have a nicer skinfeel, or give a smoother appearance to the skin when the product is applied.

Interestingly, Niacinamide also makes an appearance, which is a good thing in my book, sine it's a good skincare ingredient, and is often found in anti-aging products as well as products to even out the skintone. While it's the 10th ingredient in the list and thus not likely to be there in significant amounts, I'll not quibble since this is a makeup product, not a skincare product - I guess I'll take whatever I can get!

Etude House Stay Up Foundation 1
Etude House Stay Up Foundation: A good all-around foundation at a good price

So, would I recommend the Etude House Stay Up Foundation? Overall, I think this is a nice product, with a light feel that was pretty easy to blend and dries down to a matte finish, good coverage that is sufficient for minor imperfections, and decent wear even without powder over it. I also liked that there are some minor skincare benefits along with the product, too. And at SGD$26, it also doesn't break the bank. I don't see a reason to not recommend it, unless you dislike the matte finish of the product, or find it settles too much into lines or pores.
Recommended? Pigmentation Texture Application Colour Lasting Power
Yes, for a matte finish 8/10 8/10 8/10 9/108/10
The Bottom Line: This foundation has a matte finish, good coverage, light feel, and good wear time.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)

I am also on Reddit and /r/asianbeauty!


  1. Wow, this seems pretty great! One question though, does the foundation come with a pump or is it those squeezing types? thank you~

    1. @Claudia Zhu: This is a squeeze type container with a small nozzle opening at the end :) Hope that helps!

  2. Hm, interesting. would be a great foundation for hot summery days :)

  3. OMG!!! This I need to try. They seem like great products to try out. This will be included in my purchase list.

  4. Are the Sand and Ivory shades fit for contouring?

    1. @Khaila: The Sand and Ivory shades are more medium and medium-deep shades, rather than really dark shades, so I think shade-wise, they probably work only if you are pretty fair. Also, the texture of the foundation is pretty "runny", so it might be a bit hard to contour with. It's not impossible, but it might be difficult to do, to be honest (eg could look streaky and so on). I suspect if you want to use foundation to contour, you might have an easier time with cream or powder foundations, that stay put where you apply them and can be blended out.

  5. I'm nc 30, which shade do you think will match my skintone?

  6. Hallo i want to ask you about this product. I have a medium skin, i want to try this foundation but i dont know what the color that match with my skin. Can you give a suitable color of my skin? Thankyou:)

    1. @Sarah Almuizzah: Thanks for your comment! Looking at your profile picture, I would think that Sand would be a better match. Thanks! :) Hope this helps!

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  9. Does the sand swatch have a red or yellow undertone? :O I'm really interested in this after I saw Weylie use it, but I it's hard finding suitable foundation for my skin since I have a yellow undertone :( Do you also think it'd be able to cover up acne scars?

    1. @Lislii: Most of the shades have a yellow undertone, the only one that's pink-based is Rosy. So one of the shades mught hopefully be a match! The coverage of the foundation is pretty good and suitable for covering minor imperfections, but of course I'd you need really heavy duty coverup then it might be better to use a separate concealer. Hope this helps!

    2. Thank you! it really helped!


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