Stay Matte Fix & Go 2-in-1 Primer & Setting Spray
Rimmel Stay Matte Fix & Go 2-in-1 Primer & Setting Spray is billed as a pre-makeup primer and post-makeup extender, but we only recommended it for use after your makeup is on.
The reason we only advise post-makeup use of this fine, quick-drying mist is because of the amount of denatured alcohol it contains. Applied to bare, makeup-free skin as a primer, this setting spray’s alcohol content can be too drying and irritating. Yes, alcohol evaporates quickly but the damage happens instantly—and can continue even after the alcohol dissipates. See More Info for details.
Applying an alcohol-based spray over makeup is less risky because makeup forms a flexible layer designed to stay on skin’s surface and for the most part, alcohol dries before it can penetrate past the makeup to impact the skin beneath.
It’s telling that the volatile scent of alcohol is nearly as strong as the fragrance added to this product, and the potent fragrance is another reason to think twice before using this spray as a primer, or at all for that matter!
We love that unlike many other setting sprays we’ve tried, this one doesn’t feel sticky once it sets, and the price is nice, but its ability to extend makeup wear isn’t too impressive. It prevents slight smearing and some amount of fading, but despite its matte finish, it does little to hold back oily shine.
This setting spray also cannot keep oil from breaking down makeup over time, even if you reapply frequently. Honestly, touching up with a good pressed powder or blotting papers is much easier in practice and on your skin!
- Fine mist dries quickly.
- Doesn’t feel sticky once it sets.
- Strong initial smell of denatured alcohol.
- Fragranced formula poses a risk of irritating skin.
- Not recommended as a pre-makeup step.
- Doesn’t provide “all day staying power” if you have oily skin.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.
When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.
When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There’s no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.
The reason they’re included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn’t lead to negative long-term outcomes!
Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin’s protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.
The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.
There are people who challenge us on the information we’ve presented about alcohol’s effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded “alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing….” But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.
Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It’s important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.
References for this information:
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190
Who said short was sweet? We think the longer the better. Rimmel Stay Matte Fix & Go 2-in-1 Makeup Primer & Setting Spray that can be applied underneath or over the top of your makeup. It dries quickly and with just one application locks your makeup look into place without it feeling dry or tight for all day staying power!
Strengths: Inexpensively priced; a great pressed bronzing powder; several impressive mascaras; a collection of praiseworthy of lip color products including gloss and lipstick; a couple of good foundations.
Weaknesses: Not the most user-friendly packaging; lackluster skincare-esque products; some gimmicky makeup items that turn out to be duds.
Rimmel is a London-based company, under the ownership of Coty Inc. since 1996 (Coty also owns other cosmetic lines such as philosophy and Sally Hansen). A self-proclaimed edgy cosmetics line thats all about experimentation and setting trends, not following them, Rimmel livens things up with a mix of trendy and classic shade options and new product launches at a rapid pace.
While not all of Rimmels products are an absolute hit, there are some individual standout items (see top-rated reviews) that can compete with the best of whats out thereat rock bottom prices no less. A few of their lip color products deserve special mention for their elegant texture and fashion-forward colors.
Where Rimmel falls into hit-or-miss territory is with its excessive collection of mascaras (it seems as though they launch a new one every month) which makes it confusing to try to figure out which one is the best. Some are impressive and absolutely worth buying, while others are gimmicky duds. Lucky for you, weve put them rigorous testing so you can make an informed decision! Oh, what our lashes go through so you avoid frustration and wasting money!
Rimmel also dabbles in a smidgen of skincare-esque products that claim to go above and beyond the norm. For various reasons mentioned within the individual reviews, these products tend to fall short of being worthwhile purchases, even at their bargain-friendly price point. Overall, while Rimmel has some misses, they earn our praise for several good to excellent makeup items at nearly unbeatable prices. Sort by three-star and four-star rating under this brand to find the best of what Rimmel has to offer!
Note: Many Rimmel products featured on their Web site are not available in the United States; they are exclusive to United Kingdom drugstores. The products reviewed below are those that are consistently found at U.S. stores nationwide, specifically Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.
For more information about Rimmel, owned by Coty, visit www.rimmellondon.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.