Clean Makeup Oil Control
Last Updated:11.26.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Clean Makeup Oil Control is an oil-free liquid foundation that we suppose was Cover Girl’s attempt to modernize their original Clean Makeup (now labeled as Clean Makeup Normal Skin). It’s nice that the irritants and overpowering fragrance from the original formula were omitted, but the shades still suffer from a too many rose, pink, peach, and orange tones. There are shades for fair skin, but most of them go on too pink, despite not looking that bad in the bottle.

The foundation itself isn’t as silky-smooth as it could have been, and its matte, slightly powdery finish tends to look a bit chalky in the lighter shades. It’s an OK light-coverage option for normal to oily skin, but the only worthwhile shades are Ivory, Classic Ivory, Buff Beige, and Creamy Natural.

Note that this contains fragrance in the form of ethylene brassylate.


Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Talc, Glycerin, PEG/PPG 18/18 Dimethicone, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cyclomethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Silica, Laureth 7, Arachidyl Behenate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Trihydroxystearin, Propylparaben, Methicone, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Methylparaben, Synthetic Wax, Trisodium EDTA, Ethylene Brassylate, Stearic Acid, Barium Sulfate, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica

Brand Overview

CoverGirl At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive and widely available; a hugely improved selection of foundations, several with reliable sunscreen; good concealers; enviable pressed powders; some fantastic Lash Blast mascaras; mostly great eyelining options; a vast selection of lip color options, from the long-wearing Outlast to sheer lip glosses to the wholly impressive Lip Perfection lipstick; several great options in the Queen Collection.

Weaknesses: The older foundations are seriously lacking; the newer Advanced Radiance foundation has great texture but disappointing SPF rating; powder blush and eyeshadows; terrible makeup brushes; all of the "Clean" products contain irritating ingredients.

Since 1961, CoverGirl has been slowly building a portfolio of cosmetics that today is about as all-encompassing as a makeup line can be. Originating from the same "medicated" ingredients found in Noxzema Skin Cream (which was never medicated in the least, but seriously irritating for skin), the debut products are still available, albeit with slight modifications. The good news is that for the past several years CoverGirl has consistently updated their line with some very impressive products, especially their foundations, concealers, and vastly improved pressed powders. They also offer some excellent eye and lip pencils, lipsticks and lip gloss, and one of the all-time best long-wearing lip paints, Outlast.

What's puzzling is that although many of CoverGirl's latest products are progressive, they tend to hang on to the lackluster-to-poor options, including abysmal powder blush and eyeshadows and their long-standing, very irritating Clean Makeup. These items may be part of CoverGirl's humble beginnings, but you certainly don't see parent company Proctor & Gamble adding eucalyptus oil and menthol to their Olay products or to products of any of the other cosmetics companies they own. If those ingredients were so important, why not use them everywhere? Needless to say, the great products outnumber the disappointments, and the prices make it easy for those on a budget to be beautiful and enjoy some state-of-the-art products, provided they shop wisely.

CoverGirl's Web site is extremely easy to navigate, and presents a wealth of product information, along with practical (if somewhat cutesy) tips and tricks for successful makeup application and for finding the shades that work best for you. CoverGirl's consumer relations department is consistently helpful if you have any questions or concerns. For example, if one of your favorite items was discontinued, you might want to know what replaced it, and they will let you know. Such service and customer concern is yet another powerful reason to believe CoverGirl really has its (class) act together.

For more information about CoverGirl, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 426-8374 or visit the Web site at www.covergirl.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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makeup too thick

Makeup too thick I doesn't come out of the bottle

Reviewed by
Patricia Guttman
Natural Look for Oily Skin!

I have very oily skin, and I don't find this all that oil controlling, but it doesn't add to the problem either. The finish is nearly matte, the coverage is light, and it's good for a natural look. Classic Ivory is great for fair skin, yellow undertones. This NEEDS A PUMP! I have found that all the following pumps fit on this bottle: CG Trublend, CG Stay Fabulous, Almay Clear Complexion, Jordanna, and Purell's Travel Size w/Pump. Add a pump and you will love this so much more!

Reviewed by
Honestly, Only One Complaint

I was excited that this wasn't too expensive. I like that it's oil control because I don't like powder but my face is very oily. I don't think it makes my face look cakey and I only need to put on a little bit to get good coverage. I'm very confused by the "average" rating. My only complaint is that it is really hard to get out of the bottle. Other than that I'm very pleased!

Reviewed by
Rachel W.
An overlooked gem

I'm surprised this gets a low review. Like most women I've bought tons of different makeup brands only to end up throwing them away or into a drawer after a few uses. Most look too obvious, cakey, make my pores look bigger, shiny, etc... This is by far the best I've used. It evens out my skin tone and red blotches but makes it appear as though I have no makeup on. It is easy to layer and blend. I have combination skin and use classic ivory with the matching pressed powder and concealer stick.

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