It’s always disheartening to discover that a foundation claiming to make skin look younger doesn’t get its UVA sunscreen ingredients right. With the sole active ingredient being octinoxate, this doesn’t provide sufficient UVA protection, which is a key element in keeping wrinkles and loss of firmness to a minimum. This liquid foundation includes a built-in rounded sponge applicator, which is unusual and not exactly helpful. You twist the neck of the bottle until you hear a click, which signals foundation is being dispensed onto the white sponge applicator. As mentioned, the sponge isn’t helpful, the main reason being that in order to keep this foundation from settling into pores and wrinkles, you absolutely need to blend it with your fingers or another sponge. The attached sponge does a decent job, but that’s in large part because of this foundation’s exceptionally silky texture. We were surprised at how much better this looked when we blended with our fingers instead of with the included sponge. Using fingers allowed the foundation to mesh with skin rather than look like it was sitting on top of it, waiting to creep into wrinkles. Coverage is in the light to medium range, and this has a satin-smooth finish. By the way, the anti-aging ingredients Maybelline touts on the label are present in amounts too small for your skin to notice, let alone improve.
Turning to the selection of shades, they’re deceptively disappointing. Many appear neutral in the bottle, but when blended on skin they take on an unattractive peach cast that’s difficult to soften. The only shades to consider are Nude, Buff Beige, Buff, and Tan. But why settle for this foundation’s weaknesses when there are plenty of better options available on our Best Foundations list?
Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Other: Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Acrylates Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylparaben, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Panthenol, PEG-9, Aluminum Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Sodium PCA, Urea, Trehalose, Polyquaternium-51, Soluble Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Mica
Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the world—it's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996 and that's when things really started getting much better. Both companies specialize in offering a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, and many of their foundations have the same strengths and weaknesses (smooth textures and finishes plus the inclusion of sunscreens that are often without much-needed UVA-protecting ingredients).
The powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor are impressive and inexpensive. Although L'Oreal remains the more sophisticated and refined of the two lines (and now they have credible products, not just sleek ads, to back this assertion), Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Price-wise, Maybelline is the least expensive of the L'Oreal-owned cosmetic lines (which also includes Lancome, Biotherm, Vichy, and Kiehl’s), and smart shoppers will note the similarities among brands that, with conscientious shopping, can really save you money without sacrificing quality or performance.
For more information about Maybelline New York, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at www.maybelline.com.