This fragrance-free stick foundation combines two formulas in one twist-up stick: You get a colorless "Anti-Shine Core," said to be infused with special powders that keep shine at bay, and a gel-cream foundation that comprises the outer core.
Despite the visual and formulary novelty, it turns out that both the inner and outer cores have similar ingredients; each contains powder-like ingredients and waxes that aren't the best for those struggling with clogged pores (the waxes help keep this foundation in stick form). So, in that sense, separating the inner and outer cores is more a marketing angle than a special formula for your skin.
Best for normal to combination skin not prone to breakouts, this glides on as one color, and each shade tends to go on more pink or peach than it looks in the packaging. Pink or peach would normally be a problem, but once blended, the pink-to-peach tones soften (and lighten) to reveal a more neutral, skin-like color. That's great, because Maybelline offers a dozen shades, and the mix includes good options for fair (but not very light) to dark (but not very dark) skin tones. You don't need to avoid any of the shades, but the color change that occurs when blending makes it a little trickier than usual to select the shade that's best for you.
What's particularly impressive about this stick foundation is how easily it blends and how natural it looks. This won't give you medium to full coverage, but it's great for sheer to light coverage and has a silky, surprisingly weightless matte finish.
If you're wondering just how long this keeps excess shine from showing up—it depends. Worn alone (meaning no moisturizer, serum, etc. applied underneath) you're likely to get at least 3 hours of shine control unless you have very oily skin, in which case you can count on an hour or less. Worn with other products, such as a lightweight daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, you can get a couple hours of reliable shine control—more if you set it with powder. That may not sound too impressive, but it's better than many other stick or cream-to-powder foundations.
Our first gel stick foundation with an anti-shine core. Fresh gel foundation blends to a natural matte finish. Lightweight powders in the anti-shine core instantly dissolve excess oil.
Outer Core: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyethylene, Phenyl Trimethicone, Nylon-12, Diisostearyl Malate, Ozokerite, Polyvinyl Laurate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Caprylyl Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc PCA, Acrylates Copolymer.
May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica.
Inner Core: Isononyl Isononanoate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cera Microcristallina / Microcrystalline Wax, Phenyl Trimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Silica, Copernicia Cerifera Cera / Carnauba Wax, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Nylon-12, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc PCA, Acrylates Copolymer, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer.
May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
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.