Saturday, August 3, 2013

Review: Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation

Forgive me, dear readers, for I have once again fallen down the drugstore foundation rabbit hole. After promising myself that I would no longer get suckered in to bargain base product hype--as next to no foundation is pale enough for me, especially when it comes to drugstore options--I tripped, fell, and landed on Maybelline's new stick foundation. I'd like to blame my weakness for stick foundations and good sales.

Disregarding the sale price and my coupons (yes, I'm one of those people), the Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation stick cost me $7. It contains 0.32 oz of product, far less than the average liquid foundation, but about par for the course when it comes to sticks. I chose the lightest shade, 110 Porcelain, as I'd been told the shade options in the stick foundation match up to the liquid. I'm afraid I have to disagree; while 110 in the liquid is a pale, cool yellow, 110 in the stick is quite pink. (Swatches at the end of this post.)

The big draw for this product is what Maybelline is calling an "Anti-Shine core" with built-in powders. This is supposedly meant to blend with the actual foundation, which is a sort of gel formation, and prevent oil breakthrough and shine throughout the day. I really wanted to test those claims, so while I finished off my face with a bit of sheer undereye concealer, I didn't use any powder or primer.

Also, just a note: I didn't find that the white powder core changed the actual shade of the foundation. It was actually completely clear, regardless of how much I poked my finger in to it. This means that the product should not turn insta-ashy on darker skins.

Shine-free isn't a claim I'm usually drawn to, but because it's summer, my skin is a bit wonky. While I'm normally combination-dry, my summer skin is closer to true-blue combination, with a dry chin, cheeks, and temples, normal forehead, and oil-slick-beyond-belief nose.  I walk to work most days, which means I'm also dealing with a slightly darker skintone (N10, bahahahaha!) and more hyper-pigmentation and discoloration. Lastly, I had a big, red zit on the right side of my chin (it appears on the left side of the first photo). Zits are awful most of the time, but if you're testing a foundation? GODSEND.

I found the Fit-Me Shine-Free Foundation quite pleasant to apply. The formulation is creamy and applies smoothly. I applied it directly to my face from the stick, but you could also rub your fingers or a taklon brush over the product and still get a good effect. It doesn't dry EXTREMELY fast, but because it's meant to set to a powder finish, I tend to work in sections. And this product does, in fact, feel like a soft powder under my fingers. It applied without issue to all areas of my face: oily, dry, and normal.

One layer of product gave me very sheer coverage. It lightened up some of my pigmentation, but didn't completely conceal my chin zit. After waiting a few moments for this layer to dry up, I slicked another layer on my "problem areas," ie, my nose and chin.

The second layer finished the job: while it's still light coverage, the foundation is covering my zit and discoloration. Again, the second layer applied quite smoothly over both areas and did not pill up. The finish, in my opinion, is a natural demi-matte.

This foundation is also very comfortable. I couldn't feel it on my face, even after applying multiple layers, and it didn't have any noticeable scent. I also don't feel like it made my face look Pepto-Bismal pink, despite the super-cool undertones of the swatch; I think the sheerness of this product means that each shade will be workable for most undertones.

But hold on, my friends! Not all is well in Fit-Me land. While my foundation looked mostly-nice and fresh after 1 hour, I noticed that my nose had gotten a bit shiny. Not exactly what a "Shine-Free" foundation should look like, right?

By the 2 hour mark, I noticed that my nose was even shinier, and the product had begun to pool in my pores. This is unusual for me: even though my nose is very, very oily, my pores as a whole are quite small, and I almost never have to deal with a base product making them look huge. The Fit Me stick foundation, however, definitely mode those big, bad nose pores stick out. On the flip side, it still looked lovely on the rest of my face.

When I took my last picture after 5 hours of wear, I knew that this was no shine-free foundation. Again, I am not an oily-skinned person, even in summer, with the exception of my nose. But as this photo shows, I was quite shiny on most parts of my face by the end of the day. The t-zone probably could've been fixed with some powder, but because this product advertises itself as having an "anti-shine," powder-based core, face powder shouldn't be a necessity. I will note, however, that the product didn't look completely awful on my somewhat dry chin, and it looked just fine on my dry cheeks.

But since I've mentioned my cheeks, I should also add that Fit Me has another problem: cream products don't blend over it that well. As you can see in the pictures above, my cream blush got a tad blotchy and was very hard to smooth out. This is another issue I'm not used to dealing with, and I think it may have to do with the powders that are supposedly in the foundation core.

Overall, I find this foundation a bit difficult to rate. It's not BAD by any means: it's affordable, blendable, comfortable, and provides light coverage with a very natural finish. It's also travel-friendly and has a decent shade range. And on dry skin, or on combination skin with the help of some powder, it could work out just fine. I wouldn't be opposed to wearing it in another season when my skin once again dries up like the Sahara.

But the bottom line is that this product doesn't do what it's meant to do: give you a shine-free finish. The "Anti-Shine Core" does not "instantly dissolve excess oil"; rather, the foundation dissolves instantly in your excess oils. I wouldn't be opposed to recommending this product to a select group of people, but that group? It would not include our oily-skinned friends.

RATING: 2 out of 5.

From left to right: Fit Me Shine-Free in 110 Porcelain, Kat von D Lock-It in #42, Dolce & Gabbana Creamy in #60 Classic, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in Sx01, Tarte Tinted BB Treatment in Fair