Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review: Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Skin-Transforming Foundation

So you know I had to purchase this new Maybelline foundation the moment I found it locally. I picked it up a few weeks ago at Walmart (it's now starting to pop up elsewhere and you can also purchase it online at Ulta) and I've been busy testing it ever since. I'm ready to give you my verdict, so keep reading for the scoop...

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation
(retail: around $11.99 depending on the retailer; 1.0 oz.)

If you missed my original post about this new line, there's also an accompanying concealer (which I did not purchase). There are twelve shades in this foundation line, and I went with the second-to-lightest shade in the range (which is usually the best match for me in any given foundation range).

20 Classic Ivory

The pics above and below are a much better representation of the actual shade (the very first pic in my post was taken in very bright lighting and not accurate, color-wise.).

Safety seal
Pump dispenser

Made in USA

Full ingredients list:










To put it bluntly, I dislike this foundation. I had such high hopes for it, considering that I loved the original Superstay foundation, and especially the original Superstay concealer (serious holy grail territory). But I find that this foundation in no way behaves like a longwear foundation on my oily skin.

Allow me to explain.

First of all, this feels quite creamy during application. So creamy that I had to keep checking the bottle to make sure it actually said "Superstay." This is not a foundation reminiscent of Revlon Colorstay, CoverGirl Outlast 3-in-1, etc. It doesn't feel like a traditional longwear foundation at all. It feels like a foundation that is specifically made for very dry skin--it almost feels like you're applying a rich moisturizer instead of a foundation. On my oily skin, this foundation just sits on top my skin and it never fully blends in or sets as I was hoping it would. It does end up becoming thinner once you start to blend, but even then, it just looks like there's a thin layer of foundation on my skin and I don't get any type of "skin-transforming" effect at all. I can't get it to become one with my skin, no matter how hard I try (I have applied it with my fingers, a foundation brush, a stippling brush and a sponge, and the results are about equal for me).

As for coverage, again, this is NOT like a standard longwear foundation. The coverage is medium at best, but I would consider it sheer-to-medium coverage. I tried building for more coverage on multiple occasions, and I'm afraid that this is where I ran into the most trouble. This foundation becomes extremely cakey on me, no matter how much or how little I apply, but it becomes excessively cakey when I try to build for more coverage. It settles into all of my fine lines within about an hour of wear, and if I have my sunglasses or reading glasses on for more than a few minutes when I'm wearing this foundation, I can see marks on the sides of my nose where this foundation used to be, after I remove my glasses (that is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to foundation).

In my t-zone, where I am the oiliest, this foundation cakes up and then fades within just a few hours (even after I use an oil-control setting powder). To add insult to injury, the areas that this foundation DOES cling to on my face become patchy and they also oxidize after a few hours. Every day that I wore this foundation, my entire t-zone became cakey and then faded almost completely, while the area around my eyes and the sides of my cheeks still had patches of visible foundation (and the patches turned orange).

And for the record, I tried wearing this foundation on bare skin, over a light moisturizer and also over primer. It did not work for me with any of those combos; I still got cakey and patchy results.

The nail in the coffin for me was when I applied my makeup and, no more than ten minutes later, I got in my car and looked in my rearview mirror to discover that the entire area around my upper lip was completely cakey. I KNOW you know what I'm talking about. The kind of cakiness that occurs when you're wearing foundation and you sweat a little bit on your upper lip? Usually I can sort of buff that out, but I'm afraid that the cakiness that this foundation creates when it reacts with my skin is beyond saving. I tried to use a clean makeup sponge, a tissue, and even my (clean) finger to take away the cakiness but it only made it worse, to the point where I just wanted to wash my face and reapply my makeup altogether.

As for this particular shade, it is actually a bit too light for my NC20 skintone, so I probably should have purchased the next shade up (the third shade in the range as opposed to the second shade in the range).

Even though this foundation clearly didn't work for me, I always, always try to look on the bright side and imagine who might benefit from a product that didn't work for me (in this case, a product that REALLY didn't work for me). I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think this foundation might be best reserved for those with dry to very dry skin. I'm not even sure if it would work on normal skin, because it's just that creamy and emollient. I don't know...perhaps it's just my body chemistry and the natural oils that my face produces just really do not agree with this foundation. Perhaps there are some of my oily-skinned peeps out there who really like this one. I wish I was one of them, but I'm afraid this foundation is not one that I plan to ever revisit.

But on the plus side, I do love that this comes in a pump bottle, and that there is a wide variety of shades in the range (12 altogether). I also love that there's essentially no fragrance to this foundation.

FINAL VERDICT: I'm one of the biggest Maybelline fans you'll ever meet, and I've written dozens of glowing reviews for Maybelline products here on the blog over the years. Some of my favorite holy grail products are by Maybelline but, sadly, this is not one of them. This foundation failed me on every level--from staying power to coverage to consistency, and I'm sad that I could just not make it work (and believe me, I tried). I really hope that this product works for some of you, but it just didn't work for me and my oily skin. Which is such a shame, considering that those of us with oily skin need longwear foundations the most.

Do you own the new Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation? If so, I would absolutely love to know how it's been working for you!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.
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44 comments

  1. Thanks for the heads-up! I also have very oily skin, and while intrigued by the name, I think I will be passing on this.

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    1. You're so welcome, Brittany. I have to say, I can't blame you. I think this really would be best for dry skin...I think us oily skinned gals are better off with the other long wear foundations at the drugstore. :(

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  2. Oh wow! This is shocking. I was considering trying this, as I have super oily skin. Thanks for the review!

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    1. You're so welcome, and yes! I agree! The fact that "Superstay" is in the title really shocks me too. I mean, there's just nothing long wear about this for me, and it certainly doesn't provide the coverage of a long wear foundation. I think maybe Maybelline should have given this a completely different name and geared it toward dry skin. Maybe put the word "moisture" in the title. That would have been far more accurate and fitting to me. :)

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  3. I have really dry skin and I disliked it too. It caked and clung to my dry patches, plus the coverage just wasn't there. Bummer! I really wanted to like it. The concealer is very lightweight and runny and I didn't have caking issues but again the coverage was very sheer...not what I'm looking for under my eyes...it didn't really cover anything.

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    1. Have I ever told you how much I appreciate and value you taking the time to weigh in here and always provide us a dry skin perspective? I appreciate it SO MUCH!!

      And welp, there goes my theory about this working for dry skin! Lol. So maybe this works best for those with dry skin who do not have any dry patches and also do not need coverage. Boy, that's a small group! :)

      Also, thank you for the feedback on the concealer. I was so afraid of that. Which is crazy given how many AWESOME, mind blowing concealers Maybelline makes. So sad to hear this isn't one of them. :(

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    2. Ok thank you for this dry skin comment. I was JUST about to put this on my drugstore wish list.

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    3. Yeah, Kica, I just checked the reviews on Makeupalley and I see that others had the same issue with this adhering to dry patches and accentuating them. Sounds like a common problem, but on the other hand, there are also some positive reviews! I just don't know what to make of this one... I'm wondering if perhaps it's a body chemistry thing? It sounds like this either works beautifully or fails miserably, depending on the person!

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    4. No problem G! I've been a fan of your blog for years, and I stop by every day to see what's new. Thanks for doing what you do! :)

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  4. Dang, I’m so bummed you didn’t like it! I have been using it for a few weeks and absolutely LOVE it! I have annoying, pretty dry combination skin that gets crazy oily in the summer and this stuff has saved me. It stays put all day and always looks like I just barely applied it, even at 10:00 at night. So sorry it’s all cakey for you- that’s the worst! Thanks for the review; I’ve been waiting to read your thoughts on this one. I’m excited to hear what others think about this foundation.

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    1. Omg please don't be bummed - I'm STOKED that this works for you and I'm so grateful for the feedback! Yay!!! That's fantastic to hear! :)

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  5. It would be nice if you had actually included pictures of what you're referring to, like with it actually on your face.

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    1. I totally understand if you missed me mentioning this a while back, but I'm absolutely swamped at the moment working on reviews, and face pics take a lot of time to get right. So I can't always include them in my posts, but I try to compensate by providing as much detail as I possibly can. Thanks so much for your understanding!

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  6. That doesn't look appealing at all. The swatch is too yellow, too. I usually buy the second or third lightest shade but they never look like that.
    I'm curious about that new CoverGirl, the luminous one? Have you tried that?

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    1. The shade is looking a little extra yellow in my swatch pics (I only noticed that after the post went live - - they didn't look as yellow in my editing phase. #bloggerproblems). Sorry about that! But yeah, it's just not a good match for me, on many levels. :(

      I have not tried the me CG yet, but I plan to eventually. I've heard some readers mention that it contains shimmer and that it's not as full coverage as the original, but I still want to try it! :)

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    2. Hey Heidi, I have tried the new CG Luminous one and really love it! However, I don't have super oily skin so I, too, am curious to see a review on it from G. I have pretty much normal skin and really like the "luminous" finish it gives me.

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    3. I'm so happy to hear you're loving the CG, Carol! Yay! So do you find it glittery (like Revlon Photoready glittery) or is it more of a fine shimmer type of luminosity? :)

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    4. As far as I can tell If there is shimmer in it, it does not translate to the skin. Must be fine enough not to show up. I agree that it isn't as good of coverage as the 3-in-1 but I like this finish better so I'm sticking to this. You'll have to check it out. Although since you have super oily skin, you might not like the finish/wear. It'll be interesting to see your take on it.

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    5. The new covergirl foundation isn't glittery, no visible shimmer. But it does have a "glowy" finish. I find using a "blending" face brush (with a round top) works best to buff it all out. It can be just a bit hard to blend it all out but when you do it looks really pretty. Just my experience.

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  7. Glad I saw your review. I'll stick with Colorstay or the new L'oreal Infallible Pro-Matte...now THAT is a superstay foundation!

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    1. Aaaah, the L'Oreal Pro Matte is on my "must buy and review" list! So glad to hear you're liking it. I've heard so many raves...I need to get it STAT! :)

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    2. The Pro Matte is my absolute favorite in the drugstore. I actually wear EL Double Wear now.. but I have the Double Wear Light as well (I bought it first) and IMO the Pro Matte is a total dupe of DWL, but with a much better color selection. I do much prefer it with a sponge vs. a brush and a little goes a long way, it can be very full coverage or sheers out nicely. It's also a bit difficult to see the color properly in the packaging without testing, but the packaging is perfect for application.. often I just dot it on directly from the tube. It stays perfect all day though, no transfer, never gets sticky or separates, and I have oily skin and live in S. Louisiana so it's extremely hot and humid here. I would LOVE it if they would release a concealer in the formula.. I was really hoping for a CG Outlast concealer as well.

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  8. I was in hopes this would do better too, was waiting on your review for the verdict. My hg is the original superstay for the color and the wear. It was my summer foundation. I could get eighteen hour wear in 115 degree weather, granted, much air conditioning in between! I hope its not discontinued.

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    1. Yep, the original Superstay was awesome, but I do think it's on its way out, to be replaced by this one. :(

      Have you tried the CG Outlast 3-in-1 foundation? It's my holy grail foundation and it is DEFINITELY sweat proof! It can be challenging to find a color match but, if you can, I think you'll love it.

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  9. I had high hopes for this, but it's just gross. I had to stop myself from wanting to remove it moments after applying it. It felt (and applied) like stage makeup. It was also very yellow on me and I'm neutral toned with normal skin. Unfortunately I had a super busy shift and checked it after three hours, in which to my horror I realized I resembled a leper. I then attempted to remove it then and there, only for it to suddenly manifest it's "super stay" powers and all I had was hospital antibacterial hand soap. Lessons were learned that day. Mainly to check makeup in rear view mirror before entering hospital, to always carry a sample bottle of Sephora makeup remover in my bag and to stay away from Maybelline foundations as we just don't seem to get along.

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    1. Everyone seems to rave about Revlon colorstay but the new formula (changed in 2013) is nowhere as good as it used to be. It's more creamier more silicone so that means it not going to hold up in summer heat. The old SPF 6 colorstay formula was the BOMB.

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    2. Kelly: you hit the nail on the head when you said that it suddenly manifests into "Superstay" mode! That's the crazy part for me. It fades from my t-zone but then clings to the drier parts of my face and when I try to tone those areas down a bit during the day, they do not budge! So I'm left with this weird patchy look that I can't get rid of. Sigh...

      Well at least I'm not alone! :)

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    3. Sushiroll: yeah, I haven't tried the Revlon since the reformulation, for the exact reason you described. I'll stick with my CG Outlast although I can't wait to try the L'Oreal Pro Matte. :)

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    4. 'Manifest it's "superstay" powers'...... you are too funny. It is midnight, and I am lying next to hubby, reading reviews, with covers pulled over head (so as not to wake him with blinding phone screen) giggling at your comment.

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  10. Sorry girl, I have to disagree! I actually love this foundation. I have normal skin and this gives the most natural finish! It doesn't cake whatsoever and I've tested for a good week! I didn't set it and I've used no primer and I love it! Sorry it didn't work for you!

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    1. That's fantastic!! I am so happy to hear it's working for you! I truly wish I could say the same. I tried...believe me I tried! Lol! :)

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  11. I can't imagine this working on dry skin either but the other ladies with dry skin seem to like it. I wonder how it is supposed to change the skin?

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  12. I almost bought this yesterday because my winter/spring shades aren't cutting it for me any more, but something held me back. I'm so glad that I didn't take the risk! This sounds like it would be horrible for my skin type. Oh well!

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  13. thanks for the review. I'm so glad I saw it before running out to purchase it. It sounds like it would be a nightmare on my skin! I guess my hunt for a ds foundation continues. I've yet to find one that gives me enough coverage without breaking me out and looking patchy.

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  14. I like mixing it with other longwear foundations like Revlon Colorstay or Loreal Pro-Matte, but all on it's own, I agree that it is not an oily girl's foundation. :(

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  15. "I can see marks on the sides of my nose where this foundation used to be, after I remove my glasses (that is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to foundation)."

    G, this happens to me all the time too!! I love my Rimmel Stay Matte & Fit Me! Matte & Poreless but both do this to me. What do you do to fix?

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  16. Thanks for the 411. Besides the terrible shade range I do have combo/oily skin so this is a no go for me.

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  17. I was thinking about trying this foundation, but now I think I'll pass because I have combination to oily skin. Also, as soon as I saw your swatch, I could tell it was no good. It seems dry and cakey (like you said). Thank you for saving me 12 bucks!

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  18. I wonder if my previous comment about this didn't go though. I always have issues on my brother's Mac computer.


    I had commented that I watched a Y review of someone who loved this foundation and called it her new holy grail. It's very interesting to see how opinion can differ! Here's a link to the review, and she's an Indian lady for us brown skinned Latinas and Asians.

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  19. I have dry skin, and is NOT for me! It cakes, but most of all, you can see even the tinniest thing line like very deep ones! No no no!!

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  20. I've heard the same thing about the foundation, but nothing but positive reviews about the concealer! Paula gave it her highest rating, it is a shame when the concealer out performs the foundation!

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  21. Not for older women either. It emphasized and seemed to enlarge every wrinkle on my skin. I do not recommend this product. According to reviews on make up ally it made large pores look larger and I agree.

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  22. Hi! I also have oily skin and I completely agree with you about the longevity of this foundation. However, I tried using the maybelline fit me matte and poreless powder to set it and it actually worked! My skin felt so smooth and the foundation stayed on for quite a long time :) I hope this helps.

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  23. Thank you for this review, it finally help me figure out my current foundation issues. I have been using the Maybelline Matte Poreless for a while and have recently been noticing caking, fading and how it makes my large pores look worse after about a hour or so of wear.

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