Maybelline Dream Urban Cover Full Coverage Protective Makeup SPF 50

Maybelline New York

Dream Urban Cover Full Coverage Protective Makeup SPF 50

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 12.99
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Maybelline New York’s Dream Urban Cover Full Coverage Protective Makeup SPF 50 has a solid concept but fumbles its execution by including some ingredients that are anything but protective.

This foundation comes in a see-through plastic squeeze tube with a twist-off cap. The formula is creamy without being too thick, and is easy to apply and blend. Though advertised as full coverage, what you get is solidly in the medium range, even after building it up (disappointing if full coverage is what you’re expecting). The finish is demi matte, and best for normal skin, as it’s not quite mattifying enough for oily skin, but is too matte for those with dry skin.

Dream Urban Cover Full Coverage wears well throughout a standard work day with minimal creasing or fading, and comes in a good range of shades for fair to medium-deep skin tones.

Turning to the claims: this provides broad-spectrum SPF 50 with non-mineral actives – and wearing foundation with SPF over your sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF is a great way to get added sun protection. As claimed, this contains pollution fighting antioxidants niacinamide, vitamin E, and skullcap extract, though the best protective sunscreens offer even more in terms of antioxidant benefits. (Only the niacinamide is in a high amount, the vitamin E in the middle of the ingredient list, and the skullcap is near the very end).

That aside, what’s most problematic about this foundation is the high amount of denatured alcohol it contains (there’s so much you can smell it). While this ingredient contributes to the matte finish and some of the pleasing aesthetics, it dries out skin, leading to a host of potential problems (see More Info below for details). Add to the risk of irritation: this also contains fragrance and the fragrance ingredient limonene.

While we love foundations that contain sunscreen, there are many out there that offer protection without the bad ingredients this one tacks on!

  • Provides broad-spectrum SPF 50.
  • Includes antioxidant niacinamide and skullcap extract.
  • Comes in a good range of shades for multiple skin tones.
  • Doesn’t provide full coverage as advertised.
  • Light on pollution-fighting antioxidants.
  • Has a high amount of skin-drying denatured alcohol.
  • Contains fragrance and a fragrance ingredient that can irritate skin.

More Info:

Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.

When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There’s no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.

The reason they’re included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn’t lead to negative long-term outcomes!

Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin’s protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.

There are people who challenge us on the information we’ve presented about alcohol’s effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded “alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing….” But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.

Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcoholstearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It’s important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.

References for this information:

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Active: Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 4%. Inactive: Water, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Niacinamide, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Tocopherol, Caffeine, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Scutelleria Baicalensis Root Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Fragrance, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide.

Maybelline New York At-A-Glance

Strengths: At least one excellent product (if not several) in almost every category; many excellent foundations; superior mascaras; inexpensive makeup brushes; some terrific concealers, powders, blush, and lip color options.

Weaknesses: Lips balms tend to be a letdown; a few of the Great Lash mascaras are surprisingly average compared to other Maybelline formulas.

Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the worldit'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 coming together for the Maybelline brand.

Specializing in a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, there is a lot to love from this drugstore brand. Many of their foundations are exceptional, and their powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor collection impressed us by offering a high degree of quality for their inexpensive price point.

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. Smart shoppers will note the similarities of a few of Maybellines formulas to products from high-end brands that are also owned by parent company LOreal. That just goes to show conscientious shopping can really save you moneywithout sacrificing quality or performance.

For more information about Maybelline New York, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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