Maybelline New York

Superstay Better Skin Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 10.99
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Maybelline promises "the whole nine yards" with Superstay Better Skin Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15, stating that it can "do-it-all, through-it-all" with "24-hour wear" that withstands sweat and humidity. They also claim you'll see better-looking skin in three weeks due to "the antioxidant power of Actyl-C." Sounds fabulous right? Unfortunately, this foundation isn't as tenacious as it's made out to be, nor is it as anti-aging as you might be hoping. Exaggerated claims aside, there's still reason to consider this if you have normal to slightly dry skin—you just need to keep your expectations realistic.

To start, Superstay Better Skin Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 has a liquid-cream texture that blends easily enough with fingertips, although we found using a Beautyblender sponge helped it go on even smoother. It offers natural-looking medium coverage that is buildable if you need to camouflage imperfections that are more noticeable. Shade-wise, Superstay comes in a mostly neutral range for light to medium complexions; the options for deep skin tones are limited.

With such over-the-top, long-wear claims we were expecting this to be a true matte foundation, but the silicone-based formula has more of a natural finish that ended up being more emollient than we were expecting. It's what we'd consider a middle of the road texture—not quite hydrating enough for very dry skin, but it definitely doesn't offer shine control for oily skin types. Those with normal to slightly dry skin will do best with this foundation and can expect the coverage to last through the average office day—just don't count on it to withstand sweat, humidity and 24-hour wear as promised!

On a high note, the fragrance-free formula is suitable for those with sensitive skin, and thanks to the mineral-based sunscreen (via titanium dioxide), it provides gentle broad-spectrum sun protection to help ward off pro-aging sun damage. From there the anti-aging capabilities get a bit murky…

The highly touted antioxidant "Actyl C" (which correlates to a form of vitamin C listed as 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid on the ingredient list) is unlikely to bring about positive change in skin because the concentration is too low; research shows at least 2% is needed to gain benefit and judging by the formula, it's likely being used in less than 1% here. On the plus side, this ingredient is stable in the presence of light so the clear bottle packaging isn't an issue (and props to Maybelline for the user-friendly pump style packaging).

In the end, this foundation has some nice qualities, but falls short of its "superstay" claims and "better skin" promises. Nevertheless, if you're not concerned with all of that, and have normal to slightly dry skin, Superstay Better Skin Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is a good, budget-friendly foundation to check out.

Note: This is different from Maybelline New York Superstay Makeup 24HR (both are currently being sold, though we suspect this new version will replace the old).

  • Offers natural-looking medium coverage.
  • Fragrance-free formula ideal for sensitive skin.
  • Offers mineral based broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Won't withstand sweat, humidity or 24-hour wear as promised.
  • "Actyl C" isn't in high enough concentration to see noticeable improvement.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes
Do-it-all, through-it-all makeup. 24-hour wear, no transfer. Medium coverage. Stays comfortable and looks naturally flawless all day. Micro-Flex formula provides 24-hour wear and no transfer. Withstands heat, sweat and humidity. Oil-free, dermatologist-tested, fragrance-free. Suitable for all skin types.
Titanium Dioxide (1.53%). Other: Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Silica, Glycerin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone / Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Nylon-12, Phenoxyethanol, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium Edta, Acrylonitrile / Methyl Methacrylate / Vinylidene Chloride, Copolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Dipropylene Glycol, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Aspartate, Paraffin, Copper Gluconate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

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 www.maybelline.com.

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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