Hey everyone! Welcome to my latest installment of ‘New for 2016, drugstore edition!’ At this point I should have likely changed the title to new(ish) haha, but that is my issue with purchasing nearly all of the new products from 7 top drugstore brands and then thoroughly reviewing each of them. Today I will be reviewing Maybelline products. I’ve seen some of these products reviewed like crazy and some that have not been so hopefully something will strike your fancy!
I found some great and some not so great products in this haul and it’s a big haul, so bear with me! Here are my thoughts…
I’ll begin with the palettes:
Maybelline The Rock NUDES Palette: $9.99-$11.99 (Price varies by retailer)
This palette is the 3rd and newest installment in Maybelline’s ‘Nudes’ eye shadow palette collection along side the original and the blushed versions. They also came out with both a smoked and a brights palette though I’ve not ever found either of those in store. This particular palette consists of some light neutral shades as well as some smokey dark shades with finishes of matte, shimmer, pearl and metallic. I find it stays on the cool side but does contain a bit of warmer tones. OK, so I have read my fair share of reviews on this palette and while I have seen some positive Youtube reviews on this palette; I have read quite a lot of negative reviews. Sure, everyone likes different things and have unique experiences, use products in different ways with different tools etc. but I was surprised to see a lot of: too much fall out, not much pigmentation, hard to blend and so on. My experience in regards to each of these aspects was as follows: Fallout, the lighter shades are a bit more powdery so some fallout is present. I find this to be true of a lot of my pricey palettes as well in these lighter shades but b/c of their shade it does not bother me too much. A ton of fallout on a matte black, well that would be an entirely different situation. Pigmentation, pretty much the same as with fallout; lighter shade require some building. I found the pigment to be excellent in most of the shades. I use good eye primers and great brushes, personally but found that the pigment was there and I had no trouble blending the product. What makes this product such a hit for me are the shades. I really just love all of them and there is such a range of shades and finish. The smoke/olive Gold-ish sparkly shade is fun (row 2, 4th from left) and the other shades are nice cool shades that are consistent to the range I prefer. I am naturally a huge fan of the UD Naked Palettes and while I own several; I never did purchase their smokey version. It was such a buzz in the beginning and I just never got around to it. There is certainly something to be said about the impeccable quality of UD eyeshadows but there is definitely nothing wrong with this Maybelline ‘version’ and for $10.00 I find it totally worth it.
Row one, from left
Row two, from right
(Please ignore my ‘bumpy’ arm. I received some inexpensive makeup remover wipes that I’d not dare to use on my face; turns out, I should have given my arms the same consideration. Removed the first group of swatches, instant allergic reaction.)
Now for the next Palette:
Maybelline Master Contour by FaceStudio Palette: $9.99-$12.99 (price varies by retailer)
I’m going to be up front about this: I expected this to be a complete dud, basic blush shade, basic highlighter, contour shade on the warmer side of the ‘norm’ but surprisingly, I didn’t hate it. The palette does come in two options, this one being the lighter of the two. The darker version has a more peachy toned blush that contains shimmer similar to the highlighter, this version’s blush does not. It includes a brush, but who expects much out of the brush in drugstore palettes? It is a very thin brush, with angled bristles and that scary, shinier synthetic bristle type. [image below]
Oddly enough, I was able to use this brush and it wasn’t even terrible. See, I am a precision person who prefers small tools for application and use the bigger, fluffier brushes to blend it all out as a final step. When doing things such as contouring I like to begin with very small precision brushes, b/c this tool will spend very little time on your face, just a quick swipe, in a pinch you can totally use this to apply (at least the contour and highlight shades) as long as you have a good brush to blend your look. This selection is far from the almost creamy consistency of your high end contour palettes and are light and powdery but blend very easily and sheer out quite a bit, they do fade throughout your day but are not bad for creating a subtly contoured cheekbone look. I was not disappointed with my end result. The little pans are pretty lose in the palette, so be careful. On that note you can easily transfer them if you like to create your own palettes
Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid: about $7-$8.00 varying by retailer
This little product has definitely generated a lot of buzz and b/c a lot of it has been quite negative, I’ll go over those points first. It’s not really ‘Matte’. Well, this one is kind of a preference thing for sure. The product isn’t glossy or shiny, really and technically the opposite or antonym of those two qualities is ‘Matte’ but as far as Matte lipsticks go I would justify this as more of a cream. It is definitely nothing like a suede or ultra matte that became very popular this past year. For me, this is a good thing. My lips are far too dry and chapped the majority of the time and I just can’t pull the look off. This however, works for me. It is a creamy, buttery formula with good coverage (varying by shade which I’ll touch on later) and feels moisturizing as opposed to drying. There have been other strange aspects to the formula as well. One I have heard several times is that the formula caused a reaction on their lips similar to that of a lip plumping product. While I did not get this sensation upon application it isn’t something that would have bothered me. I’ve always liked those sensations. I can only assume it is caused by a sensitivity to a certain ingredient so if this is something you do not like you should consider before purchasing the product. Scent, Taste: This product has a really odd scent. It makes me think of an antique shop, turpentine or something, musty even. It’s not crazy strong but it’s definitely weird. I have detected this same scent in skin care before too…I’m thinking it was a cleanser, but can not be certain. You can taste it a little bit too. Of all of these strong traits only one of them was a minor issue for me and I liked the shade and finish of the first one I purchased so much (Nude Thrill) I decided the odd scent was worth it and even went on to purchase an additional shade (pink charge) I was not as lucky with this one. This particular shade did not go on smooth and matte-like as my other did. The finished result looked pretty terrible with darker spots sticking to my dry areas and it was just an overall lip train wreck. Color/pigments can definitely alter a formula and this was a prime example. I plan to stick with my nude shade, toss the other and steer clear of purchasing any new shades. If you want to try this for yourself and you like a good nude, ‘nude thrill’ is really quite pretty but ‘pink charge’ was a pink nightmare. 😉
Maybelline Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation: $8.79-$10.99
I do not wear too many drugstore foundations but most of what I do like and use from drugstores are from Maybelline. I thought this particular one sounded perfect (gimmicky little blending tool aside, that little handle is everything I do not want in my way) but a foundation seemingly perfect for combo skin? Yes! I like the majority of my face to be matte and I have an oily T-zone. I also have some very dry patchy areas that really effect my makeup choices, especially in the cooler months. I loved the feel and finish of this product, whipped and smooth, solid medium coverage, maybe more. It blended beautifully and worked well enough on my pesky dry areas. I did still get a bit shiny in the t-zone after several hours of wear, blot, no biggie. Unfortunately, even before the days end, it was breaking me out. I had tiny little bumps forming on my cheek, cheekbone areas. As a sufferer of sudden onset hormonal acne issues after a life time of clear skin; I can’t typically blame a product for breaking me out but I’ve never had a product break me out so instantly. I wanted to like this product so much I decided to give it one more shot a couple of weeks later with a different primer. Much to my dismay, my results were the same. Unfortunately this product is a miss for me but it has a lot of really great qualities. I think it may be one to avoid if you are really breakout prone and fear it as I do; otherwise it is a really solid formula with a decent shade range.
Maybelline Master Prime Long Lasting Eye Shadow Base: $6.99-$8.99 Prices vary by retailer
These primers are available in 3 different shades/formulas Prime/Illuminate (top), Prime/Smooth (bottom) & Prime/Matte (not pictured) I purchased the Illuminate and the smooth versions. I use several different primers already that I really love but I thought I’d give these a go. They had some similarities to the UD versions including the sponge tip applicator, which I do not like on the UD version and not on this one either…The Illuminating version is pretty and it’s the type of primer I’d put on in the morning for a little perking up of the eye when I may or may not put on some eyeshadow later. It was OK as a primer and I liked it on alone but moved on to the smoothing primer as that is the formula type that would benefit me the most. This formula was pretty pointless. It did not do much of anything and stayed too wet not to crease my eyeshadow. When it made my waterproof liquid liner flake off early in the day it was a goner! I have heard that the matte version is actually pretty good. Clearly, I chose poorly 🙂 As for the two I picked; I wouldn’t waste your time. The illuminating version is OK but the other is pretty lame.
Swatches from left Illuminate, smoothing, blended Illuminate, blended smoothing
Maybelline Baby Lips Balm Ball: around $4.00
Ok, OK I obviously grabbed one of these simply b/c they are obviously so cute and they are limited edition.
The balm ball is available in 4 shades: Pretty in Peach, Pout in Pink, Bit of Berry & Kiss of Rose. I chose Kiss of Rose and I really like it. The rose shade is light and flush like. The formula is ultra light and smooth, more so than the original baby lips and ultra sheer. The product feels nice going on and is great to obtain some light moisture and a sheer wash of color. I wouldn’t go as far to say it has the 8 hours of hydration it claims but it is so light and smooth that chapped lips do not interfere with the color and it does lend some extra moisture to your pout!
Master fix by FaceSTUDIO Setting and Perfecting Lose Powder: around $10.00
With so very many of these white (transparent) powders out there that seemingly look the same I’m sure it can be tough to pick one. If you choose the wrong one you may shove the concept off and deem the product not for you. The super subtle difference, for me, is what makes it great or unnecessary…and that is simply the texture, how finely it is milled. It makes all of the difference as to whether a light dusting blurs, sets, making your skin look better or looks white/chalky and sets in to fine lines requiring too much blending. I initially used UD Razor sharp. The applicator was absurd but I’d pop that off and use it loose with a brush. When it was discontinued I switched to MUF HD powder. There is really nothing wrong with this powder by Maybelline, it will set your look and give you a smooth semi-matte finish but if you already use a higher end version you love, stick with it. If you are looking for a budget friendly version I find that ELF HD powder is the closest to the high end versions, dare I say the same, in performance and consistency. I use it myself now. You simply can not beat it for $6.00. Below is a comparison of the Maybelline and ELF products:
It’s clear how much finer the ELF version is.
Maybelline Master fix by FaceSTUDIO Wear-Boosting Setting Spray: $9.99-$12.99
This is a good sized product and for the $10.00 price tag I thought I would see how it stacked up to the $30.00 products. I used Urban decay all nighter forever and loved how it worked for me. It made my makeup last and last, staying matte enough and virtually flawless. The last time I purchased I accidentally picked the de-slick version. I figured, ahh well this one is likely just stronger for oily skin. For whatever reason this alternate formula did not work as well for me. It’s OK, I just didn’t get quite the staying power and still ended up with a bit of shine after hours of ‘doing my day’. Maybe my skin has gotten more oily, since..regardless it works ‘just OK’ for me. I tried this one and my results were pretty much the same. To be sure, before spending the day moving about the city I covered half of my face and sprayed it with a generous amount of UD de-slick and then did the same to the other half of my face with Master-fix. It was a warm, sunny day, nothing to cause sweating. I stopped for a makeup check mid day and all was good throughout at the end of the day my forehead had blot-worthy shine alike on either side. While this little test might not be fool-proof I do feel that these two products seem to perform the same for my combo skin. I do plan to switch back to the all-nighter formula in hopes to obtain my original results but if I do not get them I’ll likely re-visit some different versions.
Maybelline BROW drama Crayon Pomade: $8.49-$9.99
This is a chubby wax/pomade crayon with a somewhat sheer formula and the product was a total miss for me. The shade tones are great, on the cool side keeping away from the pulling of red tones. The product simply just does not work for someone with my brows. If you have sparse and/or very light brows it likely will not work for you either. It’s thick, so precision is out as is authentic looking ‘hair like’ strokes. The shade is light and sheer (all shades are quite sheer) so bare and sparse areas are also out. Now, I knew this would be the case in most aspects of this pencil; I purchased it in the light blonde shade b/c I am blonde and use darker precision pencils for shaping and defining my brows. I thought this wax based pencil might be nice to hold brows in place and might work to lighten and highlight my finished brow lending a more natural look. Sometimes I am wrong. hahaha! The pencil was too slick and smooth, so it basically just messed up my brow work and the shade was too sheer to do anything over the top. Super fail. It’s likely a better product for one with full brows who just need slight definition and grooming. Can’t win ’em all.
Maybelline Master PRECISE Skinny Gel Pencil: $6.94 – $7.99
This product is a gem. I have plenty of black Gel pencils, some waterproof, some not, plenty of precision liquid liners, but I have not owned a super skinny gel liner. This Gel pencil is a twist up, super matte black formula with a 1.8 mm tip and it’s fabulous. It was the one liner type missing from my stash and I am thrilled to have found it. This product glides on smooth and easy and works excellent for tight lining and water line application. the staying power is excellent. I applied it to my arm and rubbed and rubbed repeatedly, quite hard and it barely smudged. I ran water over it, not budging. It really holds up. This is a very good thing if you desire the tight lined look or water line application but have eyes that water at the mere thought of such a task. Awesome product, highly recommend!
Maybelline LASTINGDrama Waterproof Gel pencil: $6.94 -$7.99
I snagged this baby on a whim b/c I saw it in the shade: Soft nude. I can never find pencils in this shade; white always, never nude. To be fair I’ve not tried that hard b/c I never think about it but I never notice them in stores. I am mad for precision pencil tools in shades for highlighting and concealing, products that can be used for multiple purposes and take up minimal space. I am loving this pencil. Buy it for yourselves and see how many things you can find to use it for. It’s gel, so it glides on smooth and easily. It’s waterproof so it is going nowhere. I know some people use the white liner on the water line to make eyes appear larger and I always read to use nude and not white for a more natural look. I never liked that look on me but it would work great for that. I love it in the corner of my eyes. It works awesome defining directly under brow and quickly blending down. It works in place of a highlighter down the center of your nose. It’s an excellent brightening shade and a really good formula.
OK. Wow. That was a lot of products and a lot of info! I hope I answered any remaining questions any one still had in regards to the newest Maybelline products. Overall it’s a pretty good group of products. I found some that I will continue to use and some that I know are not for me. Thoughts? Comments? All are welcome!
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