The Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation has been extremely popular and seems to be recommended a lot online. Described as matte and perfect for oily skin, the Maybelline website claims this foundation blurs pores and that it looks natural on the skin. I have put this foundation to the test for a very long time, a time when I suffered from severe acne and very oily skin. Did it pass the test? Is this the ‘perfect’ foundation for problematic, oily skin? What is different in the ingredients between the USA and Europe version? Does it really blur pores?
In Europe this foundation comes in a plastic squeezable bottle. The packaging is lightweight and looks like standard affordable drugstore/ highstreet makeup.
In the USA, this product is in a heavy glass bottle, which gives it a more high-end feel. However, in this version of the packaging, the bottle does not have a pump, and, obviously, it cannot be squeezed. As a result, it can get messy and it is not the most practical packaging.
The coverage of this foundation is medium to high. The more you build up the more coverage you will get. However, it will not achieve full coverage.
IS IT REALLY THAT MATTE?
It looks very matte on application. It clings to dryer patches and emphasises dryness. It is one of those foundations that in my opinion will need some work afterwards, with contour, blush and other tricks to bring back some definition and light and shadows to your face.
HOW DOES IT WEAR?
This foundation did not handle my very oily skin at all. After just a few hours it would separate on my skin and all the oil would come through. If I needed to wear my makeup for a long time, my skin would just get so oily throughout the day it would look worse than if I had just not worn any makeup at all. In fact, this is the reason I abandoned this foundation – it just did not handle my oiliness. In fact, very few foundations did, but some did indeed handle it quite well.
This was my everyday foundation for a very long time, so this is my final verdict, even when used with mattifying powders, primers and setting sprays. You can blot throughout the day and touch up, but if you have very oily skin it will still not be enough.
After my treatment with Roaccutane (Accutane), my skin is normal to combination, but mostly normal. I have tried this foundation again, and it was too matte for my skin, making me look dry and lifeless. It clang to my dry patches and emphasizes texture. It did not get oily all day long but it looked and felt too drying for my skin.
DOES IT TRULY BLUR PORES?
This foundation did not blur my pores. It is matte on application, so it can create a certain illusion that your pores are smaller, however, it does not have the pore-filling property or blurring. The texture of this foundation is very thin, so it does not fill in the pores. I have had a few pore blurring products throughout time, and I can assure you, this foundation is not one of them.
In fact, there is something about its matte finish that over emphasizes texture on my face, increasing the visibility of pores, textured skin and any other imperfections.
The Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless is an extremely affordable foundation. A few times I bought it for even just a few pounds. It currently retails for £7.99 but oftentimes I bought it for £3 or £4 on reduction.
An important thing to mention, and a crucial one at that, is that this foundation has an excellent shade range. It comes in 40 shades with various undertones. From fair to dark, it is an extraordinary thing that such an affordable foundation has forty shades! However, keep in mind that this product has different shade ranges from the USA to Europe, and some countries do not have all shades.
It is an affordable product, so you could give a few shades a try until you find your right match. The shades of this foundation are often split into undertones, they have good descriptions online as well, telling you exactly which one is what, which could help you in feeling more comfortable about your skin and what suits you. However, this product oxidises so be mindful of that when choosing the shade.
This is where it gets interesting. As usual, I did my investigations regarding ingredients, and I discovered that the ingredients of this foundation differ from the USA to Europe.
Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclohexasiloxane, Nylon-12, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat., Cyclopentasiloxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Peg-20, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide, Methylparaben, Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopherol, Butylparaben, Aluminum Hydroxide, Alumina, Silica, Glycerin, [+/- May Contain/Peut Contenir, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/Iron Oxides, ]
form of synthetic silicone (for more details on silicones please read the Ingredient Analysis below this table)
absorbent and texture enhancer, this ingredient has the capacity to mattify.
enhances the spreadability on the skin. In a foundation it minimises colour transfer and creates a matte finish.
a drying type of alcohol which in high concentrations can sensitize the skin. If it is the fifth ingredient or higher in a list of ingredients, it could be a serious cause for skin sensitizing.
Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone
acts as a humectant, preventing the loss of water from the skin
emollient and surfactant, which helps to moisturise the skin
modified clay compound that acts as an nonsurfactant
synthetic preservative, allowed in cosmetics under a concentration of 1%
Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate
a synthetic or animal derived ingredient, used to condition the skin and keep oil and water formulas blended together.
HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer
a spherical powder
an earth mineral used as a thickening, whitening and sunscreen ingredient. It protects from both UVB and UVA radiation. It is considered to be gentle and poses no threat of irritation. It is considered one of the best ingredients in terms of sun protection, but it is generating that white cast so many makeup and skincare users dislike.
a paraben used as a preservative. It has restrictions in terms of usage, with control percentage usage.
unites and bonds surfaces together – plastic
vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant
paraben used as preservative. It has restrictions in terms of usage, with control percentage usage.
opacifying agent with absorbent properties
a thickening agent with absorbing properties
a thickener and absorbent. Certain types of mica can help the equal distribution of pigment in cosmetics.
Naturally found in the skin, it is skin-replenishing and skin-restoring, helping to maintain moisture levels
CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide
a colouring agent (white), amongst many other things (sunscreen actives, thickener etc.)
CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499/Iron Oxides
colouring agents (red, yellow and black).
Aqua / Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Nylon-12, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat., Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, PEG-20, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide [Nano] / Titanium Dioxide, Methylparaben, Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate/Vinylidene Chloride Copolymer, Tocopherol, Butylparaben, Aluminum Hydroxide, Isobutane, Alumina, Silica, Glycerin, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, [+/- May contain CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides]
The table below contains only the ingredients that differ from the USA version. Everything that is in pink differs from the USA one.
Titanium Dioxide [Nano] / Titanium Dioxide
See above. The specification of nano Titanium Dioxide means the particles of this ingredient are even smaller and finer.
Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate/Vinylidene Chloride Copolymer
Another type of plastic polymer than the Acrylates Copolymer in the other version of this product. It probably serves the same purpose as the other one.
is a colourless and odorless gas, derived from petroleum or natural gas. Yes, you read that right. It is often used in cosmetic products as a propellant for aerosol sprays. It also has foaming properties.
Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate
is an antioxidant molecule which helps products to look nicer for longer. It should, in theory, counteract discoloration or types of oxidative degradation.
The Maybelline Fit Me and Poreless has many silicones in it. This should make the product ideal for oily, textured skin, as they smooth the surface of the skin. Silicones could act as a primer as well, because of their property of smoothing surfaces and because they are an occlusive ingredient. Imagine a thin layer that forms on your face that blocks the skin and prevents water loss. It keeps everything ‘locked’. Also, silicones can also have the capacity to ‘blur’ pores. However, foundations with many silicones tend to be less friendly on dryer skin, and they could emphasize the dry patches you have.
In theory, this foundation contains all the ingredients necessary to achieve all its claims – mattifying the skin, preventing oiliness, blurring pores, texture and so on, due its many silicones, absorbent and mattifying ingredients. However, as you have read in the wear test section, it is more complicated than that.
One of the best pore blurring products I have ever used had such a thick consistency it was even difficult to spread on the skin. It was like a thick mousse, heavy and sticky. However, once you spread it on the skin in a few motions, it would fill in texture and pores and it really gave you an amazing finish. The Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation has a very liquidy feel, it is very thin and runny. It lacks any sticky consistency or puffiness, which could be the reason why it is not good at achieving its claims.
In terms of having titanium dioxide, be mindful of the fact that this foundation will give you flashback in photography, meaning your face will look much whiter than in reality.
The foundation does not contain fragrance, which is a potential irritant. However, it does contain the denatured alcohol which is high on the list of ingredients, which could be problematic, depending on your skin. I am not against it in every product, as I think it has its role, but I would prefer it not to be in the first five ingredients.
What about the difference in ingredients? Is it enough to make the product different?
Yes. Any changes in the ingredient list can vastly influence the performance, look and feel of a product. This is because it is not just about the ingredients that differ, but also about how these ingredients react with each other and the chemical reactions that change.
IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?
All in all, this is not a bad foundation. Is it as extraordinary as the internet claims to be? In my opinion, it is not. In fact, other products will work better on very oily skin with large pores. For examples of that, you can check my article on Makeup that lasts on very oily, acne prone skin.
This foundation is usually sought by people with oily skin that tend to have enlarged pores and textured skin. The name of the foundation itself suggests so, yet this foundation does not handle problematic, very oily skin well. In fact, I think it does the opposite to its name, which is to over emphasize texture and problem areas, making it a hard product to wear.
It is astonishing to see how many people absolutely swear by it, and how many people were unimpressed by it. I think people that have smoother, healthier skin will be more impressed by this product than others. My personal experience with this product is that it is not flattering for textured skin, with enlarged pores, lots of acne, scars and other issues.
However, it is very affordable and has an amazing shade range, so if you are a matte foundations lover, you could give this a try. My theory is that this foundation can be improved with certain primers and skincare products underneath it. It is up to you to play around with various primers and skincare underneath and see if you can make it work. While all these tricks can certainly improve a product and tailor it to your needs and skin, to me, it is important for a product to work fantastically well on its own.
If you have tried this foundation please let me know what you think of it in the comments!
This article is for informational purposes only. The author of this article is not a chemist or a scientist. The scientific part of this article has been written based on consulting a variety of acknowledged sources. However, it is by no means a full picture of the ingredients discussed. This article contains the basic information about chemical ingredients and does not go in depth. For a full analysis of each ingredient please do your own research.
I also want to remind you that everyone’s skin is different and base products like foundations can work extremely differently from one person to the other.
This article is not sponsored and does not contain any affiliate links.
Images © Lipstick Cafe
For a full list of disclaimers click here.
Cosmetics Info, various articles, accessed June 2020: available here.
Dr Dray, Are Silicones Bad? Dimethicone? Skin & Hair, accessed June 2020. Available here.
Dr Stephen and Gina Antczak, Cosmetics Unmasked, 2001
Imelda Burke, The Nature of Beauty, 2016
INCI Decoder, various articles, accessed June 2020. Available here.
Maybelline UK, Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation, accessed June 2020. Available here.
Maybelline USA, Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation, accessed June 2020. Available here.
Paula’s Choice, Ingredient Dictionary, accessed June 2020. Available here.
The Derm Review, Tocopherol, accessed June 2020. Available here.
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