Beauty Test Drive: Maybelline FIT ME Foundation

I am 27-years-old and I have been wearing makeup for 13 years. And it has taken me all 13 of those years to find the perfect foundation, a creamy (but not too creamy) and illuminating (but not too illuminating) base.

Goodbye, MAC. Goodbye, Smashbox . Welcome to my life, Maybelline FIT ME foundation.

I’ve seen a zit or two erupt on my face, usually before my period comes. But I’ve been blessed — praise be — to have been spared acne and its attendant makeup- or skincare-related problems. Nevertheless it’s a misconception that just because you have “clear” skin that you have “good” skin: I am “white girl from Connecticut pale” with sensitive, delicate, burn-on-a-cloudy-day, paper-thin skin. Any redness or blueness or purpleness looks painted on like a watercolor. Ergo, foundation and concealer (which is usually purchased separately in tube form, like this similarly-excellent one from Maybelline’s FIT ME line) might not be the most exciting makeup to play with, but they’re a necessity for me.

The problem every woman has with foundation, of course, is matching it perfectly to your skin. In addition to the shade problem, I’ve often struggled to find foundation that is thick enough to adequately cover the redness in my T-zone area. While I love MAC products, their thin, watery foundation is useless on my splotchiness. And the Smashbox foundation I tried has the opposite problem: it was too thick, looking glopped on my delicate skin.

So, for years, I didn’t really use foundation. I covered up splotchiness as best I could with Benefit’s Erase Paste, but it is really a concealer, not a foundation, and has a sticky, inelegant consistency.

Then a co-worker attended a press event where she was gifted a set of Maybelline FIT ME makeup. The shades, unfortunately for her, were several heaping tablespoons less melatonin than her skin. Naturally, she handed them over to me.

And now, dear reader, I have transformed from a woman who seldom wore foundation to a woman who now scarcely leaves the house without it. Maybelline’s FIT ME foundation in nude beige (#125) is the color, consistency and coverage I’ve been searching for all these years. It covers my splotchiness without being goopy; it matches my skin tone without veering into whitish or orangeish hues; and most importantly, it gives me skin the dewy suppleness that all makeup should.

But the foundation’s most winning quality? It’s light-reflecting properties. It doesn’t formally advertise itself as an “illuminating” foundation like Stila foundation does, but I’ve found that my skin now reflects light in an elegant, not-shiny way. On days when I’m rushing out the door and don’t have time to apply highlighter to my cheekbones, nose and browbones properly (Benefit’s High Beam Luminizer, $26, is my favorite), I’m confident this foundation will do. And it contains SPF 18!

I am not enamored with the other products in the Maybelline FIT ME line, although I quite like the FIT ME concealer. The blush is meh and comes with a terrible applicator brush; the pearlescent lipstick is too Courtney Stodden for my taste.

But I can live with all that: I finally have a foundation that works. It only took me 13 years of searching.

[Maybelline FIT ME foundation, $7.99]

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