Drugstore Foundation Review, Maybelline Pure Makeup

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Product Reviews

I lurves my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, but truth be told my cheap ass hates having to pay $42.00 for it. There’s got to be a decent drugstore foundation out there that doesn’t cause break-outs. Could the answer be Maybelline’s Pure Makeup foundation?



The hook behind Maybelline’s Pure Makeup foundation is that instead of it being filled with pore-clogging oils it’s made with water — 50 percent water — allegedly making it better for gals with acne-prone skin like moi.

This oil-free liquid foundation comes in 12 shades, and I’ve tested two of them, honey beige and medium beige. I was really hoping Maybelline Pure Makeup would rock my world because it’s so damn cheap (six bucks, hello!), but I have mixed feelings about it despite its many positives.

Big hearts for:
– Price; a 30ml sized tube for $6.00
– Light-to-medium coverage
– Doesn’t cause me to break out
– Easy to apply and blend
– Texture; it’s more like a tinted moisturizer than a runny liquid foundation
– Tube is travel friendly and hygienic (no dipping of the fingers into a nasty jar)
– Easy to find; I’ve seen it in all the drugstores in my ‘hood including Walgreen’s, Long’s and Rite Aid
– Natural-looking matte finish

I bought the honey beige shade when I still had a tan a few months ago, and it looked good on me despite being a touch too pink. Medium beige has a slightly lighter color, and like the honey beige is just a little too pink on me as well. I’ve always had an issue with foundation color matching though (overly pink shades can look ashy, and overly-yellow shades make me look ill) so this problem isn’t anything new. But the color isn’t the biggest issue for me when it comes to this product. It’s the fact that after a few hours this foundation streaks like a mo’ fo. I’ll put it on evenly in the morning, set it with powder, but by the end of the day I can see the product on my skin in little patches. Big, fat HELL_TO_THE_NO.

However, I don’t think you should dismiss it immediately because it streaked on my skin; I’ve read that it doesn’t happen to everyone, so it might not be an issue for you. Pure Makeup didn’t aggravate my skin at all and is very budget friendly – both huge plusses. If you’ve got acne or sensitive skin issues then check it out, and if you don’t like it you can always return it if you keep your receipt. πŸ™‚


You might heart it if:
– You have acne-prone, sensitive skin
– You need light-to-medium coverage
– You like foundations with pink tones
– You are on a budget
– You use primer underneath your foundation

Do you have a favorite drugstore foundation that you can’t live without? What do you think I should try next?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Before you jet, beauty lover, check out the home page for more makeup reviews. πŸ™‚


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So far, 20 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Vanessa says:

    Yeah I feel you on the “too pink” thing, I had that happen whenever I used drugstore brand foundations like the maybelline mousse. It was so aggravating to find the closest shade, but thanks to mineral makeup, the search is over! But my favorite drugstore brands id have to say is: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black, seriously stays on all day for me, I also like like the L’Oreal telescopic mascara, and Sally Hansen lipglosses! Oh and of course Milani. πŸ™‚

  2. Anne says:

    I usually find foundation too heavy for me, so when I tried Neutrogena SkinClear oil free makeup I immediately fell in love. I found it’s a little streaky if I don’t put moisturizer on my face before, but when I do it’s fantastic (plus it dries off with a nice powdery feel to it). My face is a mix of oily and normal, and this won’t dry it out. I recommend it if you can find your shade.

  3. Glosslizard says:

    I used a Revlon foundation called “Skinlights” and really liked it! Unfortunately, it seems to have been discontinued! I don’t know if the other Revlon foundations are similar, but I liked its light coverage and slight light reflecting qualities, glowy without too much shine. I didn’t notice any issues with streaking, but that’s a rather moot point, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

  4. Megan says:

    Hey Karen,
    I feel kinda bad…I’ve been reading for days and not posting anything. I got a cold and was just generally not in the mood to talk…LOL but I’ve been reading. Anyway I’m starting to feel better and I thought I needed to comment. I’m not really a foundation wearer BUT i do play with foundation on occasion and the drugstore brand I found that I like the best is Loreal True Match…which I found to be awesome. The only thing is that you and I have very different complexions…and my skin is not really that oily… so i doubt my answer is much help.

    Too many white people making cosmetics… good for me, but bad for you. Are there any lines aimed specifically at asian markets? I know there are a couple lines specifically for black skin tones. Hmmmm…it seems like this should be easier for you…it’s not like you have some strange skin tone.

    BTW… so I tried to buy more chocolate stars at TJs like over a week ago…and they were sold out…completely…for the season…it broke my heart. πŸ™ I bet the stars would have gotten rid of my cold.

  5. Holly says:

    sooo not drug store but you have to try Chanel Teint Innocence compact foundation it is the best in the whole wide world hands down!!! I have tried every single foundation under the sun and this one is by far the best!

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Vanessa,

    I have a whole buncha those Sally Hansen lipglosses. I’m not crazy about the vanilla smell but I like the textures and colors. Plus they are so cheap!

    I’ve heard many great things about Milani but unfortch there are no stores near me that carry it, boo!

    BTW, can you recommend a mineral makeup foundation you like? I tried Bare Minerals once and broke out with cystic acne, so after that I became very hesitant to try mineral makeup lines.

    Happy Friday! πŸ™‚

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I remember the Skinlights line. I used their powders for a few months as a highlighter (I was really obsessed with the J. Lo glow for a while, lol) … I mostly remember the distinct green tea scent. I hate it when they discontinue stuff, boo!

    BTW, will you be rockin’ the Chanel tonight?

  8. Karen says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Anne! πŸ™‚

    I’ll look for the Neutrogena Skin Clearing Oil Free. I just looked at the Web site and saw that they have both liquid and compact formulas. I hope that I can find my shade (and find it on sale, yes!). I really like certain products from the Neutrogena line…have you tried their blushes yet? They are great!

  9. Karen says:


    I was wondering where you were! πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling well. When I’m really sick I don’t feel like talking much, either. I wish I could send you the last of my box of chocolate stars! I have about quarter left of the box (and yes, I hella hid that box from El Hub so I could have them all to myself). I think that def. would make you feel better.

    I’ve heard good things about True Match, and they have a ton of colors to choose from. Believe it or not, the selection of drugstore foundations for ladies like myself is much better than it was years ago. I think in general I have a hard tone to match because I’m a neutral tone (not really pink and not really yellow). On one hand it’s a pain in the arse, but on the other hand it’s an excuse for me to keep trying stuff.

    Anyway, please take good care of yourself and get better soon! πŸ™‚

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    I’m all over that Chanel foundation; I have it planned for next month (if I can hold out that long, ha!) I just ordered some stuff from Sephora from the Becca line so I gotta space out my foundation buying, lol.

    Do you use a powder on top of it or a primer underneath?

  11. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,
    I dont use a primer underneath i have used a Chanel one in the past but dont feel that i need it really. I use a really fine layer of Chanel Powder Universal Compact over the top just to seal it but a few of the girls i work with dont even use that, they just use their bronzer straight over the foundation and its fine, I think with me its just more of a force of habit!
    I used to use the vitalumiere by Chanel and had to use quite a lot of powder over that but the teint innocence is so well balanced that i hardly use any now!
    oohh also ive just got my hands on some samples of the hydration range of the skincare range, have used the mouse cleanser abd then then hydrating toner and they are fantastic! Not so keen on the facial false tan though it brough me out in a spot and im not prone to spots at all!

  12. Hmmmm….fab review. I need to find something different because my poor face is goin’ through some thangs right now and I have to be super careful as to what I put on it. Streaking ain’t good though. But for $6 I may have to give it a try.


  13. Karen says:

    Hi Holly!

    Thank you for your Chanel tips. I’ll def take a look at the Powder Universal Compact. (I want to try both the compact and loose powder!) I get pretty shiny throughout the day so I will probably need something to set the Teint Innocence compact.

    I’ve only used Chanel skin care during makeovers at the counter. The hydration line sounds delish. I want to try the toner.

    Hope you are having a good weekend!

  14. Karen says:

    Divine Blackness!

    I took your advice and listened to “Until the End of Time” this morning a few times. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, Pure Makeup is worth a go if you can find a shade that works for you. Do you have a primer that you like? That might help with the streaking too.

    I’ve noticed that the streaking gets bad when I wet my foundation brush beforehand (I use the MAC 182). I usually like to wet the brush cause it makes my foundation look more natural, but it doesn’t work well with this formula for some reason – dry brush is better!

    Let me know if you try it.

  15. Glamour Girl says:

    I have this foundation in medium beige, too, and I hate it! It’s way too pink-toned for me. I loved the price, but not the formula. Figures.

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Glamour Girl,

    I hear that. I’d love to find a drugstore foundation that’s cheap, doesn’t break me out and isn’t waaaaay to pink. Maybe I’m asking for too much, sigh!

  17. Maria says:

    If you or anyone has a problem with shades being too pink, I dont blame you.. I am light/medium nuetral or slightly yellow toned and I have the same problem as well.. I noticed that you have to carefully examine the shade- I’ll pick either a light to medium shade… and compare it to another medium shade next to it. If to me it looks warm, I will avoid it. That means it’ll be pink or orangish on me. The good shades I have found in Maybelline Mouse- Light Beige (Medium 0)matchs well and Maybelline Pure Makeup H2o I match the Light/Nude 4. I am Italian and Peruvian, my skin is definately a light/medium shade that for awile it was so hard to pick the right shades until i’ve learned the trick that works for me. Now, ive got an eye for choosing the shades.

  18. candyapples17 says:

    I prefer Almay Truly Lasting Color in SAND. It is the one color that is not to pink on me and is closes to my skin shade. after hundreds and hundreds of attempts to find my perfect shade i found this one in the stick cream form and was hooked! I was so disappointed when they discontinued the product because they were reformating their whole beauty line. But recently I found this color again and I love it! It lasts all day long and is great for my skin tone matches perfectly!!! I hope they never discontinue this product. Though now I am torn between this beautiful shade and mineral makeup which is all the rave right now…dilemma dilemma…lol… : )

  19. I prefer sheer cover, check out my latest blog I wrote a major review on foundations!
    Kristina Wells recently posted … The right foundation for you!

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