Review: Maybelline Clear Smooth Extra-Shine Free Powder Foundation

by Paris B on · 28 comments

in Cheap and Good?,Foundation,Product Reviews

I won’t say I’m a brand snob when it comes to cosmetics but I am a stickler for performance and not many affordable brands quite hit the mark.  However, I’m as happy as the next girl to find something inexpensive that works as it promises.

A new budget discovery is the Maybelline Clear Smooth Extra – Shine Free Powder foundation which is a mouthful so we’ll call it Maybelline Clear Smooth Extra coverage foundation.

maybelline Clear Smooth Extra full coverage foundation

The round flat compact came in handy when I took it on my travels. Its inexpensive enough that I did not have to worry in case it got lost or shattered in transit. I’d never tried the pale green compact which is medium coverage – I instead went for the new blue compact which is full coverage. The compact powder foundation promises full coverage and matte shine free application while it does not clog pores.

Mine is 02 – Nude Beige though I’d have prefered it being one notch lighter for me. Still, 02 is the lightest shade available so it’d have to do!

Budget foundation with full coverage and SPF20 PA+++

The Maybelline Clear Smooth Extra coverage foundation does as it promises. I get a relatively full coverage without looking terribly cakey or made up. I do use my Everyday Minerals flat top brush to apply the powder for a smoother look. The thin sponge included does the job in a pinch but if you rely on it, it can look streaky. In the alternative, get a thicker sponge applicator from any beauty supply store.

Lightweight texture

After application, my skin feels soft and velvety like how it does when I use higher end powder foundation like Paul & Joe powder foundation or the I Nuovi Facefix UV. Its light on my skin and does not make me feel or look like I’m wearing a mask provided I don’t cake it on.

Matte Shine Free look that lasts

My skin looks and stays matte and does not get oily. That said, do note that while I have combination-dry skin, the dry parts don’t look cakey and the oily parts do not shine like a beacon in the night. Its pretty decent!

I tramped all over Bangkok in the hot sun with this powder on. Yes it wipes off with sweat but at least I did not look like an oil slick so by the time I stepped into the cool air-conditioned confines of Siam Paragon shopping centre (think up market) and looked into the mirror, I was still looking halfway decent and a quick touch up put me back in the land of the living.

The Maybelline Clear Smooth Extra Shine Free Powder Foundation (full coverage blue compact) is available from all Maybelline counters and retails for maybe RM29.90 or so (Due to failing memory, I’ll confirm once I get the exact price) RM22.90. It comes in 4 shades to hopefully suit most Asian skintones. Affordable budget foundation that works and makes an excellent travel partner!

Pros: Inexpensive, Light on the skin, Medium-full coverage and skin stays relatively shine free

Cons: If you’re very fair, 02 may still be a tad too dark since its full coverage, Sponge applicator is too thin and smells rubbery

Have you tried this one or the Medium Coverage (pale green compact) one? How do you like it?

Can you believe its ALREADY Wednesday? It seems like just yesterday I got back to the office. Wait a minute… it WAS yesterday I got back to the office! 😀 I love short weeks don’t you? :)

Stay beautiful,

Paris B

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[ 27 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

germaine September 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm

i tried the pale green one. I have oily combination skin and after applying it true enough my skin was less oily but at the end of the day my skin seems ‘dehydrated’ and looks crack. it also tends to look very made up and cakey. Maybe it work ‘too’ well on absorbing the oil till making my skin all dry up. now it is just lying in my make up box idle, going to throw it away soon :-(
i pick up one of stila liquid foundation during its clearance sales early this year and its the first time i used a ‘good brand’. Usually this high end brand is out of my budget and stila closing down was a great bargain for me. after trying the stila liquid foundation i finally understand why some women rather spend more on better brand. it looks so great and flawless, makes my skin ‘glow’.
I’m not a brand snob but i guess higher end brands charge a higher price for a very good reason (most of the time) 😀


ParisB September 3, 2009 at 10:05 am

Hi Germaine

Hm… strangely though i’m slightly dry on the cheeks, I did not get the cakey effect. Might it have been the way it was applied e.g. using sponge/puff? Try using a lighter coverage and see if it works :) I like my high end products too – but I’m always too scared to travel with them so finding a budget choice works well for travel :)


September 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Thanks for the review!! This one sounds really promising! 😀

I personally think that Maybelline comes out with beautiful foundations (with the exception of the minerals line >.<)! I'll check this out soon! 😀


ParisB September 3, 2009 at 10:05 am

Hi Jenn

Honestly? No Maybelline foundations have ever worked for me due to my inability to find a shade that suits me! This one’s not too bad – just a touch darker but not so noticable 😉


September 2, 2009 at 6:20 pm

thanks for the review. am so half hearted with this, becuz the colour, doesn’t seem to match me very well. either too yellow or too dark or too light!

but hm, maybe it’s the lighting problem, gonna go check it again!


ParisB September 3, 2009 at 10:06 am

Hi Plue

02 was the best fit – actually the only fit. Anything else was too dark.


Nur September 2, 2009 at 7:00 pm

I tried the pressed powder (green/turquoise compact) I think. And I loved the coverage although it doesn’t really deliver in controlling oil.

It was Maybelline Clear Smooth Shine Control Face Powder in Natural.

The downside of it was the lousy powder puff. I wish Maybelline could improve in their powder puff. I had to replace mine with one I bought from Sasa.


ParisB September 3, 2009 at 10:07 am

Hi Nur

This one’s not great with its puff either – I find the sponge way too flimsy and I just use a brush.


xisa September 2, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Personally I haven’t tried the green compact but there are a lot of people use it and I can honestly say that on same people, it can look too powdery (I’m guessing their faces aren’t that oily) and on others, they look quite nice. But usually a couple of hours later, their foundations would fade away so I guess it’s not as long-lasting.

This looks great, though. I’m sold when you said it felt like Paul & Joe. XD


ParisB September 3, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hi Xisa

I’m thinking that many people are just caking this powder on with the sponge or puff provided and honestly, that’s a big mistake. The sponge and puff puts too much on the skin so I prefer using a brush.


Stella September 2, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Girl on a budget, that would be me! 😀
I’m currently using the pale green one which is the Shine Free Face Powder that I bought for RM15.90. I have to say I really like it. I use Honey cause I’m tan and it matches my skin colour really well and blends seamlessly.
I have combination skin and the powder evens out my skin tone nicely and does a good job keeping my face smooth and shine free for long hours but not dry at all. I don’t use the complimentary puff either though as it picks up on the dry skin on and around my nose… and it gets ugly.
The only qualm I have is that it doesn’t provide as much coverage as I would like (darn my acne scars!) so I’m quite eager to try this new one :)


ParisB September 3, 2009 at 10:10 am

Hi Stella

If you can find a colour match, this might be good for you – just be careful not to cake on too much!


alex September 2, 2009 at 9:39 pm

really good review, thank you!

i think it must be a decent product to use especially for summer weathers like in singapore and malaysia? but the oil control function kind of deter me from buying it, i’m afraid it might be too dry for me (combination skin), have used oil control foundation before and they all kinda feels dry…


ParisB September 3, 2009 at 10:11 am

Hi Alex

Thank you. Its a decent product for anyone with oily skin or who live in hot humid places. I have combination-dry skin too but I’m ok with this if I’m out and about a lot :)


Nikki September 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm

eeeekk they have this in BLUE??? And they have this in full coverage? I haven’t seen them yet! thanks for letting me know about this!


ParisB September 3, 2009 at 10:11 am

Hi Nikki

Its probably out in PH too! 😀


Gina December 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Been using maybelline ever since. I like there new clear smooth extra shine free powder foundation. It works for me. Love it!!!!!!!!!!


Kahani September 3, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I bought this in 02 as well for RM19.90 – I believe it’s still around the RM20 price point. However I have a sneaky suspicion it broke me out. I’m waiting till the hormones die down before giving it another whirl.


jr~ December 5, 2009 at 11:18 pm

hmm. what are the colors or shade of the new foundation? what color matches in a white complexion?


Jerica April 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm

hi,,i have a problem in choosing my skin tone,,i also use nude beige,,sometimes it appear good,,but other times it looks like i’m very pale,,what doyou suggest? i still doubt on my skin tone..


NancyE July 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Hi guys, i’m curious about the other 4 shades, what r they?
i have been using the one without foundation in natural


maiMai21 December 18, 2010 at 9:33 am

hi paris!

i just got mine, i got the darkest shade (sand beige) but after i apply it, i look like a corpse. my face gets too caked up. how do you apply yours using a brush? would love to hear from you!



ParisB December 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Hi there, try using a powder brush or a kabuki brush like this one Just swirl the brush over the surface of the powder and brush onto your face. It deposits powder more sheerly hence no cakey look. Hope that helps.


Ashley April 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm

i tried this one and since i have combination skin, it was really obvious on my cheeks that i was using makeup and for my forehead and nose, it really mattifies it to the point where no light is reflected which i really hate. overall, controls oil but doesn’t really give a natural finish. Should i purchase the clear smooth one instead?


pinay July 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

I recently purchased this but I think the coverage is too much for me, its obvious that I have foundation (looks cakey) . I’m going back to the green one which is just right.


Faizah June 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Can you still find this powder in malaysia? please do reply. I am going to be travelling their and i want to buy it!


Paris B
July 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I’m not sure if its still available. I don’t pay much attention to it, sorry.


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