Maybelline Superstay Activewear 30h foundation review: how we got on when we tried it

Posted by for Make-up

With claims of being lightweight but full coverage, Maybelline’s newest foundation launch was put to the test by the Stylist beauty team. Here’s what they thought…

Here on the Stylist beauty desk, there’s not much we love more than discovering a new foundation (apart from maybe mascara). Each of us has different needs and wants when it comes to perfecting our base, but when we heard about Maybelline’s newest foundation, we were all as equally intrigued.

Superstay Active Wear Full Coverage 30 Hour Long-Lasting Liquid Foundation, £10.99 (try saying that out loud and in one breath) sounds a bit scary, especially because full coverage, long-lasting foundations tend to be on the super heavy, cakey side. But with claims of being both lightweight and breathable, as well as being transfer-proof, waterproof and sweat resistant, Maybelline’s new launch sounded too good to instantly dismiss.

Available in 20 shades, the formula is oil-free, non-comedogenic (so it won’t clog pores) and promises a matte, natural-looking finish – which is fairly unusual when it comes to heavy coverage foundations. The claims are pretty strong, but how did it fare when we put it to the test? 

Shannon Peter, beauty director

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Beauty director Shannon tries Maybelline's new foundation

“I have to admit: I was slightly scared about the 30 hour wear claim. I’ve not worn foundation in ages, and so was worried such a heavy-duty, industrial-strength formula would feel alien on my skin.

“Guess what? I was wrong. The texture is more fluid than most, which means it’s easy to spread and manoeuvre across the face, and sits in a thin even layer, rather than anything cakey or cloying.

“I can’t speak to the 30 hour promise (the only all-nighter I’ve pulled lately was when I stayed up ‘til 3am to binge on Bridgerton) but a few hours on, and it’s definitely not budging.”

Lucy Partington, beauty editor

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Lucy before and after using Maybelline's Superstay Activewear foundation

“I used to be a real heavy coverage foundation fan girl. I wouldn’t be seen in public without at least two layers of Estee Lauder Double Wear, but since I got my skincare routine in check I’ve been able to switch to more lightweight, glowy formulas. In fact, I now actively avoid anything more than medium coverage, but this launch piqued my interest. How could it promise to be longwear while remaining lightweight?

“I was pleasantly surprised on first application though: it was runnier than I’d assumed it would be, but it buffed into my skin easily (I used It Cosmetics’ Heavenly Luxe Flat Top Buffing Foundation Brush, £36) and it evened out my skin without fully camouflaging me – I didn’t look completely blanked out and it did actually feel entirely weightless once applied.

“The matte finish also wasn’t as matte as I’d assumed it would be either which I quite enjoyed, my skin still looked like skin and it wasn’t in the slightest bit chalky. I definitely still had a slight glow which I added to with a bit of cream highlighter.”

Hanna Ibraheem, senior beauty writer

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Hanna's before and after pictures

“If I’m going to go through the effort of applying a full coverage foundation, it needs to be one that feels comfortable on my skin. Thankfully, there has been a flurry of base products recently that promise to strike the balance between a formula that’s both high coverage and lightweight, including this new launch by Maybelline.

“When I dispensed a pump onto the back of my hand, I wasn’t sure just how lightweight it would be as it looked slightly thick (though that may be because I’m so used to using thin tinted moisturisers throughout lockdown) but it blended out beautifully with a kabuki foundation brush.

“Under each stroke, my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation disappeared and my skin quickly looked smoother and more even. It gave me a matte finish that I loved and impressively, the shade matched my skin tone pretty well - something I don’t often find with high street foundations.

“While I can’t attest to its 30-hour wear claims, I will say the formula sat comfortably on my skin all day without fading or transferring. At just £10.99, that’s a pretty big win in my eyes.”

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Images: Maybelline / Shannon Peter / Lucy Partington / Hanna Ibraheem

Originally published 21 January 2021.

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Lucy Partington

Lucy Partington is Stylist’s beauty editor. She’s obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she’ll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.