Oh Maybelline, how I adore thee! Okay, that's quite enough of that, I think.
So, like many women who have used pressed powder for a couple of decades, I have a couple of favorites and should they ever be discontinued I'd cry like a baby.
Maybelline has been making decent, reasonably priced products for about 3 million years and the only major change (to me, at least) has been pricing. But it's still jolly good value so I can look past that.
This powder comes in a generic container with a mirror attached somewhere around the hinges, like a million other face powders. Likewise, the powder puff is pretty generic. Use it or use something else - honestly, it really doesn't affect application to any great degree.
Now for the powder itself. This is where I think Maybelline genuinely leaves most of the drugstore brands behind...far, far behind. I blind-tested it along with three other brands (two drugstore, one "oh jeez that's almost my car payment" type), and I'm firmly convinced that Maybelline is an excellent alternative to high-end powders.
There is the slightest hint of fragrance which is neither appalling or overly appealling, but thats's fine with me. The finish will depend on how much you use, along with what you've got underneath. For the purposes of testing, I tried each powder four different ways. I would have probably mixed it up some more but there's only so much "apply, cleanse, dry, repeat" I can take. For all tests, I moisturized and primed my face first.
Method 1: Powder only
Method 2: Concealer plus powder
Method 3: Foundation plus powder
Method 4: Concealer plus foundation plus powder
So how did Maybelline perform?
1. First place, and that surprised me. It made my skin look naturally...natural.
2. Tied with Expensive Brand.
3. First place (that surprised me, too)
4. This is where it all went to heck. If you're wearing everything a la Method 4, there is no doubt - you're going to have cakiness in at least some degree. The difference is how cakey. Oddly, the more expensive powder performed worse than all three drugstore brands in this category, which are tied for first place. But they were largely as bad as each other.
Maybelline has very decent staying power, which varied only a teeny bit between all four. It does conceal minor imperfections but it's not a full coverage product.
Price-wise, Maybelline, CoverGirl and Rimmel are all around the same price bracket ($10-$15/ounce), while NARS frightens my checking account at $100/ounce (give or take).