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Reviewed: Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick, a Drugstore Dupe for Bobbi Brown

It "fits me" perfectly.

Remember when I professed my love for the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick—one of the few foundations I've found that's a match for my Indian skin tone?

Well, I've just discovered that Maybelline's Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick is not only a close dupe, but it's one fifth of the price and available at the drugstore. Major win!

The Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick.

This is a creamy, gel-based, oil-free formula formula that transforms to a matte powder finish on the skin. 

I'm mildly obsessed with mattifying products, so I was excited to see the gel ‘anti-shine’ core in the centre. It has built-in powders that instantly dissolve oil.

A mattifying gel centre is the way to my heart.

There are 12 shades in the line, and mine is Toffee (330). There are two shades darker, and nine that are lighter.

Before we get into the review, a reminder of my golden four: I'm looking for a spot-on shade match for my Indian skin, buildable full coverage, longevity and commuter-worthy packaging. How did this fare? Let's see...

1. The Shade Match

Swatch of the Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick in Toffee.

Holy wow! Toffee swatched so brown on my hand that I thought it couldn’t possibly be a match, because brown usually reads orange on my skin. 

But then I buffed it on my cheek and saw how well the colour matched my face and neck. Beauty bloggers joke about being makeup fanatics, but I literally gasped.

Toffee is just about the perfect match.

It’s maybe a tiny bit dark on my ghostly-beige skin, but as soon as spring arrives out East, I see it being an excellent match. 

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2. The Longevity

Although it lasts only about four hours before starting to fade on my combination skin, the Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick wears off evenly, with no obvious patches. 

This foundation stays put without fading for at least four hours.

I particularly like its water-resistant finish, which I discovered after giving it the gym test on cardio day, followed by a walk home in the rain. Although the foundation was wearing off by time I got home, it didn’t liquify and drip off (my number one fear with liquid foundations). 

3. The Coverage

You know how I love my full-coverage foundation, and Maybelline's Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick meets my demands! It goes sheerly over my freckles, but can be built up to cover my hyperpigmentation. 

For the first few hours of wear, I get 70 to 80 percent of the coverage I want (comparable to Bobbi Brown!), though it’s usually down to 30 percent by my afternoon tea. The control you get from stick foundations is one of the reasons they’re my favourite kind.

Yes to freckles, no to dark spots.

This foundation sits beautifully on the skin. As for the 'anti-shine’ core, marketing gimmick or not, it definitely applies smoothly (almost silicone-slick), with a matte, cream-to-powder finish that I adore. The only downside is that this gel probably takes up half the product, but it will still last me a few months. 

4. The Packaging

The packaging of the Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick.

IMO, packaging is 99 percent get-what-you-pay-for. I love plastic tube formats for easy portability, but the lid on this one doesn't stay on very well. I accidentally dropped my closed tube, and the lid flew off before it hit the ground, leaving a perfectly round imprint on my beige carpet. Eek! 

With the loose lid and soft formula, I’d avoid tucking this into anything expensive (like your favourite handbag). Given the price, it's probably easier to just keep multiples, i.e. one at work and one at home, rather than wreak havoc on your purse.


Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Foundation Stick gets an easy A. For beauty bloggers, repurchasing is a true sign of product love. I received the sample here for review, but I’ve already bought second a tube for my office desk!

While it doesn't have the longevity to make it the foundation to end all foundations, I have no complaints about spending $10 for something that's comparable to the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in product amount, colour match and coverage!

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