Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Maybelline ClearGlow Shine-Free Clear Stick Review

 I don't shop online very often. But while browsing online for a pepper spray sometime back I came across this BB stick and it looked oh-so-tempting. Remembering the great things I'd heard (and read) about this product, I decided to give it a shot and purchased it in the lighter of its two shades - Radiance.

What Maybelline Claims: Skin Clarifying Core Stick with Mineral Clay effectively and visibly clears away appearance of pores, skin impurities, and absorbs excess sebum for clearer healthy-looking skin. Clear, healthy, flawless, bare skin look.
8 Healthy looking skin benefits:
  • Improved Clarity
  • Lesser visible Pores
  • Lesser greasy shine
  • Long lasting shine control
  • Reduction in redness
  • Smoother skin
  • More even skin tone
  • More radiant

Price: Rs. 250 for 10 g

Shelf Life: 36 months from mfg

Shades: Radiance, Fawn

Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyethylene, Phenyl Trimethicone, Nylon-12, Diisostearyl Malate, Ozokerite, Polyvinyl Laurate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Capriylyl Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc PCA, [+/- May contain Cl 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Cl 77491, Cl 77492, Cl 77499 / Iron oxides]

Wow. So many claims! The product is certainly extremely tempting with its long list of promises, and its gorgeous blue bullet packaging only adds to its charm. The BB stick comes in a compact sturdy baby blue 'lipstick tube' with a see-through cap. The product name is written in a pretty shiny pink circle on the cap. Adorable.
On opening the BB stick, the first thing that struck me was its strong Fevicol-like smell. Personally, I don't hate the smell of Fevicol, but I wasn't really keen on slathering something that smelled like Fevicol all over my face (the days of immersing my fingers in tubs of Fevicol only for the fun of pealing it off my fingers and pretending that I was pulling off my skin are long gone). Thankfully after application the smell became milder and gradually faded away completely.

The product glided smoothly on my skin and I noticed that the shade was quite light. I'm naturally fair compared to the average Indian though my face is a bit more tan than the rest of my skin. So judging by the fact that this shade was just right for me, most Indian women would probably find this way too light. On blending it in, it made my skin look brighter, more 'radiant' and added a bit of a glow to my face. The 'natural bare skin look' is something that Maybelline got right.

Blending it in was pretty easy, however, the product set quickly so I had to work fast. The stick isn't moisturizing at all, so people with dry skin should use a moisturizer before using this, especially during winters. Even though I have combination to oily skin, I still noticed little flaking at my hairline and near my sideburns when I didn't use moisturizer. Probably because it's winter. In Maybelline's defense, this stick was launched after the cream, because the cream was too heavy for people like myself with skin on the oily side. So if you're looking for a BB cream which doesn't require the prior use of a moisturizer, you should try the BB cream; it might work better for you.

Now let's go through all of Maybelline's claims and see how the BB stick fared for me:
1. Clears away appearance of pores: Now this I didn't really notice. I have few large pores on my face and wanted so much for this product to minimize those pores but sadly the BB stick didn't have much affect in this area. It might work for minimizing smaller pores though.
2. Clears away skin impurities: Well, the stick did make my skin appear brighter and gave it a bit of a glow. And the product lasted on my face my entire day (so about 7-8 hours). The glow faded away after about 3-4 hours or so, but my skin still had the bright clean look all day.
3. Absorbs sebum: Sebum is an oily secretion of the glands in your skin. I do have oily skin and my skin has been less oily lately, but then the climate is so cold and I'm sitting in an AC office all day, so there's really no reason for my skin to be oily at all. I might notice the effects of using this stick more during the summer.
4. Clear, healthy, flawless, bare skin look: Check. Well, half check for flawless. This stick will hide minor imperfections, but for major flaws, a concealer will be needed. But apart from that, my skin did look healthy, bright and the BB stick is perfect for a nude look.
5. Improved clarity: Like I said earlier, if your skin needs a touch of makeup just to give it that extra boost, this BB stick is perfect. But for dark acne marks, spots etc the BB stick alone won't be enough.
6. Lesser greasy shine/Long lasting shine control: After applying the stick, my face was shine free for a good 3-4 hours, after which the slightest bit of shine was visible and a quick touch up was required. However, people who don't sit in air conditioned offices the whole day (or even if you do, but are experiencing the complete wrath of the summer sun) will probably need touch ups more often.
7. Reduction in redness: Check. The stick provides light to medium coverage and will hide redness and other mild imperfections nicely. It is buildable (though only to an extent), and doesn't look cakey when layered.
8. Smoother skin: I have very smooth skin naturally, and my skin did not appear to be smoother after using this stick.
9. More even skin tone: Big check. Apart from brightening the skin, this BB stick works great to even out skin tone.
10. More radiant: Check again. Radiant, glowing and gorgeous.

Though the product lasted long, I noticed some crease lines near the eyes when I used it alone. But the good thing is even as it faded, it did not leave any whitish layer on my skin unlike some other BB creams. However for women with darker skin tones, this might be a problem. Another drawback is that the stick comes in only 2 shades, and there will be a lot of women who won't find a match for their skin tones. This can be overcome though by using both the shades together and blending them as required.

Ok, I've written a lot now. Time to summarize:

  • Contains SPF 21
  • Gorgeous and sturdy packaging; easy and convenient to carry
  • Affordable
  • Good shelf life
  • Glides smoothly on skin
  • Sets very quickly
  • Blends in nicely to provide a matte finish
  • Brightens skin and gives it a glow
  • Long staying power
  • Skin appears clear, healthy and it's perfect for a nude look
  • Shine control works for about 3-4 hours (in the winter)
  • Provides light to medium coverage
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Reduces redness
  • Coverage is buildable
  • Doesn't look cakey when layered
  • Hides mild imperfections nicely and will minimize pores to a small extent
  • Did not leave a whitish layer on my skin as it faded


  • Only 2 shades available
  • Smells like Fevicol when it's just bought
  • Sets quickly so you need to work fast
  • Not moisturizing at all
  • Hides only very minor imperfections; will not effectively hide dark marks, dark circles etc.
  • Creases around the eyes after a while
  • Shine control works only for 3-4 hours and the glow also fades away after a while and touch ups are required
  • Does not make skin smoother
  • May leave behind a whitish layer on skin for women with darker skin as it fades

    My Verdict: 7/10

    Will I purchase it again? This was a tough call as I like this product. Its perfect for a light fix, and with BB creams (and for this price), that's really all that you can expect. What I didn't like was that the company proudly put a huge list of claims on their product, making it appear like a miracle stick, only to be a let down in quite a few areas. I prefer products which have smaller lists but deliver on all of them. When you make a BB stick sound like a magic wand, it's only going to let people down. So I think I'll be trying out some of the other creams in the market for now. That said, I'd recommend that you give it a go. It's not a bad product, and if you're looking for a quick fix to cover mild imperfections, this is for you.

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