Product review: Maybelline Instant Anti-Age makeup

Quick review for Maybelline’s two new Anti-Age makeup products. This is their UK debut and the range runs to two products so far, although it’s been around in the US for much longer and the range is larger over there.

First up we have something with a rather insanely long name: Instant Anti-Age TheSmoother (sp? that’s what it says on the jar anyway, bet it’s sold as ‘The Smoother’ though…) Skin Retexturising Primer. Yeah, bit of a mouthful. Meanwhile, for £9.99 it’s a pretty good product. Essentially it’s a dimethicone silicone-based primer that’s fragrance free and fulfils its basic promise – to help foundation go on smoothly and help makeup last longer.

You only need a tiny amount, and it needs a little time to blend into the skin and dry fully. It isn’t a special mattifying formula so I’d say it’s best suited to dry, normal or combination skin, but not oily skin. It has a simple formulation so no whistles and bells or any anti-ageing properties at all really, but that simplicity also means it’s less likely to cause sensitivity in most people. I tried it on one side of my face only, and the makeup on the treated side lasted a couple of hours longer than usual. Not bad at all.

It’s one of the cheapest primers you can find, and very similar to GOSH Velvet Primer in formulation and performance. GOSH is more expensive but you get more product and a pump that means you aren’t sticking your mitts in a jar. Anyway, primers aren’t an essential makeup step for most people but if you’ve never used one before then you might like to try this one.

Next up we have Maybelline Anti-Age The Eraser Perfect & Cover Foundation, also priced at £9.99. I’m fair skinned so I tested this in the 010 Ivory shade.

Before I start, I should say a few things about ‘anti-ageing’ foundations – there are lots of these products coming onto the market now and they make all sorts of claims, although few of them deliver. ‘Anti-ageing’ is a very vague term, and can mean A) a cosmetic effect that temporarily makes skin appear fresher and brighter (pigments and microparticles that wash off at the end of the day – the same as those seen in those ‘anti-fatigue’ foundations aimed at a younger age group), B) they contain a broad spectrum sunscreen in sufficient amounts  to significantly protect against UV damage and photo-ageing of the skin, and/or C) they contain active ingredients such as antioxidants, cell-turnover increasing agents, and so on.

That’s a lot to consider, so let’s start with how I found the cosmetic effect. The sponge applicator does not live up to its claims of ‘filling and smoothing imperfections’, it’s annoying and gimmicky and to get a proper finish you need to blend with fingertips. Does it ‘perfect & cover’? No, the coverage is light, not much better than a tinted moisturiser so lots of concealer is needed. I don’t have a lot of fine lines, but it did not ‘instantly erase’ them as claimed, and it settled very unattractively in pores to leave an uneven finish.

There is no noticeable sparkle but there is a slight light diffusing effect which technically would have an anti-age/anti fatigue temporary appearance. Unfortunately the colour had a peach/orange cast to it that looked very unnatural on me (I have a neutral to warm skin tone so if it looks to peach on me, it could have a serious tango-effect on a cooler skin tone). Now, to be fair, I don’t know whether all the shades in the range are like this – do try a tester first if you’re thinking about buying though!

On to the anti-ageing claims about SPF, anti-oxidants and collagen. There is no ingredients list so I can’t tell you whether they’ve used broad spectrum sun protection or not, so the jury is out on that one. Antioxidants? It’s sold in clear plastic packaging without a pump-action dispenser so light and air contact will probably destroy most of them pretty quickly, if they’re there in noticeable amounts in the first place. Collagen? As a surface-contact ingredient this can only act to bind water to the skin (temporary plumping effect), not do anything to the structures under the skin, so the claims of ‘helps tighten and improve skin elasticity’ don’t have me fully convinced.

Again, in the interest of fairness, I’m under the age of 40 so it might be that you’d get better results if you were, say, 40-60+ years old. In addition, it might be better suited to someone with dryer and slightly darker skin, and who has no irregular pigmentation, scars or other blemishes. But for me this product was a total wash out and I’d suggest spending an extra £1 and getting a better-performing SPF foundation from L’Oreal, Revlon, M&S or Boots No 7.

Have you tried either of these products yet? I’d be interested to hear whether anyone’s had the same experience, or a different one.

Similar Posts


  1. Hi Tamsin – you are someone in the know about these things so I’ll be taking your comment as a massive compliment. Thank you xxx

    There’s a lot of pressure on reviewers to say only nice things, but sometimes the cosmetics companies make claims their products don’t live up to and I don’t like the idea of people paying for something they’re not getting.

  2. I should also mention that the US range of Anti-Age does have some good products in it. In particular they make a very reasonably-priced SPF25 face powder that’s ideal for topping up your sun protection on summer days. I use it myself and the shades are far more natural than the foundation, plus it’s affordable enough that you can slap it on without worrying too much about the price.

    SPF is for everybody though, not just the over-30 age group.

Comments are closed.