Friday, 2 March 2012

Review: Maybelline Clear Smooth Aqua gel foundation in 3 shades (swatches!)

 Hey everyone! This is one of my favorite foundations, so easy to use, inexpensive and was perfect for my combination (oily) skin. It's a water-based, oil free gel foundation from Maybelline and is great for quick mornings and when you want light coverage. 

However I haven't used these regularly in a while as my skin has gotten dry around the mouth and this formula tends to sinks on dry areas if I apply this around the laugh lines region! I still would use this on my forehead/cheeks/neck as it has a really natural matte finish.

This would be great for beginners, that is if you can find a color match! (there are too FEW shades!)

Maybelline clear smooth aqua gel foundation in shades 13, 22 & 24...

Simple squeeze nozzle tube....

'Light and fresh' sensation... 'oil free'...'water based'...these are accurate
Maybelline clear smooth aqua gel foundation in 13 Light Beige...

Maybelline clear smooth aqua gel foundation in 22 Natural Beige...

Maybelline clear smooth aqua gel foundation in 24 True Beige...

First off to those unfamiliar with Singapore 'drugstore' products in general all the exact same or equivalent in the US are double or triple the price here and hence people don't really tend to complain about packaging as I think we're more concerned about the product.

 I have no issues with the plastic bottle, it holds the standard 30ml and is niffy, space efficient and the twist and click on top will definitely never leak or unscrew by itself. 

I actually like this packaging as I don't have to worry about it cracking or breaking like glass bottles since I'm clumsy as hell, that and these are very light weight. However I don't like how the shade number and name are stuck on a sticker which could easily be peeled should also be printed on somewhere else.


Maybelline clear smooth aqua gel foundation L to R: 13 light beige, 22 natural beige, 24 true beige...straight from the tube

Swatches of Maybelline clear smooth aqua gel foundation in shades 13, 22, 24...

Note: There are only a total of 4 or 5 shades ( more like 4) I know for sure there is one shade lighter than 13. All these blend out to be quite long as you are around or below NC/NW 30 in MAC or shade 33 in ZA one of the shades will match easily. 

13 light beige- pink toned light flesh color

22 natural beige- yellow toned light color

24 true beige- neutral toned light/med color

I use 13 and 22, both work incredibly well on my skin. The shade 13 is a perfect match for my fairer, pinkier complexion on my face...but 22 evens out the pink in my face and it matches my neck very well. Sometimes I use 13 to lighten my neck up if I used more cool toned foundation. I tend to be able to get away with both cool/warm toned foundation, and the formula is sheer so it isn't obvious.

Shade 24 is for my mom, she's a 33 in the ZA powder foundation.

Swatches of Maybelline clear smooth aqua gel foundation in 13, 22, 24 (blended out) in cooler light

Swatches of Maybelline clear smooth aqua gel foundation in 13, 22, 24 (blended out) in warmer light...


First off, this was one of the first 'liquid' type foundations almost two years ago when my skin was much oilier. It worked great then and still does but I don't use it as frequently as I've got dry areas that don't work well with this formula.

This product is a water based and oil free formula, it's great for people with oily/combo skin as it really creates a matte/dry finish that leaves it skin shine free and even thought it's water based the foundation can last for a really long time even through a humid day (Singapore climate exactly!)

I like to apply this with fingers as a sponge tends to soak it all up, the gel dries so quickly, so you have to blend fast and out evenly before it dries. If you've never used your fingers or blend too slowly you'd end up with a patchy finish but if you blend very quickly and find the coverage too sheer you can add another layer and avoid patchiness that way.

This is feels great on days when you need to rush or don't want any heavy and pore clogging, it definitely feels light and refreshing but if you want to cover scars/pigmentation/pimples/large pores this is NOT going to work. It's very sheer, it can be layered to build up coverage but nothing beyond a solid 'light' coverage.

The finish is a very dry/matte natural look, it sinks into lines around the mouth and under the eyes so make sure to blend quickly to avoid it. If you do have patches after it dries, simply wet a sponge and tap to blend it out.

This formula is great for on the go touch ups even on top of powder/ other liquid foundations. It's never caused me to break out, feel irritated or anything at all. All in all this would be great for beginners and an interesting light textured formula for oily skin.

Bold things matter most to me!
  • affordable
  • easy found (watsons/guardian locally)
  • blendable for easy color match
  • water based/oil free/non irritating
  • keeps oily skin matte for a long time
  • portable 
  • Looks quite 'flawless' and 'natural' 
  • can be worn without a setting powder and stays matte

  • Few shades (4 or 5 only)
  • Can 'dry out' areas like around the mouth
  • tends to 'sink' into large pore and frown lines
  • 'cheap' looking packaging
  • may have patchy finish if not applied quickly/evenly
  • needs layers for better coverage

Paid: SGD $15.90 / $12.80 USD

(I can't remember if it's $14.90 or $15.90, it's one of the cheapest liquid foundations in the main drugstores here)

Yes! Completely to those with oily/ pimple prone skin! This does not irritate at all! Just work with a quick light hand, layer, blend evenly and touch up with powder throughout the day. You will be shine free I tell you!

Repurchase: Ja! Yes, when I'm out I will buy again, as for now they're not being used too often.

Bottom Line: Seems to be an affordable gel foundation, great for the majority of us with oil/pimple prone skin in Singapore. I'd say this is a great way to start wearing foundation in humid doesn't get greasy. The only problem is the lack of shades which I'm as usually incredibly disappointed with.

This is the only foundation I'd wear without a setting powder because of the instant dry finish. I always wear liquids with a setting powder of some sort and that ensures a matte finish and staying power. Anyone with oily skin should be setting their foundations, I never go without setting liquids! 

Overall this product gets a...4/5!

What foundation do you use for your oily skin? Tried any gel foundations before? Liquid or powder for pimple prone skin? Let me know!

Feel free to leave comments!

 Thanks for stopping by!


  1. wow great review!
    I considered buying this since my local drugstore is having 20% off for some maybelline products. But I always have bad luck with maybelline foundation, they look greasy on my face and breaks me out :/
    But i might give this one a try :) thanks for the review <3

    1. Definitely give it a go, I've got quite sensitive skin so hopefully it'd work for you! I'm in love with their liquid formulas too though, I just make sure to set them really well afterwards and it keeps new pimples from forming/getting greasy. Good luck! :)

  2. I use a foundation from Make up Store, it's an amazing foundation for every skin type!
    Your blog is great, I'm now following it=)

    1. Thanks!I really like your colorful looks, I've followed back :)




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