The £11 foundation that will cure all of your winter blues

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When it comes to drugstore foundations, it’s difficult to find something that reaches the ‘ehh, decent’ bar. But I have discovered one of the most glorious and hydrating foundations on drugstore market! This foundation is simply the epitome of gloriously hydrated and supple skin, that gives some of the most expensive foundations a real run for their money.

I’m talking about powerhouse makeup brand, Maybelline. Maybelline have been killing the foundation game with their innovative formulas yet cheap prices for decades now, and that is no secret. If you haven’t tried the Maybelline Fit me foundation (£6.99 on Amazon!) then you absolutely should! It’s a cult favourite. However, Maybelline’s new foundation is a total game changer that not many people know about…yet.

Maybelline’s New Dream Urban Cover Protective Makeup, £10.99 on Amazon here

The Dream urban cover protective foundation (damn, can these names get any longer?) was released recently. Let’s run through all of the product claims before I get excited and tell you what I think of it.

This lightweight, full coverage foundation comes in 20 different shades and is best suited for normal – dry skin types. Dream urban cover will smooth away signs of dull skin to create a natural and healthy looking complexion.

As well as being smooth and lightweight, this protective foundation is enriched with anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E, Vitamin B3 and Biacaline. It also helps to form a shield and defend skin from pollution, with an SPF of 50. It is dermatologically tested, suitable for sensitive skin, non-comedogenic, and is clinically tested to lock in moisture.

– Maybelline New York
Maybelline’s shade range for their new foundation

Let’s talk shade range

The shade range of this foundation is decent for the drugstore. It comes in 20 different shades ranging from 095 fair porcelain, to 360 Mocha.

To be honest, the lightest colour isn’t light enough, the darkest colour isn’t dark enough, and the gradient in the medium colours makes me sad to look at. Usually with Maybelline foundations, I tend to fit between the shades 220: Natural beige, and 235: Almond when I’m a little darker. If you are stuck between shades, I would advise you to go for the lighter one, as this foundation definitely does oxidise and set a tad bit darker after a couple minutes! I guess we are still waiting for the day that the drugstore sort out their shades!

The good, the bad, and the ugly ingredients

As somebody who it totally obsessed with the ingredients that we put on our faces – this foundation makes me happy. If you don’t know how ingredient lists work, they are in chronological order. So, the first product on the ingredients list has the greatest concentration, and the last product has the least.

Ingredients list, screenshotted from the Boots UK website
  • Vitamin B3/Niacinimde, is the 5th ingredient, and it is a skincare phenomenal ingredient! I use it as a serum in my skincare routine, and it is fantastic for 1001 things. Evening out skin tone, regulating oil production, and minimising pore appearance are just some of the brilliant things that this ingredient does, so seeing this in this foundation got me so excited! There are a couple of other antioxidants in the ingredient list which stand by Maybelline’s Skincare meets makeup claim.
  • May I highlight, the gloriously high SPF in this product is not a substitute for your SPF. You must still wear a layer of sun protection underneath this foundation. The ingredients Maybelline used in the sunscreen: Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylen protect you almost exclusively from UVB rays. UVB sun rays burn your skin (UVB stands for burn), but it doesn’t protect you from UVA rays, which age your skin! (UVA stands for age). Essentially, you aren’t getting full spectrum protection. This foundation will do absolutely nothing to protect you from wrinkles, age spots, and more – which is why you need to be wearing a standard sunscreen beneath that will give you broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. You should also keep this foundation bottle away from direct sunlight to protect the sunscreen, as the bottle is not fully opaque.
  • There are some downfalls in the ingredients list, that as much as I adore this foundation, I cannot ignore. The 5th ingredient in here is denatured alcohol, which although incredibly controversial, isn’t good for the skin. It is drying, at the very least, and the high potency of this ingredient in this foundation is an issue!
  • Similarly, this foundation is marketed to be safe for sensitive skin and claims to be dermatologically tested – yet it contains both Fragrance and Limonene. Fragrance is a massive no for 95% of consumers with sensitive skin, and absolutely no dermatologist worth an ounce of integrity would ever recommend it. By the same token, Limonene is essentially a citrus oil, a skin irritant on sensitive skins. In Maybelline’s defence, these two ingredients are the last few in the ingredients list, meaning they’re not actually very potent in the product at all – which just angers me because with such a small amount of it, why have it there at all? Could you not have just skipped it?

Packaging and Formula

This foundation is packaged in a plastic squeezey tube, which is super convenient for throwing into your makeup bag and travelling with. You can see the shade of the foundation through the packaging. Although convenient when shopping for your shade, opaque packaging is pertinent in protecting SPF! I don’t know how Maybelline missed this, but please keep it away from the windows to ensure it doesn’t loose it’s efficiency! It also has a nozzle applicator, rather than the pump applicator that most foundations go for. This is handy for precision and drawing the foundation onto your face, but it isn’t that handy when it comes to leakage.

The formulation of this foundation is impeccable. The consistency is somewhere in between being thin enough to glide effortlessly onto the skin, but thin enough that it isn’t watery. It doesn’t run when you squeeze it onto your hand, it just lightly jogs – you know?

Maybelline Dream Urban Cover in #220

A couple of swipes here and there create a seamless and natural coverage. At the same time, if you apply a pumps worth of product, you get the most beautiful and flawless medium-coverage. Yes, I said medium coverage. Although this is a very buildable foundation, it is not full coverage as Maybelline claims.

Maybelline states that this foundation can be applied with fingertips, a sponge, or a brush. Personally, I prefer to apply this product with the Zoeva 102 silk finish brush, and then go over it with a beauty sponge to pick up the extra product and get rid of any streakiness. This foundation doesn’t dry too quickly on the skin, so you can really take your time with application!

Sniff, sniff

I found that this foundation did have a really terrible scent to it; funny enough since there is actually fragrance in here.

It could just be my particular product as I haven’t heard anybody else complain about it, but it’s absolutely there for me! It’s like a nappy scent, and I’m not talking about that baby powder nappy scent, I’m on the total other side of the spectrum. It’s a nasty scent. But, it wears off almost immediately and you cannot smell it throughout the day!

This is so gorgeously radiant on the skin – straight from when you apply it, until 10 hours later! I’m literally not joking.

As somebody who has dry skin generally, exacerbated by the British winter blues, this foundation never emphasises and dries up on top of texture, or settles into my smile lines.

Because of all of the blowing and rubbing of the nose, most people generally tend to get very dry around there during the winter – but this just looks so seamless, smooth and clean around the creases. This is seriously a gorgeous foundation, and Maybelline are totally right in saying this feels light on the skin. You get a mean coverage yet it feels like a BB cream!

Tick, tock, goes the clock – How does it last?

The lasting power on this is serious. Maybelline are clearly done playing games with us! Without a primer, I wear this foundation over 9-10 hour work days, and when I get home, it looks like I’ve just put it on. My skin looks luminous, healthy and fresh, and my foundation doesn’t wear away – it’s insane!!!

The urban cover is a little bit tacky, so if you have oilier skin, do consider setting it with powder. Since I have dry skin, I just set beneath my eyes, and just along my cheeks where I do produce the slightest bit of oil. I use the Maybelline Fit me powder in #220.

I have never seen a foundation last as well as this one does – it seriously has left me impressed, and seems to have impressed everybody else since I had so many questions on what I was wearing!

So, let’s conclude with some of the overall pro’s and con’s of this foundation!


  • Beautifully hydrating on the skin and very forgiving on overall skin texture. Also doesn’t settle into my smile lines.
  • Leaves a dewy and ethereal glow on the skin – not greasy.
  • Lasts so, so well on the skin without a primer – looks fresh and beautiful throughout the day.
  • Lightweight on the skin, doesn’t even feel like anything at all!
  • I have dry skin, however I do usually develop the tiniest bit of noticeable oil on my cheeks. 8,9,10 hours of having this foundation on and I didn’t have any oily cheeks in sight! This is why I’m comfortable to recommend it to oilier girls.
  • Buildable foundation to create your desired coverage.
  • SPF 50 UVB protection – and no flashback!
  • Niacinimde and other skin luvin’ ingredients within foundation.


  • Misleading as this foundation doesn’t have substantial UVA protection, so please wear spf beneath this and do not rely on the foundation as it is not substantial sun protection.
  • Seems unlikely to be ‘suited for sensitive skin types’ as Maybelline claims, due to the inclusion of irritating ingredients such as alcohol and fragrance. If you know that your skin reacts to these ingredients, tread carefully! At the same time, they are very far down in the ingredients list…
  • Not enough shades, and lots of gaps in between the shades.
  • Not full coverage as claimed, but a lovely medium coverage.
  • Smells like poo, to be frank – but could just be my bottle as I haven’t seen anybody else complain about it.

I would totally recommend this to anybody with normal-dry skin. I think it would still be amazing on oilier skin – in particular with a magnifying primer beneath. Either way, it is so cheap and cheerful that I think it’s worth trying! It is widely available at your local Boots and Superdrug’s, but you can purchase it on sale for £10 right now on Amazon here.

Have you tried this foundation? Are you a fan? or, are you looking forward to trying it? Let me know!:)

See you soon,

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    1. Finding the right shades can be so tough, but I feel like as of late a lot of drugstore brands have finally been stepping it up…Maybelline especially! Let’s just hope we can get some more shade inclusion because not everybody is the same shade. Thanks babe!

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