Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MAC foundation reviews, photos and swatches

I have recently been trying some new MAC foundations and I have tried some others in the past. I figure I may as well review them all in one big post.

The foundations I will review are studio fix fluid, studio fix powder plus foundation, studio sculpt, pro longwear, mineralize satinfinish and mineralize foundation (compact).

My skin type: very dry, sensitive, acne prone. My skin coloring in MAC: NC10 - if they still made it. NC15 works for me most times but can be a bit too yellow.

Here are some foundation swatches all are still wet and freshly applied.
Left to right: studio fix fluid NC15, studio fix fluid NW15, mineralized foundation NC15, pro longwear NC15, mineralize satinfinish NC15


Here are the same swatches after they dried on my skin. You can see that some have oxidized and become slightly darker.
Left to right studio fix fluid NC15, studio fix fluid NW15, mineralized foundation NC15, pro longwear NC15, mineralize satinfinish NC15

For reference this is my face without any makeup on. I was and still am battling acne flare ups on my chin, due to pregnancy.

The Reviews :

- Studio fix fluid Spf 15 -

coverage: medium to full
finish: natural matte
wear: all day, stays on very well
packaging: Screw top bottle
pros: Studio fix is one of my favorite foundations. It provides excellent coverage especially on break outs and conceals redness. It stays put and doesn't rub off until I take it off. Includes broad spectrum sun protection from UVA and UVB rays.
cons: Can clog pores, must be removed thoroughly. Can look cakey if too much is applied, almost mask like. Foundation pump is sold separately for some reason, this bothers me.
Overall: Best for oily/combination skin that needs coverage. It can be a little drying. Be careful if you are acne prone because this foundation can cause breakouts.
Repurchase? yes
price: $32 CAD
rating: 4.5/5

Wearing Studio fix fluid in NW15 (NC15 matches me way better!) :

- pro longwear spf 10 -

coverage: medium to full
finish: natural satin-like
wear: all day, stays on very well
packaging: pump bottle
pros: Natural looking flawless finish with great coverage. It's very fluid like but can be built up easily. photographs very well. Wears well, lasts all day.
cons: I found this oxidizes slightly, as most long wearing foundations do. The color turned a tad orange, but nothing too extreme. SPF is very low, not sure if it would protect skin or not. Too drying for dry skin.
Overall: Best for normal/oily/combination skin that needs long wearing coverage.
Repurchase? yes
price: $36.50 CAD
rating: 4.5/5

Wearing pro longwear foundation NC15:

- Mineralize foundation Spf 15 (compact) -

coverage: light/medium
finish: natural satiny
wear: 6-8 hours
packaging: compact
pros: Great for drier skin because it is slightly moisturizing. Sets to a nice smooth finish that looks very natural. You can build coverage to hide minor imperfections and redness. Includes sun protection with spf 15. Compact is great to carry around for touch ups.
cons: Quite expensive. Needs to be set with a powder if you want it to last all day. It wears off easily. Won't cover major skin problems, additional concealer is most likely needed.
Overall: Best for dry/normal/combination skin that doesn't need a lot of coverage.
Repurchase? yes
price: $40 CAD
rating: 4/5

Wearing mineralize foundation NC15 (layered heavily) :

- mineralize satinfinish spf 15 -

coverage: sheer/light
finish: dewy
wear: 4-6 hours
packaging: pump bottle
pros: This is a very light weight foundation. It has mica in it that casts a nice glow onto the skin. Includes several antioxidants in the formula as well as Spf 15. Great for aging skin. This is also a great foundation to mix with others for more glow.
cons: Lasting power is horrible. Must be set with powder. Does not cover blemishes or redness completely, additional concealer is likely required unless you are lucky enough to have perfect skin. Can look streaky, but better when set with powder.
Overall: Best for dry/normal skin that needs little to no coverage. Adds luminescence to dull and aging skin. Note the coloring in this particular foundation runs light. NC15 is more like NC10, it matches my skin perfectly.
Repurchase? yes
price: $36.50 CAD
rating: 3.5/5

Wearing mineralize satinfinish NC15 (layered 2-3 times) :

- Studio Sculpt SPF 15 -

coverage: medium to full
finish: satin
wear: approx 8 hours
packaging: squeeze tube
pros: After layering and blending you can achieve perfect looking skin that still maintains a natural finish. Includes spf 15.
cons: Hard to blend in without streaking. Heavy in silicone that can clog pores. Can accentuate any dryness and flakes on skin.
Overall: Best for normal/oily/combination skin. I wouldn't recommend this if you are in a rush because you need time to blend it in well so it doesn't streak. This stuff clogged my pores really bad and I had to return it.
Repurchase? no
price: $36.50 CAD
rating: 3/5

- Studio fix powder plus foundation -

coverage: medium to full
finish: satin matte
wear: all day, stays on very well
packaging: compact
pros: Amazing coverage. This powder is capable of giving you doll-like velvet skin. It covers everything and stays on all day until you take it off. It's so easy to use, a few swipes and your out the door. Does not oxidize.
cons: Can look a bit cakey especially on dry skin. No sun protection.
Overall: Best for normal/oily/combination skin that needs lots of coverage. Be careful if you are acne prone, this is another foundation that causes breakouts in some people.
I broke out horribly every time I used this so I had to return it. It is an excellent foundation though.
Repurchase? no
price: $32 CAD
rating: 4.5/5


My top pick:

After trying all these MAC foundations I've found my own perfect foundation 'elixir'. I mix 1 part mineralize satinfinish with two parts studio fix fluid (both in NC15) and it's the best for my dry sensitive skin. The studio fix gives good coverage while the satinfinish adds a nice healthy glow.

I hope this has been helpful to some. Always remember that before buying you can ask for a sample of foundation at the MAC counter.

Have you had any luck with MAC foundations?
I'm very interested in trying out face and body foundation, if you've tried it let me know what you think!

2 comments:

Vulcan_Butterfly said...

Very interesting review! I always use NC15 Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 and I like it. After reading your review, I think this one would still be the best for my skin type, especially since most of the other ones require a setting powder to stay on (my skin is so oily I need to set my Studio Fix with powder). I didn't realize that you were pregnant, congratulations!

Lexa said...

I like studio fix the best too!
And thank you- I only have 1 month left :)