When this foundation was released two weeks ago in Europe, I received a sample in NC30 and NC25 to take home to test. I tested them for an entire week and finally took the plunge and bought it. I'm usually NC30 in Studio Fix (powder) and Select Tint, and even though the Mineralize SPF15 version of NC30 looks very dark in the compact, I've discovered that it's almost a perfect match. It gives a very subtle tan, maybe, but NC25 is definitely too light. I've been applying this gel-cream foundation with the 188 brush by stippling it directly onto the spots that need coverage. This foundation is designed to give moisture to the dry or dull skin, and even though I don't have either of that, I think that it does reduce oil production. When I'm not wearing any foundation and have only a light dusting of MSFN all over, by mid-day or late afternoon (I do my makeup at 7am), my forehead and nose gets slightly shiny. However, I've noticed with the Mineralize SPF 15 foundation (set with MSFN) that there is almost no shine on my T-zone (except a little on the bridge of my nose) at 10pm.
Compared to Select Tint, I like the Mineralize SPF15 more because of how it sets. Select Tint sets a little powdery, as in you can see powder particles if you look close enough. Mineralize SPF15 sets almost invisibly. I would describe the Mineralize SPF15’s finish as satin-like, even slightly dewy. It definitely looks very natural on my skin, as I’ve been told by independent observers. I've been looking for a new foundation lately so I've also tried the Mineralize Satinfinish in NC30. It is by comparing this to the Mineralize SPF15 that I truly realise how lightweight the new foundation is. When I put on Mineralize Satinfinish, also by stippling with the 188 brush, I instantly felt how heavy it was compared to the Mineralize SPF15. I was aware of wearing foundation the entire day, whereas with the Mineralize SPF15, I forget that I was wearing any- it felt very breathable. Since the Satinfinish is liquid, it also didn't stay where I put it, and spread everywhere, sheering out the coverage. The Mineralize SPF 15 has a texture similar to the Studio Sculpt concealer, like a cross between a gel and a cream, so it stays exactly where you put it. Although it provides less coverage than the Studio Sculpt concealer, it is still decent enough to cover up some blemishes without requiring concealer on top.
As for packaging, I'm not very keen on having foundation in a compact. I feel that it is not as hygienic as foundation that is poured out, pumped out, or squeezed out. As I've mentioned, I use foundation only occasionally to cover up blemishes, so I think dipping my brush into the product will dirty it as I'm using it. I've been advised by MAC MAs to use a spatula to scoop out what I need each time. Also, the compact is sold with a peel-off foil that keeps the product fresh. There are instructions to close the compact tightly so that the product won't dry out. This definitely lowers the packaging points because I don't think that the compact is air-tight so some drying out is bound to occur, especially if you don't use the foundation frequently and daily. However, since it’s so light, I think I might end up using this daily instead of using concealer.
There is also a new brush, the 130, promoted with this foundation. It is very soft and is denser than the 188. I was told that while the 188 gives the diffusing effect, the 130 applies products more heavily and its flat top is used for buffing. I haven't purchased it yet since it seems unnecessary if you have the 109, 187 and the 188 but I'm a bit of a brush collector and seeing that I find the 188 a little too flimsy, I might get the 130 afterall to see how well it works with this foundation. But that will be another review for another day.
In all, I recommend this foundation to people who have dry skin, dull skin, normal skin, or combination skin (I have normal to combination skin subject to occasional breakouts). I think the most impressive selling point of the Mineralize SPF15 foundation is how lightweight it is and that it doesn't set cakey or powdery-looking. As mentioned, it looks so natural that I have trouble seeing where foundation ends and where skin starts. The coverage is medium so concealer is still necessary on pesky spots, but it is definitely hydrating. Of course there's also the added bonus of sun protection so I think that this foundation merits a 5/5 despite its slightly high cost and packaging issues. I will be buying this foundation again when I eventually run out of it.
Update: So I went on a holiday to a tropical climate and put the Mineralize SPF15 to the test. While I felt previously that it had good shine control properties (in a temperate country in winter), I'd say that the Mineralize SPF15 contributes little to controlling sebum production in a hot and humid climate. Just like how life was before I discovered this foundation, a mid-day touch up with either MAC Blot Powder or MSFN is necessary to mattify the T-zone. I've also used the 130 brush, it's easier to build up coverage by stippling than with the 188, and picks up the product more easily. I don't use it to buff much even though its flat top is meant for that. I personally feel that buffing sheers out whatever I'm doing, so buffing a painstakingly built-up coverage is pretty pointless.
I generally wear Mac's Studio Sculpt foundation as I love the glowy finish but added coverage. This foundation is great for looking natural but giving either a soft coverage or fuller coverage if built up. The best thing about it is that it doesn't cause breakouts at all> I have skin that seems to flare up constantly and after using this since it came out my skin is clear. This is def. a fave now and I will keep buying it.
[CLICK CONTINUED FOR COMPARISION SWATCHES IN NC15 AND INGERDIENTS] I've been wearing this for a few days now and I'm more than happy. The foundation is incredibly creamy and is almost like a liquid when you touch it with your finger. I've tried a nomal foundation brush, my fingers, MAC 182 and MAC 188 brushes and I find that the 188 is what works the best for me. At first I was thinking about buying the MAC 130, but I'm completly satisfyed with the 188 brush. The foundation is so incredable light and creamy and the result is just like skin. Not my skin, but the skin of one of thoes people with really good looking skin. It's the first time I've found a foundation like this!
The two main problems I have with foundations is that they either wont blend with my skin properly or that they break me out. I can't tell weather or not this is breaking me out yet, but it just melts in to my skin and makes it looks fresh and a lot more even, but it still looks like the texture of skin! The pores on my nose also seem a lot smaller after I've applied this foundation which is a great bonus. I also love the fact that it's a cream. Liquid foundations work a lot better with my dry skin, but I love the fact that it's in a compact so that it's easy to bring a long and travel with. The compact has a second compartment for a sponge, which is great for touch ups.
I bought this in NC15, which is the same shade that I use in MAC Studio Sculpt, MAC MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35 and in the MAC Mineralize Satinfinish SPF 15 (see picture for swatches). Other than MAC, I wear Everyday Minerals in Golden Fair and Lauress in Subtle Gold. My skin is fair and truly golden/yellow. If a SA would suggest a NW I would probably laugh. Other than that I'm sensitive, acne prone and very dry. Oh, what a dream! I would say that this foundation might work best for someone with dry or normal skin, but I would suggest anybody looking for something with a very natural medium coverage to try it!
From left to right: MAC Studio Sculpt in NC15, MAC Mineralize Satinfinish in NC15, MAC Mineralize (this one) in NC15 and MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 on my arm.