This will be long, but you will find it VERY valuable information to help figure out why your search for the right foundation is giving you the blues. So for the length, I apologize, but I promise you'll thank me for it after you're done reading this.
First of all, let me say that one of the biggest problems I found with my foundation setting right is that the moisturizer I was putting on my face was a major contributing factor in the foundation not appearing right on my skin. Some foundations I have tried set better than others once I changed my moisturizer, but there were still other issues. So before throwing in the towel, check your foundation against the moisturizer you use, especially if you're trying a new foundation. Secondly, if you use a pressed or loose powder to set your foundation, check to see if it has talc in it. This is the same talc that's in baby powder. I found that talc eats my skin up, flares my pores, and just does all around damage to my skin and the foundation, any foundation, I wear. It honestly isn't good for the skin anyway. So, I had to switch over to a transluceant powder, in which, most do not have talc in it. This too can potentially throw off how your foundation(s) sets on your face. Lastly, if you have oily skin/combination skin like I do, whether your black, white, pink, or green in skin color, you MUST keep your hair washed. When I get lazy about washing my hair, it gets oily. The oil from my hair seeps into my skin through my pore causing excessive oil on my face and especially my eye lids. When my skin starts to shine through my foundation, I know I'm being lazy and need to wash my hair. It really makes a difference. Before faulting a new foundation, and even blaming your current foundation, make sure your hair is not part of the cause, mainly if your foundation is designed to combat oily skin. It might combat oily skin, but not an oil field.
Now, with all of this said, on to my review. It's a bit premature considering I've only been wearing it for a few hours (6) now. Originally, I tested Mac MatchMaster Foundation 9.0, but I had to return it because it made my face itchy. Then, I was introduced to Studio Fix NW46. Trust me when I say that I feel everyone's pain with having to search to no end for the right foundation. It has taken me 2-3 months and many disappointments to arrive at this point. I have tried department store, as well as, drug store foundations and mostly all of them had a few things wrong with them, mainly bad color match, too thick, cakey or creased up, made my skin olier, etc. It has been like digging for gold during the great American Gold Rush.
Anywho, because I'm a bit older (44 yo) than most of the yound ladies on here, I can only say with just having worn this for a short time, so far, it seems to be working out nicely for me. It hasn't oxidized, caked/creased up, made my skin itchy, and it's done a fantabulous job with battling my oily skin. Because I tried this on at Dillards when exchanging the other one, part of my face is made up with Make Up For Ever HD and another part with Mac Studio Fix NW46. The Mac has blown MUFE HD away. Where there is MUFE HD, there is oil, but not in the areas of Mac Studio Fix. With this, I'm not using a finishing powder that contains talc in it. Instead, I'm using Mac Prep+Prime transparent pressed powder - awesome combination. With the mouthful that I have said, I would take all this into consideration and sau to try it. I mean it can't hurt. If you live in the U.S., you can always get a refund or, by what I'm told, Mac has approximately 16 variations of foundations. Pick one! You're bound to fall in love with one of them. As for the price, I was shocked it was only $26. I believe MatchMaster was $35, but MUFE HD, $40ish... The price is manageable for my budget. I'll update this in a few days after trying it longer.
I'm a bit on the fence with my overall view on this foundation. It's a bit of a love/hate. I absolutely adore the finish of this foundation more than anything. Looks gorgeous on the skin and photographs beautifully. My issue is that I'm pretty sure I get break outs when I wear it. And reading other people sharing the same problem makes me think that I a right. If I were to purchase this again, it would be for occasional use only. Revlon Colorstay is a good dupe/alternative.
I've got this foundation a gift for christmas and was (obviously) very excited to try out my first ever Mac foundation since I've been thrilled with Mac Concealers this far. So I put in on right away and was disappointed. I always thought I was a NW20 in Mac, considering the lady at the counter matched me for NW20 concealers, which have always worked for me perfectly when it comes to colour match. This foundation in NW20 is way too dark and too yellow for me. I was a beginner at this point and I didn't know that a skin with rather red undertones is considered cool - correct me if I'm wrong, still not completely sure I get what Mac is trying to tell me with their colour range - so I probably should've used a NC-shade.
Now on to the foundation itself:
It's a quite thick texture, reminds me of Revlon's Colorstay but it kinda creases after one-two hours. Also it's got that typical Mac foundation smell, which to me smells just like paint. I've never worn it out the house, just for stay-home-days and it's put up okay with my oily/combo skin, but didn't live up to what I'd expected it to be.
If you're not as oily as I am you might wanna give this foundation a try, I wouldn't repurchase it.
I hate this. So. Much. Like, fiery passion hate.
I have sensitive skin, this broke me out and gave me contact dermatitis - a reaction (and I'm used to them) unmatched by any other product I've tried on my skin.
It does NOT look natural. I don't care what anyone says. Your version of 'natural' is not the same as mine. Every guy I know that I've spoken to about girls wearing this foundation agrees - this stuff looks terrible up close. Especially in direct sunlight or under fluorescent lighting, yuck. It looks nice from afar but that's not really the point now, is it kids. I have very high standards for how my foundation looks - and I don't want it to be able to be detected. I want my face to look perfect, without it looking like I obviously have something on. I can achieve this easily with other products - with this, I have no chance in hell.
I hate it so much, I'll never purchase any MAC products again. There are better alternatives elsewhere and I believe their products are over-hyped.
Admittedly when I purchased this foundation, I was looking for one with medium to full coverage and one that was pale enough for my skin. From my experience I have found that it's exceedingly difficult to find suitably matched foundations; high street ones plus even makes like Chanel, all offer colour matches that are far too dark or ones which have a yellow undertone. After reading reviews about this foundation I thought I would give it a go. I would firstly recommend getting colour matched at the store - there's nothing worse than getting home and finding you've got the wrong colour one applied! I was matched to the lightest shade, a miracle in my books that one was pale enough.
I would recommend purchasing the pump as well as that way, it is more hygienic and you do not waste the product. My skin is combination: my nose can sometimes be dry however, often foundations cling to the dry patches and then a few hours after wearing it, powder needs to be applied as my nose becomes very shiny. My skin is also very sensitive which makes a foundation purchase always quite risky. I would recommend using your normal moisteriser and if you're planning for the foundation to last all day to night, I would advise you to use a good and reliable primer as this will help it stay. Once prepped, I put a little bit of foundation on the back of my hand and then used my finger to transfer the foundation in small blobs on my face. I have light freckles spreading over my face however, some areas especially the tops of my cheeks are clustered with quite a few which makes my skin look uneven. I don't want to completely eradicate my freckles, even though they are not necessarily desired from me personally because I do not wish to look like a cakey clown. However, I still would prefer the highest point of coverage to be in this area.
I start applying on my cheeks with gentle small circular motions and then I gently spread out the foundation across my nose and chin before lightly patting it into my skin. By patting it in, the warmth from your finger tips helps to set in the foundation further and get rid of any streaks. The coverage of the foundation is medium but you can layer and it is full. When wearing this foundation, I do not use concealer which is a positive. Straight away you do notice a flawless look to your skin however, setting which powder is a necessity. I have tried using all of MACs powders, including the studio fixed powder however, I found them not to be very effective. Also they made the foundation feel quite heavy to your skin and creases would become apparent which does not bode well to the natural looking finish. Thus I always revert back to my trusty collection 2000 £1.99/£2.99 pressed powder in the lightest colour. You literally need a small dusting off it and then the foundation is set.
Straight away it is evident that this is a high quality foundation and it provides a smooth flawless finish. However, I am not sure if I would purchase again. This is because after a few hours, if you want to seek a matte finish, it is necessary to add powder as otherwise your face becomes quite shiny and sticky. I have tried either medium to full coverage foundations and understandably, it is a rarity to find one which feels light on your skin however, this one didn't for me. By the end of the day, I actually felt quite excited to take it off so my skin could breathe! Plus the day after wearing it, I always have noticed further dryness and more breakouts.
My advise would be as follows; if you are looking for a product in your skin tone, then MAC products are excellent. I would be worried advising if you have problematic skin - my skin genuinely is pretty good however, straight away this product causes issues. If you have scarring, acne, freckles or anything you wish to cover then this product does do the tricks (to a certain degree) however, it does not feel particularly nice on and feels almost like you're wearing a face mask. I live by collection 2000 concealer in the lightest colour - it doesn't last 24 hours probably only up to 12 hours. But it is cheap, cheerful and it does the job and feels light on yet you still get the flawless finish. I now use other foundations to smooth out my skin tone and then concealer is where you target the specific areas - this works better for me. However, I would recommend ALWAYS getting colour tested.
I wasn't sure whether to try this after reading some reviews, but I can say it is a good foundation. The smell is strong but once it has been applied you can't smell a thing, it is a medium coverage which can be buildable, but beware when applying more and more it would look 'cakey!'. It controls the oil on my forehead for most of the day which is better than any other foundation much longer than any other matte foundation I have tried inc. high end and drugstore (and it has been a few!).
I was colour matched to NW18 which is a little light but as we are going into the winter months it will be fine. I haven't noticed any breakout from using this and can say I am quite impressed
What annoys me about Mac is that you have to purchase the pump separately!
This works really good for my skin type (combo/dry in winter) and the nw10 is a perfect shade for my pale skin. It last all day on me and doesn't off in patches even in my t zone. It also doesn't cling to dry patches like the nars sheer glow did.
This has been a foundation that I have touted again and again that I despise-- despise!! I would use the harshest words describing my opinion of mac sff. BUT having the most oily and difficult skin on the planet, this is also a foundation that I just kept on trying to work with- as so many others continued to let me down, turning me into an oily, cakey mess within hours.
This is my review on how I finally got this foundation to work and be FLAWLESS. And how I can counter the things I once hated about it.
1) before purchasing I watched a utube tutorial suggesting you apply this w a dampened stipple brush... DO NOT DO THAT!!! This stuff falls apart if it comes into contact with water. You will have random patches of foundation on your face. This also will not work with damp beauty blender enthusiasts. The SA at mac used a 190 to apply this on me. I use a flat top foundation brush (like shi or the one from elf). They are definitely to be used DRY!!
2) I have always loved st Ives moisturizer. For some reason mac sff does not. I've learned that for some reason mineral oil based moisturizers tend to cause this to fade in patches off the face sooner. Of course - this foundation plays very well with mac moisturizers. It's AWESOME under macs oil control lotion and also looks really nice under strobe cream.
3) easy on the powder! I remember complaining how this oxidized Oompa Loompa orange on me. This is a powder based foundation. And many know powder tends to set darker on the skin. So if you add say sff and SF powder over it, you're going to look nice and matte BUT it's going to dry to an orange and very unnatural finish. It's also going to make you look liney and emphasize pores. I recommend not setting with powder, or if you are too oily like me and that's not an option, take a blush brush and barely dip it into the powder and go LIGHTLY around the face, focusing on t zone
Here is my routine and this is my new absolutely favorite routine!!
- moisturize face w mac oil control
- using mac "matte" as a primer, I add a tiniest bit just in the t zone where I "shine"
-I go lightly on the sff and make sure to stipple it into the skin well. This is heavy coverage so less is more.
- mac PLW concealer under eye (I don't need to conceal blemish marks bc sff is so awesome. I already look air brushed and nice)
-barely dragging my mac 129 over sf powder, I apply powder to my face-- just barely using any.
This lasts shine free for about 5 hours, start looking patchy after about 8. There is longer lasting foundations ala mac PLW or ELDW but IMHO they don't look nearly as nice.
I'm in love with this right now and I'll update any changes :))
I don't know what foundation you all are using because this is my all time favorite. Goes on matte, stays on all day, I don't even need too much concealer and I do not use powder when I wear this because it is not needed. The smell isn't that great but it is a great product and definitely has never turned out orange for me. The powder is also amazing.
I got color matched at Mac with this foundation and was happy with it for like a day. While it looked pretty nice on my skin, almost immediately after application my skin broke out in itchy acne-hives. They looked and felt like little mosquito bites. I powered through with the foundation for a week or so because the bumps would calm down after about half an hour and then my skin would look fine. Eventually I had to throw it out.
This might have been a personal skin reaction but my skin is not particularly sensitive, so I wouldn't be surprised if this were common. The foundation itself had pretty good coverage and I liked its liquid, blend-able texture.