MAC Face and Body Foundation Review and Tips (Warning: Long Post)
MAC Face and Body is a long-time celebrity favorite, used by the likes of Cheryl Cole and Jennifer Anniston, for its ability to even and correct, but also add the dewy glow back into your skin while remaining undetectable in harsh lights. As the lovely Lollipop26 once said, this is the foundation to fool your loved ones in.
What it claims:
A water-based, water-resistant foundation that provides long-lasting, natural coverage for face and/or body. Ideal for all skin types. Face and Body Foundation provides sheer, natural looking coverage in an easy to blend, water-resistant formula. The long-lasting formula is available in a wide range of colours and contains several emollients to help moisturize and condition the skin. It delivers professional looking results that meet the exacting standards of beauty photography and is ideal for the face and body.
WHAT IT IS:
It’s definitely water-based and light-weight, and if you let it set properly (10-15 seconds) between layers, it is quite transfer-resistant. (Not transfer-proof. Hey, even Colorstay is not really transfer-proof.)
If you enjoy tinted moisturisers or mixing foundation into your lotions, this would probably be a great product for you. If you have good skin, this can make you look flawless. If your skin needs a little help, it layers well enough to do just that as well.
Light and natural. This can even out your skin tone somewhat, but if you have a lot of hyper-pigmentation or redness, you will need a second layer or some concealer.
I bought C2 and C3 because I’m an NC25, but I think either one of those would have worked. I’d say if you are a NC or NW “15, 25, 35” or any other in-between number, round it up and get the shade that may be a little darker than you, as the shades disappear into your skin very well without muddiness, and would be undetectable in flash-photography. So if I’m NC35, I would buy a C4.
Dewy. I recommend powdering the T-zone even if you love the dewy look. This foundation leaves a sheen that can look like grease, especially if you’ll be taking photographs with flash. And it also has zero oil-control properties.
(MAC Face and Body C2-3 mixed, Studio Finish Concealer under the eyes, un-powdered, photographed in natural light)
$32.90 before tax. That may sound hefty to some of you, but even so, that’s about $8 per oz, which beats many drugstore brands.
In Asia-Pacific where Revlon Colorstay can cost USD$33 at current exchange rates (I kid you not), it is nothing short of phenomenal to be able to get a high-end brand for the same price, at 4 times the volume.
I tried it with a flat foundation brush, a domed face brush, with a sponge, and with my fingers. The interesting thing I’ve heard and will attest to, is that you get more coverage using your fingers. The rubbing motion seems to help the fluid “lather up” and become just a bit more opaque.
Brushes and sponges are meant to help spread out product evenly over a surface, but the texture and translucency of this foundation does not require that. Why waste time and product fiddling with those when you will use less product, AND less coats, using your fingers?
This could be a con for some. It’s pure chemical smell, unmasked by fragrances.
But this means if you’re sensitive to scented products, this would be good for you.
TIPS FOR USAGE:
- MAC Face and Body has a tendency to separate after some time, and this can be a problem considering that each bottle is 4 times the size of other foundations. Get a small amount into an eye-dropper bottle, and store the big bottles in a cool, dry place so you don’t have to keep opening and exposing them to heat, light, and bacteria.
- Use your fingers, ladies. You won’t have problems with it being streaky, uneven, or too sheer to serve its purpose. And it takes 10 seconds to do your whole face.
- Set it with translucent or HD powders that have no pigmentation if you want a less dewy finish and less transfers. A lot of times, it’s not the foundation transferring, but your powder and blush.
- This foundation can build up to a medium coverage if you apply a single, thin layer, let dry, then repeat. I’ve gone up to 4 coats without any streaking and un-evenness, and the dewy texture means it will still look more like natural skin than most other foundations.
- If you don’t need much concealing, just apply a layer of foundation all over, then a second just in areas that need a bit more coverage.
- To bring down the dewiness, let the foundation set, and then gently but firmly press a sheet of single-ply tissue to your face. This removes moisture but not pigment.
THE VERDICT: It’s become my basic, every-day staple for enhancing the skin slightly, and letting real texture show through.
It’s sheer enough to be forgiving if you’ve gotten your shade a little wrong, and you don’t need to worry about streaking, smearing, and patchiness after a good sweat. In fact, I did find this foundation to hold up very well through a 12-hour day.
- Those who want a light-coverage option without having to mix their foundation into their lotion daily.
- Those who love a dewy skin finish. This tends to emphasize flakes a lot less than other products, the moist finish is more forgiving to fine lines, and if you let it set properly, it does not settle into lines if you skip the powder.
- Those who don’t want just a little skin boost, without anyone being able to tell they are wearing makeup.
Not recommended for:
- Those with blemished skin that needs a lot of all-over coverage. The dewy finish is also not good if you have raised bumps, scars and texture to hide.
- Those who love a velvety-matte and dry skin feel. This foundation IS a little tacky even after it sets, so if that drives you crazy, you might want to stick with other products.
Other products worn above:
- 88 Warm Palette
- MAC Studiofinish Concealer
- MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Comfort
- NYX Narcissus lipstick