Product Type: MAC makeup
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This Foundation Fulfils All Its Promises!
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation
Member Name: Machair1
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation
Date: 02/08/11, updated on 04/08/11 (235 review reads)
Advantages: Gives a flawless finish that is radiant and dewy
Regular readers of my reviews will know that I am to be seen most days wearing my Lily Lolo mineral foundation which I absolutely love. However I also have some other favourites which I wear too, and one of these is the Studio Sculpt Foundation by MAC.
This is one of MAC's newest products, and it is one that I have been extremely pleased with. It did however need quite a lot of research before purchase, which I why I think this review may be helpful to anyone who may be thinking about trying this product. MAC cosmetics are very popular with make-up artists, but you won't find them in Boots. Some larger department stores have a MAC counter and you can also purchase at airports and on-line at www.maccosmetics.co.uk. This lack of high street outlets makes mail order a very viable option, but you then have to be well informed to avoid costly mistakes as the range is not cheap.
The foundation is described on the MAC website as "A creamy, luxurious, gel-based foundation that provides medium buildable to high coverage with a natural satin finish. Hydrating, instantly revitalizes the skin while keeping it looking smooth, soft and plush. Long-wearing, water-resistant." I wanted something water resistant as I was going on holiday and planning to do snorkelling and swimming.
MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation retails for £23 and I purchased mine from Debenhams clicking through first from Topcashback at www.cashback.co.uk. This yielded me 3% cash back, and as I am also a member of the Debenhams Beauty Club I was able to benefit from free postage.
I have to say this is the most that I have ever paid for a foundation. It was only because of the quality of several items from MAC that I had purchased in the months prior to this which were outstanding, coupled with some stunning reviews of the foundation that influenced my decision to pay as much as this. I also did a lot of research watching make-up tutorials on YouTube, and also by emailing a MAC consultant on their website before I decided this product would be worth trying. The latter is a superb individual service which I have found to be really helpful. An email always generates a reply within a few days and I have found the advice to be fantastic.
Choosing a shade is particularly challenging as MAC have, not only many shades to choose from, but each is also prefixed by two letters- either NC or NW. This confused me so much at first- it was what led me to contacting the MAC artist on the website as I was unsure which I would be. She advised me that I should clench my knuckles and if the skin went white I was NC- this stands for neutral cool. The shades range from 15 to 55- the higher the number the darker the shade. The shades and tones are based on an artist's colour wheel, so there is science in this, and it is well worth taking the time to ascertain precisely your shade, as I have found the correct colour and tone in this foundation to be absolutely lovely.
For more precise detail about this you need to understand that NC tones have 80% yellow tones with only 20% pink undertones. I was pretty sure that was me as my skin without make-up is quite sallow and has an olive tinge to it. NW (Neutral Warm) skin tones are 80% pink with only 20% yellow- in other words these skin types are rosier in appearance and may need a foundation to tone down red areas. Having determined my skin tone I decided to choose the second lightest shade NC20.
I was till worrying in my mind about my choice as I explained in an email to the artist that I wanted to look like an "English Rose"- a healthy look with pinky tones. I took her advice though and purchased the tone she suggested, and I am so glad that I did because I was able to obtain the look I wanted with my first purchase.
I was also able to ascertain other elements about the foundation attributes I was looking for by following the make-up tutorial on the MAC website which offers a step by step interactive guide to choosing the right foundation for what you want to achieve. This tool is superb, and I would recommend anyone to use this. It was the use of this tool that initially led me to want to purchase this foundation. The tool guides you through three steps- first the choice of coverage- do you want sheer, medium or full? Sheer is a light coverage which gives luminosity to the skin and is subtle but can't hide blemishes, medium will cover some blemishes and freckles but looks natural and full covers everything. Next the tool allows you to select the finish. There is satin which is very luminous and natural with a dewy look, and then there is natural which is between satin and matt, and finally matt which has no shine at all. Finally there is the undertone I mentioned before. In the tutorial it is mentioned that 80% of women are cool golden olive (NC) and only 20% are warm (NW) If you tan you are most likely NC and if you burn you are probably NW. MAC make so many foundations that this tool is so helpful as it makes suggestions based on your three choices.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
So to my experience with the make-up! The foundation is presented in a tube and for this reason it makes travelling easy. Described as a cream/gel I would say it is more like a thick cream, and you only need a pea size amount for each application. You can use a brush if you like to apply it. The MAC consultant suggested to me that the MAC 190 foundation brush would give a full coverage, and the 187 Duo Fibre Brush would be more for a sheer application. I have not yet taken the plunge and purchased these items as they are very costly, and YouTube reviews I have watched seemed to prefer either a damp make up sponge or fingers for ease of application. I use fingers and I simply apply to the face and neck working on each section before moving onto another. You can build up coverage easily so I apply it thinly, and then add more to areas where I need it. It is important to moisturise adequately first preferably a few minutes before.
I find the cream easy to work with and the coverage to be really good and the finished look is very youthful, dewy and moisturised. It really does a fantastic job of evening out skin tones and hiding blemishes, and in my opinion is a medium to full coverage foundation.
The foundation has no real fragrance to note- there are no flowers here or particular scents which stand out. It is pleasant though and feels lovely on the skin after application with no heaviness.
On my holiday I wore this every day and it was water resistant as the website promised. This was very impressive as I was snorkelling and swimming and the make-up stayed in place all day.
I suppose the real question is does this foundation really justify the higher price tag than its cheaper competitors? - And I would have to say yes it does. This is the best cream foundation I have tried in many years, and I really like the way it makes my skin appear- luminous and dewy. It also lasts all day and all evening with no visible difference to the finished look.
I don't add powder but you can set it of you wish. Occasionally I might apply a light dusting, but I really love the moisturised finish, and don't want to negate the look too much by applying powder which can look ageing if overdone. The skin has a lovely luminous, satin finish and it looks pretty and youthful.
The foundation has an added SPF factor of 15 which I also like as it provides extra protection from the sun. I would not recommend it for youthful skin which is prone to oily patches or breakouts as this is really designed to impart moisture, especially good if you have dry and or mature skin.
Although this product is expensive I have been using it now for over three months and it has hardly made inroads into the tube and I have used it many times. It is proving to be economical despite the high initial outlay.
I think this foundation is superb in every aspect other than price, and as long as you do your research before purchase I think it will prove to be an asset to any make-up collection. I am finding MAC products to be so much better than I ever expected. I think if you have a MAC counter near to where you live then so much the better as you should be able to gain helpful advice in person. Otherwise the online tools are a second best but highly sophisticated way of finding your perfect foundation.
This review is also published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
Summary: A beautiful foundation which I will re-purchase without hesitation.