MAC Face and Body Foundation

After all the hullabaloo about finding a foundation which works on my dry skin in winter, I had an idea: maybe I’m going about it all wrong and should be looking for a good tinted moisturizer (or BB/CC cream).

Despite having weird, ageing skin, it’s still pretty good skin. I don’t need a lot of coverage from a foundation. I have no scarring or hyper-pigmentation to conceal.

The idea of finding a moisturizing foundation seemed like an impossibility. And, according to something I read on Beautypedia, there actually aren’t a lot of them because once you add a lot of moisture to a foundation it starts creasing and accentuating lines and pores, hence the most you’ll get from the majority of foundations is a satin finish.

And so began my research into tinted moisturizer.

(Stupid alert: I bought MAC’s Face and Body Foundation about a year ago. It’s more like a tinted moisturizer and looks very ‘skin-like.’ I’ve only worn it in the summer. I hadn’t considered wearing it this winter. It’s my summer foundation innit?)

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel Cream

After loads of online research I decided to buy BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream which was described by a lot of people as being closer to a tinted moisturizer than a foundation but with light to medium coverage.

I had some Christmas money so went on a bit of a splurge and also picked up – on a bit of a whim – CoverGirl Advanced Radiance foundation (note: this one has light fragrance which I don’t care for. I usually buy fragrance free products).

Using sponges, I applied BareMinerals to one side of my face and the CoverGirl stuff to the other (after cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen, as is the case with all the products below). The CoverGirl side was easily the smoother, better looking of the two.

BareMinerals bunched up and looked really obvious. It didn’t sit well on my face fuzz either. So I returned it to Sephora in exchange for Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer – a cult favourite.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Laura Mercier offers three versions of this stuff: one for normal skin, an oil-free formula and an illuminating formula for dry skin.

Sephora was out of the illuminating version so I opted for the normal one in the shade Cameo which, it turned out, was too light for me. And they were out of stock of the better colour match – Blush.

Aside from the colour, I really didn’t like this stuff. It felt drying on my face and clung to flaky patches. The marketing claims for this product are full of bullshit. This stuff is supposed to “… hydrate skin and soften fine, dry lines.” Nope. Not even a bit.

During another Sephora visit I compared it to the illumination version which is supposedly designed for dry skin. If anything, the one I bought was more moisturizing which isn’t really saying much!

Again, I returned it. This time I exchanged it for NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

NARS tinted moisturizer is another cult favourite apparently. It was definitely the best of the three I tried.

But it’s bloody expensive. I felt like a $54 tinted moisturizer should be pretty spectacular, right?

It was okay. Like the others, it still felt a bit drying and not at all moisturizing. But it didn’t stick to my dry bits and looked fairly smooth.

In a last ditch attempt to make this stuff work, I went over it with my MAC Face and Body. To give my face a bit of moisture.

It was in that moment that I felt like a complete idiot.

I had my winter skin solution sitting in front of me the whole time.

I bloody love MAC Face and Body. It definitely isn’t for everyone. It makes me look shiny and glowy <— is that even a word? It offers very sheer coverage. It won’t conceal spots, acne, scars or significant discoloration. It’s very watery and doesn’t come in fancy packaging (a plastic bottle which you need to shake vigorously each time you use it.)

But it’s my absolute #1 foundation for any season. It stops my face feeling tight and wrinkly but it still lets my real skin show through.

It’s also really affordable for a high-end product.

Of course, the NARS stuff got returned and I treated myself to some other Sephora goodies instead.

Note: regular readers will know I do extensive research before I buy something. I watch a ton of YouTube video reviews, read blog reviews, Beautypedia reviews and opinions on MakeupAlley. Interestingly, Beautypedia doesn’t rate MAC Face and Body very highly which just goes to show, you can’t always rely on the opinions of others. Where Beautypedia always excels is in their disclosure of scientific information like revealing a moisturizer contains more alcohol and fragrance than beneficial ingredients.

MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation

One thing I’ve noticed is that as the weather gets colder my skin begins to shrivel up.

No amount of moisturizer, serum or oil seems to stop it. And it’s mostly on my cheeks.

I’m planning to buy a humidifier this winter but, like any obsessed beauty blogger, I’m also looking at ways my everyday makeup can help ease the problem.

I do all I can to prep my skin with moisture before applying makeup but I figured maybe I could do more with the foundation I use AND perhaps finish my makeup by spritzing with a moisturizing toner.

I stumbled across this video review of MAC’s Mineralize Moisture Foundation from the Beautypedia folks and, after checking out lots of other reviews, decided to buy it.

Winter is so harsh in my part of Canada and this foundation is raved about by folks with dry skin.

Putting aside how yellow Mercedes’ face looks in this video, I agree with everything she says.

My verdict: it’s a great foundation.

I never use a lot of foundation: one small pump, and I still have some left over. First I dot it sparingly on my face then I go over it with a damp Beauty Blender. I actually bought the same shade as Mercedes uses in the video above (NC 15).

I put a tiny bit of loose powder on my forehead and under my eyes, on my chin and on my cupid’s bow with a small brush.

It has a satin finish (meaning your face will look a bit shiny after you apply it). It doesn’t sink into my fine lines or pores. It provides light coverage although it’s marketed as a medium coverage foundation. My guess is you could easily layer it to build up the coverage.

It’s easy to apply BUT it’s pretty expensive: $43 CA (around £22). But it comes in loads of shades.

I’ve come to realise I’m not much of a budget foundation gal. Unless I can test a foundation on my face in the store, I’m not going to buy it. I’ve gone drugstore for foundation a couple of times and ended up returning it to exchange it for another colour. And that’s just a hassle. Plus, I’m lazy.

• • •

MAC Prep and Prime Fix Plus

I also got my hands on MAC’s Prep + Prime Fix + which I’m spraying on my face in the hope I’ll look less like a shriveled prune. I’m told you can use this toner before or after applying foundation. I’m planning to keep it in my makeup bag and use it throughout the day during the winter months. I’ll give you an update soon to let you know whether it’s worth the investment.

MAC-Pro-LongWear-Nourishing-Waterproof-Foundation

I’ve always been a powder gal. Always.

The biggest change I recently made was to wear MAC’s Face and Body Foundation everyday. For me, it serves as a tinted moisturizer. And it’s perfect for summer.

Since turning 40 (and during the lead up) my skin began changing. More splotches, less luminosity, greater dryness.

I’m very lucky to have been one of those people to whom others say: you have such great skin. And now I feel like I took it for granted. I’m sorry skin. You were outstanding.

During the summer months, until last year, I went bare-faced. I added a dusting of MAC’s blot powder but that was it. I didn’t even think much about it.

Now I look kind of unwell without makeup. A bare-faced look isn’t something I can pull of naturally anymore.

Le sigh.

Brown spots need covering, enlarged pores need masking and annoying splotches need camouflage.

I sweat a lot. I ride a bike every day. And I work out. How on earth could I use makeup on my face? (I’m not, and will never be, one of those people who does their face in the bathroom at work. I do it at home or not at all.)

Enter MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation.

I honestly can’t remember where I first read about the launch of this new foundation but it seems to have become available in May 2015.

I kept reading about it. Then I began obsessing about it. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube video reviews about it. And they’re pretty much unanimous in their opinion: this is a brilliant product.

So I picked up a sample last week. I wasn’t entirely ready to shell out $38 for a foundation I was planning on wearing everyday without giving it a test run.

The MAC person – as they often do – put way too much on my face when I visited for a sample. Lilli (the sales assistant/makeup artist) was outstanding with her help and advice however. And kept telling me how amazing it looked on my skin. The colour match looked SO tan. I was skeptical.

When I got home I washed my face and applied the foundation myself with a damp Beauty Blender. I didn’t bother with primer or serum. It looked pretty good.

The next day I applied the foundation fresh along with MAC’s Pro Longwear Concealer (my new favourite concealer). I used MAC’s Prep + Prime Moisture Infusion, some Paula’s Choice stuff, MAC Strobe cream and my sunscreen. My face looked amazing.

I couldn’t stop checking myself out.

I cycled to work. I went to the gym. I SWEATED.

And my skin still looked good. Yes, there were a couple of salty sweat stains on either cheek but they were easily rubbed away.

I worried that my good skin was just a fluke. But it continued to look good for three days. And then I bought the full-sized tube.

In all the videos I’ve watched on YouTube the foundation has been applied liberally. I use a tiny amount of foundation and a tiny amount of concealer.

I highly recommend this foundation but please apply it sparingly. It also sets quite quickly so don’t dot it all over your face and blend. Put a bit on your face and blend then move on to another part of your face and do the same.

I don’t use a powder with this foundation. MAC did release a Pro Longwear powder which is also waterproof. I’d advise against wearing both if you want a natural look. This foundation is described as a medium to full coverage and some reviewers have said you need to be careful not to over-apply because your face will look cakey.

I tried hard to take a decent photo of myself wearing the foundation but I managed to look like a total twit in all the photos. This is the best of the bunch. Hopefully it gives you some indication of the finish.

And it really looks a lot better in person.

Liz Hover beauty blog Canada Mac Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation review

Link to Lancôme

Above: My beloved Lancôme Translucence Face Powder

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a powder gal.

Though, I do recall my first foundation was given to me by my mum and was completely the wrong (tanned) shade from Clinique. But I still loved and wore it.

My first foundation purchase was probably a nasty orange liquid from Rimmel when I was 13.

But ever since, I’ve been a powder foundation gal.

As a teenager I was a big fan of The Body Shop’s All in One Face Base (which I recently repurchased but returned after realising the shade was far too pale and none of their shades were right for me now. It had worked just fine when I was a goth!)

I was a devout MAC Studio Fix fan for years but at some point it seemed way too cakey and heavy and fell into the lines on my face.

I’ve used all sorts but my holy grail foundation is Lancôme’s Translucence Face Powder which isn’t a foundation at all, apparently, and can be worn over liquid, though I’ve never tried.

The Lancôme stuff is fairly expensive so I recently shopped for a budget version (hence the repurchasing of The Body Shop’s Face Base).

I ended up with Flower Beauty’s Powder Trip Powder Foundation. I like it and it only costs CA $10. Sadly, though, I just couldn’t wean myself off my beloved Lancôme so back I went.

In the meantime I also picked up MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder which – according to their website – is “Formulated to provide a smooth, virtually invisible, fresh-looking finish, this soft, cream-like powder is carefully blended to provide the skin with extra care, nourishment and comfort.”

And I really like it.

For me, almost every liquid foundation I try seems to:

(a) take too long to apply and

(b) emphasize every line and pore on my face.

Someone recently gave me a sample of Clinique’s new 2-in-1 Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer.

Clinique-Beyond-Perfecting-foundation

I was expecting to hate it. I mean, look at that gross bottle for a start. And that silly applicator. Pffft!

But I didn’t hate it.

In fact I totally loved it. It provided a lovely matte finish which stayed looking lovely all day.

I’ve yet to invest in the full size yet but I will at the end of summer.

I have a growing list of foundations and powders on my makeup ‘want’ list.

What kind of base do you use? Are you a powder or liquid gal (or guy)?

I’d love to hear about your foundation experiences.