Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tried and Tested: MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation

£25.00 - MAC UK Or $32.00 - Nordstrom/MAC US

“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.”

Today I've got a review for the first MAC foundation I ever used.  It was a while back now, but I still have strong feelings on it.  So with that said, here we go.

Once upon a time I was on the hunt for a liquid foundation, and so I ventured to my local counter to be colour matched. I explained my needs - my skin is ridiculously dry, and one of the major problems I had in the past with foundation (even powder on a particularly bad day) is with the foundation emphasizing and exacerbating my issues, and the ever-attractive flaking of dry skin. The makeup artist used a soft brush to test a couple of shades on me and as expected I came out at the lightest shade they carried (NC15 at the time) and recommended the Studio Sculpt foundation to me, saying that the gel-based formulation and satin finish would be good on my dry skin. She only did a patch on my cheek and jaw, but it was amazing and I snapped it straight up. It didn't look like I had makeup on, I just had a soft dewy finish and an even skintone on the area applied. It looked natural, I was in love, and I took it home very happily.

I played around at home, and over time fell slowly out of love. Every time I tried to use it for a full face application, it let me down. MAC's description of this particular product says that it's medium coverage, buildable to full - but I would be lying if I said I found this to be true at all, as instead I found adding another layer just made it even more difficult to smooth out and not look like I had a cakeface of makeup. The colour match was excellent, but this one just doesn't perform at all. The gel consistency is difficult to work with, and even after applying with a MAC 109 brush, I would have to go back and smooth it out with my fingers to get rid of the marks that the brush had left behind.

For me, this was impossible to blend. On the small patch test it looked amazing, but in real life it just failed to live up to the expectations and promises that the brand had put out there. The colour and finish were wonderful, so I persevered, but wound up with the same old issues. The foundation would inevitably only serve to highlight my dry skin problems, and it just felt awful on, like I had a very thin mask sitting on top of my skin. By the time I would get home from work, it would slip and slide around as if it had never been blended and buffed into the skin at all, even if it had been set with a finishing powder and tried in vain to touch it up midday.

I tried to persevere for a while, but in the end it just wasn't worth the trouble to get no result back at all, and I went out and purchased a different foundation, and set my Studio Sculpt to one side, professing that I would give it another chance later. But later never came, and I wound up decanting what was left of the product - a good 80% of the tube - into a travel jar so that I could Back 2 MAC the packaging.

That little jar of foundation still sits in my makeup collection, taunting me. I know I should just throw it away, but it feels like such a waste of good money, so I keep telling myself that one day I'll use it and one day maybe it will work. But I really don't believe it will ever happen. This is a product that just lets me down more each time I use it, and now that this has been written, I may actually go and finally toss it.

Overall, this is not a product I would recommend at ALL. 


  • Basically perfect colour match for me
  • Has a very nice finish if you can deal with the cons
  • Packaging is a bit different from the norm and works well, very hygienic
  • Was able to Back 2 MAC the tube toward a free lipstick

  • Doesn't blend well
  • Highlights flaws in my dry skin
  • Doesn't last beyond a couple of hours in spite of the "long-wearing" description
  • "Buildable to high coverage" is not possible without looking awful
  • I can't imagine this actually being waterproof
  • Quite expensive for something that I found so disappointing


Quality: 1/5 
Value: 1/5 
Does What It Says: 1/5 
Packaging: 2/5 
Bonus*: +2
TOTAL: 7/20

*Bonus points awarded for MAC's recycling program, as I was able to return the empty tube along with 5 other empties to get a free MAC lipstick.

Until next time!

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