Monday, 26 May 2014


MAC Face and Body Foundation 120ml

Feels like water, looks like skin.

I've been meaning to write a proper review on MAC's Face and Body Foundation for a while now, though it's taken some time to give it the attention it deserves. It's one of those products that I wasn't to sure how to approach at first. I'd read that it was a very watery formula, was waterproof when 'set', gave a skin-like finish, and was a favourite amongst makeup artists, especially for studio shoots, as coverage could be built up in layers without feeling heavy or cakey. You could say I was intrigued. When I headed to my local MAC counter to test it out, the MUA squirted some onto a metal dish before applying it on to my face with a stippling brush. Now that I've used for a few months (I first mentioned it here), I think I'm well positioned to deliver my comprehensive two-cents.

Ingredients listing

Nozzle dispenser
Scent and application:
It has a slight, barely-detectable scent that I don't find unpleasant, and takes a while to actually set. It comes out watery and immediately starts to thicken as it comes into contact with the air. My usual practice is to squirt some on the back of my hand (about the size of my pinkie nail - see below), give it a moment to thicken and then transfer to my face, working in sections - beginning with my cheeks, then nose and chin, and then forehead. The more you rub/massage/work it into skin, the faster it sets. I find it safer to squeeze out less than I think I'll need, because it is far easier to get more out than it is to try and push excess back through the tiny nozzle... I've found that fingers work best for application - if I have time then I'll use fingers to massage it into my skin, before going back in with a brush (either the Real Techniques Buffing Brush or Expert Face Brush) and blending, to ensure that there are no harsh lines or edges. If I'm in a rush I prefer to slap it on and then buff it in, rather than take the time to work it into my skin with fingers, though the warmth from my hands helps the foundation to melt in and set quicker. One of my pet peeves with foundations is when the base sits on top of the skin rather than melting in, making it easy to transfer on to other things (such as my phone...gross). Thankfully the F&B isn't too bad a culprit, though sometimes I forget that it does take a bit of time to set, and end up getting it on the collar of my white work shirt - real classy...

A little goes a long way...

L-R: Before application / After application (cool lighting) / After application (warm lighting)
Coverage and lasting power:
It provides light to medium coverage. I find that one layer offers a fairly light coverage - sufficient to tone down redness (see photo above), but not mask it completely. It can be built up for a fuller coverage, and the best part is that it does so without feeling heavy or cakey - and doesn't crease, either. It has a luminous, dewy finish - not sparkly or glittery in the slightest - that is probably better suited to those with normal to dry skin. I find that it doesn't cling to dry patches, but they do become more pronounced as the day wears on (probably exacerbated by my air-conditioned work environment). Personally, I get the best finish if I apply it shortly after applying moisturiser or day cream, when it has just absorbed and my face is still a little moist. In warmer weather I'll also powder my T-zone, which tends to become oilier as the day transpires. Generally, lasting power is excellent once set - for me, it lasts well throughout a work day (9+ hours), without flaking or budging.

Size and shade-range:
It comes in two sizes: 50ml (mainly for regular usage), and 120ml professional size. Here, the 50ml retails for $49, while the 120ml retails for $60. I read that it has a tendency to separate over time, but I thought I'd take a chance on the larger size anyway, as it was better value for money.  Call me a typical Asian, but it was a a real no-brainer! (Mine was actually $35USD, brought back from the US for me by a dear friend).
In terms of colour range, I love that MAC has such a large range to choose from. I wear the shade C3 (roughly equivalent to NC30), which has strong yellow undertones and is perfect for me in Summer, though a tad dark for me now that we're heading in to Winter. Thankfully it's sheer enough that it's not too obvious. For all you alabaster beauties, they also have the shade White (available only in the professional 120ml size), which is meant for mixing with the other shades, but perfect for those who find C1 or N1 too dark.

Face and Body buddies:
For everyday wear, I like layering it over Nivea's Daily Face Veil, and powdering with Rimmel's Stay Matte Translucent Pressed Powder (not pictured).

L-R: Nivea sunscreen, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and Buffing Brush

You can see it in action here, and here.

Overall, I find the F&B a great everyday foundation, as it provides a nice finish and sufficient coverage for me; it's housed in sturdy no-nonsense packaging, is buildable, and photographs really well due to no SPF. No doubt a top pick for brides!

Have you tried MAC's Face and Body Foundation?
If so, did you find it difficult to work with?

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