Happy Thursday and start of a fresh new month! As I’m writing this with my watermelon juice by my side, the sun is finally peeking through my curtains (although it does remain a bit cloudy thanks to HKs pollution). So as I finally have the sun to my advantage, I thought it be a nice day to do an in-depth review on one of my most loved foundations – MAC’s Face and Body. A classic staple foundation in many MUA kits. Sit back, as this review is going to be long one.
Mac Face and Body
Size / Price :
50 ML – US$ 28 / GBP 23.50 / HKD 300
120 ML – US$ 38 / GBP 29.50 / HKD N/A
Shade Variation :
50 ml - 13 shades [ C 1 / C 2 / C 3 / C 4 / C 5 / C 6 / C 7 / N 1 / N 2 / N 3 / N 5 / N 7 / N 9 ]
120 ml - 11 shades [ C 1 / C 2 / C 3 / C 4 / C 5 / C 6 / N 1 / N 2 / N 3 / N 5 / White ]
Coverage: Sheer to Medium coverage
Let’s start with the basics, the MAC Face and Body has two different sizes, 50 ml that comes in 13 different shades and 120 ml that comes in 11 shades. For MAC Pro members, they have different shades options but check with the Pro store directly. If you are using it only for yourself, definitely go for the 50 ml one because they last a long time plus if you leave it unused for a while then there will be a change in texture. With daily use, one bottle can last me about 4 to 6 months if I use it only on my face. If you do end up buying the bigger bottle, put in the fridge so that it lasts longer. Most foundations only have 30 ml / 1 fl oz in them so you get more compared to the standard foundation.
In terms of the shades, you may need the white mixer if you’re very fair. But for everyone else, because it’s a sheer to medium coverage, there is likely a match for you. I always recommend going to the store yourself and test it out there rather than buying it online. Also since they only have limited shade options compared to other MAC Foundations. I’m in between N3 and N5, (they don’t sell the N4). I first only bought the N5, which in the winter months is a bit to tan for me so I bought the N3 and mix them both to get the exact match regardless of what time of the year it is. Have a look at my recent blogpost A Guide to Mac Foundation (and concealer) Shades if you have trouble finding the perfect shade for you.
50 ML – US$ 28 / GBP 23.50 / HKD 300
120 ML – US$ 38 / GBP 29.50 / [ I wasn’t able to find the 120 ml in Hong Kong stores ]
Is it cheap? No, but it’s not a drugstore brand so I wasn’t expecting that. However, I don’t think it’s expensive either. Most foundations come in 1 fl oz (30 ml) and if you look at Sephora, you can barely get any foundation at that price point. So, it’s definitely priced very well for what you get.
Okay, so let's get real, the packaging looks like a condiment bottle. It is not in the most flattering packaging. It has a tiny hole where the foundation comes out from, so no pump. Everything is plastic so not much more to say. The outer box comes in the standard MAC packaging, so nothing special to be honest. But for a body foundation, it's easy to use as you just squeeze it out.
Coverage and finish
It’s a light to medium coverage with a satin finish. Expect to do some concealing and apply some powder if you're oily afterwards.
Ahh, the application. If you’re not used to it, it can definitely be a tricky one. The foundation is very fluid and watery. Shake the bottle first before use. It is something you have to work into the skin before it sets, so apply it on the back of your hand first and go in circular motions before applying it to your face (where you would still have to go in circular motions before this foundation sets).
Apply it with your fingers! This foundation won’t work if you apply it with a brush or a sponge. The sponge will pretty much soak up all your foundation so please.. don’t even try.
Once you apply it to your face, you have to go in circular motions until you feel it setting. It turns from a fluid to forming a sort of film on your face. Once that is set, it won’t move, transfer, it’s water resistant and will leave you with a natural satin like finish.
If you want to have more of a medium coverage, wait for a bit before going in with a second layer.
You can use this on your body for shoots or if you have a wedding or anything else. But again, the way you apply it and how long you wait is key to this foundation setting, otherwise it will transfer onto your clothes.
Water based foundation – use with a water based primer (My favourite primer to use with this : Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Original)
Water Purified, Cyclopentasiloxane*, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene*, Butylene Glycol, PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer*, Polyglyceryl-3-Diisostearate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, TEA-Stearate, PVP/Eicosene Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Talc, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis, Santalum Album, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Zinc Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.
* Just so you know -
- Cyclopentasiloxane – It’s a silicone that slightly fills in fine lines and repels water
- Hydrogenated Polyisobutene – A synthetic oil that is in many sunscreens because it maintains the SPF even after you go into the water
- PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer – A film forming substance that contains water resistant properties
Suitable for ...
If you have an oily to very oily skin type, you may not like this foundation if you want everything to be matte since it requires a bit of powder for that matte effect. If you have a combo skin, just powder down wherever it gets oily and you’re good to go. I found that it looks the best without too much powder applied on it so for those with very dry to normal or combo skin. You definitely won’t like it if you prefer a full coverage. For an everyday look, natural “no makeup” makeup look, this is the one must have foundation to go for.
Of course you can use this on your body as well as mentioned earlier, but you can also mix it in with your other foundations, moisturiser or even luminizing drops like the ones from Sephora or Cover Fx for an extra glow.
The concluding Pros and Cons
- Shade Options
- Not suitable for very oily skin types
- Light weight, satin finish
- Price (for High End Foundations]
- Long lasting
- Water resistant
Why I became obsessed with it
I am very blessed to have always had good skin so when I was younger and I started to wear makeup, my brother would refuse to take me out if I didn’t take half of it off, he was predominantly talking about the foundation. I bought a lot of medium to full coverage foundations from the drugstore that quickly masked my face to make it look heavy and cakey no matter how little I applied. Also, plenty of times when I had my makeup done for shoots or anything else, a lot of people commented that it didn’t look nice in real life (compared to photos).
So I was on the hunt for that one foundation that gave me a natural finish (not too dewy and not too matte) that didn’t look like I was wearing any foundation. I’ve tried so many different ones, and ever since I’ve tried this one, it just made my skin look so much better without looking and feeling heavy on my face. Also, whenever I’m wearing a dress and I need a bit of coverage on my body, I just slap this on wherever and it make my skin look so much better and radiant. Anyway, that's it for today. Cheers, Sam