Friday, October 31, 2014

Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation; Review & Swatches of Shades

Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF 15
Price: $27 per ounce
($32 with pump bottle)

Mac Studio Fix Fluid is a absolutely Mac's staple foundation and has held that position for some time. Ir has a reputation for it's liquid texture, matte finish, and nearly full coverage.

Interestingly; despite it's obvious popularity, Studio Fix sometimes gets mixed reviews from people who try it.

Mac describes Studio Fix Fluid Foundation as "a
modern foundation that combines a natural matte finish and buildable coverage with broad spectrum protection. Applies, builds and blends easily and evenly. Comfortable and long-wearing, helps minimize pores and imperfections giving skin a smoother, more flawless look and finish."

For the most part, all of Mac's claims are 100% accurate. Studio Fix Fluid is a beautifully formulated foundation with a lovely matte finish. It gives you plenty of time to blend before it sets and easily provides medium to full coverage. It is a surprisingly lightweight formula despite the coverage it provides and it photographs brilliantly while providing sun protection; BUT; it's not a foundation for everyone!

Unlike foundation formulas like Estee Lauder Double Wear and Mac Pro Longwear, which are traditional "long-wearing" texture and formulas that form a single layer of foundation over your skin; Studio Fix Fluid blends and meshes with your skin and is much more "touch up friendly" if you need to build it up throughout the day.

If you have severe oily skin, the matte finish of Studio Fix may not provide enough oil control for you in which case you can consider using a silicone primer and/or setting powder, but there are some advantages to a matte formula like this over a long-wearing formula; mainly it wears much more evenly and is easier to apply since virtually any application method will yield decent results!

On the down side, Studio Fix Fluid isn't as waterproof as Mac Pro Longwear or Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation and while the wear of Studio Fix may be more even, the longevity may take a hit for some people.

Personally, I can usually get a solid 10-12 hours out of Studio Fix Fluid without having any major malfunctions, but I have normal skin.

If you suffer from dry skin, Studio Fix is not going to be your best option since your skin will just suck up the foundation pretty quickly. You can help the wear time along by using a moisturizer and/or a moisturizing primer or a re-hydrater, but you may prefer a more effortless foundation for dry skin (like Mally Ultimate Performance Liquid Foundation.)

The shade range for Studio Fix Fluid is certainly one of Mac's best; with a staggering range of 35 shades you're sure to find a suitable match. Mac really went all out with the Studio Fix shades and even offers less commonly found (but high-demand) options.

Those with very fair skin and pink undertones will rejoice at shades like NW10, NW13, & NW18, and Mac remembered to include dark skin tones on the action with a half a dozen shades between NW40 and NW50 in addition to the almost-too-dark NW58!

Mac also released three shades in their C range (which is usually reserved for foundations like their Face & Body Foundation) but caters to those with strong yellow undertones.

I love a good yellow undertone foundation but I'm exceptionally pale so I wish that Mac would create an NC10 or so, but in the interim I just got a few samples of NW10 to mix with my NC15 and that creates a very neutral yellow tone which would probably rate about an NC11 or so.

If you've been considering Mac's Studio Fix for a while, you may have read some reviews blaming Studio Fix for breakouts. This is a highly debated issue and it seems that those who suffer from acne either absolutely adore or abhor Studio Fix which is a shame because of it's coverage & performance. If you've been holding off on trying Studio Fix because you're afraid of breaking out, scroll down to the "Does Studio Fix Fluid Cause Breakouts."

In short, Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation is definitely one that should be on your makeup Bucket List, but you should keep your expectations realistic; particularly if you have dry skin.

Like Estee Lauder's Double Wear Foundation, Studio Fix Fluid has earned it's place in the Makeup Hall of Fame & takes it's spot as Mac's best selling foundation. No matter what other fabulous foundations come on to the market, and no matter how many people have negative experiences with it, Studio Fix Fluid is still talked about constantly and one of the most desired foundations on the market.

*While the formulas aren't precise, if you want a Cruelty Free option that will produce similar results with a matte finish, you may want to try Tarte Full Cover 12 Hour Foundation (which is thicker than Studio Fix Fluid), or Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluid Foundation (which is thinner than Studio Fix.) You can also consider Becca Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation (which has a similar texture but a stronger matte finish).*

Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation; SPF 15 Swatches of Full Coverage Shades
Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation; Swatches of Shades;
NW10, NW13, NW15, NW18, NW20, NW22, NW25, NW30, NW33, NW35, NW37, NW40, NW43, NW45, NW55, NW58, NW50,
NC15, NC20, NC25, NC30, NC35, NC37, NC42, NC44, NC45, NC50, NC55, C4.5, C5

Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation; Review & Swatches of Shades; NW10, NW13, NW15, NW18, NW20, NW22, NW25, NW30, NW33, NW35, NW37, NW40, NW43, NW45, NW55, NW58, NW50,NC15, NC20, NC25, NC30, NC35, NC37, NC42, NC44, NC45, NC50, NC55, C4.5, C5
Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation; Swatches of Shades;
NW10, NW13, NW15, NW18, NW20, NW22, NW25, NW30, NW33, NW35, NW37, NW40, NW43, NW45, NW55, NW58, NW50,
NC15, NC20, NC25, NC30, NC35, NC37, NC42, NC44, NC45, NC50, NC55, C4.5, C5

Do Mac's Foundations Cause Breakouts?

There has been extensive expert analysis of the ingredient list and formula for Studio Fix Fluid and noone has been able to pin-point what (if anything) is causing these breakouts as all of the ingredients are frequently found in other foundation formulas- none of which have a reputation for causing breakouts.

Wayne Goss has said that he believes more people experience break outs with Mac's foundation because more people try foundation. In other words; if 8% of people who try most foundations claim that they break-out and that 8% equals 100 people for the most foundations, that 8% number would be closer to 10,000 people for Mac foundations because of their popularity.

I think this argument has some serious merit and should be considered with the fact that only 20% of people will report a positive experience, but 80% of people will report a negative one. These two facts combined could easily explain the seemingly abundant about of claims that Studio Fix Fluid leads to breakouts.

(One must also realize the plethora of mitigating factors when determining if it was a specific product that caused breakouts such as time of year/season, skin type, hormone level, other products used, skincare regimen, etc.)

Paula Begoun believes that break-outs are more closely correlated to a products texture than anything else (besides formula of course.) I think that this is a reasonable point as well because the thicker the foundation's formula, the more likely one is to over-apply which could have adverse reactions.

I think that while both of these arguments made by Wayne and Paula are good, I want to make a third point- because Studio Fix is made for people with oily skin it is often used to conceal acne and breakouts.

When you start considering that most people who claim that Studio Fix causes break outs are already pre-disposed to break outs, it starts to make sense. It seems particularly obvious when I watch videos or read descriptions about the different routines for concealing acne.

These intense (and very successful routines) usually involve primer, foundation, powder, more foundation and more powder. This type of regimen is part of the unfortunate cycle of acne- when you have acne you try to conceal it; but by concealing it with numerous products you may be breeding more acne! Because Studio Fix is so commonly used in routines to cover acne, it makes sense that it would catch some of the blame, (even if it wasn't the sole culprit.)

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