MAC Cosmetics review

Aren’t you all excited! I have no idea what caused me to even write this entry, as I’m not much of a make–up guru. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos in my spare time on how to apply eye shadows, and blend blend blend! Still mastering the art of that, because everything I do on my eyes looks like a total mess of ass. But my face always seems to look great! Or so I think (Shall I pat myself on the back now? har har. Kidding)  Now, this entry is only based solely on my opinion on these products and am not in any way shape or form trying to push you one way or the other. I personally have not used any drug store brand names so I can’t compare the two. When I first got into makeup only a handful of years ago, I automatically went to MAC cosmetics. Go big or go home right?  haha. Okay! So let’s get to it, you guys!

Studio Fix (Fluid) — Completely full coverage foundation. Often looks over done if not applied correctly. This product was originally formulated for makeup artists to apply on models for photo shoots and to make them look absolutely flawless. Hence the full coverage/overdone look. I don’t think I had any MAC  brushes when I originally bought a bottle of this, so I wouldn’t know what to apply it with as it may come off as too streaky. I think I used my fingers to be honest. I really don’t remember, and it was only like 3 years ago, when I first got into MAC. It also makes a lot of people break out. I used this a really long time ago, and I don’t recall if it made me break out. I just remember it being too heavy and not liking it at all. (Clinique’s stuff made me break out terribly, for ages after I even stopped using their product, I remember that! I actually had to go to my dermatologist and get creams! Madness.)

Studio Fix (Powder) — I apply this very very lightly with a huge Sephora brush (like this). I used to use this as my daily foundation until I discovered that liquid foundation is more natural looking (in my opinion), and easier/faster to use. I finally ‘hit the pan’ and may never purchase this again as I only use this to buff on and to set my foundation for the day, and it does the job well. But, I don’t want to be applying more coverage and color, just a light translucent powder. I should really pick up one. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Mineralized Satin Finish (Fluid) — I find this to be a sheer, minimum to medium coverage foundation. I’ve been using this for the last 8–9 months as my regular daily foundation. At first I was using MAC 190 (SE  from a Holiday Set) brush to apply it. But I felt like it was almost looking too caked on when I don’t need much coverage, more just evening out my skin tone as I have some red on my cheeks and temples are an uneven tone. After picking up the Adoring Carmine Face Brushes from the Holiday ’08/’09 set I’m totally loving the 187, after watching YouTube reviews on how to actually apply it correctly by stippling it onto your face and then buffing it out using the same brush. ♥ this!

Studio Sculpt Foundation (Fluid) — I headed to my local MAC counter at the very end of February and picked up a a tube. I heard that this doesn’t match as well as other MAC colors would. Naturally, if you’re an NW20 in Studio Fix Fluid, you’d be an NW20 in any other foundation you purchase from MAC. Unfortunately, this is not the case  for some people while using this new foundation … I’ve heard it applies darker, but for me it seemed like it was actually a lighter shade! It’s nothing incredibly noticeable though. So, I have the habit of resting my chin in my left hand, on my desk when I’m doing stuff at work. Which usually smears off any make up I had on, by 3 o’clock. My chin is all uneven skin tone and blah again. Mainly because like I mentioned above, Mineralized Satin Finish (Fluid) is sheer coverage, and it was great when I had first applied it, but just didn’t last. HOWEVER. I had been using Studio Sculpt for about 10 days annnnnnnd … I have to say I’m probably not going to purchase it again. The first day I used it and took it off, the next morning I had bumpy spots on my chin/lower cheek area. I kept using it, cause I mean, something else could’ve caused that right?  I have to say it’s great coverage and stays on all day. But it takes a bit longer to apply evenly in the mornings and I couldn’t use my 187 brush as it wasn’t dense enough to “rub into” the skin and ends up looking caked on.  I resorted back to the SE 190 foundation brush. I used to be such a pro at applying my makeup in a mad rush (not that I needed to ever go anywhere quickly. I’m always ready before anyone else is, including my BF). All in all, I decided to return it as I didn’t think I needed so much coverage and you could totally tell you missed a spot if you didn’t apply it everywhere on your face, and it ended up making me break out daily which is the main reason I stopped using it. I’ll be sticking to my Mineralized Satin Finish as I don’t need to slap it everywhere on my face and it’s sheer so I don’t have to be an expert at blending it in. lol

My 15 minute Face Routine:

  • Apply a light amount of Mineralized Satin Finish (Fluid) in the shade NW20 to the 187 and stipple it onto face, buff out using same brush. (Tutorial using the 187 — First video in post)
  • Apply Select Cover Up in the shade NW20 if needed, with the 194.
  • Brush on Hoola bronzer (or Bare Minerals in Warmth — which is a daily staple for me. I’m only trying out the Hoola bronzer for now) with the 129 (which is TOTAL garbage as I have the Holiday Set 129. After washing, it lost it’s firmness and now is much more fluffy. But I still use it because it does a great job for me.)
  • Sometimes I can’t apply bronzer correctly, or light enough. So usually I just buff my face out with the MAC 182 a.k.a. the kabuki (also a from a Holiday Set but I LOVE it as it’s the softest brush I’ve ever used on my face), quite vigorously until it looks even.
  • Apply paint in the Bare Canvas all over lid. Just so I don’t look like I have tired or black eyes lol.
  • Curl lashes and apply Plush Lash mascara in plush black. (I actually have a zoom lash that I’m using at the same time. Zoom Lash has a smaller wand and is easier to apply. Plush lash’s wand is nice and thick. But I don’t like it as much as Zoom.) I’m not a big mascara person anyway since I’m lucky enough to have super long lashes to begin with. I rarely apply mascara, so it lasts a long time in the tube. I usually just purchase NYC in brown — $1.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart and actually works better, imo.

MAC Brushes.
First of all. Wash your brushes daily! Otherwise it will end up not lasting as long, and being super nasty. It will apply cakey on your face if you use a dirty brush. Okay, so I personally suggest before you go forking out $30–$50 per MAC brush, that you wait until the Holiday Sets come out at the end of each year. This way you can get a feel for what you like to use, and what is best on your own face. Plus you get 4 or 5 small face or eye brushes for the price of one full sized. A lot of people rave about certain brushes, but it doesn’t work for everyone. I have yet to pick up a full sized of any MAC face brush, which I do plan to do sometime soon. I just hate how expensive it is. I’ve even heard some people say that their holiday set small brushes are softer than their regular sized MAC brushes. So, who knows right?

Apparently the Holiday Set brushes aren’t as soft and durable as the full sized (and full priced) MAC brushes. Full sized are hand made where as the holiday sets are mass produced in a factory. They still do a great job in my opinion, if you’re not too worried about having the best of everything. However, I think it is a wise investment for one to take care of those expensive brushes, if you do end up purchasing them. Wash them after each use, reshape them and lay them flat to dry.

I used to really love the 190 foundation brush, and even contemplated buying the full sized one. Until I used the 187. I’ve only been using the 187 since Christmas. It takes a long long time for me to dig out fifty bucks on a product even if I really think it’s worth it. I just like having my money with me, instead of having something to show for it, I guess. I dunno. I’m still hmm–ing and ha–ing over it all for now. Or at least until something else catches my eye.

Cleaning your Brushes.
I only use pure shampoo or hand soap, to clean my brushes after 1-2 uses. This method has been working completely fine for me. My face has stayed the same, no abnormal break outs or what not. Howeverrrr, my boss ended up buying a bottle of MAC  Brush cleanser and gave a generous amount of it to me.  Now, if you don’t want to use shampoo/hand soap nor do you want to fork over the dough for a bottle of MACs brush cleanser ($13), you can actually make your own. EnKore from YouTube shows you how, using distilled water, a bit of rubbing alcohol and some other household ingredients here.

Hope this entry helped a little bit!

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  1. Thanks for this .. I’m so uninformed about makeup it’s not even funny. I’ve also always been skeptical about spending a lot on it, but I’ve always heard about how great MAC is, and I think I am going to try it out!

  2. I’ve just been introduced to MAC make up and so far I’m liking. Thanks for these posts, they’re SO helpful!

  3. Anna,

    I honestly get overwhelmed in Sephora. The sales people in there won’t help you because “they don’t work in that brand of makeup”, and it takes forever to find someone, and when you do there are other people who flock to them because they too have questions.

    I’m on Sephora’s e-mail list, so I just wait and see what they e-mail me and if it catches my eye, I’ll do research on it before I even consider purchasing it (YouTube videos is great for this).

  4. It’s rare to see someone who washes their brushes daily, let known with an exclamation mark. Especially with hand soap. If it’s bad to wash your own hair every day, I can’t see it being good for the brushes to give them a full scrub with hand soap every day. Once a week with baby shampoo and/or Quo or MAC cleaner is prudent enough. I guess you could quick clean them if you really wanted to but not with handsoap and not in the sink.

  5. MAC’s brush cleanser is way over rated and doesn’t get the job done enough to my liking. I’ve had the special edition MAC brushes for over a year and a half, cleaning them a few times a week (not exactly daily, but probably more often than the average person), and they still look in tip-top, brand new shape.

    Also, if not in the sink, then where else? I just pump the soap onto my hands and swirl the brush around in my palm dosing it with water every now and then.

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