Lasts all day long
Blends seamlessly into skin
Includes SPF 15
No pump or nozzle included
May leave a white cast on some areas
Not Byrdie Clean
MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid Foundation with SPF 15
We put the MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation with SPF 15 to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
When it comes to my makeup journey, MAC Cosmetics was like my first love—their lip glass, cream eyeshadows, and Studio Fix foundation were essentials in my makeup arsenal during my late 20s and early 30s. But my love for the brand wasn’t just because it's high-quality, MUA-approved, and always releasing star-studded collaborations. What drew so many like me to MAC was that this was one of the few high-end brands during that time that offered a range of foundation shades that accurately matched the nuances of darker skin tones like mine.
The only reason I eventually strayed was because no matter how many shine control products I tried, nothing could stave off the oily glow that always showed up in my T-zone area within hours. So when I was assigned to review MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid Foundation, it was like reuniting with an old friend. I wondered if the liquid version of this all-time fave would leave me with the same familiar issues as the cream version, but I soon learned that, just like a fine wine, MAC’s Studio Fix has only gotten better with time. Keep reading for my full review.
Best for: Most skin types, including oily skin and darker skin tones.
Uses: A foundation that provides medium-to-full, 24-hour coverage with a natural-looking, matte finish.
Active ingredients: Octinoxate, titanium dioxide
Potential allergens: Not likely
Byrdie Clean? No; contains PEGs and octinoxate.
About the brand: MAC Cosmetics was founded in 1984 by Canadian duo Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo. The longtime beauty brand has always been popular for its bold colors, star-studded collaborations, and ability to serve a diverse audience.
About My Skin: Combination, darker skin tone with some hyperpigmentation
I’ve always had a medium to dark brown skin tone with golden undertones. However, years of wear and tear on my combination skin have left me with hyperpigmentation on areas along my left cheek, jawline ,and chin. This means the best foundation for me is a lightweight option that can even out all of that discoloration and hold up against the daily, thick humidity I encounter in the South, all without leaving my skin looking oily.
My absolute go-to is Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 430, and I also like the Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation in 220. For this review, I replaced those with MAC's Studio Fix Foundation in NC55.
How to Apply: Less is more
As soon as I unscrewed the top from the glass bottle, I immediately realized there was no attached pump or nozzle, so I shook out a dime-sized amount onto the back of my hand. I dipped into the foundation with my e.l.f. angled foundation brush and began applying it to my freshly washed, moisturized face, swiping outward to spread it around, per the instructions.
I started with my inner cheeks, then nose, forehead, chin, and upper neck, using only about two to three dollops of the foundation before I achieved my desired level of coverage.
The Results: Love at first swipe, with one drawback
MAC's Studio Fix Fluid Foundation immediately reminded me why I was such a fan all those years ago. It’s so lightweight that it literally went on like a second skin, and the color matched my skin tone so well that I kept having to do a double take to make sure I had makeup on. The coverage and even skin tone were the only clues that confirmed I had on foundation, and the fact that it includes SPF 15 is just icing on the cake.
I also love that the foundation delivers on its promise of long-lasting coverage with no oily shine. I didn’t experience any makeup transfer, and by nighttime, my face looked just as fresh as it did when I first applied the foundation earlier that day. I almost didn't want to take it off.
Besides the fact that there’s no nozzle or pump attached, there was only one other downside I had with this foundation. While the finish may photograph well, I discovered under certain types of lighting it gave off a white cast over my more uneven areas, particularly along my jawline and chin. I was surprised when a relative brought it to my attention during a small get-together, but when I pulled out a mirror to see for myself, I noticed it immediately.
I have friends who’ve often run into this issue with foundations in general, needing to blend two or three different shades to get the right match for their skin tones, but I’m usually able to achieve optimal, even coverage with just one shade. So needless to say, this was a disappointing observation, though I still really loved this foundation otherwise.
The Value: Pretty good
Part of what makes MAC so great is that you can get high-end glamour at a more accessible price tag than luxury makeup brands. At $33 for a 1-oz. bottle, MAC's Studio Fix Fluid Foundation falls right in the middle—more expensive than popular drugstore brands like Maybelline, but not as pricey as the likes of Shiseido and Nars. However, if you want to add a pump, get ready to shell out an additional $10.
Similar Products: You've got options
Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation: This award-winning foundation ($36) has been my dependable favorite since its debut, not only because Fenty was one of the first brands to offer such a wide shade range (especially for darker skin tones), but its long-lasting, shine-resistant finish has the quality to match.
Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Hydra Foundation: This high-performing foundation ($38) is infused with hyaluronic acid for a natural matte finish. It comes in 40 shades and, like MAC’s product, the oil-free formula promises 24-hour coverage.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15: This vegan, cruelty-free foundation ($39) uses Vitamin E and mineral pigments to create a matte, shine-free finish that lasts up to 12 hours. It also provides SPF 15 using non-chemical ingredients.
MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid Foundation with SPF 15 will make you fall in love with the brand all over again. It blends into skin so seamlessly for a dreamy, matte finish that stays on all day long, and you just might never want to leave home without it. Even though I was disappointed with the occasional white cast, I love this foundation so much that I may consider mixing it with different shades to see if I can achieve the right glow in any light.
- Product Name Studio Fix Fluid Foundation with SPF 15
- Product Brand MAC Cosmetics
- Price $33
- Weight 1 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Octinoxate 2.50%, Titanium Dioxide 1.00%Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Algae Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Lecithin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Methoxy Amodimethicone/Silsesquioxane Copolymer, Laureth-7, Dipropylene Glycol, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Peg-10 Crosspolymer, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Propylene Carbonate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sorbic Acid, Chloroxylenol, Phenoxyethanol, [+/- Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Chromium Oxide Greens (Ci 77288)].