MAC Studio Fix Foundation NC25 Review – For Great Coverage and Convenience!


Before I started using liquid foundation, it was compact powders all the way. They are easy to apply, great for travel, and most brands carry them. Mid-way, I switched to mineral foundation having heard all the good stuff about it. I tried the Bare Escentuals Mineral Foundation but my skin didn’t react well too it. So I went back to compacts and one of my favorites was the MAC Studio Fix.

I liked it so much I went out to get a backup, way before the first one panned out. When something’s that good, you just wanna use it forever, right? =DDD

Evens Out Skin Tone

I have under eye circles, redness around the nose, uneven skin tone aplenty. The MAC Studio Fix Foundation does quite a good job in drastically reducing all these imperfections. It does not hide hideous acne well on its own though.

When the need for more concealment arises, I use a cream concealer like the Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette after a face primer, then finish with the MAC Studio Fix Foundation.

Full Coverage

You can build to your desired coverage with this foundation – full, medium, or sheer (like as a setting powder).

Full Coverage:

Use the sponge provided, dab it on (do not rub), and build it on for more coverage.

Make sure to wash the sponge frequently with the Daiso Brush Cleanser.

If you prefer not to use sponges, like me, then load a kabuki brush with powder by swirling it in the pan. Do it in layers for increasing coverage instead of getting a thick first layer.

Medium Coverage:

Use a stippling brush or a kabuki brush like the Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush.

Sheer Coverage:

Use a large fluffy brush like the EcoTools Blush Brush to set liquid foundation. I prefer using the MAC Studio Fix Foundation this way. If your liquid foundation provides medium coverage, the MAC Foundation can bring it to full coverage.

If you have oily skin, it is recommended that you use a powder to set liquid foundation. I use the MAC Studio Fix Foundation or MAC Blot Powder, depending on my mood and need for coverage.

Matte, Almost Mask-like

The MAC Studio Fix Foundation gives a matte finish. You can create a natural look or porcelain-doll kind of finish with the different types of application as stated above.

Be careful, though, if you have bumps and pits on your skin, like I do – aplenty. This foundation, while does well to even out skin tone, does not glide over skin blemishes as well as do liquid foundation. It is perfect for people with relatively good skin. This brings out the worst of my skin during PMS when pimples celebrate in blooms on my face.

Due to its matte finish, it does little to brighten the skin. So using this when you’re sick may make your skin look dull and flat. X(

I would think that people with mature skin should avoid this foundation as well as it tends to make fine lines more visible. I used to be able to use this without having obvious cracks under the eyes after a while, but I seem to be slowly losing that luxury! BOO!

Not Long Lasting Enough

Personally I find that the MAC Studio Fix Foundation does not stay on my skin as long as a liquid foundation does. It tends to slide off within a few hours, maybe 4-5? Good thing that it is easy to reapply.

Therefore I use this in conjunction with liquid foundation now, and not on its own, like I used to. Our skin go through changes, and so must our face products!

I love using this to set the Lancôme Maqui Blanc Miracle Liquid Foundation.

Great for Travel

This is a great face powder to have in your travel makeup bag or to bring around every day in your purse for touch-up. It is light, compact, and convenient!

I would still bring along a liquid foundation though, because I fear that the unpredictable weather might make my skin too dry or too oily, and I want to have options. Lol.

No Breakout

It seems that many people have problems with the MAC Studio Fix Foundation, what with clogged pores, huge cystic pimples, and creating havoc on the skin! Terrible!

I didn’t get those from using this foundation. I naturally have pores that are prone to clogging and I never have a face free of pimples (sad life). When I used the MAC Foundation, my skin condition did not get better or worse – it remained the same.

I would think that using the sponge applicator might have caused some reactions on the skin due to accumulated dirt and grime and oil on the sponge. EW. That’s why I never use the sponge applicator, even though it is stored in a separate compartment which makes it slightly more hygenic than those that sit on top of the powder all the time.

Instead of throwing out the MAC Studio Fix Foundation the moment mayhem occurs, try switching to a makeup face brush. That could make a difference!

Shades for Everyone

MAC’s strong value proposition is that it has such a great color range for skin undertones and skin tones. You are bound to find a good color match, provided you get a right match in the first place. MUAs are reputed to give wrong color matches, so doing some homework beforehand is ideal.

For example, if you use ZA 21, try searching around for people who use the same shade and their respective MAC shade. It is best to go to a store to play with the colors yourself and also ask a MUA for help.

I did my research beforehand and went down to a MAC store to confirm my shade – NC25. It is good to know your MAC shade as people tend to use MAC as a guideline.

I am on the lighter side of NC25 though, if I could, I’d like an NC23.5 match, please.

Left: Old NC25 pan; Right: New NC25 pan. No difference!

“I’m NC 20-25, which shade should I use for MUFE Mat Velvet +?”, “What kind of blush is suitable for NC35 skin?”, are typical types of questions people will ask.

I also like that MAC Studio Fix Foundation does not turn orange (oxidize) on me. Very important!

Get the MAC Studio Fix Foundation!

Bun Bun gives the MAC Studio Fix Foundation a rating of:

Do you know of any good dupes for the (expensive) MAC Studio Fix Foundation? I’ve read reviews comparing the Maybelling Dream Matte Powder and have even tried it out myself. Not too bad for that price, a little less coverage and not as finely milled though.

Don’t forget to leave your name for a chance to win Daiso Brush Cleansers! It’s closing at the end of this week! =D


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About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

  • Katherine

    Great post. I can never wear powder foundation though because they my pores more sisible…

    I have really hideous orange -peel skin all over my nose. Nothing I use will make them smaller! You can literally see holes on my face even within normal talking distnace… My pores are pretty huge all over my face and I have pit scarring as well. Can you please make a post for that type of skin that covers skincare and foundation routine? thanks a lot!!

    • Bun Bun

      Hi Katherine,

      I suggest using a face primer that is silicone-based, like the Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel, which is a well-known substitute to the more expensive Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. A primer will help to smoothen out the skin and also functions as a layer of protection above the skin layer against foundation. A face primer also temporarily fills in the pores so that foundation can glide on easier. I personally use the Monistat one every single time I apply foundation, can’t go without it.

  • kai

    juli! i wanna buy loose powder, just some coverage for my skin for very normal day use. any recommendation? :)

    • Bun Bun

      I thought you use powder foundation? If you use powder foundation, it is not necessary to use loose powder. It can threaten to make your face look too powdered up and is an additional step to your makeup routine. You like to rush out of the house all within 15 minutes of waking up right? LOL!

  • taliacrayon24

    I personally use Pur minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundaiton. It’s minerals, and has great coverage – without the mess of loose powder. It makes my skin look absolutely flawless. You should try it, it runs about $26 a pop but is worth every cent, in my opinion. They recently expanded their shade range even more. Trust me, it’s amazing stuff. :)

    • Bun Bun

      Is it good for oily skin? I don’t know, the Bare Escentuals mineral foundation gave me such a horrible experience I have a phobia of mineral foundation now. My pores got magnified like 5 times! Scaryyyyy! @_@

      I went to check out its website and it doesn’t accept international orders. Ah, used to it. But I’ll keep a lookout for this brand in Singapore! Sometimes some stores bring in certain brands. Thanks for the heads up taliacrayon24!

  • hbee

    hi, you have an awesome blog with very helpful tips. I do have a question though. I have freckles on the cheeks of my face and full coverage foundation/concealer do not cover them. Can you share what products to use and how to apply?thanks!

    • Bun Bun

      Hey hbee!

      Sorry I forgot to reply! I was doing my foundation today and happened to look more closely at my skin, saw freckles, and remembered your comment! I usually don’t think about my freckles at all because they’re genetic, have had them since young. I regard them as part of the package. Lol.

      Foundation does a pretty good job of lightening my freckles, and concealer gives an even better coverage. I don’t use concealer to hide freckles, but I use it to hide blemishes, redness, acne, and brown spots like acne scars. I use the Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette, and also Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer which is thicker and creamier.

      After foundation and concealer, you can follow with a powder foundation if you need more coverage. I use the MAC Studio Fix in NC25.

      This combination will give you very good coverage, but do take care not to overdo it as you run the risk of looking all powdered up. Recently, I don’t even bother covering up my blemishes anymore. I just use my Lancôme Maqui Blanc Miracle Foundation, and set it with MAC Blot Powder.

      Hope this helps! 😀

  • MIchelle

    This is my HG foundation! I have been using it as an everyday staple. When I have a special event I use MUFE HD Foundation but I hate using liquid foundation every day. It is just too heavy. I will never give Studio Fix up! I love it!!

    • Bun Bun

      Haha I can feel your absolute adoration for the MAC Studio Fix Foundation! Do you use the sponge or your own brush? Which brush do you use?

  • booyaa

    hi. i have large pores on my nose, when i use this and i touch my nose, i can feel the “white heads” urghhh! can i use this with liquid foundation? will it be too thick?? any recommendations for foundations for oily skin?? ive been using pro longwear mac but im trying to find a cheaper alternative for everyday use.

    • Bun Bun

      Hi booyaa,
      Sorry for the late reply, I somehow missed your comment! The MAC Studio Fix Foundation will definitely feel thick when coupled with a liquid foundation. Whenever I try to do that, hoping I can achieve better coverage, my skin always feels like it is suffocating underneath. Because of that, my skin tends to oil up at an even faster rate than if I only applied liquid foundation OR the MAC compact powder. Currently, my foundation for everyday use is the Bourjois Flower Perfection Foundation. 😀

  • oreeoxx

    Hi Bun Bun,
    Came across your blog on this MAC Studio Fix Foundation. I bought this foundation a few mths ago after reading some good reviews on it. However, i realised that after applying it, probably by end of the day, my face will start having those bumps (like small mosquito bites except that they’re not itchy). I tried applying as thin as possible but it wouldn’t be able to cover my dark cricles & i’m also afraid that applying too thick around the undereye area will cause the clogged pore/milia seeds.
    Is there a good way to apply it? And also do you have some tips or tricks to help remove clogged pores/milia seeds around the undereye area?
    Thanks a lot! :)

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    oreeoxx Oh no! First question I’d like to ask, did you buy it from a MAC store? Coz I bought one from an online dealer once and I think it gave me bumps on my skin. But if yours is fresh and authentic, it could be due to your skin being clogged by the ingredients in the power. I would recommend you stop using it immediately. 
    From what I know, removal of milia seeds is impossible without surgery. That’s why it’s always important to use less rich products on the eye area.

  • RachnaSharma1

    Glad to find someone similar to ur skin type…super oily!  I love ur blog and ur recos!  Buying so many products these days just because u recommended it!