Thursday, November 29, 2007

Foundation Smackdown: MAC Studio Fix vs. Prescriptives Flawless Skin


MAC Studio Fix Foundation
Color Quality: 3.5 out of 5 - very close to my skin color
Coverage: 4 out of 5 - full coverage
Length of Wear: 3.5 out of 5
- skin gets oily after a few hours. Also has tendency to settle into crevices of face.
Kindness to Skin: 3.5 out of 5
$25 for .52 oz ($48 per oz)
Verdict: WINNER

I have been wearing MAC Studio Fix foundation in C6 for almost 10 (EEK!) years. It's not that I am stuck in my ways and have a hard time changing. The truth is, I am a black woman who likes a full coverage foundation that does not look like stage makeup. And oh, by the way, my skin is sensitive! So until more companies develop quality makeup for women of color, I'm stuck.

So let's talk about the foundation. Studio Fix is a powder makeup that goes on with as much coverage as a cream foundation. It comes with a fantastic sponge that applies the color smoothly and evenly. Some people like to use a brush instead for lighter coverage. One caveat about the sponge is that you should change it every 1-2 months. I wear Studio Fix just about every day and it usually lasts me about six months. It looks lighter than your skin shade when it first is applied, but once it settles and mixes with your skin's natural oils, it darkens a bit (so don't be worried if it looks pasty when you first put it on). I am happy that the C6 color looks very close to my skin tone. The problem is, even though it is a powder, my T-zone always gets shiny when I use it. Oil blotters are essential! On another note, as long as I change the sponge regularly I seldom get breakouts as a result of the foundation.

Does it live up to its claim? The site claims it "is a powder and foundation in one that combines good coverage with ease of application." It also claims to maintain "a matte finish by absorbing oils on the skin, as well as Talc to provide a smoother, less reflective, matte finish" and "is long-wearing." I agree that it provides good coverage and is easy to apply. Though it has a matte texture once it is first applied, it does not absorb enough oils for it to maintain the matte finish. As far as long-wearing, it stays on for a long time but does not necessarily look good for a long time.

Would I buy it again? Yes

Prescriptives Flawless Skin
Color Quality: 4 out of 5 - a Prescriptives salesperson evaluated my skin color and matched it very closely.
Coverage: 3 out of 5 - medium coverage (worked best with Magic Powder)
Length of Wear: 4 out of 5

Kindness to Skin: 2.5 out of 5

Price: $39.50 for 1 oz.
Verdict: LOSER

I was very excited to try Prescriptives' Flawless Skin foundation especially after seeing how good it looked on my friend Karissa's skin. Her skin looked "flawless" and she told me she used a mix of the Flawless foundation and Magic Powder. I thought I was finally able to try something other than my old faithful Studio Fix. The same day I bought the foundation I also bought a new facial regimen from a different line. When my skin started becoming irritated and breaking out worse and in a different way than ever before, I just assumed it was the facial regimen. I stopped using the face creams and cleansers and continued to use the Flawless, though I still had irritation. I finally went to get a facial and I was told that whatever I used ended up irritating my skin to the point that it looked severely windburned. Needless to say once I stopped using the foundation, everything was back to normal.

The worst part of it was that though my skin was severely irritated, it looked amazing. The color looked great, and the Magic Powder topped it off very nicely. I wish I didn't have to let it go, but anyway you slice it, nice looking makeup over irritated, breakout infected skin just isn't very nice. Though it did not win the Beauty Smackdown, you should still try it out only if you don't have sensitive skin.

Does it live up to its claim? The site says it "works to protect against sun damage and external assaults while simultaneously diffusing imperfections" and "achieves a flawless finish while working 'undercover' to provide your skin with superior skincare protection." It also says that "daily use improves skin's ability to repair itself and guard against UVA and UVB damage" and the "lightweight, long-wearing foundation provides natural-looking medium to full coverage for all skin types." Since it has SPF 15 sunscreen in it, it must protect against sun damage. And as far as working "undercover," for me it worked undercover to damage my skin. I will agree that it is lightweight and fairly long-wearing. It also does maintain a natural looking coverage.

Would I buy it again? No. If only I didn't have sensitive skin...

Which would you choose?

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