Retailing at £27, MAC Studio Fix foundation is definitely a luxury purchase yet its thicker consistency and impressive coverage means a little goes a really long way. It’s also not the most expensive foundation on the market, far from it, yet outperforms pricey rivals.
We’ve used both the fluid and stick versions of Studio Fix and prefer the former. The latter is much easier to apply and blends really well but we don’t feel it lasts as well as the former.
MAC pits its Studio Fix Fluid foundation as being suitable for all skin types however, we’d say it is best suited to normal/oily skin due to it’s matte finish and longevity. For dry skin, we would recommend using a hydrating primer before using Studio Fix. You could also mix the Studio Fix foundation with your moisturiser to sheer it out and add extra hydration.
The Studio Fix foundation from MAC Cosmetics has been a firm favourite among makeup artists for years due to its diverse shade range and staying power.
It’s so popular, over the years the formula has been reformatted from a fluid foundation to a powder compact, a foundation stick, a concealer and even a loose powder. Each one promising buildable coverage with a matte finish.
For this Studio Fix foundation review we’ve concentrated on the fluid foundation version, with references to the foundation stick.
We are planning to follow this up with reviews of the other products in the Studio Fix range over the coming weeks and months so be sure to check back if these are the reviews you are looking for.
The MAC Studio Fix foundation is one of the original base products sold by the iconic makeup brand and over the years, it has been available in an increasing number of shades.
At the time of writing, there are a staggering 60 Studio Fix foundation shades ranging from light to deep dark – this is one of the most diverse and inclusive foundation ranges on the market. Each one offering SPF 15 protection.
READ NEXT: What is SPF and why is it so important?
This covers an extremely wide spectrum of skin tones with warm, cool and neutral undertones; whether you’re warm with rosy undertones, or dark with red.
The names of the shades reflect this.
The letters tell you which undertone each shade is best suited to, while the number reveals where on the light to dark spectrum it sits – from 3.5-60.
READ NEXT: Best foundation for dark skin tones
For example, our shade is NC16. This means we have neutral (N), cool (C) undertones and we have light skin.
The description of NC16 is light beige with peachy undertones.
If you’re not sure which of the MAC Studio Fix foundation shades you need, check out our guide on how to find the perfect foundation match online. This also shows you how to match foundations from other brands with each other.
The MAC Studio Fix foundation comes in a glass bottle with a screw cap, meaning you have to purchase a pump separately if that’s your preferred method of application. This used to be really common and was usually a sign of a premium product.
For example, the brilliant Estée Lauder Double Wear is the same. In both cases, you can buy a pump separately, and the MAC pump costs an extra £5.
When you consider you’re paying this on top of what is already a relatively expensive foundation (pushing the total price above the £30 mark), it seems a bit of a cheek.
However, the pump can be rinsed and reused so you’ll at least only have to make this purchase once.
Thankfully, even without the pump, the consistency of the Studio Fix foundation is quite thick which means it’s not as easy as it is with the thinner, runnier Double Wear foundation to pour out too much.
You can read more about what we think of the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation in our best foundation roundup.
You can pour a small amount of the Studio Fix Fluid foundation onto the back of your hand and increase the amount as you build to your desired coverage.
It applies and blends well with both a foundation brush and a damp beauty sponge and the coverage always impresses us, even with a single application.
We should also mention the smell. We’ve read many online reviews bemoaning the foundation’s scent; claiming it smells like paint.
It does smell more chemically than other foundations we’ve used – the Huda Beauty Faux Filter by comparison smells lovely! – but we don’t think the smell is strong enough to make a significant impact on our overall review of this foundation.
It also only smells like this when you first pour it out of the bottle. It certainly doesn’t linger once it’s on your face.
If anyone has used the original Studio Fix Prep + Prime Setting Spray will know that this also smells a little odd, but it’s not a game changer in our opinion.
Despite its thick consistency, once the Studio Fix foundation is on the skin, it doesn’t feel too heavy or matte. A single application gives medium coverage.
It is a highly buildable foundation that doesn’t leave you skin looking cakey. All while drying to a nice soft matte finish.
Many matte foundations are either too thick – designed to almost block any shine or oil from escaping – or they dull the skin. By contrast, the Studio Fix fluid foundation gives your complexion a subtle healthy glow without looking shiny.
When applying concealer and powder products on top – we use the Laura Mercier Loose Powder (£32) and the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (£24) – they blend seamlessly with the foundation complementing the overall finish without weighing this healthy glow down.
MAC claims the Studio Fix foundation lasts for 24 hours, which we think is a bit of stretch.
We find that it lasts well for around 12 hours, so looks great at the end of the day, even if the matte finish fades a little if you have oily skin (like us).
Our skin still usually looks flawless and breakouts are still covered when we get home from work, although we have noticed that it has a tendency to transfer a little onto our phone’s screen throughout the day.
By the end of the day this foundation doesn’t feel too heavy, and despite some of our natural oiliness seeping through, it also doesn’t feel too slick. Although it does feel more noticeable and heavier than when it’s first applied.
Retailing at £27, MAC Studio Fix foundation is definitely a luxury purchase yet its thicker consistency and impressive coverage means a little goes a really long way.
It’s also not the most expensive foundation on the market, far from it, yet outperforms pricey rivals.
We’ve used both the fluid and stick versions of Studio Fix and prefer the former.
The latter is much easier to apply and blends really well but we don’t feel it lasts as well as the former and the coverage isn’t as impressive. This will suit you if you’re after the Studio Fix foundation quality with a more natural finish, though.
We tend to use the Studio Fix Fluid foundation first thing and then top it up, if we’re going out after work for example, if we really need to with the portable foundation stick.
The stick costs the same as the fluid foundation, though, so this is an expensive way to keep our skin looking flawless.
Plus, given that the fluid foundation performs so well, it’s not something that is every really a problem but we wanted to flag the differences.
MAC pits its Studio Fix Fluid foundation as being suitable for all skin types, however we’d say it is best suited to normal/oily skin due to it’s matte finish and longevity.
For dry skin, we would recommend using a hydrating primer before using Studio Fix – our favourites are the NYX Professional Makeup Bare with Me Jelly Primer (£15) and the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water (£22).
You could also mix the Studio Fix foundation with your moisturiser to sheer it out and add extra hydration. The Smashbox Primer Water doubles up as a setting spray if you’re worried about spending the extra money.
Check out our list of the best primers for more recommendations.
Overall, the Studio Fix Fluid Foundation performs extremely well, gives an impressive finish and definitely offers the coverage and longevity it promises. This is our now go-to foundation and we’ve converted a number of friends to switch to it as well.
*MAC will exchange six empty product containers in their primary packaging for one of their lipsticks as a recycling scheme. Details are on MAC Cosmetics website.