May 212015

MAC Pro Longwear nourishing waterproof 4

A few weeks ago, there was a new foundation released to the world–MAC’s Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation ($32/0.85 ounces). This caught my eye because the formula seems entirely new–not just for MAC, but new for the cosmetic industry. According to this piece in Stylcaster, MAC’s “product development team had been challenged to create a waterproof, modern concealer, and leveraged emerging trends from Korea around hybrid products to create something new.” MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation is currently available at MAC, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, DillardsSelfridges, and other MAC sources.

In 16 shades that correlate to the standard MAC “NC” and “NW” naming scheme, this concealer/foundation is described by the line as follows:

A tenacious waterproof formula that can be used as a foundation or concealer, wearing for an unprecedented 24 hours. Neither rain nor tears can budge this oil-free watertight product that actually repels moisture from the surface of the face. The formula blends seamlessly on the skin with medium to full weightless coverage and a natural satin finish.

MAC pro longwear nourishing waterproof 3Karen’s review at the Makeup and Beauty Blog was helpful to me when using this foundation for the first several times. I want to expand on a few things based on my use of this over the past week plus. As a new formula, I found that many of my intuitions from applying liquids, creams, serums, tinted moisturizers, and bb/cc creams needed to be finessed to get the most out of this foundation.

mac pro longwear nourishing waterproof 6


This is my advice (your mileage may vary):

  • The coverage goes from light to full very quickly. When applied directly to the face, it’s important to do this in layers. Then wait a minute before you apply another layer. Trust me on this one. It’s really easy to over-apply, in which case the foundation begins to really highlight pores and look super-artificial. Unless you are going for that look, proceed slowly.
  • Once you are happy with a semi-light coverage, go back in and add product only where you need it. The formula gives you a good minute or more to play with it before it dries, and can be layered even later in the day if you like.
  • Use very little at a time. One drop really can cover the entire face.
  • The color designations seem to be lighter in my range compared to MAC’s standard range. I am typically NC15/20, so I purchased NC20 after swatching a few colors at a store. After wearing the shade, I thought that the match was fine for a pale look, but the NC25 looked more natural on me especially when worn with a bronzer for summer wear (I ended up purchasing both). By comparison, NC20 looked a little harsh, although technically I might have considered it an acceptable match in a sheerer formula. Who knows, maybe my own ghost-pale skin is just scary. Anyway, don’t be afraid to go to a deeper shade if you want to. It’s only makeup.
  • Because of its propensity for high-coverage with a satin finish, I recommend using some type of light Chanel Les Beiges or Guerlain Joli Tient bronzer to warm up the skin and add some life.
  • I had trouble mixing this foundation with a more conventional formulas from other lines. For example, a mix of this and NARS tinted moisturizer seemed to separate on my face when I went into a hot, humid environment. If you are going to mix colors to get your shade, I’d experiment in the comfort of your own home first.
  • MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof really does hold up well in hot, humid weather. My glowy dew (aka sweat), beaded up on my face without removing any foundation. If you are in a hot, humid climate, this one is worth checking out.
  • This foundation looked best on me with a primer (I used Tom Ford’s). It gave it a bit of “cushion” to make the MAC formula sit more lightly on the skin and was a bit more forgiving.
  • I suspect that those with dry skin will want to moisturize well before using this formula.Every bump, pore, flake and tiny line will show if you apply this heavily. For lighter coverage, it seems to be more forgiving.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing NC20

You might be wondering if this is worth the trouble of undertaking a learning curve, especially if you are not a foundation-obsessed beauty blogger.  If you are looking for a beautiful finish that lasts all, all, all day in hot, humid weather, then yes. It can be layered mid-day to give a beautiful satin finish. Worn in this week’s rainstorm, the foundation didn’t move (my hair, on the other hand….). The coverage moves from light to medium to full with very little product. The feel is extremely light and breathable–unlike MAC Studio Sculpt, the feel of Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof is feather-light.  I did not detect any scent. I have an incomplete ingredients list, because the Nordstrom label covered up the bottom:

ingredients mac pro longwear nourishing waterproof
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation is currently available at MAC, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Dillards, Selfridges, and other MAC sources.

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  8 Responses to “My Thoughts: MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation”

  1. I have been trying it for the past week as well and I have fallen in love!!

    I like the more natural finish while being long lasting. The shades don’t have that orange tint that the regular pro longwear has. My oily skin does not disintegrate it. AND one day I went to work, sweated (I live in a humid and right now hot place), blotted and powdered after 5 hours, came home after 8 hours, retouched with a bit of powder, went to my second job and came back home. 13 hours later it still looked good (not perfect but good!).

    In short, I am a convert!

  2. Hi Amy,
    There is no one who does foundation reviews the way you do it. Seriously I can’t buy a foundation without reading your thoughts on it. I am considering to give this one a go but seeing myself getting very frustrated in the morning when I have to slap something(s) on my face and the most important requirement that it has to work quickly 🙂 On the other hand I can see this becoming something I would reach for when I travel south for the summer, humid hot and nothing stays put so it is alright to spend a bit more time for the sake of being able to use a foundation at all.
    Thanks so much once more. Hope you are doing fine.

    • Aw, thanks Sara–you are too sweet! I love your blog too. I think there’s a steep learning curve with this foundation. After 4-5 times of experimenting, I think that you could do it “sort of” quickly? (I do brows while the first layer is drying, etc.) But that first day of using this was a little rough–the second, was easier, etc. Still, you are absolutely correct that some foundations (Tom Ford, By Terry, several others) that I can just apply with my sleepy eyes half-closed and get superb results. Not so with this one–it does take a little more time and care! 🙂 (hugs!)

  3. Love love your reviews and your knowledge. And we are same skin tone so I have bought multiple foundations after your reviews online without trying and I was never disappointed

  4. Thanks for the great review. I’m thinking that with my lifestyle I really don’t need a longwear foundation (that will presumably be harder to get off my picky skin). I think I’ll just wait to try MAC’s upcoming serum foundation if the ingredients are ok for me.

  5. […] layer most if not all of the redness on the center of my face and my blemishes had been covered. Cafe Makeup here has some tips on application as […]

  6. Hello and thank you for the review !
    Do you think it could replace the Pro Longwear Concealer (the bottle is so… I don’t know the word in english, sorry 😉

    Thank you for the answer !

    • Yes, this certainly can. I’ve used it solo under my eyes and also on my cheek area under an Armani foundation. I agree, this squeeze tube is much easier to control than the old concealer pump!

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