Foundation MAC

My Thoughts: MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation SPF 30

September 11, 2015

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 1

Today, I had my first opportunity to try MAC Studio Waterweight SPF30 Foundation ($33/1.0 oz.), together with the new MAC #196 Slanted Flat Top Foundation Brush ($35). This set has been getting raves from makeup artists who’ve had a preview at Fashion Week events earlier this year, as a totally unique formula. There’s a lot to talk about!  This foundation is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Dillards

Mac Waterweight 1

First of all, MAC Waterweight is a serum foundation. It is in the tradition of Armani’s Maestro and Nars All Day Luminous Foundation, but different in very significant ways.  It has the weightless feel due to an extremely light texture, and needs to be shaken before use (if you don’t shake it, what can I say?).  However, NARS’ serum has much higher coverage–the All Day Luminous takes barely a drop plus to cover everything. Armani Maestro’s serum is an oil-based product. As the name suggests, MAC Waterweight has a water-base and it feels lighter than a feather. Really, it feels like one is wearing nothing at all. But what really sets MAC’s Waterweight apart is the glow (more on this later).

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 4

MAC’s gives light coverage with a swipe of the new #196 brush. So if you have any discoloration, or spots that haven’t quite healed yet, get ready to layer or conceal (Armani’s Maestro Concealer is a good choice here, because it’s super lightweight texture won’t interfere with the Waterweight’s lightweight look/feel). An alternative is to layer up the MAC Waterweight, which layers shockingly well.  I mean, at one point I just kept adding 5, 6 plus layers just for science. It was fine. 

More thoughts:

  • Unlike Nars and Armani, MAC Waterweight has a glowing, moisturizing look that is very unique because it seems to slightly glow only where the light hits it.  In other words, my face stayed relatively matte all day, except when I caught sight of my skin in certain light where it had the most healthy glow ever.  It’s an ethereal, healthy, “my skin but amazing” quality that looks like lit-from-within.  The finish really knocks a few years off and, combined with the lightness of the texture, makes me look like I’ve been eating way healthier than I do. It isn’t a sparkly-micro-shimmer glow. It’s sophisticated enough to be believable.
  • Without a primer or powder, I got all-day wear on my combination skin. I did not seem to get a glow on my forehead as I sometimes do with glowy foundations. I’m not sure what is giving MAC Waterweight foundation that glow that doesn’t get oily throughout the day, but they should bottle it. Oh wait, they did.
  •  Although coverage did not go all the way to full, even with my epic layering experiment, I found that the foundation did a fairly good job color-correcting for some areas of my face that are not super even.  Those with more dramatic discoloration may wish to add a color corrector, but I was quite happy straight out of the bottle.

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 12

Overall, I was not expecting to love another serum. I have a lot of love for this one.  Keep in mind that the bottle color will be lighter than the dry down on your skin, so wait that full minute before you judge the color.  If you are looking for a high coverage matte look, then keep looking. But if you are looking for a healthy glowing complexion, this is well worth investigating. MAC does have something very unique here

MAC Waterweight (and the MAC 196 brush) is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Dillards.

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 10

I found that MAC NC15 was a touch on the lighter side for me, but not too far off.  The glowy quality gave me a fresh, clean-faced, healthy look. I’ve heard this from other NC15’ers.

Here are some comparisons with Too Faced Born This Way in Light Beige, Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Ivory Medium, MAC Waterweight in NC15, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 4.5, Nars Sheer Glow in Deauville, NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska, MAC Studio Sculpt in NC15 and Chanel Lift Lumiere in Ivoire. 

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 15

My testing today was applied using the new MAC #196 slanted flat top foundation brush. This is like a huge version of the Shisheido Perfect foundation brush in shape and size. The MAC #196’s bristles are dense, dense, dense.  Also, the brush does not seem to absorb much foundation during use, which is nice. You aren’t sacrificing a lot of product to the tool used to apply it.

Some prefer a small brush, but I had no problem using this larger size.  It’s a brush, so the bristles have give. I was able to get into all the nooks and crannies with no problem.

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  • Faye September 11, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks for posting a review about the foundation! Was awaiting your judgement before I bought. Since I’m always on the look out for a naturally glowing foundation, I am going to get matched to a color next time I go to a Mac store/counter. This summer I’ve been alternating between the Mac lightful c tinted serum and Chanel’s perfection lumiere, which are quite different but both leave great texture on the skin albeit with different coverage and finishes.

  • Zara September 12, 2015 at 5:04 am

    It sounds so great! I actually saw this in my M.A.C store on a new display and NO ONE was talking about it at the time except now you and I saw it also in pictures of the backstages of a few the different fashion weeks sponsored by MAC xx

  • Clever Girl Reviews September 12, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Sounds great but NC 15 is pretty dark! I doubt I’d find a match.

  • WengYee September 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for this, it’s been on my list since it was announced and then I wasn’t sure as the MUA called it the F&B alternative. NARS All Day Luminous is my go-to for long-lasting makeup, so thanks for the comparison!

  • bisbee September 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Just ordered! Thank you for a wonderful review…

  • Kristie September 15, 2015 at 9:21 am

    sounds like a great product to try!

  • annie September 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Great review! Was waiting for a review on this brush and now I definitely want to buy it!

  • Joan September 17, 2015 at 11:11 am

    So detailed… I learned a ton from this review so thanks! And I’ve been looking for a serum type foundation so this review gets me just a bit closer to making a decision!

  • Katie September 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Thank you Amy! I am loving this foundation and never would have knows of it if not for you. I am wearing nc15 but may try nc20 just in case…. Wanted to ask you what shade you use in the Armani Eraser. I’ve heard that I should either try 2.0 or 4.0. Thoughts?
    Thanks so much!

    • Amy September 26, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      I use 2.0-I’m glad you are enjoying it!