Archive for category MAC

Good Coverage Without the Heaviness

Justsophierce asked if I knew of any non-MAC foundations that still give good coverage without feeling heavy or mask-like.

Actually, I must admit, the one thing I detest from MAC are their foundations.  I find them heavy, they oxidize within hours, they transfer… Ugh.  Now, I’m appreciative towards the brand for establishing the NC/NW system, but after trying Studio Fix, Studio Tech, Full Coverage, and Skinfinish Natural, I will never again purchase one of their foundations.

Now, where to look?  It really depends on what formula you want and what price range you’re willing to go for.  So I’ll cover all of em!

  • Cheap Creme: Graftobian.  Oh my lord, are these foundations fantastic.  I picked up a palette originally for some freelance work I was doing for a play that had actors with a lot of different skintones, and fell in love.  Blends like a dream, looks like real skin, comes in every shade imaginable, doesn’t feel heavy, and doesn’t oxidize.  Sounds perfect, right?  Just not for oily skin.
  • High-End Cream: Shu Uemura Nobara compact.  Simply divine, creates a luminous finish, heavy if applied straight, but using a dampened application tool, applies lightly while still covering major problem areas, with buildable coverage.
  • Cheap Powder: Unfortunately, I really can’t recommend anything here.  Drugstore powder foundations are never very finely milled, and rarely come in more than a few colors.
  • High-End Powder: MUFE Duo Mat.  Extremely buildable, comes in a great variety of shades, portable, quick to apply, pretty fool-proof, stays matte nearly all day, easy to touch-up.
  • Cheap Liquid: Revlon Colorstay.  Now, I realize a lot of people hate this stuff, but if you can get application down, this stuff produces some of the most realistic, great-coverage results I have ever seen.  Lasts all day long (even through intense workouts!), too.  Only problem is that it doesn’t come in a fantastic array of shades, especially for darker skintones.
  • High-End Liquid: MUFE Face & Body (for lesser coverage), or Illamasqua Rich Liquid.  F&B looks extraordinarily real, but provides less coverage. Rich Liquid is amazing.  What most people don’t realize is that it’s not meant to be applied straight-up; it needs to be extremely diluted, such as with a moisturiser.  The only real problem is their severe lack of shades.  But if you can find one that works for you, buy it!


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Essential MAC Brushes

Anonymous asked me what my favorite MAC brushes are.

Face Brushes:

  1. 138: I love this brush for applying liquid foundation, powder bronzer, and powder contour shades.
  2. 188: This brush is fantastic for applying cream blush with precision.
  3. 189: Great for applying cream contour/highlight shades.


  1. 212: Great for applying precise eyeliner, and for creating a fantastic, easy cat-eye.
  2. 214: I love to use this brush when doing a smokey eye.  Really places and packs on the color.
  3. 219: Great for lining under the eye, and getting a slightly smudgey effect if you tilt it during application.
  4. 224: Love this one for diffusing color into the crease, as well as blending two colors together.
  5. 227: Your all-purpose, lid-color brush.

However, I must say, all of my favorite brushes do not come from MAC.  Most of them are from Sigma, Studio Tools, Crown Brushes, and a few non-basic brushes from various companies (like the NARS Ita Kabuki).

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MAC Throwdown

Anonymous asked what I thought of MAC products in comparison to other popular brands.

This is a tough one.  I know that MAC is touted as the standard for makeup in nearly every category, and I’m very thankful for it because of that.  However, that’s all I’ve really ever used it as: a standard.

I find their prices exorbitant, and their products are rarely the best I’ve ever used.

For example, their eyeshadows have set the standard for pigment concentration in eyeshadows.  However, you pay $14.50 for only 1.5g of product.  About a year ago, I discovered Ben Nye Cosmetics, a stage and performance company, and ordered one of their eyeshadow palettes, and each of the shadows has as much, if not more pigment in them than the MAC versions, while only costing $6 for 2.7g!  I also find them a bit silkier and easier to blend.

This is a really tough question as MAC has such a wide variety of products.  If you had asked about a certain product, or even category, it would be much easier to compare.  Below, I’ll list some other companies that I think trump MAC in certain categories, and if you want, I’ll go into detail as to why in another post.  All in all, I’m very glad for MAC having established a base line for other companies to work off of, but I can tell you truthfully that my makeup kit does not contain a single MAC product.

Brushes: Sigma or Sigmax, Studio Tools, Crown

Eyeshadow: Ben Nye, Sally Girl

Liquid Foundation: Revlon

Cream Foundations: Graftobian

Lip Color: Revlon, OCC

Powder: Kett, Coty

Let me know in the comments if there are any of these you’d like me to go into more explicit detail about!

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