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MAC Matchmaster: The Foundation Answer for the Hard to Match?

MAC Matchmaster, foundation, review

Recently, MAC released a new line of foundation that promises to be completely different from all of their other foundations. The pigments are different. The idea is that the pigments are encapsulated within little spheres, which helps to reflect light and in theory make the pigments blend more easily with your skin tone. Rather than needing that “perfect match” that we all find so elusive, you should be able to take a foundation that is in the ballpark, put it on, and since it mixes with your own skin tone you’ll look fab.

In addition, this foundation has a demi-matte finish with oil reduction capabilities (sounds amazing to this combination skin girl), a medium coverage that is buildable and soft focus powders to help soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles. For real.

When my sample of the line came in the mail, I had 6 of the 14 available shades. They are number 1.0-10.0, with 1.0 and 10.0 being the lightest and darkest foundations that MAC has ever made. I’ve been matched to N3 in the past, so you can imagine that I have had some problems finding a great match for my skin! In my box I had 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, 6.0, 9.0 and 10.0. I wasn’t quite a 1.0, but I definitely wasn’t 2.0 either (more on my match below), but what to do with 5.0, 6.0, 9.0 and 10.0? I took them into work, where my friends and coworkers know about my site.

The foundations went to women that they matched (well, matched their hands in our hospital hallway testing), with the idea that I’d check in later. 5.0 went to Pam, who is caucasian but tans easily. 6.0 went to my friend Rama, who is Indian and complains that even if she can find the correct depth of color the tone is always too pink. 9.0 went to Sherry who also works in my unit. Sherry is African American (this is the point that she would laugh at me and just say “tell them I’m black and dark!”), with dark skin. She says that if a line decides to include dark shades, it is typically only 2-4 shades and it is nearly impossible to find the correct depth. 10.0 went to a friend of Sherry’s that said her cousin might be able to use it.

So, four women with foundation, all of us with difficulty finding the correct depth/tone of foundation, despite the hundreds of products out there on the market. Both Rama and Sherry admitted that they’ve found the right depth though not the right tone of foundation via Mary Kay in the past, but they haven’t had much luck lately.

As for me, I’m not sure which number is my best “fit”. I’ve yet to make my way to a MAC counter to try out 1.5, but I can create a good match for myself by using 1.0 and putting about 1/3 that amount of 2.0 in the mix. So, maybe I’m 1.33? Regardless, I don’t seem to fit exactly with the foundations that I have currently, but I can make it work out since with just 1 layer it still blends pretty well into my skin.

I’ve heard from Rama, Sherry and Pam that this foundation just works. The tone of the shades are much better with their own skin and more natural looking than anything that they’ve tried in the past!

Matchmaster is a medium coverage foundation, though you can amp up the coverage with more coats pretty easily. As you add more foundation, the match will not be as good however, so do this carefully. I found that it does have a demi-matte finish, meaning it is almost but not quite matte. It looks natural on me with just 1 coat, but if I need to add more then you can start to see that there is some foundation on my skin, though it isn’t bad, just no longer invisible.

With my combination skin I do have some oily areas in my t-zone, but can be drier on my cheeks. I found that this foundation just loves those oily areas, it definitely blended most easily and stayed looking perfect all day in my t-zone. However, on my dry cheeks it seemed to sink more into the dry bits and easily looked a bit scaly, despite hyper-hydration. The coverage lasts all day and there are no oxidation or caking issues.

Overall, I did like this foundation for my t-zone. I’d consider another foundation if my skin was drier. If you have hard to match skin, such as being anything other than the typical “nude beige” white girl, you’ll want to check out this foundation. I’m the atypical super pale white girl, Pam is a white girl that tans easily (she also has an olive undertone to her skin), Rama is Indian and Sherry is black. The undertones of this foundation worked for all of us.

You can buy MAC Matchmaster Foundation at MAC, Nordstrom or Macy’s.

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About Me

Iā€™m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 10.6.11
    Courtney said:

    Interesting! I'll be excited to see how this works. I was using MAC Studio Fluid Fix in NC15, but decided to stop because I thought it was a bit too dark for me. I've also heard bad things about MAC foundations aren't that great for your skin. Is this one different?


  2. 10.6.11
    HBoo said:

    I was tempted to try this, but I am more of a completely matte kinda gal. I do love the pro-longwear foundation though. But it does suck that I'm in-between NW15 and NW20. Maybe I'll give it a whirl!

  3. 10.6.11
    Broodon said:

    Should I have a good makeup primer first and then use this foundation?

  4. 10.6.11
    Christine said:

    Courtney- I haven't heard that specifically about MAC foundations. Makeup in general can clog your pores, though the old wives' tale about letting your skin "breathe" isn't true, since our skin gets all the oxygen it needs from the blood. I think washing it all off at night is more important. šŸ˜€ You might be a good match for the 1.0 or 1.5, I think it's definitely worth stopping at the MAC counter to check out!

    HBoo- This isn't totally matte, and while it "absorbs oil" I think this effect isn't much. I've had some good luck with making it a bit more matte by applying Milk of Magnesia first.

    Broodon- I think it depends on the person. I have bigger pores no matter what I do, so I do like to use a primer if possible to smooth things out a bit. I also really like to mattify all day with MoM, then I don't need to run around with powder. I'd probably go with whatever your typical routine is for other foundations.

  5. 10.6.11
    Anonymous said:

    Thanks for the review! Like Rama, I've had problems. In the past with foundation being too pink. I've found a great match with MUFE HD, but I will try MAC as well. Never hurts to have some variety!

    – Ruchita

  6. 10.7.11

    I was checking this out today, it looks awesome. Thanks so much for more background information! Sophie @ Born to Buy

  7. 10.12.11

    Like you I'd probably be between a 1 and 2 but since I'm dry and not a huge matte fan I think I'll have to skip this one. I am going to check it out for my readers though!

    Jaime @ drugofchoicebeauty.blogspot.com