Face off #5: MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick & Complete Coverage Cushion

February 5, 2020

MAC has an extensive range of foundations to suit every makeup lover and makeup artist, though I have not played with their offerings for years… until now!  The brand has recently expanded its Studio Fix collection with the addition of 2 new portable foundations – the Soft Matte Foundation Stick and Complete Coverage Cushion Compact.

MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Stick Foundation & Complete Coverage Cushion

MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick comes in a portable stick format that is convenient for traveling, touchups and applications on the go.  With 33 shades to choose from, this is also suitable for use in contouring.  It provides medium coverage with a matte finish, and amazing longevity that does not fade nor oxidize as the day wears on.  Full list of ingredients may be found here.
MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Stick Foundation comparison.jpg

**Please click on image to open in separate window to zoom

Unlike other stick foundations that I have tried, this MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick has very little slip, which makes it difficult to blend.  On the other hand, the lack of emollience also makes it less likely to transfer and more long lasting.  Coverage, though medium, does not build up easily either so it is not really suitable for use as a concealer replacement.  However, it does an adequate job of covering up dark circles and gives a very natural albeit slightly more matte finish.

MAC Studio Fix Complete Coverage Cushion comparison

**Please click on image to open in separate window to zoom

MAC Studio Fix Complete Coverage Cushion Compact is specially formulated for and currently exclusive to Asia.  As with all good cushions, this MAC one comes with SPF50/PA++++ sun protection, and does not leave the complexion looking ashen which is great.  In comparison to the Soft Matte Foundation Stick above, I found this Complete Coverage Cushion to be much easier to apply and blend.  However, as you can see from the comparison photo above, coverage is more medium than full, and I still need a separate concealer to cover scars.  When first applied, the finish is glowy and smooth, but on my dry skin it turns rather dry and starts emphasizing fine lines within 1-2 hours.  Click here to view the list of ingredients.

Both foundations are extremely long-wearing, lasting me all day without fading or oxidizing.  I should note here that the shade range differs between the 2, I wear NC15 for the Soft Matte Foundation Stick (which is a closer match), and NC14 for Complete Coverage Cushion Compact (unfortunately NC15 is not available and the next shade NC16 is a tad too dark).  Personally I find the cushion more pleasant to use, unfortunately it is exclusive to Asia at the moment.  The Foundation Stick is not one of my favorites, but you may enjoy it if you have oilier skin and need a truly matte foundation.

And with this, I round up this 5-part mini-series.  As I type this, more new ones have showed up, but I think it is time to move onto other aspects of beauty.  I have a fragrance review lined up, and am planning some skincare discourses.  Baby #2 is due in early-March, so I have a few more weeks to go before the uncertainty of a newborn changes my schedule.  I’m sure we will circle back to foundations sooner rather than later as it is one of my favorite things in makeup.  So leave me a note below if there is something that you’ve been curious about and would like to see me review!

This post featured products that were generously provided for my consideration.  Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.