Sunday, 12 June 2016

Make-Up Review: Battle of the Foundations #1 MAC Matchmaster vs. Smashbox Studio Skin

So, after years of being told to "start a blog", "...YouTube Channel" etc. I've decided to take the plunge...I'm blogging :-) I'm hoping to write about a variety of topics; hair, makeup, skincare, travel... we'll see how it goes. 

For my first post I thought I'd start with my never ending quest for the ultimate foundation.
What is the ultimate foundation? For me, it needs to match my skin perfectly, be mattifying (I have combination oily skin and I live in South Africa where summers are longer than winters), be non-transferable, last all day (with minimal/no touch up) and SPF >15. That's not too much to ask now, is it?

Our contestants in this first battle; MAC Matchmaster SPF15 Foundation in shade #8.5 (

Machmaster in #8.5 on the left and Studio Skin in #4.2 on the right. 

  Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation  in shade #4.2 ( both foundations are available in 12 shades. For the matchmaster foundation, the shade I use #8.5 is second to the darkest which is 9.0, and for the Studio Skin 4.2 is the darkest shade available. 

Matchmaster is available at all MAC makeup counters at Foschini and/or Edgars, the MAC store in the V&A Waterfront and online at

Smashbox is also widely available; in Edgars/Redsquare, Foschini and Woolworths stores (as well as their online stores and In terms of price the Matchmaster foundation goes for R420.00 and the Studio Skin is going for R445.00.

Studio Skin Foundation, SPF15
Matchmaster Foundation, SPF15

I decided to compare foundations for a two week period; using the same primers (I'll talk about primers that I'm trying out soon). As you can see in the pictures above, although the foundations look diffrent out of the bottle the're pretty true to my natural colour once applied. 

In terms of application, I've tried brushes (kibuki and stippling)  and the beuaty blender; the Matchmaster applies well with both but the Studio Skin applies better with the beauty blender because it tends to streak when applied with a brush. They don't dry instantly, so you've got time to blend and buff, although this also means you can't touch your face too soon after applying the foundation either. 

Both foundations have medium coverage which is buildable to full; I prefer to wear medium coverage since I have minimal blemishing and my skin is even-toned. The finish is semi-matte for both which is great because I'm not a fan of the powdery finish and I don't contour to add dimension to my face. I finished of my face with M.A.C devil blush and highlighted with M.A.C springsheen blush. In both images, I'm wearing the OFRA liquid lipstick in the shades Atlantic city (2nd picture) and Queens (1st picture) (available from SAMIKA store:  
Both foundations are advertised as long wearing and they do last all day, although I do notice a bit of shine on my T-zone at the midday mark. It's not oily but more luminous so I don't mind it. By the end of the day my makeup was still holding up really well, even after gym class in some cases :-) ...Studio Skin claims to be sweat and humidity resistant, it's definitely passed the gym test. 

Smashbox claims that Studio Skin is transfer-proof, this is true to a certain extent since I haven't had any transfer on to my clothing but there's a bit of transfer onto tissues whenever I blew my nose...hmmm  I don't know... I haven't done a white shirt test though :-)  
M.A.C Matchmaster is not transfer-proof, there are foundation finger prints in some of my notebooks :-)

Final Verdict: I feel like the Matchmaster foundation has red undertones and the Studio Skin is more yellow. I have neutral skin tone so both foundations fit me pretty well. I like how they both apply, they are light weight and I don't get that caked on feeling. The Matchmaster foundation does feel a bit heavier than Smashbox and I defintely feel like I've got something on my face.
I do feel however, that the Matchmaster foundation would suit me better in the spring/summer when my skin gets a bit darker (I may have to re-evaluate come summer).
For me, they're equaly good, although the range of shades is really limited. If you have a darker skin tone than me, Studio Skin does not come in deep cocoa shades and Matchmaster has one more shade, although the Studio Fix fluid foundation has a way better range (with 39 shades to match skin undertones).

Final Marks:
Matchmaster 7.5/10
Studio Skin 8.0/10 (extra points for transfer-proof)  

Okay, that's it for now. See you in my next post.

Much love, xoxo


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