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21 Jun 2014

Rediscovering: MAC Studio Sculpt foundation



Seriously, how nice is it to rediscover an old gem? My latest love affair is MAC Studio Sculpt foundation. Very much an oldie but an absolute goodie.
I remember hot-footing it to MAC in Westfield/Shepherds Bush when this first came out.  The shop was a total clusterflip of people, as usual, so I barked my usual shade at the Sales Assistant and then ran out in relief. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised the Studio Sculpt’s colour range isn’t entirely consistent with the rest of the line – I had managed to purchase NC Ooompa Loompa. So I never “got” it and never bothered to repurchase.

It wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I decided to try it again. I was rummaging through my mum’s makeup when home in the UK and she had NW25. NW always comes out far too pink-toned on me but I tried it anyway and bingo – perfect match.

(MAC Studio Sculpt/MAC Lingering on Brows/L'oreal Miss Manga mascara/Clinique Soft Matte lipstick in Matte Suede)

I bought my own tube but was too busy trying other things to realise just how amazing this foundation is. The penny has only just dropped and for the last few weeks this is all I have been wearing.

There are so many strengths to this stuff:
  1. The finish – it’s radiant. And when I say radiant it will make your skin look plastic-perfect. Like a Barbie. Skin looks hydrated, nourished and youthful.
  2. The coverage – it’s a medium coverage foundation but if you want to pile it on with a trowel, by all means, go ahead. This is buildable. And achieving a medium/full coverage is easily done with a pea-sized amount. Stippled that in (a flat topped brush is key) and see how you feel before adding any more.
  3. The soft focus – I don’t find that this gel formula settles into pores or fine lines as the day goes on. I even apply it under my eyes and avoid this issue.
What I have to say though is that good news aside, you need to be aware of some important factors:
  1. The waiting game – this isn’t one of those super-fast drying foundations. You need to apply it and wait before you can move on to any other face makeup step. I typically leave it a couple of minutes, spending the time doing my eyebrows and drinking coffee.
  2. Set it, set it good – if you want your make up to last all day you need a good setting powder. If you want to see your makeup disappear from your face then feel free to skip this step. You have been warned!
  3. “Orange” you glad to see me? – this sets a little darker/warmer than anticipated. I did some MUA research and I am not the only person who has noticed this so when buying Studio Sculpt get them to apply it on you and then wait to see what colour it sets to.
  4. Spots not welcome – many reviewers complain that this breaks them out. Sometimes it happens immediately and then other times after a week or two of use. It’s something to be aware of. Now if you like the concept of the finish/gel consistency then don’t worry, there are alternatives and the closest is Laura Mercier’s “Silk Crème”.  Worth a shot.
Studio Sculpt is £25 a tube – a price that I think is well justified. The fact that you need such little product means that it will really last for a long time.

I am half expecting MAC to discontinue this now that I have finally found a love for it but until that day comes I will be stippling this stuff on every morning.


How did you get on with Studio Sculpt?

35 comments

  1. I've been wearing it since your Instagram post! Thanks for the reminder xo

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    1. Ah so you shopped your stash? Love it when that happens! Thanks for reading Jennifer!

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  2. Absolutely love the coverage from this foundation!

    thestyleconfidential.co.uk

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    1. Me too! It's just enough for me....enough being pretty full :) haha

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  3. I love that foundation, but as you mentioned, it does turn orange on me, too. :(

    Connie | sponsoredbycoffee.com

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    1. It's so tricky isn't it? It was purely luck that I found that NW25 was a decent match. That whole trying darker than you want thing is so much hassle, right?

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  5. I have bought this a few months ago but I didn't like it because of its poor lasting power. Now that I've read this I want to try it again and will use a good amount of powder on top! I did love the radiant finish, it's super glowy indeed!

    Do you apply this with a sponge or with a brush? :)

    Great review! Have a lovely weekend xx

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    1. Hi Marilou - I have tried it with fingers and hated the way it looked. I have to use a flat topped brush (The Real Techinques one is perfect), stipple the crap out of it and then use finger tips to just smooth and set. This is the only way I like it. Hope that helps! :) x

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    2. Ah thanks, it helps a lot!! I'll try that tomorrow :) xx

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  6. I'm a lover of the MAC Mineralize Moisture foundation in the same shade, NW25. It's great if your skin is slightly drier and gives a lovely soft, dewy finish xx

    Effortlessly Excessive.

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    1. I need to revisit that foundation - I remember trying it years ago and liking it. Might have to pick it up at duty free because soft and dewy sounds perfect :) Thanks Kirsty!

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  7. I tried back in the days when it was released. Surprisingly NC15 ran lighter than in other range, which actually made it a very good match for my Winter skin. And I loved the smell. But it has a weird consistency and back then I wasn't too sure how to work with it, I was also much less experienced with makeup than I am now. I have been thinking of trying it again so I might splurge and get it again soon :)

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    1. Have you tried Laura Mercier Silk Creme? I think its a toss up between the two - both great, both gel-type consistencies and both pretty heavy medium/full coverage. The Silk Creme is possibly easier to blend/work with but in both cases get that flat topped brush out when applying. Fingers crossed it works out :)

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  8. Oh Matte Suede! You are coming home to me :))

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    1. I will do a post about it tomorrow but I think this is so you. The only thing I am a bit iffy about is the texture....not sure I love it!

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  9. Now this sounds interesting, I've not tried it before but I really love the Laura Mercier Creme foundation so I'm thinking I'd like this too. The thing that scares the crap out of me though is the amount of people that say it makes them break out, especially since Mac Fix Plus had my skin in all sorts of mess! I might just bite the bullet and try it though.....

    I rediscovered MAC studio fix concealer a couple of weeks ago and thats been making an appearance on my face this week a bit, it's hard to get excited about a concealer though! ha

    Hope you're well Laura, you had me in stitches in Simone's vlog, Shishas are baaaaaadd! ha ha (I love them too! )

    Lis x

    www.elisabethrilatt.com

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    1. I know what you mean - its a bit scary that so many people DONT get on with it. If you like your Silk Creme then stick with that because this is v. similar.

      Glad you enjoyed the vlog :) All I ever say about shisha is a) I love it and b) It's so bad for you....it's a major vice :) haha

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  10. I never believed that a foundation could actually "break you out" but this one did for me, in a big way. Never again!

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  11. It's always amazing when you rediscover an old product and a new-found love for it. Unfortunately Studio Sculpt is not for me (I've got oily/combination skin) but it looks fab on you!

    xo, alison*elle

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  12. I wasn't impressed when I tried this, I don't know whether it was the actual product or whether I was put off by being told the wrong shade x

    llyloves.blogspot.co.uk

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  13. I used to wear this all the time and recently started using it again, I love it! I get the most compliments when I wear this, gives a gorgeous smooth glow, but like you said does not last as well as other mac foundations x

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  14. I've always been a Studio Fix Fluid kind of girl but I've been tempted by the Studio Sculpt foundation for a while. The only thing that's stopping me from trying it is the shades available don't even come close to my paler than pale skintone.

    Raise The Waves

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  15. The coverage looks great on you Laura!
    Hugs xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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  16. Ooh I was totally sold on this until I read that it breaks a lot if people out. I've been really spot prone recently for the first time in my life (I'm 23) so I don't want to risk anything messing up my skin! But maybe I should try the Laura Mercier alternative! Thanks for sharing!

    Abi x
    www.brooksmakeup.wordpress.com

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  17. Oh my goodness your hair colour is gorgeous! I've never tried studio sculpt, but you've convinced me to try it :)
    www.kateflowermaquillage.wordpress.com

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  18. I've been using it over the last few months and I love it, but i wish i'd gone a shade darker. http://www.thehorseferrygirl.com/

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  19. You look great!
    xo
    Stacy

    http://tastyrumors.blogspot.com/

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  20. Hi Laura, thanks for this blog post. What setting powder would you recommend? I've never used one before and didn't realise it could help my make-up last!

    the bloody blog

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  21. Urgh i am obsessed with this foundation now! I got it a few years ago and just wasn't keen on it, and then recently purchased another shade and it's perfect! I love the gel consistency and it's fab on combination skins. xx

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  22. love this stuff! been using it for the last 3 years probably, and it covers well and doesnt break me out. I personally dont need to set it with powder, and I find it lasts well throughout the day.
    Really a great products, I mix NC25 and NC30 to get the perfect color :) this paired with the sudio fix concealer gives great coverage. Glad youre enjoying it!

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  23. PS: try applying it with your fingers, i find it works best that way.

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  24. I love this but I've neglected it for so long, it's been sat in my stash and it's one I tend to wear on evenings/nights out etc but day to day I find it too heavy. I do agree that it dries a bit darker so this is one I can also use with my false tan. The base looks flawless on you Laura.

    Love Beth @ BethBlogsBeauty
    xx

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  26. I'm excited to try this now! I've been looking for new foundations (I'm finally taking the plunge into the high end foundation world) and starting with MAC or Laura Mercier sounds like a good idea to me. Do you have any suggestions for a first time high end user?

    xx
    www.thestyleduckling.blogspot.com

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