February 7, 2019

MAC Haul ft. Studio Fix Concealer, Powder Plus Foundation, Eyeshadows, Prep+Prime Fix+ and more

I bought a lot of MAC on Boxing Day and around the holiday time, mainly because of the promotional discounts, free gift wrapping and also because I was intrigued by the newer packaging/the formula and just wanted to give it a go. 
In the past, I haven't been able to create a relationship with MAC products because despite the amazing shade range, I could not find anything that matched my skintone, nor did the formula worked for me. I always felt it accentuated the flaws on my face - like the lines around my eyes or the dryness on my mouth area. I felt that MAC products commanded more steps and more effort from me to make it work. 
Even though, the price point is almost comparable to drugstore products, especially with the 25% discount that I received for Boxing Day, I just never really wanted to buy MAC Cosmetics. Not to mention the awkwardness of the sales associates in my local MAC boutiques. They are always so pushy and judgemental. I will narrate my experiences later in this post. 
Anyways, so these are the products I purchased and so far, liking it. They are the Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NC30, the Studio Fix 24Hr Smooth Wear Concealer in NC30 and NW30, Fix+ in three scents, in the holiday packaging and free makeup remover wipes, I received with my online order. Yup, I ordered online, because I did not need any more useless interactions with MAC employees. 
For swatches and detailed pics keep reading. 




STUDIO FIX POWDER PLUS FOUNDATION in NC30
I actually felt that I was a better match to NW30 because my skintone is not as yellow or light as this powder seems, but guess what, it oxidizes to get slightly more orange than yellow, on my skin and after misting with Fix+, the resulting finish is smooth and forgiving on the pores. I really like that. 
This Studio Fix Powder plus Foundation is a bestseller at MAC and retails for C$35 but with the 25% discount it was only around C$27 for me. Most drugstore compacts are in the $15 to $20 range here, so the price point seems fine to me. Every foundation at Sephora or the department store is in the $60 range, so this is a nice compromise, I believe.
The packaging is very plastic-y, but doesn't show smudge marks as much as YSL compacts or any other brand. I was hoping that I could easily de-pot this compact for my Z-palette but I can't figure out an easy way. Usually, compacts from brands created by makeup artists, are easy to pop out because they keep travel in mind. It's not that big of an issue for now, but I will see if it works when I am on vacation and like to downsize on excess packaging.
It also comes with a mirror and a sponge that I can use for touch ups. My favorite way to apply this is with a big powder brush. I use a duo fibre dense powder brush by Real Techniques for this and it applies evenly.
This powder tends to cling on the dryness on my skin but its not the worst and can be easily fixed with guess what, FIX+!! It is long-wearing and I feel that after initial oxidation/color change in the first 15 minutes, this powder stays fresh all day. Just pick a slightly lighter/yellow shade than your skintone and it should look just fine. 
Overall, I feel it's a nice powder, it stays put throughout the day for me and the sponge makes it easy to touch up. It blurs out pores and the rest of the issues can be fixed with a face mist. 


STUDIO FIX 24HR SMOOTH WEAR CONCEALER in NC30 and NW30
When I ran out of my favorite NARS Creamy Concealer, I decided to try the ones from MAC for a change. I still love my NARS concealer and I will repurchase that soon, however, this is also a very good full coverage concealer. I actually went through three shades of this before deciding the right one for myself.

My major concern is my undereye circles and the brown acne marks on my face. As I am getting older the brown spots seem to take much longer to fade, than ever before. I also squeeze out my acne when even after 2 weeks my body can not rid me of it, and guess what more brown spots. This is not a good practise and must never be done but looking at 3D bumps on my face for so long makes me wanna get rid of them fast. I always slather HA serum to provide the needed moisture and prevent deep scarring. Some times it works, and sometimes, well they become scars which NEED concealer! At this point I have 7 brown spots distributed on my cheeks and I need something to cancel out the brown and make my complexion look even. 

The major difference between NC30 and NW30 is the undertone. NC30 is clearly yellow and NW30 is quite pink. The bottles are transparent so that it shows the true color of the concealer inside and also, how much is left. 

Studio Fix 24hr Concealers have a doe foot applicator which I like, and I blend it out using a concealer brush or a Precision Brush from Sigma beauty. It blends out nicely but since I have fine lines under my eyes, it tends to settle in them and accentuate them. I always 'bake' a little with these, though, I do not like the powdery undereye look. Then I mist with FIX+ all over my face and it works to set this concealer as well.   
It is relatively waterproof on me, as I feel the concealer doesn't budge at all throughout the day. For my face, I like NC30 more and for my under eyes NW30 works better because the pink tones, correct the dark circles nicely. I can literally create a no-dark-circle look with this, however, if I am not careful, it can add more lines to my undereye area, so I apply, blend and set with caution.

My MAC In-Store Experience
Ok, so since, I have told everything I felt about these concealers, now let me share, how I got my shade match. Just like every time, I am trying something new, I like to go to the beauty counter at Holt or The Bay or Sephora to get help from the sales associates. At every place, I am treated with respect and my concerns are valued by the sales associate helping me. If after receiving all the shade matching, I am still not sure that this product is what I want, then they usually give me some samples to try at home and in different lighting. They never give me an eye roll, nor do they pass judgemental remarks.

It's the opposite at MAC boutiques and counter at the Market Mall location in Calgary. In the past, the sales associate has shown me so much anger, because I wanted to return a product, so I decided never to shop from them. But since they had a 25% off promo at Boxing Day and I was already shopping my sister's wishlist, I decided to get this concealer for myself and I needed to know what shade will be good for me since dark circles are my biggest concern.
So, I asked for help. The guy who helped me matched me with the shade NW32 and he also picked NW35. Then he quickly decided that NW35 was "way too dark" and removed it from my undereye area using a wipe. He hastily applied the concealer in NW32 and asked me how it looked. I said "it looks patchy and a bit chalky in the inner corners". He gave me an eye roll and then blended it with full force. I wanted to stop him so I tried looking at him and he quickly said "when I am blending don't look down". I could sense that he is not liking this at all so I stayed quiet, hoping this will pass and I wont start bawling or create a scene.  Once he was done, he asked me again. "What do think now?" and I told him that I don't feel it's the right shade for me. He shrugged and said in a stern voice "I am not understanding what you don't like about it, because the shade is a perfect match" to which I responded while pointing at the line that distinguishes my dark circles from the cheeks, that "...this line, seems even darker than before and I would like the concealer to cover it." His response was something that kept reverberating in my mind for days. He said with mean, empty eyes "Makeup can not cover everything. If you want that line to go away, you need to see a doctor!"
I was shocked! I couldn't believe a makeup artist would ever say this to me but it's a MAC store and it is full of people who are mean and don't want to help. I just said, "Okay" and shook my head and tried to get up from the chair, to which he said, "let me even out your eyes..". I was so shocked and upset my his comments that I didn't know what to say. He applied the concealer to both my eyes and I was done. He did not offer me a sample, so I asked him to give me one, so I can try at home. He just looked down moved away quickly, like I asked him to do extra work. Then after a few minutes he gave me a sample pot of concealer in NW32 and said, "Its really hard to get this concealer out because of the packaging, but I hope you can try it a few times at home."
And I walked out of the store feeling small and disrespected as makeup can't cover my dark circles and only a doctor was my last resort. I am 33 and I do not have any wrinkles on my face. My dark circles are darkness under my eyes, and not as deep that would require a filler. They can be covered by almost any concealer and a makeup artist at MAC must know better than this. He spoke to me as if MAC can't produce a product that could cover under eye darkness, or that he was not trained to know the art of concealing. It was the worst experience I ever had at MAC so far. I think they just keep raising the bar of bad customer service by hiring mean people. No wonder the store at Market Mall is always empty or with very few customers.

So that is how I am able to produce the swatches of the three shades of this concealer. I got the NW32 as a sample and then purchased NC30 and NW30 online. I have been using these for a month now, and have decided to return NC30 because NW30 works for me better. It covers my dark circles and also the brown spots on my face. I apply it under my foundation and I feel it works better that way than over my foundation, because of the obvious pink tones in NW30.

SWATCHES
MAC studio Fix 24 Hr Concealer in NC30, NW 30 and NW32

MAC Studio Fix Concealer in NC30 and NW30 and Powder Plus Foundation in NC30

PREP+PRIME FIX+ 2018 Holiday Set in three scent - Coconut, Lavender and Rose
I got an incredible deal on this set during the holidays. These three 1 oz bottle of Fix+ were for C$12.50 for a limited time with free shipping and I ordered them in a snap. I have always loved this product and I wanted to try the new scents, because you guys know I love fragrance in my makeup.  It is the same Fix+ but scented and I love it. I would totally recommend that if there is one thing you must get from MAC, it's this!




MAC EYESHADOWS
I am currently working on creating my own MAC eyeshadow palette and thought about trying these three shades, that I have seen many YouTubers use, but never got it for myself. It is a matte black called Carbon, shimmery, luster finish in Honeylust and everyone's favorite bronze in satin finish called Woodwinked
These eyeshadows are great and I am loving them so far. The texture, the quality on these are spot on and the three of them make a great smokey eye look. I have been using these non stop for every party I attended in December and January. That is also the reason why I couldn't update my blog as much in January ;o)




Overall, I am impressed by each of these products and I feel they all work great for me. I would recommend shopping online for MAC because that is the best way to get everything, without the in-store drama. The return policy is also pretty good, so I will return the NC 30 concealer soon. The rest of the stuff gets used regularly by me and I love each of these products.


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