MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (review) is my staple concealer so naturally I was ecstatic to learn about the launch of the Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation! I ordered my tube sight unseen without even reading any reviews on it. I was so sure that it was going to be really good. I mean when you put “Pro Longwear“, “Nourishing“, and “Waterproof” together in a name, it's hard to resist the temptation. It has to be awesome right?! And it is! ;D
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation comes in a simple matte black squeeze tube with a pinhole opening. Above the cap, there is a transparent strip all around the tube to let you identify the color inside easily. The product was formulated for all skin types and is oil-free, scent-free, and non-acnegenic.
The first aspect I'd like to touch on is the color match. I am about NC30 in MAC foundation system so when I ordered blind, I chose to stick with NC30 just to be safe. And it turned out to be a pretty good match, if only I let it oxidize a little bit first.
My arm swatches below show the foundation freshly applied compared to the one applied 5 minutes earlier. You can clearly see that there's a bit of oxidization going on, in other words, the product dispenses a little too light for my skin tone but later on adjusts to my correct shade perfectly.
Also, MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC30 is different from MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC30! Look at my swatches below. Even when the foundation is freshly dispensed, it's still a tad bit darker than the concealer even though they are both NC30. So if you're thinking of buying this foundation, it's best to have your shade matched at the counter. Have it applied and wait a few minutes to let the color adjust before you decide. Don't go by the color seen in the tube! :)
Formula and application
According to MAC's description, this foundation sounds like everyone's dream foundation! “Water-resistant, transfer-resistant, long-wearing (24 hours), instant and long-term hydration“, well, in all seriousness, I think they are absolutely right on every aspect!
- Texture. This is a rather thick, but lightweight, slightly mousse-y cream that still blends easily. It is so pigmented and I find that a pea-sized dot is plenty for my entire face. It doesn't set too fast so you have a little bit of time to blend and play around with it.
- Coverage and finish. It applies with a medium coverage that is buildable to full. I usually stick with 2 layers which is enough to cover my old acne marks almost completely. The third layer I only reserve for more problem spots. With this foundation, I find that it's best to apply 1-2 layers then let it sit for a bit so that it has time to melt and become one with your skin. You may not like the initial artificial finish at all because sometimes it can look rather heavy and chalky but trust me, you'll like it much, much better once it sets! I'd describe the initial finish as satin-matte but depending on your skin type, it will look more and more skin-like (with slight dewiness here and there) as the day progresses.
- Application. My preferred method is to use a Beautyblender but I also receive beautiful results using fingertips or a dense foundation blush. I also find that it's better to start off with a well-moisturized, slightly blotted dry skin to prevent the formula from clinging on to dry patches and settling into pores and fine lines. If you have enlarged pores, try applying a pore-minimizing primer before the foundation for a more flawless finish. I also like to set with some sort of finishing powder as a final step to keep my combination-oily skin matte longer.
As you can see in my face photo below. It covers redness around my nose and mouth really well. Pores on the inner cheeks are also blurred out perfectly. Dark circles under my eyes are less distinct. Acne and pigmented spots on my cheeks are diffused and concealed. Skin tone overall looks more even and less textured. All of these while still looking skin-like! No cakiness or heaviness. Color me super impressed!
I also tested if it repels water by jumping in the pool and submerging my face under the water here and there for about a half hour. Results? It didn't budge! While my eyeliners were starting to move, my foundation face was still on and strong. You can test this easily by subjecting your arm swatches under running water for a few minutes and you'll see that it really does repel water!
In terms of oil-controlling, well, it's struggling. Shine still breaks through on my face a few hours later similar to my other foundations. Blotting will still be necessary for us combination/oily skin. But the impressive thing is, this foundation does not disintegrate even after I let my face become an oily mess. It doesn't break down even under profuse sweating, humidity, or rain and tears. I have to say it's one of the best waterproof foundations I've tried to date.
As for hydration, I don't think it necessarily adds any extra hydration to my face but that might be because my skin gets so oily easily nowadays by default so I've never felt dryness regardless of what I use. Even after a really long work day, my skin still feels weightless without ever appearing cakey, patchy, or dry.
If that's not convincing enough, how about transfer-proof? Yeah, if you rub your face harshly with a tissue it will probably come off a little but for everyday activities, it stays on the face, and only on the face. No transferring onto clothes, or fingers, or phone, or whatever that touches your skin.
What else you should know?
This foundation can also double as a concealer but I find its coverage slightly inferior to an actual concealer unless you only have mildly pigmented marks to cover. Now for those whose skin is acne-prone, you'll be happy to hear that this foundation hasn't caused me breakouts whatsoever (and I have very sensitive, acne-prone skin!).
The last thing to discuss is price. While this may look like such a small tube for the price tag, you have to consider that you only need so little per application. I have a feeling this tube is going to last me a really long time!
Apologies for the long essay here but I just wanted to include as much details as possible so that you can make the best informed decision. I personally think that this foundation is worthy of every praise. It doesn't control oil like a champ but it certainly excels at everything else. Such amazing, solid formula that I think every foundation wearer should have it in their collection!