The MAC Cosmetics Studio Radiance Serum-Powered Foundation is finally here. MAC Cosmetics promised to drop an absolute banger and that they did. Nothing that will chart in the UK Hot 100, but will certainly chart on the hearts of the beauty girls. The brand has been known for owning the space of lipstick, and they've also dominated the single eyeshadows arena, but their foundations have also built a cult following.
However, in a market saturated with new foundations, what could MAC release that would set them apart from others? Well, it's fair to say that MAC are also experts in undertones and complexions, so we trust them to come up with a strong formula that will suit people of all skin tones. With 56 shades, you're bound to find yours. The girls today want coverage, but many don't want to hear ‘your makeup looks nice’, they want to hear ‘wow, are you wearing any makeup?’ – the power in that lies in this foundation's lightweight serum-like formula.
It's givin' skin…
Boasting 80% skincare base (including 10% hyaluronic acid solution), this epic formula not only gives you coverage, but it's enriched with skin-loving superfoods to lock-in moisture, hydrate and leave you with a healthy looking glow instantly.
The texture also promises to be featherweight, blurring, but with a radiant finish that will actually last. Five GLAMOUR staffers put five different shades to the test and here are their honest thoughts.
Shei, GLAMOUR's Beauty Writer
Not being much of a foundation girlie (usually concealer is enough for me), I'll be honest, it would take me a lot to convert me back. This foundation came with big claims. I was really impressed with the shade range and there were a few that would suit my dark complexion. I opted for NC60 although next time I would likely choose a warmer undertone instead.
The formula is lightweight, although not quite as serum-like as I expected from the name. It had some consistency to it, which made it higher coverage. It didn't give me full coverage, as expected, but it did even out my complexion from a few drops of product, in fact, a little does go a long way. Both brownie points. As for that radiant finish which is what I'm actually here for – check. Again, it's not over the top, and doesn't make you look greasy, it's quiet and subtle, but it's there. Oily-skinned girlies, fear not, if you set it with a powder it will mattify the finish a little, without losing it's luminosity. Okay MAC you did that…
Lian, GLAMOUR's Audience Development Manager
Mac's Studio Radiance foundation caught me off guard. I have high standards when it comes to foundations and love a natural finish, so the fact that this is serum-powered is a big win for me. This definitely translated into the consistency of the product which was wonderfully lightweight and glided onto my skin like a treat to give a warm, glowy finish.
I loved that it evened out my skin tone without looking flat, covering pigmentation and softening the appearance of pores rather than seeping into them as some formulas can do. It wore well through the day and I didn't notice any creasing around the mouth, so this one's a win in my books. I'll definitely be reaching for Studio Radiance again!
Emily, GLAMOUR's Associate Social Media Manager
I used to only use MAC studio sculpt foundation for a considerable amount of time, so I had high expectations for their latest foundation, Studio Radiance. On first impressions the bottle and pump are a bit of me. However, I thought it would have been better if it had a lid to prevent any excess residue from transferring onto other surfaces. However, I went ahead and applied it directly to my face and blended it with a foundation brush and it looked pretty seamlessly. I went in with shade NC17 which matched my yellow undertone skin perfectly.
My skin looked glowy and felt pretty hydrated after the application, which exactly what I ask for from a foundation. I put it to the test by giving it a spritz of setting spray and spending the day walking the streets of Bath in the sun. The first thing my mum said to me was that my makeup looked great and by the end of the day, even having gone to the Thermae Spa, it had hardly budged. I will say that this isn’t quite as lightweight as I expected and a little went a long way. Also if you have oily skin, this might be a little too dewy for you. However, I was super impressed by the longevity and overall look on myself. Will more than likely be picking it up again.
Denise, GLAMOUR's Commerce Writer
As someone who has dry skin, I’m all about hydrating formulas, especially when it comes to foundations. And there’s nothing more frustrating than having to deal with dry patches and a cakey finish. Naturally, when I got my hands on the new MAC Serum Powered foundation, my expectations were through the roof. Right off the bat, I was really impressed with how lightweight the formula felt on my skin. If anything, it felt as if I had just slathered my face with a nourishing serum. The coverage was definitely on the lighter side, but easily buildable in areas where I needed it most. Most of all, I loved the skin-like finish — perfect for anyone who’s after that “no makeup” makeup look. Hands down the best lightweight foundation I’ve tried this year.
Fiona, GLAMOUR's Acting Associate Beauty Director
In the past, MAC foundations have either been too full coverage for me or too shiny (great on a model shoot but not so great in real life). So I was really surprised at just how much I love the new Studio Radiance Foundation. The liquid glides easily over the skin - it's like when makeup artists create the perfect base by mixing a little serum in with foundation. It's sheer but not too sheer; dewy but not too dewy. The stand out for me, though, was the blurred out, airbrushed finish - my skin still looks like my skin as the lightweight coverage lets my freckles have their day but it neutralises any dark shadows. I opted for shade NC27 for a sun-kissed glow and it seriously delivered – my skin looks rested and, thanks to the powdery dry down, quietly glow-y. 5/5