is a standout formula, and certainly one of the better options available in M.A.C.’s Pro Longwear collection. Although this light cream formula is workable for any skin type, its matte finish is best for oily to combination skin (including those prone to breakouts). It’s fragrance free, which is an added bonus to an already excellent foundation.
M.A.C. Cosmetics attaches lofty claims to this formula—promising a tenacious, waterproof, medium to full coverage foundation with a natural satin finish. The good news? We found much of these qualities hold true—though it isn’t “waterproof,” it certainly holds up through rain, humidity and sweat—more on that in a moment.
The long-wearing claim is accurate, as this made its way through a workday without fading, maintaining its coverage on staffers with oily to combination skin. A lunchtime shine check will still be necessary for those with oily or very oily skin, but those with combination skin will likely find Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation does an excellent job maintaining its matte finish for most of the day.
Where this formula also excels, especially for a long-wearing formula, is that it blends easily. You’ll get medium coverage right away, and you can easily build up to full coverage over select areas that need a little more help. Though you’ll find it conceals redness and an uneven skin tone well, you’ll still need a concealer if you have any strongly pigmented post-blemish marks or brown spots.
We were surprised that this allows a little time to work before it sets, which is helpful to blend out the spots where you may find you’ve applied more product than you had intended. Once it sets, however, this foundation resists blending or transfer—if you blot, you’ll likely find that your blush or bronzer may come off, but this foundation stays in place.
Of the 16 shades, there are options for those who fall in the fair/light to deep skin tone range—NC/NW 15 to NC/NW 50, for those of you who are familiar with the M.A.C. color palette—but those with super-fair skin will find there isn’t an option for you. (That’s actually true of M.A.C. foundations in general, so that fact may not surprise you!) We did not find any shades that were overly pink, peach or orange, but we would strongly recommend trying this in store and checking the results in natural light as a good shade match is critical with the coverage and long-wearing nature of this formula.
The waterproof claim, as we mentioned above, is a bit overstated. This may not hold up through an extended swimming session, for example, but it’s quite water-resistant—we tested this in full submersion and it held up beautifully. We tested this through rain, hot and humid temperatures and even profuse sweating—while most foundations will disintegrate or streak under such conditions, this held its natural finish and, perhaps more impressively, its coverage. Fortunately, it washes off easily with a water-soluble cleanser.
As a bonus, M.A.C. added a few antioxidant and skin-reparative ingredients. Lecithin, caffeine and sodium hyaluronate (the optimal form of hyaluronic acid in cosmetics) are included, which adds a dose of free radical and hydrating benefit for skin.
The only downside that we can point to is that this is a smaller-sized product than most of the M.A.C. foundation options. At less than one ounce for $30+, it’s on the pricey side. However, if you’re in the market for a foundation that holds up through the brutal humid summer months, or just one that makes it through the workday like a champ, then Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation is a solid formula to try for its coverage and long-wearing matte (yet natural-looking) finish.