Pro Longwear SPF 20 Compact Foundation
Category:Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Cream-to-Powder Foundation w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

M.A.C.'s foundations have a history of impressing us, and Pro Longwear SPF 20 Compact Foundation continues that trend! This next-generation cream-to-powder foundation is housed in a sturdy compact that includes a good sponge for application, but this applies beautifully using your fingers (if you prefer) or a foundation brush. Regardless of application method, the result looks smooth and surprisingly skin-like while providing light to medium coverage that builds well for areas needing a bit more camouflage.

The sun protection comes from an in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen, but unless you're willing to pile this on (not recommended!) we don't recommend relying on this foundation as your sole source of sun protection. For best results with any foundation with sunscreen, apply over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater.

This foundation is easy to blend and sets to a soft matte finish best for normal to oily or combination skin. Although the formula contains a tiny amount of oils, it shouldn't be a problem for the blemish-prone, but generally speaking if you're struggling with acne a liquid or powder foundation is a safer bet.

The fragrance-free formula comes in a mostly beautiful array of shades, and M.A.C. Foundation fans take note: The shades for this Pro Longwear formula run lighter than the matching shade name in other formulas. For example, if you normally wear NC25, you may need NC30 in this formula. That said, among the shade range for fair to dark (but not very dark) skin tones, the only one to avoid is NC42, which is strongly yellow. Shades NW30 and NW35 are slightly peach but workable; the NC-numbered shades are more neutral with a touch of warmth, which many will find appealing.

What about the promised 10-hour wear time? It's realistic! Those with oily skin or very oily areas will likely see some fading or separation, but it's manageable. Others will likely need a powder touch-up but no further "repair" work is necessary to keep this foundation looking good!

  • Fragrance-free formula provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Easy to blend regardless of the tool you prefer.
  • Beautifully smooth texture and natural, "real skin" soft matte finish.
  • The majority of the shades are beautiful and suit a good range of skin tones.
  • Next-generation cream-to-powder texture feels wonderfully light—and lasts!
  • None.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 2.40%, Titanium Dioxide 2.30% Inactive Ingredients: Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Polyethylene, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isododecane, Dimethicone Silylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butyrospermim Parkii (Shea Butter), Caryocar Brasiliense Fruit Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive)} Fruit Oil, Ceramide 2, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Phytosterols, Alumina, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Triethoxycaprrylylsilane, Butylene Clycol, Pentaeythrityl Tetrea-Di-t-Butyl Hydrocuhydrocinnamate [+/- mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides]

Brand Overview

M.A.C. At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some impressive moisturizers; excellent Lip Conditioner (lip balm); praiseworthy foundations in a mostly gorgeous range of shades; good concealers; several great powder-based products including blush, bronzer, and eyeshadow in various finishes; noteworthy Fluidline and Technakohl Liner; dizzying array of lipstick shades in mostly sumptuous formulas; impressive Pro Longwear Lipcolour; several very good mascaras (regular and waterproof); top-notch makeup brushes; most of the Prep + Prime products work as claimed.

Weaknesses: A few products with uncomfortably high levels of known or potential skin irritants; some superfluous specialty products; several average pressed and loose powders; the Lustre and Velvet eyeshadows disappoint.

When it comes to skin care you may be tempted to dismiss the small assortment M.A.C. offers and skip right to their makeup with its well-earned positive reputation. But doing so would mean missing a handful of beautifully formulated products that are worth trying. By no means is M.A.C.'s skin-care line one-stop shopping (at least not if you have blemishes, skin discolorations, or require more than a couple options per category), but you'll find more than just the color products impressive here, and the prices aren't unreasonable either!

Note:M.A.C. is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although M.A.C. does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about M.A.C., owned by Estee Lauder, call (800) 588-0070 or visit www.maccosmetics.com.

M.A.C. Makeup

What more can one say for this long-standing makeup line whose products have spoken eloquently for themselves for years? In many ways, M.A.C. is a pivotal line not only for makeup artists but also for any in-the-know cosmetics consumer. Although M.A.C. has several singularly outstanding products, they generally excel by virtue of the range of choices offered. The color selection for everything from lipsticks to foundations is exceptional. Also, most of the makeup brushes are beautiful, full, and soft, as well as properly sized to fit the contours of the face and eyes. It is typically a pleasure to shop this line, though we wish the tester units (especially for blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick) were arranged by formula and finish rather than by color.

M.A.C.'s salespeople are sometimes trained as makeup artists, too, though being part of the Estee Lauder corporation means they have pressure to meet sales quotas (and no gifts-with-purchase to serve as an enticement). For this reason, you may prefer shopping at one of M.A.C.'s freestanding or Pro stores. The sales pressure is all but absent, the staff tends to be true makeup artists rather than only salespeople, and the stores routinely offer makeup how-to classes, which are both fun and informative.

M.A.C. has launched several state-of-the-art products in recent years. The prime additions are several improved foundations and concealers, superior loose and pressed powders, a couple of mascaras that compete nicely with those from lash-enhancing leader Lancome, buttery-smooth powder blushes, and the very popular (and deservedly so) Pro Longwear Lipcolour. Couple this with their long-standing products that have always performed well and offered neutral shades (Studio Fix, anyone?) and M.A.C. is a force to be reckoned with in the world of department-store makeup. The only disappointment of note is that several of their liquid foundations with sunscreen still lack sufficient UVA protection. Why is it that Lauder-owned Clinique and Prescriptives continually get this critical step right, while Lauder's namesake line, Bobbi Brown, and M.A.C. tend to falter? It's especially upsetting in M.A.C.'s case because the affected foundations otherwise have exemplary textures and a vast palette of neutral shades for fair to dark skin tones. Other than this important point, you really can't go wrong shopping this line, whether you're new to the world of makeup or a seasoned pro.

Note: M.A.C. sets itself apart from other beauty brands by staying ahead of the curve by launching a seemingly-constant rotation of impressive limited edition products, usually with fashion-forward themes. Though it's impossible to review every limited edition product, many of M.A.C.'s are as impressive as those in their permanent collection.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Mac's Best Foundation!

I bought this foundation as soon as it came out, before Cosmetic Cop team reviewed it. I loved it so much that I wrote my first review ever for Mac and it almost identical to the Beautypedia review! The foundation is absolutely weightless but still give really nice coverage. The colors do run about 1 shade lighter than usual but are not quite as deeply yellow as in the past. Even though I have golden undertones, Mac's foundations could be too yellow even for me. It is a great foundation!

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