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I wake up with a shiny t-zone area most mornings. My forehead usually starts shining like the lights on Broadway about an hour after I’ve applied foundation. In fact, I recently learned that dark skin is genetically more prone to oiliness. I am always on a quest to find a foundation that will give me medium to full coverage; keep its yellow undertones after oxidizing; stay matte for at least 4-5 hours before I need to blot; AND not clog my pores or give me hives (allergies). It’s a tall order for this recent-ish convert to liquid foundation.

Last Saturday, I decide to do my IKEA shopping wearing different foundations on each half of my face. Scary proposition, as most shades can look really similar but appear differently after application. I didn’t want to look like this guy.

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Wearing two foundations on separate sides of your face is a good way to compare products in real time instead of relying on your memory and photographs. The two foundations I tested were MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid (NC 45) and Make Up Forever’s Mat Velvet + (#70). I have heard mixed reviews about the former and raves about the latter. I wanted to test how these foundations would fair on my super oily, acne-prone skin. Here are the products’ descriptions:

Studio Fix Fluid (30ml / 1.0 US fl oz, £19.50) :
The liquid version of our all-time classic Studio Fix foundation. Provides medium buildable coverage and flawless natural-matte finish. Includes SPF 15 for everyday sun protection. Oil-free and long-wearing. Best applied with a M•A•C brush.
Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Foundation (30mL/ 1.0 US fl oz, £27.95):
Oil free, long lasting and water resistant, use less for a natural matte look, apply more to give extreme cover for blemishes etc. Creates a flawless, even base.

They both claim to be long-lasting and to provide a natural matte finish with about the same amount of coverage. So how did they fare against each other? Stay tuned for images in hour 1, 4 and 7 after the break.

To test the true quality of both foundations, I did not use a mattifying gel or primer. The only products I used (besides liner, blush, etc) are below:


I applied one layer of both SFF and MV+ with a typical foundation brush (Boots No. 7—I hate it, actually). Right away, I noticed that the SFF (NC45) had more of a yellowish tinge to it, which is great for my dark olive complexion. MV+ (#70) was a perfect match for my skin, but pulled the tiniest bit orange on my skin once applied. It didn’t make me look like an Oompa Loompa, but my keen eye noticed the difference. Can you tell? I “sealed” the foundation with a light dusting Camera Ready Cosmetic’s Oil Control Powder. I topped that off with a mist of MAC’s Fix + spray to get rid of the powdery look.

As for coverage, the Studio Fix Fluid gave better coverage with just one layer (really trying to avoid the word “coat” because it makes my face feel like a car). The Mat Velvet +, however, felt silkier when applied (must be the “velvet” part). They both gave a natural matte finish which I was equally satisfied with. I monitored my face throughout the day and took pictures at a couple of crucial intervals. Can you tell the difference between the two foundations?


Both MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid and MUFE’s Mat Velvet + held up for over 7 hours, although I would give a slight edge to the Studio Fix in that arena. My forehead appeared slightly oilier on the right hand side in the photos above at both hours 4 and 7. I was also more satisfied with the coverage of the Studio Fix Fluid. However, I do have slightly more acne scaring on the side where I used Mat Velvet +. Neither of the foundations showed signs of clogging my pores. If I had to declare a winner after this first round, it would be the Studio Fix Fluid. It wins on price, coverage and durability. I will continue to test both foundations separately and provide an update in the future.
Do you use either of these foundations and why?

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