My grievances with MAC foundations are few, as it stands; I merely prefer to buy elsewhere because I've never really been that... bothered by any of the furore surrounding the celebrated Studio Fix Fluid or the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. As it is, MAC and I did have one brief fling when I tried the Studio Sculpt foundation, which left me an oily, greasy mess and smelled oddly of paint. So we stopped talking, and delicately extricated ourselves from our embarrassingly quick and pleasureless fumble.
And then came Pro Longwear, enticing me with its saucy promises of 15 hour faces and the thought of not battling oiliness. I was seduced, and despite the fact that every opinion I've seen about this foundation has expressed the contrary, I still feel justified in saying it's amazing and it's probably verging on Holy Grail country for me. Colour me surprised: it's actually really bloody good, in my humble opinion.
For this foundation, MAC gives us a pump ready-integrated with no extra purchase necessary. The formula itself is fairly thick and requires speedy blending and application as it is quick to set on the skin. The finish is matte but not mask-like and the coverage is pretty good, but not full. I found this foundation to be less buildable than others (certainly less buildable than other silicone-based formulas I've reviewed), but building it up is certainly possible... but it could end up in a stubborn hands-flapping bitch-fight if you're not quick enough.
Photographed in natural light featuring guest blogger of my pile of laundry in the background.
The feel of this foundation is what keeps it from being Holy Grail; although it sets quickly, it leaves this almost tacky feeling which feels like it's sorely in need of powdering, rather than the silky feeling I'm used to. It's not a deal-breaker and indeed, I got fantastic wear from this foundation without powder, but it just felt nicer when I dusted a little over it. So to those who like to powder, be aware: use a light hand, a fluffy brush and a finely-milled powder and only dust over the places you need it - overdoing it will make a cakey, powdery mess.
Another view, because I'm narcissistic enough to believe you love looking at endless pictures of my face.
Onto the most important thing about this foundation: the wear. I wore this on a transatlantic flight, with all the hours and stressing in between, clocking up an impressive 16 hours' wear. When I finally got to the hotel and removed my makeup, it was still all there - despite recycled air on the plane, the inevitable dehydration of cruising at 35,000 feet and my fretful touching to see if I'd become oily yet.
EXTREEEEME CLOSE-UP (after having cleaned the house from top to bottom, phew!)
So for wear? Well, 16 hours with barely any breakthrough oiliness and no mask-like skin despite encroaching fatigue? It speaks for itself, really.
However, although I experienced no adverse reactions from this foundation, I would definitely point out that it does feel heavy on the skin and the long-wearing formula (and its ingredients) could cause people with more sensitive skin to break out. I'm not saying it's a given, but as I've heard reports of cystic acne from the famous Studio Fix Fluid, then it could happen here, too, so always get a sample! It's also worthy of note that it does contain SPF10, so therefore will protect your face but is not suitable for flash photography unless you happen to enjoy the Casper look. It doesn't oxidise too badly (if at all) on me; I'm yet to experience it doing so.
Taken with flash - not too bad for whiteness factor, but there's still a white cast there.
While removing it, an oil-based cleanser will definitely lift all of the product off, and this is something to consider whilst cleaning your brush of it as well; I found it quite difficult to clean my brushes just using a shampoo. In terms of brushes for application, it works well with denser brushes with a flat top, such as the E.L.F. Studio Powder Brush or the Sigma 197.
The final word? I've worn it every single day since I bought it and it's definitely a straight-A student for me. It really does deliver what it promises and your face will last until the end of your day with no problems. As much as it pains me to say this about a MAC foundation - don't hesitate and go grab a sample. The flawless-faced you will thank me in about 15 hours' time...