MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation NC20 Review & Swatches

Hi Ladies, I am extremely glad to be back with another review surrounding our very favorite brand, MAC. I know that MAC products usually...

MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation NC20 Review & Swatches

Hi Ladies, I am extremely glad to be back with another review surrounding our very favorite brand, MAC. I know that MAC products usually cost a lot compared to other cosmetics brands but trust me this review will undoubtedly change your views about MAC. Coming back to the story, how many of you ladies used MAC as your go-to brand? I bet a majority of you will raise your hands, but some of you will agree to disagree that once you go MAC you never go back. I doubt that! I remember those days when my mother and I used to hit the stores in an urge to try new products.
I remember exactly the number of times we stopped by the MAC's website to browse and try their new products and every time we did, we were utterly amazed by new shades and flawless colors. I have tried different stuff from MAC and would keep you posted in the future too. Up till now I have written my reviews on two foundations from MAC, the studio fix fluid, and the pro longwear foundation that were truly splendid. So, I decided to give Studio Sculpt foundation a shot too, here is my review about it.

The Packaging

MAC Studio Sculpt foundation's packaging is one of the few reasons behind my love-hate relationship with this product. First of the all the bottle is sleek and stylish with a design that makes it incredibly easy for me to handle and carry wherever and whenever I want. On the other side when it comes to squeezing out the product, it turns to be a complete nightmare for me. Once you pour out the foundation, you can never put it back. The reason? Less convenient and small nozzle top.

The Luxury of Shades

19 shades of MAC Sculpt foundation

Sculpt foundation offers a nice range of 19 shades from NC15 to NC50 and NW15 to NW45. This review is based on NC20 shade with SPF.

Texture & Sculpt Foundation Swatches

The Review

On a true note, I always admired the MAC products having prices on a little higher side. Choosing the unmatched texture and flawless shades totally depends on your choice that can end up getting a delightful or dreadful experience. I do remember buying the shade NC20 for my skin, and I have been using the same shade for months now, and somehow it is turning out to be a love-hate relationship for me.

Let's first hear what MAC has to say about its Studio Sculpt Foundation:
“It is a rich, creamy foundation having a gel-based formula that gives a medium-to-high coverage with a natural, buildable satin finish on your skin. The product comes with a moisturizing formula that instantly hydrates and revitalizes your skin for soft and smooth long-lasting finish.”

One important thing to note, try to avoid this foundation if you have even slightly or super oily skin.

A Gel-Based Foundation

Gel based sculpt foundation
Images source: Make Peace With Yourself :)
Being called a gel-based foundation means that Studio Sculpt is moisture packed foundation with fast absorbing ingredients that are potent enough to hydrate a dry and flaky skin instantly. Another considerable fact (which is more on the positive side) is the gel-based-texture that stays on your skin (without being runny) for an extensive period. Plus, Studio sculpt foundation will offer you the tendency to achieve your desirable coverage as its gel-based “blobby” texture stays together on your hands at the time of application. Considering the claims like “long wearing” and “water resisting” in my part, I may not be in agreement with that.

MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation dupe

Another MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation dupe check

In my usual practice, I have barely applied this foundation with a single tool. The reason? Because using a brush for application of foundation means faking your makeup with visible brushy lines. Although this practice is most suitable if you need visible jawline, apart from that the best technique (which I personally use) is applying makeup back-and-forth with a special buffing brush. You can also make use of sponge for softer effect but I personally never tried this technique, so it is totally up to you to try out this by yourself.

Sunscreen Protection

The MAC studio sculpt foundation is an ideal match for your skin because it is more sensitive and reactive to sunlight. Its spf15 formula provides greater protection against direct sun exposure so you can always rely on it for outdoor activities in daylight. A few crucial points to consider is that if your skin is more yellow toned (having golden flair) then this foundation is not a perfect match for your skin. Plus pairing your skin with this foundation will provide you a greater relief from a white cast and ghoulish shades on your skin.

Ideal Choice For a Frugal Shopper

Another great thing that I personally admire about this product is the longevity of the foundation. One single bottle and you are relieved from buying another for ages. Since I am not a frugal shopper but if you are one (which is actually not a bad thing) then buying another bottle of MAC studio sculpt foundation will never get heavy on your budget. In case you want to save some more, the buy a pump-top from MAC and then “a little will go all the way”.

The Coverage & Staying Power of Foundation

the finishing of foundation with NC20 & NC25

The finishing of foundation

Shedding light on the coverage of MAC Studio sculpt foundation, well it does provide medium buildable to high coverage with the finish that instantly becomes your second skin. Although the foundation does seem to have a natural looking texture that is more on the positive side for women searching for a medium to full coverage. BUT! On the other side of the picture, the foundation might not stay long on both your expressions and expectations. Ask me why? Because the foundation does not stay longer for hours as it has very less staying power. Also, I did pair the foundation with powder (alone) at the time of application but still its moisture packed formula prove itself to be a letdown for me.

Moisturizing Factor

One particular thing that I dislike the most about MAC studio sculpt is the oiliness. Since I’ve always inclined towards dewy foundations that blend perfectly with both youthful and matured skin, but the sculpt foundation disappointed me in this regard.

The Oxidation Factor

Another thing that I must add here is how this product oxidizes. Naturally we cannot control the process of oxidation as the chemicals in the foundation react with the oils/pH of our skin giving it darker and tanned complexion than anticipated. But! You can keep yourself from getting a darker and smear complexion by making the right choice of foundation having a shade that is the best match for your skin.


•    Provides sheer medium to full coverage.
•    Contains SPF that acts a broad spectrum sunscreen to your skin.
•    Provides sufficient moisturizing effect for ladies having dry and cakey skin.
•    Offers fresh and dewy finish to the skin, right after proper application.
•    Only small amount of foundation is sufficient to achieve desired coverage.


•    Slips and slides easily with the rise in temperature.
•     Its oil-rich formula makes the skin look greasy.
•    Takes plenty of time to settle down on the skin.
•    Makes skin look tanner and darker after oxidization.
•    Poor packaging causes waste of product when pouring.
•    Less staying power as the product gets runny after some time.


After reading many reviews, it is harder for me to say whether it is a Holy Grail product for dry skinned girls, or it is a complete disaster for oily skinned girls. However, as I mentioned earlier, I have a combination of dry/oily skin having said that it does not only highlight my facial lines but also make my dry spots more visible. What’s even worse is that it accumulates in the dry areas of my skin which after sometimes leaves patches of foundation soaking unwanted oils on my skin.

At first instance, I did think of taking photos of how this foundation turns out to be in different shades and different lighting conditions. However, somehow I ended up being writing this long due review that I thought would be more interesting and informative for you to understand both brighter & darker sides of MAC’s sculpt studio foundation. I rate this product 6 out of 10. Personally I would say you should go for MAC Pro Longwear foundation which is superbly better than this foundation.

Price & Place to Buy

The price of a single bottle is around Rs. 5,500, and you can order it online which would take a month or so. I tried the local drugstores in Karachi but did not find it there. You can also order this product from Amazon at a very good price.

I hope this long due post may have answered all your vacant questions. Let me know your thoughts about this product or you can also share your encounters with any other products of MAC. Will be sharing another exciting review soon, until then stay tuned!

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