MAC just released a new fluid foundation: Matchmaster. It comes in just 14 shades (comparatively few for the brand), and — this is how it was explained to me — the pigment particles are encapsulated in translucent spheres, allowing for “gaps” between pigment particles. Your skin shows through these gaps, making for a foundation that incorporates your undertones, which makes it easier to find a match.
That sounds like science fiction, but I am surprised to say I actually really like this foundation. The coverage is medium-to-full, and it’s buildable. I applied it to my face with my fingers and didn’t think it looked obvious or too heavy. (Perhaps my sunscreen helped me sheer it out; moisturizer would probably also do the trick.)
It looks good in person, and it photographs well (though I haven’t yet experimented with a flash). One of my makeup artists likened it to Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation — the soft-focus pigments makes it look really perfect, especially from a distance. Another artist, looking at the dried swatches on my arm, remarked that it has a “watercolor” finish. MAC calls it “demi-matte,” but I like the watercolor description.
The Matchmaster formula offers MAC’s lightest and darkest shades of foundation. The new numbering system is supposed to reflect that this foundation matches YOUR undertone (so there is no “N,” no “C,” no “W” — just numbers that express the depth of color). It’s $32.50 (and contains SPF 15).
Here are heavy swatches, made with disposable lipbrushes (so I could fit all 14 shades on my arm):
And here are blended out swatches, applied with my fingertips (I thought it sheered out pretty easily; I could definitely have applied more heavily):
1.0 was my perfect match.
Naturally, the best way to find your match is to try a foundation on, but in case that’s not an option for you, MAC created a loose translation guide, converting shades of Studio Fix Fluid to Matchmaster (some Studio Fix shades are right on the line, and could match two Matchmaster shades, so they’re listed twice).
N18, NC15 – 1.0
NW15, NW18, NW20 – 1.5
NW18, NW20, NW22, NC20, NC25 – 2.0
NW22, NW25, NC30 – 3.0
NW25, NW30, NC35, NC37 – 4.0
NC40, NC41, NC42 – 5.0
NW33, NW35, NC43.5, NC44, NC44.5 – 6.0
NW40, NW43, NC45 – 7.0
NC50, NC55 – 7.5
NW44, NW45 – 8.0
NW46, NW47 – 8.5
NW48, NW50 – 9.0
NW50, NW55 – 9.5
NW58, NW60, W60 – 10.0
Foundations NW60 and W60 don’t exist anymore; they were discontinued. However MAC says 10.0 will match anyone NW58 and deeper.