My First Brush with MAC in Bangalore


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My First Brush with MAC in Bangalore

Bangalore was blessed with a MAC store a few years ago. Whenever I passed by this store, it intimidated me a little bit. I always suspected that there would be snobs inside, doling out horrendously expensive products to the ultra rich. But after reading an astonishing review of MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation here on IMBB, I could not control myself. I had to check out this product even if it meant stepping into a MAC store.

My first impression of the store was that it was smaller than I had imagined it to be. You know how it is with people as well – celebrities appear taller on TV than in real life. The second thing I noticed was a huge glass wall which let in a lot of natural light into the store. There was artificial lighting only in part of the store were the products were displayed. But as we have it in Bangalore, that particularly cloudy day made the store look bleak in the absence of enough light. The Makeup Artists (MUA) wore top to toe black outfits which gave them a severe look. If it were not for the colourful cosmetics strewn around the store, the scene looked just out of a Harry Potter movie with death eaters (wearing black of course) floating about under a dark sky. But the MUAs I met were polite and helpful and not overbearing.:)

Studio FIx
Studio FIx

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus foundation

Since I knew exactly what I wanted, I asked for it by name. An MUA promptly pulled out some shades of the Studio Fix powder while inquiring about my skin type and concerns. She gave me some nice smelling makeup remover wipes to wipe off my makeup (or lack of). I did not feel intimidated at all as I had feared; instead I felt happy and confident being there. That was due in part to IMBB where I’ve learnt enough so as to not feel intimidated trying out makeup products in one of most celebrated stores in the world.

I have oily, acne-prone skin with redness from old acne, and hyper pigmentation around my mouth. Despite oily skin, my face does not turn shiny expect when I end up using a product that aggravates oiliness.

The MUA first tried NC42 on my face with a sponge. Somehow it didn’t feel like the right shade for me and I told her so. She asked me to check it in a big mirror near the natural lighting window. I couldn’t see much coverage and said so. Then she applied some more of the powder and sprayed some MAC Fix+. Still, with the bleak ambiance it was nearly impossible for me to figure out any coverage. At the same time I wondered if even the NC shades were yellow enough for me. So I asked her if we should try some of the C shades. She was reluctant, but finally agreed to try some on my face. She wiped off NC42 from one half of my face and applied C40 on it. Under natural lighting, it looked too yellow, but I just wanted to try it out anyway. I told her I wanted to wear these two shades for the rest of the day and see how they sat with my skin as the day progressed. She was fine with that and did not pressurize me to make a decision on the spot. She said that I was always welcome to walk in and try out other shades as well. That was day 1 of my MAC safari. πŸ™‚

When my husband saw me, the first thing he noticed was the too-yellow side of my face. But I had to check it out myself to be sure. So at home, I took a few pictures of my face with these two shades of MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation on. I noticed that the coverage was medium, but good enough for me. The powder seemed to give a matte finish, but a soft glow was what I was looking for from my foundation. Still, no big deal if it worked well otherwise. The C40 shade photographed extremely well and looked like a perfect match for my skin, at least in the photos. In reality, it was too yellow for me. The NC42 on the other hand, had turned a weird shade of orange by the end of 3 hours. It continued to turn darker as the day progressed. I thanked my stars that I hadn’t shelled out 1600 bucks for something that was going to oxidize on me! From what I have gathered from the Internet, foundations turning orangy or darker is a common problem for oily skins. It is said that the oils from the skin can react with the pigment in the foundation, making it appear more intense or muddy. I was quite disappointed with MAC since I had pinned my hopes on Studio Fix Powder becoming my HG foundation. Still, I decided to go to the MAC store a second time and see if there was a something the MUAs could do.

This time around the first MUA consulted another MUA about the orangy problem. They accepted that Studio Fix Powder does oxidize and decided to try out a lighter shade on me. They tried C4 and NC41. C4 was obviously too light for me and NC41 looked probably a touch too light, but not stark. On this day, I freely took photos of my face in the store. The MUAs even offered to take the pictures for me. They seemed genuinely interested and eager to help, unlike some of the drugstore SAs we often come across. I asked the MUA to apply the powder with a brush this time, and she happily complied. In fact, the real reason for my looking for a powder foundation is that I love buffing powder on my face with a brush. Bourjois Mineral Matte buffer brush (new price 390/-) is very good for dense application of not only powders but liquid foundations as well. It gives a poreless, flawless finish, provided you use a foundation that exactly matches your skin tone. OK, so after spending a good hour and a quarter at the store, I came home with NC41 all over my face. It was a humid day and by the end the of 3 hours, I noticed that my face had turned very oily and noticeably darker. So I was back to square one – the lighter shade had oxidized on me as well. This powder was a no go, let alone HG material. πŸ™

On day two, I also got colour matched for a concealer. The MUA patiently tried about 10 different shades and textures before coming up with a match that she felt satisfied with. It was NC45 in Studio Sculpt. But as luck would have it, the concealer turned orangy as well in a few hours. I also noticed that it had balled up some during application.

Sculpt Concealer
Sculpt Concealer

MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer

The most common solution suggested to prevent foundation colour change is to use a makeup primer. But when I read how primers sit between your skin and the foundation, I was not sure my acne-prone skin would agree with all the pore-clogging that can happen due to the use of a primer. So even though this is an option, I would only resort to it if it is the only one.

During these MAC trips, I had my heart set on MAC Fix+ (around 900/- for 100 ml). I had loved how it brought the whole makeup together. Even though the slightly lighter NC41 looked powdery on application, a few spritzes of Fix+ sort of β€œsettled the dust” and made the makeup look fresh and natural. It smelled wonderful and very posh. So I was contemplating buying that. But later I read some reviews of it where they mentioned the presence of castor oil and a few other ingredients that may cause break outs on acne-prone skin. So I chose to get the second best, again, thanks to IMBB (Rati) – the FabIndia Rose Face Spray (175/- for 100ml). It is currently a hot favourite in my family – my husband lavishly sprays it all over his face morning and evening. And I’m not very far behind in terms of lavish usage of the spray. The nozzle is very good quality and sprays a fine mist just like Fix+. We’ve already used up a quarter of the rose water in a week.

Fix Plus
Fix Plus

MAC Fix+

Coming back to MAC, I should note that there was no pressure to buy any products and there were no unncessary recommendations. Overall, a very satisfying and empowering experience. I have also sampled foundations from Shisedo, Chanel, Clinique, Maxfactor and Maybelline since then. I am still contemplating getting the Studio Fix powder because I have controlled the foundation oxidation problem somewhat. I suspected that since my skin isn’t very oily to begin with, it might be the oils in my moisturizer that were causing the darkening. So I skip moisturizer (so bad I know!), apply liquid foundation and set it with a compact. Then I spray rose water all over my face and neck generously. That sets the makeup and provides some degree of moisturization as well.

Image source: http://www.maccosmetics.com

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33 thoughts on “My First Brush with MAC in Bangalore

  1. hi sonal………..\even i have had a very nice experience at mac……….always…
    the mua’s are never pushy…..and they are well trained also…..
    they let u try things on ur face..and u can have ur own time to see and decide thats where mac scores over other drugstore brands………….

    1. I agree Shilpa. Yesterday I tried some 10 shades of eye shadows on my eyes but finally got down on 3. Not even once did the MUA make faces or looked tires. infact she kept telling me which shades looked good on me and which didn’t. It helps. πŸ™‚

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I have rarely read good reviews about the sculpt foundation- creasing being the main problem mentioned in a lot of reviews.

    Personally I think you need a primer. It helps. I have a dry skin and I myself feel that my foundation lasts longer than the usual when i have primer on.

    Oh!! thanks for reminding. I have to get my rose water bottles. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    1. Thanks Rati. πŸ™‚ The MAC experience was awesome. Though I cannot say the same about Clinique, something that I will share in my next post. I’ve been a Clinique loyalist for nearly 10 years, but their SAs totally disappointed me. The prices of Clinique are comparable, but my experience with their SAs were entirely different.

      I’m trying out a primer these days, more about that in my next post.. πŸ™‚

      1. he he I was laughing at the “death eater” statement…I am going to visualize them like this only from now on. All blame on you.. :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

  3. Is it the one that is opposite Garuda Mall? if yes then am glad you had a good experience at the MAC store Shilpa πŸ™‚ cause for me it was horrible πŸ™ The SAs were very rude and totally attitude ridden πŸ™ πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜₯

  4. Very nice article, thank you for taking me shopping at MAC in Bangalore with you :-* :-*

    About MAC face products: At least all the MAC foundations and powders are getting darker on face after a little while, sic: in fact nothing new. So I bet it has nothing to do with your moisturizer at all. πŸ™‚

    Since they have changed the formula of their MSF natural, same with the MSFs (Mineralized Skinfinishes) – I cannot use the MSF natural light (anymore) since I look like Apanatschi after a cupple of minutes. It darkenes down reddish while setting :struggle:

    What you can do is: Try a brighter tone. Or try a foundation from a different brand.

    @ Rati: As the staff at the Cologne Pro Store informed me the new HD foundation will be different texture for India so you might try it when MAC launches it in India. I have to say that I am very disappointed of the HD foundation, finishes extremely dry and I have to boost and sometimes oil every skin I aplly it on :pain: I have mixed skin but the foundation causes dry areas in the more oily T-zone as well :-X Since the formula for Asia/India is different I am maybe talking about a totaly different product, regarding the HD foundation launched in Europe I have to say that itΒ΄s not comparable with the MUFE HD foundation. Both of the foundations need really good boosters before priming the face but the MAC HD foundation sets down desert-dry. :struggle:

  5. OMG!! Actually I was not even considering trying the new HD foundations. And after your review , they are a complete pass for me…:((

    I am so happy with the mineralize spf 15 that nothing seems to attract me these days. I am liking the MUFE HD foundation and surprisingly it doesn’t dry out my dry skin.

    Desert dry?? :pain: :pain:

    1. Desert dry, yea πŸ˜₯ πŸ˜₯
      It appears very smoothy and nice while applying it but it sets down very, very dry.
      Such a shame, I was expecting something better than the MUFE HD foundation but… nope. :dazed:

    2. Edit: If you have good primer/booster the MUFE HD is really ok.
      Some beauties told me that they had some drying-out problems after a cupple of months but it was nothing you couldnΒ΄t fit with a good moisturizing mask.

      1. I anyway apply moisturizer before applying any foundation so never faced any drying put problems. It’s an oil free foundation no may be that’s the reason your friends are facing this problem. but you are right, a moisturiser can take care of this issue. πŸ™‚

  6. I love the MAC foundations personally – Im not a fan of the studio fix, powder plus, my friend uses it in C4 – never seen it darken on her but I just dont like that drying out effect, esp coz it doesnt stay that way, and turns oily quick enough. My own HG foundation is the MAC studio Tech foundation which is emollient based – It gives great coverage, doesn’t dry my skin out or make it oilier πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› surprisingly no one talks about the Studio Tech range much – i think it gets overshadowed by the studi fix range alot πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    1. Ohh anddd the stuid fix fluid foundation with SPF is great !!!! Way better than the studio fix powder dry – of course diff finishes for diff people etc etc ….

  7. :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

    William, Whistler, Walrus and wig πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    Your turn Ratidoooooooo ……… try X πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

  8. err….you gave me a tough one… :smug: :smug: :smug:

    Name: Pass 😐
    Place : 😐
    Animal Xerus πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
    Thisng – X Mas Treee πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. Lol Name: Xavier ( from the X-men) hahahahahah OMG I couldve used Wolverine (although does he count as Name or Animal ?:-) )

      Place – Xanadu (or is that a fictional place ?:-) ) if it is then Pass

      WTF is a Xerus ?:-) ?:-) ?:-) ?:-) ?:-) ?:-) ?:-) ?:-) ?:-)

      and you could also got with Xylophone πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› or a xerox machine (even though thats not technically correct πŸ˜› )

      1. Xerus is a squirrel type creature… :koala: :koala: :koala: :koala:

        Oh yeah I knew Xavier but I thought i’d let you win. πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› No me like X mas tree only… :curse: :curse: you keep your xerox copy… 😎

        I wouldn’t have accepted Wolverine as a name.. 😐 😐 😐 😐

        Okay next word “Y” πŸ˜€

  9. Name Yevgenia

    Place Yemen

    Animal Does a Yeti count ?

    Thing Yo Yo

    I guess this leaves you with the last hard alphabet – Z

    Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    oh and I didnt know a Xerus was a squirelly thingy – cho cute

    Me give you :tiger: :lion: :bunny: :bunny: :rose: :rose: and :alien: :coffee: just for that :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    1. Oh Z is easy. πŸ˜›

      Name : Zeeba
      Place : Zimbabwe / zoo πŸ˜›
      Animal – Zebra
      Thing – Zip

      :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :jump: :jump: :jump:

      Wolverine—I am not accepting it only. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Next letter is I

      :giggle: :giggle: :giggle:

      1. :smug: :smug: :smug: :smug: Cannot believe you discriminate against fictional names :smug: :smug: :smug: :smug:

        And I didnt think of Yak :pain: :pain: :pain: :pain: :pain: :pain: :pain: :pain: :pain:

        :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: you won this round :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

        Name – Imtiyaz
        Place – Inverness
        Animal – Ichidna
        Thing – Igloo

        Your turn with P πŸ˜›

          1. FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE then put in Iguana instead πŸ˜› and I said thing Igloo not Place !!!!!

            LOL you put :poop: for thing datty dattty

            Name – Emily
            Place – Elphinstone
            Animal – Elephant
            Thing – Egg

            Your turn with U πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

            1. Uma
              Uttar Pradesh. πŸ˜›
              There is no animal starting with U :smug:
              :umbrella: :umbrella: :umbrella:

              Oh no no datty datty things. I was just naming a thang with “P” :X-P: :X-P: :X-P: :X-P: :X-P: :X-P: :X-P: :X-P: :X-P: :X-P: :X-P:

              You win grrrrrrrrrrrrr

              Next Letter ” V” πŸ˜›

              1. You could go for Umbride the animal but you dont accept ppl from fantasy so πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

                Name – Victor
                Place – Venice
                Animal – Vulture
                Thing – Vegemite

                Your turn with K Ratidooooooooo

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