Dear Carissa- What’s the Deal With M.A.C Studio Fix??

From a reader last week asking the a question I get a lot.

Hi Carissa,

I love your blog! I have a question about foundations. I’ve been
using MAC Studio Fix Powder for many years and now I want to try something
new (esp. since many make-up artists don’t seem to recommend it for
whatever reason). What is your take on MAC studio fix?

I’m looking for something that is quick to apply and will provide a
matte finish for my oily skin.


Hi Betty,

Ok, here’s a painful and embarrassing admission. I once lived for Studio Fix. No, like seriously lived for it. I had one at home and one in my purse at all times and touched up constantly. Every time I would buy a new one, I would be color matched to something different and just went with it even when I looked a little orange. I can now, with 100% certainty, look back on photos and tell you when I was wearing Studio Fix and when I wasn’t.

I can’t speak for other artists (although I know it isn’t something they use) but I’m not a fan because It’s heavy, chalky, matte, and unflattering on 99% of the women who wear it. I liked it though for the same reasons you do- it’s easy to apply with tons of coverage that matted out my oily skin.

Then, one day the clouds parted and I saw the light. I no longer wished to look like Elvira mistress of M.A.C, I would *gasp* let my actual skin show through. You too, Betty, can make that change.

But it’s not easy.

See, you’re unconsciously addicted to seeing the actual makeup and not your skin, so when you’re using something that just boosts the look of your skin and lightly conceals redness, you probably won’t like it. Just know that from now. Look at old photos, are there any where your face appears mime-white from the talc-tastic formula? Let those be your inspiration.

Do what I did, move on to Stila’s Illuminating Powder Foundation. It’s much lighter in weight, gives your skin a beautiful luminosity, and some natural looking coverage.

Just know that you don’t want to replace Studio Fix, you want to rehab from it. It won’t be the same, but it will be better.



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Dear Carissa- Foundation Advice; BECCA Cosmetics

Dear Carissa,

I am trying to find a foundation that is natural looking and easy to apply. My current foundation, I love the way it goes on and the look of it but it just doesn’t last. I want a primer too that makes it last a little longer and also helps my shine.

Do I have unrealistic expectations that foundation should last all day?

Thanks so much!


Ok Courtney, here’s the scoop,

As a Makeup Artist, I get a unique insight into the lasting power of makeup since it’s my job to ensure what I create lasts an incredibly long amount of time. Some people’s skin doesn’t hold on to color as well as others, so using a highly pigmented foundation would be a good place to start. Look for a strong color line, like BECCA which does foundations really well, and then invest in the longevity of that foundation with a primer and powder.

BECCA’s 4 primers allow you to choose one based on your skin type, you’d like their Mattifying Primer to cancel out shine and give the foundation something to grab on to for extended wear. If you’re ever having problems with foundation not lasting, using a primer is always a good place to start.

BECCA’s Stick Foundation gives the best coverage of any stick foundation I’ve used. I first use it as a concealer to cover redness, then I dab it on one section of my face at a time and buff it in with a foundation brush.  You don’t need to use a lot for complete coverage, the finish is totally natural looking, and I love that it’s SPF 30.

You may have heard about their Fine Loose Finishing Powder which constantly receives rave reviews because it’s micro-milled to be ultra fine. It’s so unique that it sets the foundation making it semi water resistant while allowing the skin’s natural finish to peek through.

Bottom line-  find a line that has a fantastic foundation, use the primer and powder within that line as a system that works together to give you the lasting power you want.

Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Powder

Glowing skin is an always modern for both day and night. Laura Mercier makes healthful looking skin so easy with their new Mineral Illuminating Powder offered in 2 delicate shades meant to highlight beautifully and not overwhelm.

Use it to highlight your brow bones, or sweep it over your cheeks either on top of foundation or just on bare skin. Bring life to your lips by dabbing it on over your favorite lip color, or even lip balm. I use a ton of it over the declote area, arms, and legs either dry with a big fluffy brush, or mixed in with a little body lotion.

Highlighting the skin gives a glowing, sexy look that works for all ages and skin types. It’s not a matter of if this powder is right for you, simply where you’ll find it works best on your face and body.

Nordstrom, Sephora, and $32

Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Powder

Add the Illuminating Powder to a few other Mercier must-haves totaling $125 to receive this gift with purchase which includes one of my fav cheek colors ever, Amberstone. All gift details can be found here. Offer good until April 15, 2009 while supplies last on only.

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Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder

When I first heard about a powder that reduced wrinkles I wasn’t sure what to think. Everyone associates traditional powders with oily skin, and a super matte finish meant for the young who don’t have to worry about the little skin imperfections powder often highlights. Halo, however, is far from traditional.

Halo by Smashbox is a groundbreaking new concept in powder, and frankly a new category in makeup altogether since it’s in a class by itself. This video sums it all up for you- the minerals, amino acids, and peptides that deliver hydration and an effect on the skin that’s all its own. Bring free of oil, talc, and parabens, you can bet that even the most sensitive skins can wear Halo without irritation.

Best when used with one of theirPhoto Finish primers, twist the top to shave a little off creating powder (coolest packaging ever) and apply with the kabuki brush provided. It really might be all you need for a great finish on its own, but you can wear it over foundation. Your skin will look radiant, and almost airbrushed- it’s such a unique effect that’s difficult to describe but it’s so beautiful.

I’d recommend it for women who;

- Don’t like the feeling of makeup on the face.

- Would like to set their foundation with a powder, but don’t like a cakey feel.

- Would like just a little coverage, but not a ton.

- Need a little more hydration during the day.

- Are careful about what they use on their face since they don’t want settling in fine lines or wrinkled areas.

- Want a quick way to fresh looking skin.

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Jane Iredale Brush-Me Matte

You shouldn’t have to decide between looking shiny and looking cakey. Sometimes though, adding a little powder to erase shine adds more than you bargain for and by the day’s end, you look a little clownish.

Brush-Me Matte has taken its well deserved place in my makeup bag, which freed up space from the compact and brush I was lugging around for touch-ups.

Twist the brush to unlock the powder and allow just a small amount to come through leaving no mess behind. Rice starch absorbs oil while pomegranate extract provides antioxidant protection. The powder is light as air and translucent so it’s colorless and appropriate for all skin shades. Use it alone, under makeup, or for touch-ups.

Enter the code 3250 at check out for an additional 20% off of any Jane Product- good only online.

Jane Iredale Brush-Me Matte

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Sonia Kashuk Let’s Face It

Gals on the go and teens will really enjoy this all-in-one mineral blush, mineral makeup, and mineral concealer. Each separate compartment twists to connect to the one above it saving space and time spent searching for wayward products splashed around your bathroom or purse.

The consistency of the the powders were nice, they glided on and were sheer but still able to build but I was most surprised with the concealer which blended right into the skin both over and under the powder without appearing cakey.

For $15 you can have a great touch up kit for your bag, or a starter kit for teens since the sheerness prevents even the most heavy-handed from getting too out of control.

Sonia Kashuk Let’s Face It

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