Monday, June 2, 2014

I HAVE FOUND THE FOUNDATION FOR ME!!: A Review of MAC vs. NARS

NARS products picture is my own. I do not claim credit for the picture of the MAC product.


Though I have needed foundation (and concealer) for all of my life (hereditary dark eye circles and the ever-present blemish somewhere on my face), I just began using it about a year ago.  I began out very light on the wallet with Loreal compacts.  I didn't use this makeup for everyday wear.  It was used for certain occasions and weekends mostly.  However, I wasn't totally satisfied with the outcome, though I believe the outcome was quite bearable.

Several months ago I began researching foundations for African-Americans and found a countless number of Youtube videos and reviews raving about MAC foundation.   I came across many pictures and videos of brown skin women, such as myself, that had great results with this product.  So, I visited my local counter and purchased a bottle of NW47-ProLong Wear after an in-store consultation.  In the store's lighting the foundation looked a tad "off", but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  I decided to reapply on my own at home with my own brushes and concealer and blush, brows filled in, etc. to see if the results were different.

Once I reapplied on my own with the full facial works, IT WAS HORRIBLE!! Even worse than the in-store application results.  The makeup was yellow as hell!!  I looked vampire-esque.  It was just... really BAD!.. I even tried dusting a dark powder (also from MAC) over this foundation.  The end result was a matte finish of a light brown color that was definitely no match for my true skin tone.  Like a milky espresso.

I went back to researching on Youtube for alternatives (Yes. The very source that led me astray in the first damn place.).  I found a dark brown lady that said she uses NC50 now after using one of the NW colors for a long time and found that the NC color works much better.  In the video she looked okay, so I decided to give that a try along with MAC's Match Master in 8.0; the latter as a sample.

Neither of these worked either.  I think Match Master may have worked in a darker tone, but I was just too through with MAC.  The NC50 left me just as yellow as the NW47 did.  And I came to the conclusion that MAC's foundations; though highly coveted by many makeup lovers of all skin tones, is simply NOT for me!

And I once again relied on Youtube for answers.  Luckily for me, the third time was the charm.  I found only about 3-4 videos of African-American, dark brown girls reviewing NARS products.  Much like the MAC reviews, the results looked good on these girls, but there was something about these products that made me think they were different...  and I gave NARS a try.

There are no retailers in my immediate area that sell NARS products, so I had to order directly from NarsCosmetics.com.  And even though I was not able to try the products out before shelling over about $90, what I purchased is right on the money!!

NARS gives great descriptions on their products.  For instance, I recall seeing "Chocolate" and "Gold" undertones mentioned in a few.  This really helped me with my purchase.  I knew that I definitely wanted to stay away from anything that had a yellow-y undertone, no matter what the color appears to be of the product inside of the bottle.  You know.. I've had more than my fair share on dealing with that makeup nightmare.

I decided on a tinted moisturizer in Polynesia (Dark 1) and the Sheer Glow foundation in Benares (Dark 3).  Both were about between $42-$45 each.  In total I paid about $90 (including tax and free shipping) and they threw in a free blush sample.  I'm in love with all 3 products!!  See the pictures below of the MAC foundations and the NARS product to see why:

MAC NC50-Not too bad without the flash


MAC NW47-light, powdery look





MAC MatchMaster 8.0--too light

MAC Match Master 8.0


MAC Match Master 8.0 with camera flash

MAC NC50 w/flash: YELLOW

MAC NW 47 in natural light 

NARS Benares in natural light

Nars Benares


MAC products seem to have an "okay" look on me as long as I stay away from camera flashes.  The NC50 and NW47 don't look too bad without a bright light around.  But, who wants to walk around in the shadows all damn day long?? (Not I!)  The NARS products give me brown all the way through. I do not have a picture of the tinted moisturizer in Polynesia, but it gives pretty much the same look as the Benares foundation.  I apply the foundation with a brush and the moisturizer with my fingers.  I apply the moisturizer as... a moisturizer.  A few dabs all around the face and rub it in.  So, the moisturizer has less coverage than the foundation, but it gives me an even tone and covers what it needs to cover.  AND IN THE CORRECT SHADE!!

On another note, MAC actually has a great return policy: Original box, 50%+ of the product remaining and receipt... Full refund within a lot of days.  I think the lady told me 90 days, but I could be wrong.  I know that it took me about 2 weeks to return the NW47 and about one week to return the NC50.  I experienced no hassle with that.  So, that was cool.  The foundation... Not so much (for me, personally.)

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