Matchmaster, Matchmaster, Make Me a Match: New MAC Matchmaster Foundation

Published in: MAC Makeup

mac matchmaster foundation

Unicorns and four-leaf clovers aren’t half as rare as a great foundation (read: one that provides great coverage yet leaves skin looking like real skin), but MAC hopes their new line of liquid foundations will change that.


New Matchmaster Foundation SPF 15 makes its North American debut September 22 and also arrives on most international shores some time this month (oddly, it’s not slated to arrive in Asia until September of 2012).

The new line offers medium coverage with a demi-matte finish designed to even out skin tones and mask imperfections, yet — drum roll, please — still look like real skin, yay! πŸ™‚ The ol’ bare-skin-but-better motif.

The secret ingredient? Spheres. No, not the cheesy movie starring Sam Jackson and Sharon Stone. These spheres belong to MAC’s Patented Pigment Technology, which squeezes pigments into tiny translucent spheres.

For traditional high-coverage foundations, companies use a mix of iron oxide and titanium dioxide-based red, yellow, white and black pigments to find matches for different skin tones, but it’s not a perfect science. Some formulations leave skin looking dull, or like it’s wearing a mask, and appearances can vary widely depending on the undertones in a wearer’s skin.

That’s where Matchmaster Foundation SPF 15 is supposed to come in. Clear acrylate spheres encapsulate micro-fine iron oxide and titanium dioxide pigments. When light hits the surface of these spheres, it enters and refracts, combining the undertones in the skin with a mix of micro fine pigments that should appear more natural to the naked eye.

At least that’s the idea.

More about Matchmaster from Nick Gavrelis, Vice President of MAC Global Development

  • The new line includes 14 shades, some of which are MAC’s lightest and darkest foundation shades to date
  • Provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15 protection
  • The new foundation was designed to suit all skin types, but MAC says that people with oily skin might really love it thanks to a botanical ingredient called laminaria saccharina (a form of seaweed/kelp), which is supposed to combat oil

Here’s a little look at six of the 14 shades…

mac matchmaster foundation
From the left: 1.0, 3.0 and 5.0

mac matchmaster foundation
7.5, 8.5 and 9.0


mac matchmaster foundation swatches
Swatches from the left: 1) 1.0, 2) 3.0, 3) 5.0, 4) 7.5, 5) 8.5 and 6) 9.0

I’ve only just started testing the new line today, and I can’t say much about it yet. I will say that I like the lightweight texture, but I’m a little unsure about the coverage. More details to follow (I need at least a week with it to give it a fair shake).

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. NOTE: If you want to watch an uplifting movie on a Sunday afternoon, don’t watch Contagion. I’ve already washed my hands about six times since I got home, and I’m still freaked out. At least it stars Matt Damon, even though he’s kinda underutilized.


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So far, 40 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jana says:

    This foundation sounds ahh-mazing.
    Hrm.. Question? When they mean ‘international’ , Australia should be included on that list too .. right? Can’t wait to get this!

    Anyway, time to get back to paying attention to Media studies *sigh*
    Have a lovely day, Karen! =]

  2. Eesha says:

    Light weight and suitable for oily skin (that botanical ingredient) sounds interesting. Can’t wait to try it.
    Eesha recently posted … MAC e/s "Club" – Pictures, Swatches and FOTD

  3. polarbelle says:

    I’m anxious to hear how the coverage is. I want my face to look like skin just not really MY skin. like My face but better. I wear foundation for two reasons; the first is because it creates a smooth canvas to apply my other colors. Blush doesn’t wear right for me without foundation. The second is to even my skintone. So I want a skin look but I want a medium coverage to even skintone.

    Hence, looking forward to seeing what you think of this foundation after you’ve worn it a bit. And I love the title of this post. Cracked me up.

  4. lia says:

    hmmm, I wish they had a shade between 3 and 4… I’m afraid 4 will be too dark on me, and 3 is def too light.

  5. Erin says:

    Hmmm, very curious about this one! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
    Erin recently posted … 10 years.

  6. vonnie says:

    i’m def curious about this foundation, want a demi matte finish one! but we’ll see, i need great coverage as my skin suuuucks
    vonnie recently posted … We’ll Always Remember – Where Were You 9/11/01?

  7. MUA Lindsay says:

    Seems like a HUGE difference between #3 & #4 (or are those not the actual shade names?), and even between #1 & #2, seems to be a gap.
    True, MAC is more for Professionals, but the consumer is largely drawn to the brand, for that purpose. However most people can’t afford to spend $30/ea. on TWO foundations to mix.

  8. Katie says:

    To the comments above, Karen picked up only 6 of 14 shades.

    I am excited for this ’cause it sounds exactly like what I look for in a foundation. The recent Pro Long Wear was close to HG status for me, but the shades were a bit off.

  9. Sabrinna says:

    omg the description makes me want it! lol oily skin: check, need a good coverage and make it look like skin: check. I WANT! πŸ™‚ i will definitely look forward to your reviews of this karen! and im looking forward to what shade will match you perfectly, since i think my skintone matches yours (NC40/NC42. and for some reason i have a hard time finding a good foundation that matches me really good…dont know why…does is have something to do with being asian (filipino)? okay i need to stop rambling…) i hope id get a good match with the matchmaster (without breaking out!) πŸ˜€ Thank you for this post!

  10. Tasmin says:

    I bought this here in the UK two weeks ago. I’m NC40/42 my shade is number 5. It’s a good foundation. Quite impressed so far.

  11. Sonya says:

    I’m intrigued by the oil-combating kelp. I have such a hard time finding foundations that don’t break me out – here’s hoping this one will work for me πŸ™‚
    Sonya recently posted … theBalm’s theBalm and the Beautiful (AKA The Muppets Cast Your Shadow) Palette – Photos, Swatches, Review

  12. Crystal says:

    I can’t wait to hear what you think about this one!
    Crystal recently posted … Le Metier De Beaute Red My Lips & Gypsy Rose Me

  13. Chris25 says:

    I’ve been wanting to try Pro LongWear, but now I’m curious to see what you’re going to say about this!

  14. angie says:

    this stuff really works! i’ve played with it for a week now…i am NW22 and use 3.0….it looks a little yellow when i first apply it, but within a few minutes it totally bends to my skintone and looks absolutely perfect! it is very matte, and it’s a buildable medium coverage. i see this doing especially well for those who have both red and yellow undertones and find that foundations are either too yellow or pink for them!

  15. Nina says:

    oohhhh so curious about this foundation …. im pretty much set for at least 6 months as far as foundation is concerned but i will definitely check this out when it comes!

  16. Cecilia says:

    This foundation looks great, I should probably try a MAC foundation soon. but so expensive (for me at least :()

  17. Elizabeth s says:

    Karen, I can’t wait to hear what you think! I totally trust your opinion. Don’t keep us waiting too long! πŸ™‚

  18. Adrienne says:

    Hmm… “clear spheres” doesn’t sound promising to this acne-prone girl who’s got a lot to cover! But I wonder if it’s buildable, and if it stays so “real” looking when built up…
    I’m always looking for a natural non-cakey looking foundation that will cover and actually last. I might give this one a try at the counter and see how it stands up to my skin!

  19. Jessica says:

    I am looking forward to trying this line; I’m always trying to find what works both individually and as a whole for clients.

  20. JoJo says:

    Sounds interesting. Will look into trying it out

  21. Theresa says:

    OMG I’m super excited to try this foundation! I love that they’re really trying to cater to those who have trouble finding the perfect match (me). Which shade did you find matches you the best, Karen? I’m thinking that 3.0 huh? Let me (and the rest of us) know!

  22. maxi says:

    may this mac foundation suits me πŸ˜€ i m allergic to silicones cant use any silicone base.
    hoping for the best πŸ™‚

  23. Carie says:

    This foundation sounds really promising. I can’t use any other MAC foundation because I’m lighter than NW15 but NC15 is too yellow for me. Matchmaster seems perfect, because I need a really light shade, oil control, and good coverage. I hope it holds up to its promises!

  24. Kayla K says:

    I really cannot wait to try this out! From the description it sounds 100% perfect for me. I’m SO anxious to try it out.

  25. nia says:

    sept 2012?! yikes!

    i suppose that gives us Asian ample time for research and comparison prior to buying a bottle of the foundation πŸ˜›

    i guess i dont need to get excited now then. LOL

  26. Kirsty says:

    Maxi and Carie, I hear you! I can’t use any cones either, and both NW15 and NC15 are too dark and the wrong shade. I’m pretty much a true neutral so it will be interesting to see if they have something that works in this range.

  27. Lia says:

    Wondering about if it will oxidize on my skin as much as every other Mac foundation. It sounds great, but I’m betting it will leave me orange.

  28. danielle says:

    I love MAC foundation. It is rich in pigmentation and I use it on most of my clients!

  29. Angela says:

    I’m kinda glad that this new foundation is coming out right when I’m starting to get kind of low on my studio fix fluid. What I really wanna know is if this foundation has that odd paint smell like the fix fluid does cause it kind of drives me nuts. I used the mineralise foundation (which was my first MAC foundation) and I didn’t have any issues. Anyone care to chime in on this?

  30. Katie says:

    The lightest shade looks like a perfect color match for me which is totally hard to find! I hope that this gets a good review so I can grab it πŸ˜‰

  31. Brittany says:

    Just bought this tonight from macys….and let me tell you what….it ROCKS!! :)))

    The coverage is perfect and I did not feel like I had any make up on….my skin looked even and the right color for once!! I usually have a problem with yellow hues in my skin-Im italian with oily olive skin…and this took it all away!!! πŸ™‚

  32. chelsea says:

    Never liked MACs foundation but the eyeshadows are beautiful

  33. Jessica says:

    After years of being a makeup artist. The rule stands true. There are no rules to makeup, only rules of thumb. Nothing called “too anything”.I disagree with telling anyone how to wear their foundation/blush/powder/eyeliner/eyeshadow. Makeup is subjective. Everyone has their own makeup style. Many light people tend to go light/lighter or mix it with a luminzer to make themselves brighter/radiant/porcelin like. A great example of this would be dita von teese, who even stays out the sun to maintain her light skintone and wears light foundation. Others prefer to be dark/darker and darken in the sun or use bronzer all over their skintone. Different people have different preferences. Makeup is subjective. I hate nude lips. Does that mean its right to say “dont wear nude lips” ? No.
    I might not like it but someone else might. There is no rule to makeup. Thats the beauty of being a makeup artist. There are soo many different styles.
    I hate bronzer. But maybe there is someone who loves that deep bronzed look.I might not like it but someone else might. There is no rule to makeup. Thats the beauty of being a makeup artist. There are soo many different styles.who is anyone to tell someone theyre wearing a too light or too dark foundation, because there is no such thing. Nicole and Sam from pixiwoo(huge makeupartists in Britain) sometimes wear paler or darker foundation and it looks gorgeous! as long as people blend it to the neck its fine….some people prefer to look bright and radiant.
    I wouldnt choose a foundation from this line though, alot of them look “Orangey”. I will stick with the NARS/MAKEUPFOREVER. MAC tends to oxidize pretty fast too.

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