MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation: The Best Liquid Foundation I’ve Seen From MAC in Years

Published in: Face, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

mac pro longwear nourishing waterproof foundation

MAC Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation ($32 for a 0.84-oz. tube, available now in 16 shades)

MAC has a new waterproof foundation, and I know that it’s waterproof because I had a meltdown in the middle of Target a couple weeks ago while wearing it, and this stuff did not move.



I mean, who hasn’t had a meltdown in the middle of Target at least once (well, other than three-year-old children)?

I’d been waiting in a long checkout line when some busy fancy-pants dude in Spandex bicycle shorts totally cut in front of me.

The fact that he didn’t bother to make eye contact with me or even acknowledge the existence of my cart — which was full of ladies’ accoutrements for a visit from “Aunt Flo,” mind you — sent me into Rage Mode. El Hub saw the look in my eye and knew something big was about to go down, so he did his best to calm/soothe me.

I guess it worked… Instead of doing what I really wanted to do, which was yell obscenities at the rude guy while foaming at the mouth, I just burst into tears, and that’s when the new MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation had its first boss moment.

Instead of being the girl who had the meltdown in the middle of Target, with her makeup streaming down the side of her face onto her pink pineapple sweatshirt, I was just the girl crying her eyes out like the protagonist in a Nicholas Sparks film.

Like, it was the most beautiful public display of sobbing I’ve ever had. The tears poured down my cheeks, but my foundation looked fine, so if you anticipate doing any public crying, seriously, grab yourself a tube of MAC Pro Longwear Nourshing Waterproof, and cry with class.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation: Briefly, what is it?

It’s MAC’s latest long-wearing (24 hours, holy crap!) foundation. It’s $32, comes in a 0.84-oz. tube, and has an oil-free liquid formula with medium-to-full coverage and a satin finish.

Oh! — and you can also use it as concealer.

It’s available now in 16 shades — NC15, NC20, NC25, NC30, NC35, NC42 (here’s mine), NC45, NC50, NW15, NW20, NW25, NW30, NW35, NW40, NW45 and NW50 — and designed for all skin types, including oily, dry and combination.

mac pro longwear nourishing waterproof foundation

Wearing MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC42

Don’t be discouraged by the smallish size of the tube/bottle. While a bottle of MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation costs the same $32 but nets you 1.3 ounces of product, this gets you a little more than half that much (0.84 ounces) for the same price.

But you only have to use a little. A small pea-sized drop of the shade I use, NC 42, which I blend out with a BeautyBlender, is enough for my entire face. I usually like coverage right on the border between medium and full, and with this, one drop is enough.

Does it work well?

Does Tabs like gravy?

That’s a HUGE yes. 🙂 I think this stuff is brilliant. It’s one of the best liquid foundations I’ve seen from MAC in years. It performs as well as the much more expensive Dior Nudeskin does and does many of the same things — it’s lightweight, blurs pores and evens out my skin without appearing heavy or fake. It also lasts longer when you wear it without powder (Nudeskin needs powder to last me a full day), and I think the satin finish looks a little more natural than Dior’s flat matte.

mac pro longwear nourishing waterproof foundation

Swatches from the left of NW15, NW30, NW35 and NW50

I do have a word of caution about layering this, though… I’m always tempted to keep building up the coverage because of how easy it is to blend, and the first few times I wore this, I layered the living crap out of it just because I could. But every time I did, at some point it started to look heavy and fake, but I didn’t realize it until the foundation had completely dried down.

Does that make any sense?

I’m not sure…


In other words, when you apply MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation, use as little as possible, and blend it out with a BeautyBlender. Then let that dry (I usually wait about 5 minutes and work on my eyes during that time) before gauging whether you need to keep going. If you do, just repeat the process. I really like how natural this foundation looks when I apply it this way, but having to wait is a bit of a downside in a way. If you dive right in and keep layering while each layer is still wet, you can easily go too far.

mac pro longwear nourishing waterproof foundation

Swatches of MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation from the left in NC15, NC25, NC35, NC42, NC45 and NC50

This foundation looks beyond beautiful, by the way, with a touch of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder buffed on top. I’ve been wearing the two of them together pretty much nonstop for the past two weeks and have been very happy with how they look in person and in pics.

With MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation, MAC has a real winner on its hands. Highly recommended if you want a flexible long-wearing liquid foundation and medium or full coverage.

PRICE: $32 for a 0.84-oz. bottle
AVAILABILITY: Available now in the permanent collection in 16 shades online and at MAC stores and counters

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Ashley says:

    My toddler could totally relate about the target meltdown. For this reason, we avoid the toy area 😉
    Would this work on dry skin?

  2. Natalia says:

    Hoooo boy, I hate line-cutters! That’s meltdown approved, in my book 😉

    That foundation looks gorgeous on you! I’ve got a full bottle of MAC’s Matchmaster to get through, buuuuut, this might be coming home with me sometime soon!

    Did you get a chance to try it out as a concealer? I’m intrigued by the possibility…!

  3. Neha Adatia says:

    Hi Karen, any signs of your skin breaking out ? I love Mac, their concealers and powder foundations never break me out but liquid foundations tend to.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Neha,

      That happens to me sometimes with MAC liquid foundations. I’ve been wearing this for a while and so far no breakouts (knock on wood). 🙂

  4. Pavithra says:

    Ah, line-cutters.

    This foundation seems like it would be fantastic. But I have a feeling I’d be somewhere in between NC 42 and NC 45. Sigh.
    Pavithra recently posted … Lipstick Love – NARS Moscow

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pavithra,

      You could always get one or the other and then blend it with a lighter or darker shade in your existing foundation collection. I do that sometimes.

      • Pavithra says:

        True, will have a look at this in store. NARS Syracuse is slightly dark on me, maybe I can get it to work with this one.

        • Karen says:

          I do tweaks like that all the time. 🙂 That way you can get a really customized shade match. One thing to keep in mind is the texture/consistency. Generally I like to stick to products that feel the same. Liquids with liquids, that kind of thing. It’s easier to mix.

          • Pavithra says:

            I need to learn to do this 🙁 I have a MAC Face & Body in C6 sitting around – I’m pretty sure I’m a C7 now. I love the consistency but I can’t bring myself to buy whole other bottle in a different shade. #bigproblems
            Pavithra recently posted … Lipstick Love – NARS Moscow

          • Karen says:

            Oh, once you start mixing and improvising you’ll LOVE it. You get so much control. Maybe start by playing with the things you already have. Do it on a weekend when you don’t have to go anywhere. That way you can really play, and then you can also wear it around the house to see how it fares throughout the day.

  5. Lauren S. says:

    This foundation is so beautiful! I love the effortless matte finish!
    Happy Tuesday! How’s the office going? 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Happy Tuesday to you too! The office product unfortunately has hit a temporary standstill. I haven’t worked on it since last Friday (BOO). But today I’ll be tackling some boxes from 5-6. Good times, good times. How have you been? Did you have a good day?

      • Lauren S. says:

        Don’t we all just love boxes? LOL 😉
        Today was good, I had a Social Sciences test today and I think it went pretty well, seeing as I didn’t study much. Oops…
        Give Tabs a big hug for me. 🙂

        • Karen says:

          Hey at least you did well on your test, right? Is that a subject you enjoy? What’s your favorite class?

          OK, tabby hug complete! He’s taking a nap in the sunshine right now so he’s all warm and toasty.

  6. Tulipthecat says:

    Hi Karen,
    I was wondering if you think this would be a good foundation for a trip to the Philippines. I’m going there in September for a wedding and it just dawned on me that I should start looking around for a good foundation that won’t melt off my face in the humidity.

    Hope you are having a good Tuesday!

    • Karen says:

      Meow-meow! Happy Tuesday to you and Tulip (and Jazmine of course).

      I think that you’d love this for your trip. You might also want to bring along an additional mattifying primer to wear underneath it just so you have all your bases covered for the wedding. I think my parents will be in the Phil. in Sept, too! Which island are you going to?

  7. Tulipthecat says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will be in Manila for the wedding then we are planning on going to Borocay for a couple of days, then back to Manila, then to Dubai for a couple of days then back to SFO. Where are your parents going in the Philippines?

    Tulip has been grumpy lately. When Jazmine sits next to me she comes over and hits Jazmine on the head and hisses at her to go away. She’s such the bully. Today she’s meowy because she’s afraid of the wind.

    • Karen says:

      How fun! I’ve never been to Borocay but would love to go someday soon. My parents have been and it look amazing. You’ll have to take a lot of pics! My parents will be going to Manila. They’ll be having fun, I’m sure.

      It’s very windy here in the North Bay too! It fires Tabs up and makes him a little crazy. Give Tulip and Jazmine big hugs for me.

  8. KaylaP says:

    Hey Karen! 🙂

    Have you tried this with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Spray? I am going to finally wear mine this week but debating whether to use my spray to set it or not…don’t want to disrupt its natural awesomeness lol.

    • Karen says:

      Hi KaylaP,

      Yes! It looks lovely misted lightly on top. I think it helps to do it when the foundation is a little wet though.

      • KaylaP says:

        Awesome thanks for your input! As a gal who has some hella oily skin and lives in Texas with the sweltering heat…this will be my lifesaver lol!!

  9. Lexi says:

    I’m always happy to hear about an awesome new product 🙂 MAC will always have a special place in my makeup-loving heart <3 This foundation looks great on you! And I always get so irritated at line-cutters…like my road rage, except line rage……..but my hubby is worse than I am about it, so he's no help! haha

  10. Agata says:

    Hi Karen, like I mentioned under a previous post, I got a sample of this foundation and I have used it only once but I loved it. It lasted on me all day, no touch ups needed. I will give it another go but I’m pretty sure a full size purchase is inevitable!
    Agata recently posted … The LBD of eco-skincare- Kari Gran Radiant Lip Whip review.

  11. Monika says:

    I flipped out when I saw this post! I’ve been anticipating the release of this foundation for weeks, and I was so excited to play with it recently. I got a tube for my transition shade, and I’ll be picking up another when I get legit tan. This formula is so effing good, and it’s everything I wish Pro Longwear foundation would be in the summer since it just feels way too heavy on a hot, humid day. Getting a lighter shade works really nicely for a undereye conceal/highlight. Seriously, I just can’t stop gushing about this foundation!

  12. Heloisa says:

    OMG, Karen, I totally feel you! I hate line cutters, it’s so freaking rude. What an @ss! I get so angry I can’t barely express myself, but I need to let it out somehow. If I don’t, I’ll obsess about the incident for the rest of the week, wishing I had said/done something smart and fierce and awesome. But when I can’t (which happens most of the time) crying is actually a better option… I think I need to cry more, though. I’ve been acting too tough lately and it’s starting to strain me from the inside.
    SO, about makeup, did you see the new MAC Toledo collection? So many gorgeous reds… 🙂

  13. Jenny says:

    I’ve had meltdowns like that before thanks to that special lady time. I had one yesterday, as a matter of fact. I let my monthly cycle completely control my emotions. I ate about a pound of chocolate after. I’m okay now.

    This foundation sounds amazing. I would LOVE to get my hands on it, and the finishing powder you mentioned. I’m on a strict budget bc we are moving soon, so no makeup purchases for several more months. Looking at these swatches and reading about the finish is making me shrivel up inside. I shall crumble into dust and blow away with the wind!
    Jenny recently posted … Sunday Share

  14. nai says:

    hey karen! i bought prolongwear waterproof on saturday at the honolulu nordstrom makeup trend show this past weekend after having had it tested on me the weekend before at the MAC is beauty event. in short: I LOVE IT. i wore it yesterday evening both as a foundie and a concealer, and since i was putting it on in the car whilst husband drove, i used my fingers. i think it looks fine applied that way and it lasted well for the next six hours.

    today, it’s wearing better after almost nine hours than F&G, matchmaster, revlon colorstay whipped, cover FX liquid. i am pretty sure that if this existed when i got married, it would have been what i wore to the altar because it holds up well against Honolulu humidity.

    funny thing is i wear NC35 in PLW but 4 in matchmaster and C4 in F&B, but PLQ NC35 is a perfect match once blended into my skin. when i first put it on, it’s like, WHOA! WRONG COLOR.

    as for the guy who cut in line in front of you–if that happened to me, i might have had to leave target in handcuffs. i get really angry when people cut in front of me and i cause a scene (yes, it’s happened before). maybe it’s because i am less than 5 feet tall and i hate when people assume i’m a pushover just because i’m so short (it’s always men who cut in front of me). well, plus i was raised in a honolulu ghetto by a filipino mom who’d keep a bolo knife in her purse and car.

  15. Beti says:

    Haha good to know that the foundation holds up. I hate when people cut the line, it makes me crazy too :)) I have never tried a foundation from MAC but I might go to the store to swatch this cause I like your description.
    Beti recently posted … The Tag, Signature Style

  16. Debra says:

    Line-cutter will get his instant karma!

    MAC foundation breaks me out. I loved Studio Sculpt but those hard little bumps under my skin were awful.

    Glad this one makes up for the rudeness that’s “out there”!

  17. Lily S. says:

    That color is nice on you! I’m wondering what NW40 and NW45 looks like? I’m NW43 in Mac and I would have love to see those two colors…. oh well!
    Lily S. recently posted … Lifestyle ~ African American Ethnic Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) Day 13 – Day 16

  18. Stephanie says:

    I just ran out of Dior Nudeskin today. That’s always my go to when my skin is acting up, i rosacea and it can tough to cover my redness. Sometimes I can get it covered but it doesn’t last. I’ve never had that problem with Dior Nudeskin, however i feel like I’m in between shades. Anyway, I was contemplating what to do now that I’m out, do I get the lighter shade and work with bronzing or just stick with the color I have, etc. When I saw this MAC foundation come out I was intrigued. I have super dry skin, do you think it would work on super dry skin? (I mean like desert dry) I love Nars foundation but it tends to settle on my skin and enhance my dryness. I love Laura Mercier Fluide foundation, but my redness pokes out around lunchtime. Sometimes I’m ok with that, sometimes I want to look even and normal so it’s nice to have a go to for that.

  19. Rachel says:

    If only they would release it in NW10. The ONLY MAC foundation I can wear is Studio Fix Fluid. At least I do like it.

  20. Yep, I like this formula too! Been playing around with it for a week now or so, trying to figure out how to wear it, but I’m pretty impressed so far.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | e.l.f. High Definition Blush in Superstar

  21. Janelle says:

    I totally understand about the meltdown. I had one, but unfortunately I was driving. Had to pull over to a gas station to get myself together. Sigh. Bit this foundation is giving the excited feels.i need to try this out immediately.

  22. Laarni says:

    I am so ready to get this, Karen!!! Thanks for the review and swatches!
    Laarni recently posted … Happy Mother’s Day!

  23. Fancie says:

    Lmao! I had to laugh at your Target story, sorry. I’ve been at meltdown point one too many times and it’s usually when I’m stressed out or hormonal thanks to birth control. So it can get BAD and my mom loves to make fun of me for it because it’s usually the smallest things that set off a shit storm. I’m just so glad I’m not the only one who has to decide between karate chopping someone and throwing a fit from time to time lol. Even though this foundation is new, I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about it. Now that you’ve compared it to Dior (which I’m obsessed with atm) I HAVE to go to the counter to try it! I just hope I can find a match without mixing. Looks like NC/NW50 is too dark and NC45 is too light. Fingers crossed NW45 is a good match!
    Fancie recently posted … Ruby Kisses Queen Matte Lip Lacquer Review

  24. Tracy says:

    That’s horrible that happened to you! Grrr that gets my blood boiling! It’s so rude when people are so oblivious to their surroundings. I often get “dismissed” at stores because a.I’m only 4’11” and b. I’ve been mistaken for a high school student on several occasions. I was once asked if my father would be paying for my ring when hubs and I went ring shopping and was scolded my an older woman (70ish) at Bath and Body works for “handling” the merchandise without adult supervision. I’m 39 freakin’ yrs old!
    As for the MAC – I may have to stop at the counter on my weekly Sephora run this Friday.
    Tracy recently posted … Comment Courtesy – Responding vs. Reacting

  25. KiKi says:

    Hey Karen, Thanks for the review I was so excited when I seen this foundation/concealer. I been using the pro longwear concealer & I was down to my last. I went into Mac & they gave me a sample of NW45 as of now I am using as a concealer & so far, so good. I was just trying to figure out the best to apply it, With the Mac #217? With my fingers? With a beauty blender? Or a foundation brush?

  26. Lauren says:

    The line cutting dude should be the one to have a meltdown for wearing ugly shorts!!

    Aww, Karen, I have sobbed at Target doing a return. I was told I had the wrong receipt, I said it was right, finally she said “oh, you’re right!” I BALLED ( hormonal also) and said “no one ever listens to me, ever!” Pretty mature for a 36 year old?!

  27. Kim says:

    The foundation sounds lovely but I’m far too angry about the line-cutter to give it its due. I’m so sorry that you were upset. But you’re a nice person and El Hub sounds like the voice of reason so, I know you handled it better than I would have. I’d be the person who walks up and informs the person that they cut and then points them to the back of the line (which, no doubt, would result in finding out that he was completely sorry and didn’t realize it because he was overcome by grief by the death of some loved one and just needed to get out of Target…. then I’d be crying). 🙂

  28. Tatiana says:

    I totally would have lost my sheee-it at that guy and given him a verbal tirade. I get meltdowns. I swear each meltdown my daughter had as a toddler is permanently etched in my memory, including the one she had in Bed, Bath & Beyond before I sent her off to college. My poor husband, he has to deal with both her meltdowns and mine. Lol.
    This foundation looks fabulous on you. I recently returned to MAC Mineralize Moisture foundation, after realizing it was one of three foundations I ever used to the bottom of the bottle. I may get a sample of the Pro Longwear to try out. How does it compare to the Pro Longwear Concealer, in terms of texture and opacity?

  29. Zovesta says:

    Omg, that Target story is both sad and hilarious! Poor gal… the foundation looks great, though. I’m tempted to get my skin matched and pick up a tube. =o
    Zovesta recently posted … Double Review: Maybelline’s The Falsies Mascara and Tarte’s multiplEYE Prime

  30. lena says:

    Well I need this foundation in my life. I’ve been having meltdowns in the church, on the commute, at the house upon hearing my best friend’s daughter just got accepted into college and doing my major …..

    Btw you look great in these pics Karen.
    lena recently posted … Review and Swatches: Tinted Moisturizers Alphabet Soup

  31. Trude says:

    There’s a special place in hell for line-cutters, both in person and in cars! 😉

    Thanks for this review – I’ma get my friend with a pro card on it for me! I’ve actually been looking for a good travel-friendly long wearing foundation. Right now I mix It’s Oxygen foundation with MUFE Mat Velvet for just the right mix, but it’s not exactly the best for travel.
    Trude recently posted … May Desktop Background

  32. Zeebi says:

    I’ve been hearing people rave about this and now you too! Can’t wait to try it out. I use NC40 normally, I’m hoping this NC42 won’t be too dark. And thanks for the tip on waiting for the foundation to dry and then gauge whether you wanna layer or not. You are looking great (as usual)!

  33. Stephanie says:

    oh, man. I’m right there with you on the meltdowns, and really could use a BeautyBlender (and this foundation, apparently, if my life’s going to continue the way it has been lately).

  34. Alissa says:

    Do you recommend using a primer with this foundation? I usually use Hourglass primer under the Matchmaster & it looks great. I wasn’t sure if this would be compatible with this formula though.

  35. Sarah says:

    We all have those moments where we just need to have a breakdown, especially when Flo is involved!

    I’ve been looking for a new foundation and I’m definitely going to have to try this one now that it’s becoming beach season!

  36. Carina says:

    Hahaha I would’ve been TOTALLY passive aggressive and said something really rude really loudly. And THEN I would cry, haha.
    Carina recently posted … Le Métier de Beauté Beauty Vault VIP May 2015: Sexy Eye Palette + Why I Won’t Be Signing Up Again

  37. Gail says:

    Can this foundation be sheered out to light coverage?

  38. Grissy says:

    Hi! I’m currently using the studio fix fluid in NW20. I’m planning on buying the pro long wear nourishing waterproof foundation online, which shade do you recommend that is closer to my studio fix fluid?

  39. Hazel says:

    omg I just called Macy’s in Newpark and they have it! imma buy it now lol

  40. Hazel says:

    love it so much better than the original pro longwear! thanks so much, Karen! I aso have it in NC42. looks so natural~

  41. Dawn says:

    The great girl in the MAC store explained it oxidizes when it dries, adjusting the shade. Allow to completely dry between layers and fall in love with it….and I have.

  42. Jessica says:

    Hi, can you help me, I have 4 bottles mac pro long wear foundation with shade NC42. But since I moved and living in europe I realize my skin getting lighter,and I found out this NC42 too dark for me 🙁 Its pity to throw all this 4 bottles foundation. Have any idea which lighter tone I should pick to blend with this NC42 so I’ll get much more light foundation tone for my skintone? (I think my skin is NC40/more lighter one more shade) thanks! Your opinions would help me a lot!

  43. ECfromDC says:

    I am so unhappy there’s no NW43…..there NW40 will be a little too light and NW45 is too dark. I am NOT buying 2 to mix.
    Why in TF did they leave out NW43 -_-.
    I could get NW40 maybe and try to deepen it with a darker powder but…I dunno.

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