MAC’s Famous Studio Fix Foundation Just Had A Surprising Makeover For 2024

How does the new formula compare to the original?

studio fix

by Sameeha Shaikh |
Updated on

What makes a classic, well, a classic? Having tried and tested products aplenty, we think we've cracked the code. These products manage to stick out of the busy beauty crowd; they are often expert or celebrity-backed, they've likely been spotted backstage at fashion week, and most importantly they stand the test of time. Look to our list of cult beauty buys which really work for proof – there is everything from the Nars Blush in Orgasm to Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream, each proving their sway in the industry years after their inception. Another buy you'll likely know well? M·A·C's Studio Fix Foundation.

'Its cult appeal comes down to the fact that it’s truly a people’s foundation that works for everyday life,' explains Mac's Global Creative Director of Artistry Terry Barber. 'Consumers love that its instantly flawless with a coverage that can be dialled up or down depending on the desired result. It stays on all day and doesn’t fade, oxidise or demand constant retouching and the extensive shade selection allows for pinpoint accurate matching to skin colour.'

You would be hard-pressed to find a make-up wearer who hasn't heard of this foundation. For many of us, it was our first foray into the world of make-up and quickly became the benchmark for shade matching as well as coverage and finish. It's was the OG, a reliable go-to and kept many of us in the chokehold of a sturdy matte foundation. But years since the first iteration of the Studio Fix Foundation in the 80s, M·A·C has remastered it into the new Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF 15, £31.

Shop: The New M·A·C Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

This foundation bears all the charm of the original - oil-free, transfer-resistant, cake-free, with a 24-hour, buildable medium to full coverage - but with the added benefits of 87% skincare ingredients, a soft-matte finish and a whopping 71 shades. But who is it best for? 'It works for any skin type in terms of how it sits easily on top of any type of skincare or prep from primer to rich cream without drying out or pilling,' explains Barber. 'It controls shine for oilier skin types and allows lustre for dryness. It can be powdered or worn powder-free. Its truly a foundation that adapts to any skin.'

Pros

  • Skin-first formula
  • Includes SPF15
  • 71 shades

Cons

  • Glass bottle may be heavy to travel with but is a win for sustainability

So how do you make a great, greater? 2024 is shaping up to be the year of M·A·C's rebirth. The brand has already given us a taste of how well it can remix its bestsellers with the release of the Macximal Silky Matte Lipstick range, which saw game-changing updates on its most famous Matte Lipstick including Velvet Teddy and Ruby Woo. The new Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF 15 follows a similar pattern.

The original 24-hour, buildable medium-to-full coverage matte foundation still maintains some of its old charm but with a few key noteworthy differences. First, a soft-matte finish. M·A·C has really listened to the change in consumer habits with this one. The new penchant for natural-looking, comfortable-feeling foundations means this has been formulated with patented Pro Fluid Technology, which helps the product to move with your skin and allows for a lightweight wear. Think of it as a new-gen way to enjoy matte foundations.

'I would describe the new formula as mannequin matte,' explains Barber. 'It’s a smooth, sculpted, flawless matte blur rather than powdery flatness. It works whether you’re doing clean, everyday effortlessness grooming or full maximalist glam. People often fear foundations that are transformative in terms of pigment coverage, but this type of reformulation represents a new era of really dressing up the face again whilst retaining premium quality skin.'

Watch: A TikTok Review Of The New Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

Then, there's the kind-to-skin formula. Again, M·A·C has heard our consumer cries loud and clear. Moving with the times, the new foundation includes a base of 87% skincare ingredients, which includes oil-controlling sugar kelp extract as well as red algae extract and hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated. It also comes equipped with SPF 15, though this was added some time ago.

'The remastering of the formula was a result of the consumer demand for more of a realistic skincare texture even in a foundation that’s so renowned for flawless finish,' explains Barber. 'Adding skincare ingredients has resulted in a formula that looks and feels more luxurious but without taking away the satisfying instant coverage and all-day durability that people love.'

Most impressively, the iconic range now comes in 71 shades for all skin tones and all textures, meaning this legendary brand built for make-up artists continues to be a beacon for inclusivity, as it has been since it first launched to market with Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo at the helm.

But what do the experts think? 'Studio Fix is an absolute staple in my red-carpet kit,' says Carly Utting, M·A·C senior artist. 'As an Artist, I need to rely on formulae that perform under strong lighting to give my clients that natural yet photo-ready finish – on and off camera. I have yet to find another foundation that delivers everything I need…and yet to find a skin tone I can’t match with Studio Fix. All hail this hero formula.' And if TikTok is anything to go by, it seems shoppers are falling head over heels for the new foundation, too.

How to determine the shade for you? 'With 71 shades there's a complex range of hues, catering for a global range of skin colours with specific nuances of undertone. Navigating to your shade is best achieved through swatching. Simply visit a counter and apply 2-3 shades along the jawline, between the neck and the cheek, allowing them to warm on the skin and seeing which shade matches. Many of the Studio Fix shades can look quite similar in the bottle but their undertone can be different in terms of being more pink or olive. It’s through skin swatching that the suitability of the undertone to your skin becomes apparent.'

Sameeha Shaikh is Grazia's beauty writer, covering all categories to bring you insights on the latest trends, industry news and the products you need to know about, viral or not (most probably viral). She began her career in journalism as an editorial apprentice at the Telegraph working across the busy features desk, refining her news breaking prowess before landing a job on the title's beauty desk – where she found her natural niche. At Grazia, Sameeha keeps track of what's making beauty obsessives tick, the talking points at the centre of our buzzy community and occasionally putting weird (sometimes wonderful) hacks to the test.

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