Review: MAC Matchmaster Shade Intelligence Compact | Cushion Foundation

by - June 27, 2016

Hello, Gorgeous. 
I hope you are all doing well.

 For this post, I will be reviewing one of the newest products in MAC Cosmetics' makeup range - it is the MATCHMASTER SHADE INTELLIGENCE COMPACT.
The Matchmaster compact is MAC cosmetic's version of a cushion foundation. Cushion products seem to be the trend right now; they not only come as foundations, but some companies have brought out cushion blushes and bronzers! I have heard a lot about all kinds of cushion products, and I now know why. This is not the first cushion product I have tried; I own another Asian brand cushion foundation but it is much much lighter than my skin tone so I was not able to try it.


Anyway, before starting with the review, I will give an overview on the product from the Press Release I have received from MAC Cosmetics. The foundation comes in 12 shades: 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0. It claims to be undetectable on the skin, with a sheer liquid formula. The range comes with a MATCHMASTER CONCEALER of a matching range of shades. However, I do not have any information about it. 

The shade I have is 5.0. For my Middle Eastern light-medium neutral or "olive" skin tone, it looks a but too warm or orange. However, with blending and highlighting with concealer, it looks better.

My skin type and foundation preference

Just like with most of my reviews, I like to mention my skin type and preference in makeup so readers can compare my expectations to theirs. 
My skin type is combination - oily T zone and normal/dry and sensitive cheeks. However at the moment and while I was testing the foundation, I am using prescription creams on my skin. Therefore, my skin is now very dry and flaky. However, my T zone still gets shiny with time when I wear makeup. 
Even though my skin is combination, I enjoy wearing dewy foundations and packing on the highlighters. I try to use mattifying primers on my T zone but I haven't found anything that works for me yet. Dewy foundation get shiny on me after 2-3 hours but the coverage lasts much longer. Matte foundations stay matte for a little longer than that.

Now onto the review...


The foundation comes with a small puff-like sponge applicator that typically comes with cushion products. It could be used to pat in the foundation to get a smooth application and good converge. However, whats great about the foundation is how versatile application can be. Also, the coverage obtained depends on the application method or tool used. I tested the foundation with the  sponge that comes with the foundation, damp beauty sponge, flat top kabuki brush ams stippling brush and here is what I found:
The foundation giver light-medium coverage suitable for daily use. However, applying it with the sponge or damp beauty sponge gives the maximum coverage, and they also allow for building coverage. On the other hand, the brushes give less converge but blend the product in faster and easier.  However, stippling the product into the skin instead of buffing it does increase the coverage.

Finish and wear time

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the foundation does not have a an extremely dewy finish. It gives more of a natural, almost matte finish but doesn't look "flat". Additionally, what impressed me the most is the fact that it sets and dries down after applying and blending it. If you have read my previous foundation review on my blog you would know that I really like this in foundations. This foundation doesnt feel wet or tacky on the face, but it is not at all drying. It also doesnt feel like its melting off my face when Im outside in the hot, humid weather. However, keep in mind that this could possibly be due to my dry skin at the moment.
On my skin (currently), the foundation gets shiny around the T zone after 4 hours, but the coverage lasts for up to 6 or 7 hours.

How it looks on the skin 

The foundation did not emphasize the appearance of my flaky skin. Although, I did have to go with fix+ after powdering my face because powder does make the flakes more prominent. If you have dry skin, I would recommend using a good moisturiser and skipping powder. I would also recommend patting the foundation in with a brush or sponge instead of buffing it if you have dry flaky skin, as buffing makeup into the skin can make flakes more obvious. The foundation also did not emphasize pores, but it also did not hide them. Therefore, I would recommend using your favourite pore-minimizing primer.
In my opinion, those with normal or combination skin, with not much to cover on their face, would love this foundation the most. It gives good (but not full) coverage and lasts for a few hours which makes it perfect for everyday use. It is also very lightweight and doesn't settle into fine lines or look cakey.

To sum up...

  • The application method is versatile - you can use any brush or sponge that you like.
  • Light-medium buildable coverage, but doesnt get to a full coverage.
  • Dosnt emphasise skin problems such as texture and pores, but also doesnt conceal them.
  • Looks and feels like skin.
  • Lasts for up to 6-7 hours but gets shiny on oily areas after 4 hours.
  • Did not break me out.

Thats all I have to say about the foundation. Ignoring the shade difference, I have been enjoying using it for quick makeup looks, and I hope those who own it do too.

Thank you for reading. 

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