Best MAC Foundation For Oily Skin

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew which was the best MAC foundation for oily skin, before you went into a store to buy it?

In this article I’m going to give you the most comprehensive and clearest possible answer I can to this question in relation to the MAC fluid foundations. (I will be reviewing MAC primer and powder options soon so stay tuned).

My aim with this site is to save you time and money and help you get the complexion you want.

The Contenders

There are six fluid foundations available from MAC. Here’s the list:

a) Studio Fix, b) Pro Longwear, c) Mineralize Moisture, d) Matchmaster, e) Studio Sculpt, f) Face and Body. Buy them here at MAC Cosmetics UK  and for US customers it can be found at MAC Cosmetics USA where they offer FREE delivery and returns to US customers.

AHH! Too much choice. SIX foundations? Don’t worry! I have created a chart to help you quickly spot which fluid foundation is right for you. Below I have plotted all the MAC foundations to show you which one will stay on your skin the longest if you have very oily skin. Can you see it? It’s at the top right-hand corner of the chart and it comes out as Pro Longwear.

(Please click below to see the image below if you want to see it more clearly. It will open in a new window and be larger and easier to read that way for some).

best_mac_foundation_for_oily_skin_watermarked-page-800So you might instantly think, this is the one for me. However, I’d like to double check a few things before you rush out to the store and buy this one.

When buying the best MAC foundation for oily skin, I think you have to ask yourself five questions:

1) What is my life stage – ie, are you a teenager studying or are you in your 20s or 30s and working a full 10 hour day every day, week in, week out?

2) Just how oily is my skin?

3) What sort of coverage do I want?

4) Do I want an SPF in my foundation?

5) Do I have an easy skin colour to match?

Let’s look at that first question:

What is my life stage?

The reason I suggest a moment to think this through is that if you can have your face free of foundation, for the most amount of time possible each day, I think this is the best you can offer your skin. The less we have on it, surely the better it is for our skin? It allows it to breathe, to be what it really is supposed to be – completely natural.

So I would say only buy Pro Longwear if you have a job where you have to have an oil-free, demi-matte look for 10 hours or more.

If you only need a matte complexion for a few hours per day, perhaps just six or seven hours, like during your time at school or for a part-time job that’s just mornings for example, then I’d recommend buying something less adherent – like Matchmaster or Studio Fix.

Then second question is:

Just how oily is my skin?

So now we need to look at how much natural sebum we have. I think this can be checked by looking at your skin after your regular daily cleansing ritual. For me, this is when I take a shower in the morning. The question I would ask myself is “How soon does my skin become oily again?”

For me, it’s within about 2 to 3 hours, I have a natural shine on my nose area already by that time. I would describe my nose area as very oily. I’m in my 30s but I still have naturally very oily skin in that area. My forehead is close behind after another hour or so.

Therefore, Pro Longwear would really be the right foundation for me. I have naturally very oily skin and I need foundation that lasts more than just a few hours. I am at a lifestage where I can be working long days and I need my complexion to stay oil-free for long periods.

However, perhaps you only become oily after 6 or 7 hours, and perhaps the oiliness is just a little shine, rather than a full melt-away.

And if you are at a lifestage say, where you are studying and don’t need a full day fix of make-up that won’t budge, you may be better off going with something lighter, like Studio Fix or Face + Body instead.

Now let’s look at the third question:

What sort of coverage do you want?

If you have naturally clear skin and only want a very light foundation that feels like ‘no make-up’, then Face + Body is a very good choice.

However for someone with very oily skin, like me, who wants a ‘no budge’ option, this wouldn’t do. It would have melted away by about 5 or 6 hours in place on my skin.

The other three options that are very good for oily skin to very oily skin, are Studio Fix, Matchmaster and Pro Longwear. All of these give a good coverage, going in that order, Studio Fix for oily skin, Matchmaster and Pro Longwear for very oily skins.

Studio Fix gives a soft look, neither matte nor dewy, somewhere in between, whilst Matchmaster and Pro Longwear are demi-matte. They all give great coverage and are buildable, so can hide any problem areas very well.

The other two foundations, Studio Sculpt and Mineralize Moisture both give satin finishes. This I think again shows they are really meant for normal skin. If you do have normal skin and are looking for a MAC foundation that stays in place, Studio Sculpt definitely has the better staying power, as shown on the chart.

Do I want an SPF?

Many people like the convenience of having an SPF in a foundation, as it saves them time and money and it just makes life more convenient, especially in the morning when you may be in a rush to get out the door.

Let’s look at the four fluid foundations from MAC that have an SPF:

Studio Fix – SPF 15
MatchMaster – SPF 15
Pro Longwear – SPF 10
Mineralise Moisture – SPF 15 (but only recommended for normal to dry skin)

Let’s note again which ones DON’T have an SPF:

Face + Body
Studio Sculpt (but only recommended for normal to dry skin)

Do you use a moisturizer underneath your foundation? Does it have an SPF in it? Or can the MAC foundation do it for you?

Looking at the foundations that include and SPF from MAC, I notice that the top three longest wearing foundations for oily skin all include an SPF (Studio Fix – SPF 15, MatchMaster – SPF 15, Pro Longwear – SPF 10).

If you have skin that is a little bit oily, (but not very very oily) you could get away with using Face + Body – but in this case you would need an SPF in another product to put under or over it if you were looking at gain some sort of UVA/UVB protection.


Do I have an easy skin colour to match?

Do you run into trouble when you buy foundation in terms of your skin colour? Or are you an easy match? Some brands are well-known for having very good colour palettes, that provide a solution for nearly everyone.

Studio Fix has by far the most shades of any foundation offered by MAC, coming in at 39 shades. This is your best chance of a good match if you need a wide colour palette to help you get the colour right if you sometimes encounter problems.

Here are the foundations listed by number of shades:

Studio Fix – 39 shades
Pro Longwear – 23 shades
Matchmaster – 13 shades
Face + Body – 13 shades

Studio Sculpt – 30 shades (not recommended for oily skin)
Mineralise Moisture – 18 shades (not recommended for oily skin)

Although I don’t work for MAC, I think I could safely say that Studio Fix is by far their biggest seller in terms of their liquid foundations. It’s been around a long time and is well-thought of and well reviewed on many beauty sites and places like Sephora and Amazon. I would think many first-time users of MAC come to the counter, expecting to buy this product, having heard of it from a friend or seen it in a magazine. From my days working in business I would describe it as their “cash cow”!

And with 39 shades, this really is worth trying out. However if you do have very oily skin, I would suggest looking at Matchmaster and Pro Longwear first, to see you can get the right colour match first, as these do have more staying power.

So what’s the right one?

So bringing this all back to making a choice and which one to buy: I think if you are looking for a full-day’s make up that won’t budge and you have very oily skin, then Pro Longwear is a good buy. It also has an SPF in it which makes it a convenient option if you’ve got a busy life and need to get out of the door in a hurry most mornings!

However if you’re a teen who only needs foundation in place for a few hours, like for after school or for nights out, Studio Fix would certainly be a good place to start. Similarly, if you have skin which isn’t really oily, but is oily after say 6 or 7 hours, Studio Fix could work really well.

Also, if you have naturally clear skin which is a little oily (not very oily) and just want to make your skin ‘glow’ then Face + Body would be a good option for you. It’s very sheer in its finish so won’t cover problem areas too well but if you are looking for something to even out skin tone and make you feel that bit more polished, this is the foundation for you. It is buildable, so you could work it up but it would need layer after layer and I’m not sure many people are willing to take the time to do that.  But it’s worth mentioning it can be built up.

Remember though, that Face + Body has no SPF in it, so something underneath may be necessary if you’re looking for UVA/UVB protection.

Matchmaster is another great MAC foundation and I think it sits somewhere between Studio Fix and Pro Longwear in terms of staying on the skin.

Matchmaster also has an SPF 15, which is higher than Pro Longwear’s SPF 10. These both look like really good options for very oily skins and it would just depend on which one you felt suited you best and if you wanted the higher SPF.

Finishing up

So finally I should mention how I analysed each foundation and created this review:

I visited the MAC website and read through every single review. I also visited and read through every single review and I also visisted the Sephora website and read every single review on MAC foundations.

Eventually it became clear that some foundations were definitely working better for more oily skins than others. And two foundations in particular Studio Sculpt and Mineralize Moisture kept coming out with “don’t buy this if you have oily skin” warnings!

It must be noted, this article is only a guide. I do not work for MAC. I receive no commissions from MAC. This is my view only.

I really hope you found this useful and I would love to hear what you think. Will you go and try something new from MAC today? Did this review help you with your decision? Leave a comment for me below!

I also love to hear your stories of what works for you so I can keep helping other people with oily skin to make the very best of what they have so please share the love 🙂

Feel free to share this page on Facebook by using the buttons below and why not come and like the Oily Skin Guide Facebook Page. I am planning some give-aways soon that will be products for those of us with oily skins.


41 thoughts on “Best MAC Foundation For Oily Skin

  1. Thank you so much for this! You really did your research. I used StudioFix for about 5 years before switching to Matchmaster, which I love but now I work 10 hour days and there’s no way I can go out after work without touching it up first. I have extremely oily skin, but I try not to complain bc it keeps us looking youthful 🙂

    1. Hi Ann
      Hope the ProLongWear works for you and I know the feeling well of oilier skin in a hot climate. Fingers crossed for you!

  2. Thanks for the awesome review! Just wondering though, of all these different types of liquid foundations, which one is the best for flash photography without having a white cast or ghost effect on pictures? I’m thinking of using it for weddings and many other long events… thanks! <3

    1. Hi Lala
      You’re welcome and great to hear you found it useful!
      I think the best one to use from reviews I have read is Mac Face and Body. This one comes up the most as the one to use and gets the best response. But I haven’t tried it myself so this is just going on what I’ve read elsewhere. Good luck and hope that helps.

  3. Thanks for the reviews! I’ve been using the studio fix for about a year now, my first ever Mac foundation. I think I’ll give the prolong wear a try since I have really oily skin.

  4. hi my skin is oily in summer and little bit oily in winters. I applied loreal foundation but after 2-3 hours my skin was lukin dull the foundation. so I need a lony stay foundation. suggest me good one also suggest me good primer concealer & compact.

    1. Hi Nitu

      Thanks for the information on your skin. You could try HourGlass Veil Primer. It’s a little expensive, but a little goes a long way and it’s very good at holding foundation to the skin all day. I have not heard anyone say the it dulls the foundation, so hopefully this might work for you? As for concealer and compact, I need to more research on both of these areas before I can give you a good answer but I hope with a good primer, you may find one of your problems solved 🙂

  5. Thank you so much, all your information was very helpful. But now I’m not sure which foundation I should purchase. I have oily skin on my t zone but and prone skin on my chin. I was looking for a mac foundation because I heard they do a great job on finding the correct match for your skin type. I’m in between Matchmaster or Studio fix. I’m looking for a medium coverage since I’m just planning to wear it for nights out. Can you please help me choose the right one! Thank you

    1. Hi Lucy

      Thanks reading and for commenting on the review. I’m thinking if you have an oily t-zone, it’s probably best to go for Matchmaster as this will stay put, even with the extra oil that often seems to appear in this area of the face. For your chin, I think this is still probably the best option too. StudioFix is good, but it’s staying power is less than Matchmaster. Do let me know what you choose in the end and if it worked for you, would you? It’s great to get feedback from visitors to the site of their real-life experiences. Thank you 🙂

  6. Hi

    I found this really helpful. I currently use the mineralize moisture foundation which makes my skin look lovely and is a really good colour match (I am NC45) but is not great for my really oily skin. I am looking to change and will probably invest in pro longwear.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi, thanks for the feedback and really glad you found it useful. I also used to use Estee Lauder Lucidity (before they stopped making it) as it was a really good colour match for me too, but like you, was not great for oily skin. I was a shiny mess by lunch-time! Please do let us know on here how you get on with ProLongwear. Fingers crossed for you it’s the right one!

  7. Hi I tried the studio fix liquid for oily skin. It has good coverage but for the T combination it does not do too well. So I have opted for the Match Master foundation.

  8. Great review, you’ve really captured all the important points for each foundation.

    I was wondering what your thoughts are for foundation for super oily skin (I get shiny after about 3-4 hours in the winter and about 2-3 hours in the summer; currently using the MUFE Duo Mat powder as a foundation) for a wedding. Would the pro longwear be okay, even though it has SPF in it? Do you think it will produce a white cast in photos?


    1. Hi Kara
      I did have a quick check on the ingredients list for Pro Longwear and it has titanium dioxide in it, so this may cause white reflections/cast in flash-photography. It may be wise to choose something with no SPF in it or a lower SPF so less of this product in it.
      Hope you have a wonderful time at the wedding.


  9. Really appreciate your research. the kind of product i should use from Mac for my oily skin have been a problem for some time. i by chance came across this site and am happy i did. but can i use the MATCHMASTER and PRO LONGWEAR interchangeably? am chocolate in colour too can u suggest which shade of mac foundation and powder i can use? i seem to always get the wrong make up. will appreciate a reply.

    1. I think you could use both foundations interchangeably, I see no reason why not as similar ingredients list. I wish I could help with shade-matching but I am unequipped to do this sort of thing. I’m really sorry I can’t help on that front. You may be able to order some little testers from MAC – though I’m not sure. Certainly if you have a MAC counter in a shop near you they will give you different shades to test and small bottles to take home. As for the powder, again I need to look into the powders properly and do a review – hope that’s coming soon!

  10. hi
    i have got whitish birth mark on my face with spots of acne…..and my T zone is really oily……….whenever i do the make up thing, just withing some time it wears out and becomes greasy and oily and doesn’t look natural at all………can you suggest me which MAC foundation i can use for my skin and may look natural? i have got medium color complexion.

    1. Hi Sharmeen

      I would suggest Match Master – this is better for oily skin than Studio Fix and will last longer but will not be as long lasting as Pro Longwear. If you find this isn’t enough, there is always Pro Longwear which I’m sure WILL work and keep your skin looking great!

  11. You have written a concise yet detailed explanation of MAC’s liquid foundations! I’ve trued them all and agree with your assessment of them. Many people think that Studio Fix Fluid is the most matte, but i think it has a pretty soft finish, and unlike Matchmaster or Pro Longwear, doesn’t accentuate dry patches. That said, Matchmaster is still my favourite – medium coverage, demi-matte finish, and with primer plus powder, lasts more than 12 hours on me. (FYI – i wear matchmaster 1.5, nc20-25 in other MAC foundations, Deauville in Nars sheer glow/matte, Warm Sand (but it leans a tad too yellow) in bobbi brown.

    1. Hi Cerulean

      Thanks for your experience and extra information about the MAC range and for verifying the review. I really appreciate it. I really like Matchmaster too!


    1. Hi Nouella

      Every person’s skin-type is different so I can’t guarantee that this would not cause any problems. However, I think many people with acne-prone skin do choose MAC as it has a good reputation for managing this sort of skin-type well, built up now over a number of years. I’d say this brand and Estee Lauder are my favourites for “Big Brand” type companies at the moment. I’m looking at smaller ones for reviews that have some interesting products too but can’t report back yet on any of them enough to endorse one yet. Hope that helps.


  12. Hi nice reviews!!
    My skin s normal type to bit oily. Wch one will b best for function long stay . N my face more prone to sweat after makeup .wch one among mac suits me?? Tks

    1. Hi Priya

      You could try StudioFix if you’re only a little bit oily. This is a good foundation for your skin-type I think. I hope it works out for you. Let me know how it goes if you can!


  13. Thank you soooo much! This was ultra helpful as I have extremely oily skin. I am going this week to try and match the pro long wear color to my skin! 🙂

    1. Hi CW

      Thanks for commenting and your kind words on the review. I really appreciate it. I do hope that Pro Longwear gives you the results you are looking for. Always love to hear how products work out for readers, so let me know if you can!


  14. my skin is oily so i think i will go for matchmaster, but my question is which shade is appropriate for me (my skin tone is medium fair and i am asian). pls suggest me!

    1. Hi Mollika
      I wish I could help but it’s very difficult without seeing you face to face. I can only hope there is a store close to you that could give you a sample so you can really know. I think otherwise it’s just buying a shade and keeping your fingers crossed – but I know it’s an expensive way to go about it. I hope you find the right one. Let us know how you get on 🙂

  15. Maam ,
    I have acne prone skin and a very oily skin too. I work 9 hours a day. I have fair complexion . Is Pro longwear SPF 10 is suitable for or which shade suits me.

    1. Hi Arti
      Thank you for your question and yes I think Pro Longwear is the best if your skin is very oily (like mine!) It’s difficult without seeing you face to face to recommend a shade for you. If you want to go to oilyskinguide Facebook page and PM me pic of yourself I can make a guess for you but it may not be perfect match to your tone/colour – it would still be a guess as electronic screens etc still don’t really give true likeness.
      Wish I could help more.

  16. i am nearly 30! i am office staff! After 2hours apply makeup my nose area start oily! Shoud i use mac face and body foundation or not?.suggest me!

    1. Hi Monmon
      I think something like Pro Longwear or Matchmaster would probably be better… Did you see the chart in the article up above?
      Best wishes
      Sarah x

  17. Thanks for this it really helped! I use the studio fix and i’ve got a oily t zone, i’m gunna try the Pro Longwear in NC15! Cheers for clearing it up!

  18. hi
    Thank you for such a thorough review
    Am planning on purchasing my first MAC range of products since they recently launched in GHANA.
    I have quite an oily face so am contemplating on getting both the matcmaster and the pro long wear foundations.
    I find your review so helpful and detailed.
    Great job!

    1. Aw, that’s really lovely feedback Angela 🙂 and fabulous news they are launching in Ghana! How exciting!
      I hope you found the right foundation for you – let us know which one you chose!
      Best wishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *