Make-up Reviews

MAC Studio Fix VS Illamasqua Skin Base

So this is a foundation comparison.

Today I’m comparing Mac Studio Fix and Illamasqua Skin Base.

I have been using Mac for pretty much a year now, on and off, switching between Nars and Mac a couple of times, budget allowing.

Mac Studio Fix is a fluid with an extremely thick consistency, providing its users with full coverage. It spreads nicely, which means you don’t have to use a tonne of it each day. It’s affordable, currently available from Mac directly for £22.00. (It used to be £21.50, not sure why they’ve put it up, could just be inflation or something)



Mac Studio Fix has SPF 15 included in the foundation, which means you can wear it on holiday (depending on how much you sweat) and it will protect your face. Not even just on holiday, but just getting around day-to-day with sun protection on your face is really good. Mac also offer a free lipstick for every 6 empty products you return, which I personally think is lovely, because if you’ve bought 6 products you’ve put at least about £60.00 into their company. At least.

But Mac aren’t all that Saint-like. They test on animals. If you’re okay with that, by all means, purchase purchase purchase. But if you have a conscience like me (I’m also a vegetarian, so I’d be a massive hypocrite if I bought this again), I’d probably swerve this product, and Mac all together.

I have good news. 

I have found an alternative for those who, like me, love that thick coverage.

Now, Illamasqua Skin Base is more expensive.. This product markets directly from Illamasqua at £32.50. If you’ve immediately thought “nah, too pricey for me that.” Just hold on..

I have noticed a few differences between Mac and Illamasqua. I did a bit of research into brands that animal test and brands that don’t, and then I marched my little self to Illamasqua and said, I currently use Mac, but I want to change, so please put your thickest foundation on me.

And boy did she.


The lovely lady at Illamasqua brought me their Skin Base foundation, plus a handful of goodies, (thanks!).

So what have I found while using Illamasqua Skin Base? 

Illamasqua is seriously thick. If you thought Mac was thick, this is a game changer. It’s so thick, it literally doesn’t require a primer – which I guess makes up for the price increase? This stuff does not budge. It’s actually so thick, that I struggle to spread it. Which means I’m using more. The nozzle is also really hard to get the liquid out because of the shape of the bottle – packaging error? BUT: the fact is even has a nozzle saves you money on having to purchase a separate pump, like you do at Mac.

This boosts the price of Mac to £26.00 with the nozzle – which only makes a price difference of £6.50 – minus the price of your primer.. So is Illamasqua cheaper in the long run?

I also found that while full of a cold, Illamasqua made me look normal. When I had a face full of Mac Studio Fix ft a runny nose, I looked like crap. But Illamasqua is thick enough to cover the hell out of that.

But please note! Illamasqua doesn’t feel as thick as I’m describing.. I mean you know you’ve got make-up on,  but it just feels like Mac. 

The bottles are both 30ml and in my cosmetic opinion, they really are both brilliant products. So what have we learnt?

  • If you don’t mind animal testing, stick with Mac.
  • If you do, and you like thick, full coverage, Illamasqua is perfect for you

Stay tuned for my Nars post…

Elle x

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4 thoughts on “MAC Studio Fix VS Illamasqua Skin Base”

  1. Did you really love the Skin Base? I bought it, used it for a week and loved it, and after that it was disgusting to use! Did not blend at all and separated on my face… This all happened before I ever had the courage to return things I didn’t like, so now I have it just sitting in my makeup collection and never using it 😦 It literally went from being awesome (as you’ve described) to unusable within a week period

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    1. Oh no really.. I’ve been using it for 2 and a half weeks now.. It’s stayed the same? Maybe you just got a dodgy batch? Did you start using anything else with it? I just apply it directly to my face, with nothing else X

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      1. Who knows – it’s way too late to try and start using it again though. Maybe someone opened it and tested it before I bought it… It’s as though it was past it’s best before date when I got it 😦

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      2. Well at least it’s a lesson learnt! If it messes up take it back STRAIGHT away! When I nip into Illamasqua shortly I’ll enquire about whether or not it’s a common thing – it’s too expensive to go minging!

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