MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation Review & Swatches

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (review) is my staple concealer so naturally I was ecstatic to learn about the launch of the Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation! I ordered my tube sight unseen without even reading any reviews on it. I was so sure that it was going to be really good. I mean when you put “Pro Longwear“, “Nourishing“, and “Waterproof” together in a name, it's hard to resist the temptation. It has to be awesome right?! And it is! ;D

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation comes in a simple matte black squeeze tube with a pinhole opening. Above the cap, there is a transparent strip all around the tube to let you identify the color inside easily. The product was formulated for all skin types and is oil-free, scent-free, and non-acnegenic.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

Color match

The first aspect I'd like to touch on is the color match. I am about NC30 in MAC foundation system so when I ordered blind, I chose to stick with NC30 just to be safe. And it turned out to be a pretty good match, if only I let it oxidize a little bit first.

My arm swatches below show the foundation freshly applied compared to the one applied 5 minutes earlier. You can clearly see that there's a bit of oxidization going on, in other words, the product dispenses a little too light for my skin tone but later on adjusts to my correct shade perfectly.

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC30 freshly applied (L) and 5 minutes later (R)
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC30
freshly applied (L) and 5 minutes later (R)

Also, MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC30 is different from MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC30! Look at my swatches below. Even when the foundation is freshly dispensed, it's still a tad bit darker than the concealer even though they are both NC30. So if you're thinking of buying this foundation, it's best to have your shade matched at the counter. Have it applied and wait a few minutes to let the color adjust before you decide. Don't go by the color seen in the tube! :)

Left & Right: MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC30; Middle: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC30
Left & Right: MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC30;
Middle: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC30

Formula and application

According to MAC's description, this foundation sounds like everyone's dream foundation! Water-resistant, transfer-resistant, long-wearing (24 hours), instant and long-term hydration, well, in all seriousness, I think they are absolutely right on every aspect!

MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation
  • Texture. This is a rather thick, but lightweight, slightly mousse-y cream that still blends easily. It is so pigmented and I find that a pea-sized dot is plenty for my entire face. It doesn't set too fast so you have a little bit of time to blend and play around with it.
  • Coverage and finish. It applies with a medium coverage that is buildable to full. I usually stick with 2 layers which is enough to cover my old acne marks almost completely. The third layer I only reserve for more problem spots. With this foundation, I find that it's best to apply 1-2 layers then let it sit for a bit so that it has time to melt and become one with your skin. You may not like the initial artificial finish at all because sometimes it can look rather heavy and chalky but trust me, you'll like it much, much better once it sets! I'd describe the initial finish as satin-matte but depending on your skin type, it will look more and more skin-like (with slight dewiness here and there) as the day progresses.
  • Application. My preferred method is to use a Beautyblender but I also receive beautiful results using fingertips or a dense foundation blush. I also find that it's better to start off with a well-moisturized, slightly blotted dry skin to prevent the formula from clinging on to dry patches and settling into pores and fine lines. If you have enlarged pores, try applying a pore-minimizing primer before the foundation for a more flawless finish. I also like to set with some sort of finishing powder as a final step to keep my combination-oily skin matte longer.


As you can see in my face photo below. It covers redness around my nose and mouth really well. Pores on the inner cheeks are also blurred out perfectly. Dark circles under my eyes are less distinct. Acne and pigmented spots on my cheeks are diffused and concealed. Skin tone overall looks more even and less textured. All of these while still looking skin-like! No cakiness or heaviness. Color me super impressed!

Wearing MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC30 (R)
Wearing MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC30 (R)

I also tested if it repels water by jumping in the pool and submerging my face under the water here and there for about a half hour. Results? It didn't budge! While my eyeliners were starting to move, my foundation face was still on and strong. You can test this easily by subjecting your arm swatches under running water for a few minutes and you'll see that it really does repel water!

In terms of oil-controlling, well, it's struggling. Shine still breaks through on my face a few hours later similar to my other foundations. Blotting will still be necessary for us combination/oily skin. But the impressive thing is, this foundation does not disintegrate even after I let my face become an oily mess. It doesn't break down even under profuse sweating, humidity, or rain and tears. I have to say it's one of the best waterproof foundations I've tried to date.

As for hydration, I don't think it necessarily adds any extra hydration to my face but that might be because my skin gets so oily easily nowadays by default so I've never felt dryness regardless of what I use. Even after a really long work day, my skin still feels weightless without ever appearing cakey, patchy, or dry.

If that's not convincing enough, how about transfer-proof? Yeah, if you rub your face harshly with a tissue it will probably come off a little but for everyday activities, it stays on the face, and only on the face. No transferring onto clothes, or fingers, or phone, or whatever that touches your skin.

What else you should know?

This foundation can also double as a concealer but I find its coverage slightly inferior to an actual concealer unless you only have mildly pigmented marks to cover. Now for those whose skin is acne-prone, you'll be happy to hear that this foundation hasn't caused me breakouts whatsoever (and I have very sensitive, acne-prone skin!).

The last thing to discuss is price. While this may look like such a small tube for the price tag, you have to consider that you only need so little per application. I have a feeling this tube is going to last me a really long time!

Apologies for the long essay here but I just wanted to include as much details as possible so that you can make the best informed decision. I personally think that this foundation is worthy of every praise. It doesn't control oil like a champ but it certainly excels at everything else. Such amazing, solid formula that I think every foundation wearer should have it in their collection!


US$32 at NordstromMacy’sMAC

At MAC counters

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  1. says: Eesha

    Now, that seems to be a promising foundation for everyday use and especially for my long working hours and seems it will suit Mumbai’s humid weather pretty well. But, shade match could be a problem, as I am NC40-42ish, if it oxidizes so much on skin NC42 will be too dark.

    1. says: Jaa

      It might not be so bad after all, Eesha. I mean, my skin is NC30 and I picked up NC30. Even though it seems to darken quite a bit overtime but I’ve never felt that my face ever becomes too dark during the day. Weird how it works!

  2. I really love this formula! However I’ve been talking about it with fellow bloggers here and some of them don’t like it at all, so I guess it’s a hit or miss. I think a lot depends on the application though. And how much you use. Like you, I use my beauty blender for this and I’m careful not to use too much. That way it gives me good coverage without looking caked on.

  3. says: Sunny

    Hey Jaa, thanks for such a detailed review! I’ve been told this wouldn’t be available here till September or something, which is a pity because it sounds great for summer! Your bare skin is so perfect tho. It’s hard to see exactly what the foundation does LOL

    1. says: Jaa

      Haha I know my skin seems to look fine on camera but honestly, in real life it is far from perfect! September?? That’s way too long!!!

  4. says: Agata

    Hi Jaa, I am in love with this foundation myself. Mac did a fantastic job. I think it’s best to get color matched at a counter. I did and I am actually NW20 in the concealer and this foundation too. First the foundation looked a little too light but it looks just fine on my skin!

    1. says: Jaa

      I know right? It’s so weird! It oxidizes but it still adjusts to your shade without becoming too dark! I don’t quite get it myself! LOL

  5. Thanks so much, this is a great review. I want to try this foundation but since it is rather full coverage I have to try the shade before ordering (I thought). I couldn’t make it yet to a counter. Let’s see if it works on my normal to dry skin ;-))

    1. says: Jaa

      Fingers crossed! :D Besides, getting color matched first before purchasing is a GREAT idea for this foundation since it oxidizes quite a bit!

  6. says: Laarni

    I digested all the words you wrote here, Jaa! I am so interested to get this and I got giddy when I learned that you ordered this too! I’ve been waiting for your review since I got the notice lol. Very promising product! I wanna try it too! I also love the Pro Longwear concealer so I have high hopes for this one. Thanks!

  7. says: Liz

    Damn, that’s a lot of colour change. A nice, thorough review as always! I’m not interested in this foundation right now but you never know a month or two down the line. ;)

    1. says: Jaa

      Thank you, Anne! Oh trust me my skin in real life is far from awesome! Studio lighting helps a lot. LOL I hardly ever wear makeup to the pool but I did this one just to test the formula! :D

  8. says: Kimmy

    Soooo into this. I don’t have it yet but when I first heard about it, seemed right up my alley. I’m thinking it may replace my beloved Clinique Stay Matte as my ultimate heat, humidity and sweat proof Summer foundation. :-)

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks so much! It’s hard not to buy every new foundation that comes out. I think I’ve become much more reasonable lately, though! What’s your current go-to full coverage foundation?

  9. I’m gonna be honest and say that I don’t see too much of a difference in the before and after. You can definitely tell that your skin is more evened out, but your skin was already flawless in the first place lol. Seriously wow!

    1. says: Jaa

      Haha thanks so much, Lisa! It isn’t flawless at all in real life, trust me! :) Are you thinking of trying this foundation?

  10. says: Cindy

    Wow this Foundation sounds amazing! I haven’t been having much luck with the ones I’ve been testing lately. But this one sounds promising. Will have to find a mac counter for the first time in my life, haha

      1. says: Cindy

        I surprise myself too, considering how much I spend on makeup, haha. The nearest one is a bit out of the way so I’ve never been. Came close to purchasing things from the Lightness of Being collection but stores myself because the reviews on Temptalia weren’t good. We’ll try to get color matched soon because this foundation sounds perfect! And I could use a new concealer xD

  11. says: Xuvious

    I find it quite hard to find a match with foundations so oxidizing would just make it more difficult. This would be a staple if someone really wanted to use this while swimming or if it was just raining a lot.

    1. says: Jaa

      This is a great foundation to use in those situations! I wouldn’t worry too much about oxidization with this foundation, though, as it still adjusts to my skin tone nicely even after the color darkens! :)

  12. says: Angela

    I have a sample of this in NC20 kicking around that I am definitely going to revisit after reading your post! It sounds so impressive in terms of the long wear and might be perfect for my upcoming trip to Hawaii >:) It was a bit heavy-looking last time I tried it, but I will try again with my beautyblender knockoff

    1. says: Jaa

      Hawaii!!! I’m jel!! LOL Always wanted to go to Hawaii! :D

      Yeah, do try with a makeup sponge. I get a much more natural result with it! :)

  13. says: Kelly

    Impressive! I’m curious about your “2-layer” application technique. Does this mean you apply, let it dry then apply again? Or do you apply and then go over areas that need more coverage?

    1. says: Jaa

      Yep! I let the first layer sit just a little bit then go over it with the second layer. :D The third layer is only on super problem spots! :)

  14. says: Dee

    Yeah..I need another foundation ( not) but …but….omg…i must have it. Jaaa…’ve done it again. Youve made me want something i totally dont need:s It sounds a LOT like my Estee lauder double wear active but i cant resist a feels-like-nothing stay put foundation. FOrtunately/not they didnt have this when i went to the mac counter last week sooo I “escaped” with 2 lipsticks lol You dont need any foundation btw..ppffft

    1. says: Jaa

      LOL we can never leave a MAC counter empty-handed, can we?! Even when they don’t have what we’re looking for. ;D I hope they do have the foundation in stock the next time you visit, though!

  15. says: Silke

    Hey Jaa!

    I’ve been so tempted to purchase this foundation myself. The claims just seemed too good to be true,and after your review.. well, lets just say that I want it even more now! Will get matched at the counter first.

    1. says: Jaa

      Hi Silke! Have you bought it yet? If so, how do you like it? If not, definitely get matched first since it oxidizes quite a bit! :)

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