NARS vs MAC Foundations

Published Categorized as Makeup Tips

In the eternal battle for the best foundation, two names stand out very often in almost every comparison review. Both brands are key competitors in the foundation market and cosmetic science advancement. Needless to say, they’re also both extremely popular with women around the world. What brands are they? They are none other than NARS and MAC. Join us today for our NARS vs MAC foundation showdown.

Hi beautiful! Just to let you know, we earn a modest commission off of purchases made through Amazon affiliate links on this page. Don't worry, it's of no extra cost to you. We love the products we recommend in this post, and we hope you do, too!

Table of Contents

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF15 NW13

In nearly every industry, from information technology development to automotive engineering, it is the competition that drives the need for better products and services. If Ford never had any competition, we would still be driving their black T-models without any options.

But thanks to its competitors, companies and businesses are forced to build new technology. We also have the freedom of browsing through before making an ultimate choice.

In cosmetics, it is no different.

Where would cosmetics be if the big names and companies did not compete for the No. 1 spot in the market?

NARS Cosmetics

NARS Cosmetics is a company established by French makeup artist and photographer, Francois Nars, in New York City. It began with a limited line of lipsticks in 1994 and has since developed into the big name it is today.

Nars grew up under the influence of his stylish mother, Claudette, who supported him throughout his career as a makeup artist.

Following his schooling at Carita Make-Up School in Paris, Nars moved to New York in 1984, where he earned renown for a love to use color and his support in modernizing cosmetics. In 1994 he launched his first product line but has since produced many multi-purpose beauty products.

In 2000, it was sold as a subsidiary to Shiseido, one of the oldest cosmetic companies that was founded in Japan. NARS continues to produce cosmetic products that wow the world.

When the company was sold to Shiseido, Francois remained the creative director of his brand. He continues to develop new products with the same care and devotion to his art that NARS is renowned for.

NARS Blush, Orgasm 0.16 oz.

NARS Blush in “Orgasm”

Buy on Amazon

Makeup Art Cosmetics, aka MAC

The M.A.C company was founded by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo in Toronto, Canada in 1984. It was later sold to the Estee Lauder group in 1996.

MAC is considered among the top competitors of the world’s cosmetic brands and manufacturers.

Their range of products is extremely popular all over the globe. A definite favorite in every purse you see out there. It comes as no surprise then that MAC cosmetics can boast a billion-dollar revenue.

During his work as a photographer and makeup artist, Frank Toskan realized that there was a lack of colors and textures for maximizing performance in his profession. With the assistance of Frank Angelo, he proceeded to develop the earliest of his products.

Toskan’s further vision was to develop products that answer to the needs and requirements of the modern woman. Although neither of the founding partners is managing the brand today, it is still run essentially on the same principles of its founding fathers.

M.A.C. Shiny Pretty Things 10 Mini Lipstick Set Limited Edition 2018

M.A.C. Shiny Pretty Things 10 Mini Lipstick Set Limited Edition

Buy on Amazon


In the ever-going clash between these two titans, several exclusive, high quality and high-performing products have seen the light of day. Among patrons of the two brands, it remains widely undecided about who is the best. You will find both products in the makeup kits of not only the everyday woman but of professionals in the art too.

Lipsticks and lip glosses from both brands are extremely popular, of which MAC has the most extensive collection. MAC seems to be dominating the eyeshadow front currently, but when it comes to blushes and foundations, the two titans are evenly matched.


MAC Dusty Rose Palette

Buy on Amazon

Opinions on the products of both companies are varied, and it is clear to see how healthy competition is advancing the cosmetics industry.

MAC is supported primarily for their economical pricing, but considering the high-quality standards maintained at NARS, it is no wonder why it is more expensive.

Both brands’ products are universally loved, where they are competing on the international market with top names like Dior. They innovate their products for the modern woman and the ever-advancing glitz and glamour of modern fashion and style.

NARS Bronzing Powder, Laguna, 0.28 Oz

NARS Bronzing Powder in “Laguna”

Buy on Amazon

MAC? NARS? Who would want to choose between the two when both offer the same quality worthy of being an accessory in your purse? Deciding in this clash who is the best, could not be more difficult.

The Foundations of War

With MAC and NARS competing so closely with each other for the production of what could be considered the best foundation, choosing between them would technically be impossible. Of all their available products and ranges, it is their foundations that are always clashing for recognition as the best.

NARS’ All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is one of the best available, and it competes with the excellence of MAC’s Studio Fix and Studio Sculpt. The weightless feel of this NARS foundation had been an immense improvement and a win in many female hearts. It’s also loved for its easy-to-apply liquid form and natural appearance on the skin.

It is made easier to wear all day long, as you are barely aware of its presence on your skin, but it still offers full coverage for day or night application. MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 Foundation was put through the ultimate tests to find out how long it would last and it boasts 24-hour coverage. It is considered a modern foundation for combining a matte finish that offers medium to full coverage with broad-spectrum sun protection.

Studio Fix, of the MAC foundations, is especially praised for applying and building easily and evenly while controlling shine at the same time.

However, with both products offering versatile use and application, it would be hard to decide which one to leave out of the kit or purse.

So, MAC or NARS foundation?

The choice is more personal or discriminating in the cases of skin types and tones not supported by these specific products.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation Review

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, Santa Fe/Medium, 1 Ounce
Find your shade on Amazon

If you are a someone who finds herself tired of wearing a foundation that feels too heavy on your skin, NARS’ breakthrough formula is just the thing you need. Even Tone Technology applies easily to the skin to cover dullness, discoloration, or redness efficiently without needing a thick application.

The foundation is buildable and offers a dewy finish. The finish is neither too wet nor oily, with a 16-hour coverage guarantee. It covers nearly all skin tones. The All Day Foundation is also considered a full-coverage foundation that can be alternatively applied for a lighter effect.

It is a must-have accessory for controlling the wild impact that a night out may have on your skin; you can use it as a remedy the next day or that same night to ensure that you have that glossy, radiant look all night long. Women who have used and tried NARS All Day Foundation had loved it and kept it, with only a few complaining that the formula separates during storage and requires shaking before use.

Some have found that it does not work all that well on oily skin. If you want to use it despite this, you would have to invest in a remedy product.


  • It supports weightless formulation
  • Balances skin tone perfectly
  • Wide all-inclusive tone range to choose from


  • Requires shaking before use
  • Thin, liquid form might be difficult for some to apply if they are not used to such products.

By the way, check out our other NARS foundation review here!

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 Foundation Review

MAC studio fix fluid foundation NC20
Find your shade on Amazon

If you’re looking for the best foundation to apply for that flawless look in harsh or sharp light common to photography studios, this is the product that you’re missing. Even under the sharp lights of clubs or evening streets, Studio Fix foundation will perfectly control the shine. It’ll have you looking smooth and radiant all night long.

You don’t have to be afraid to apply this foundation during the day, for not only does it offer a perfect matte finish to complement the daylight, but it provides extra sun protection too. However, most women who use Studio Fix complain about the cosmetic smell and the heavy feel it has on the skin.

If you are not a fan of heavy makeup, this would not be a satisfying product, but for its advancement in shine control, Studio Fix Foundation is highly celebrated. Once more, it is one of the few products in circulation that seems to intently care about skin health. For that reason, MAC included sun protection in the formulation of the product.

The quality and excellence, combined with the economical factor that you can always expect from MAC, are not lacking in Studio Fix Foundation. As the brand name suggests, it is undoubtedly worthy of being in an artist’s collection of products. Many professionals feel that they can’t go without this one.


  • Extended coverage of up to 24 hours
  • Wide tone range for all skin colors
  • Innovative sun protection added to the formula


  • Smells cosmetic and chemical
  • Feels heavy on the skin

Our Pick: NARS vs MAC

MAC studio fix fluid foundation NC20
Find your shade on Amazon

Because of its weightless innovation, NARS has been the favorite between the two products among all its testers and reviewers.

However, MAC gained high celebration for its immaculate quality that comes with a more affordable price tag.

Between the two, we’ll have to say that MAC dominates. This opinion is not based on product evaluation but company ethics. Doing some digging into NARS, you’ll find that they recently announced they’ll be shipping products to China. Animal testing is still legal and actually required there.

NARS stated that they would comply with any necessary animal testing of their products. Based on that, we would instead recommend MAC products. They show at least their intention to care for animal treatment as much as they do for your health and beauty.

Here are other related posts for you to peruse:

How about you? Which is your pick of the NARS vs MAC foundation debate? Which one can be found in your designer train case?

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. I have not used the Nars foundation, however the Mac foundation has been holy grail for me. I have South Asian brown skin, and it controls the oil on my skin and gives a mattifying finish. It does not look like I have a full face of makeup but gives a perfect coverage for any occasion. I have tried Fenty Beauty as well, however many other foundation brands leave my skin oily after a few hours but MAC controls the oil and stays on for a prolonged period. Highly recommend if you have oily skin.

  2. Thanks so much Heather! And we appreciate you sharing your thoughts on MAC foundations!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the resource with us, Sarah! Always good to find ethical brands, and to see if brands we love follow the cruelty-free standards!

  4. It is hard for me to say. I feel both are great brands but MAC tends to be a heavier foundation formula. But that depends on the coverage you want to achieve. I loved your review 🙂

Comments are closed.