BATTLE OF THE BRANDS | MAC Face & Body vs. Dior Face & Body Foundation

MAC Face & Body vs Dior Face & Body Foundations

It’s been a while since I’ve written a ‘battle of the brands’ post on my blog, and what better way to bring it back than with these two foundations: the MAC Face & Body Foundation in the shade C3 vs. the Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation in the shade 3WO. These products are similar in several (yet superficial) ways. Firstly, the both look the same, and secondly, they even have the same product names. So how do these two foundations compare and contrast? Read on to find out!

Overview

  • MAC Face & Body foundation: “a lightweight, hydrating foundation that delivers a satin finish and sheer coverage”. Also described as waterproof and long-wearing.
  • Dior Backstage Face & Body foundation: “A foundation for the face and body in a wide range of shades with a natural finish and medium, buildable coverage that’s waterproof and sweat-resistant”.

Both foundations are described as long-wearing and waterproof. Both come in a wide variety of shades, the same type of packaging (squeeze bottle), and the same size (50 ml). The real difference is the formula, which is obviously a pretty important distinction. The MAC F&B foundation is described as a sheer foundation with a satin finish, whereas the Dior F&B foundation is described as a medium coverage foundation with a natural, leaning more matte, finish.

For the longest time I avoided trying the MAC F&B foundation because I thought it was formulated with a chemical sunscreen ingredient. However when I checked the ingredient list last year, I didn’t see any mention of it. Either I misremembered whether it ever was formulated with a chemical SPF at all, or they changed the ingredients to exclude it. Either way, I was very happy that I could actually try it out since it is a foundation that is constantly raved about. To my knowledge, the Dior F&B foundation does not contain any sunscreen. So anyone out there who is sensitive to certain sunscreen active ingredients, these two are fair game!

Formula & Application

On the day I decided to take photos for these two foundations, I decided to use the Dior F&B foundation on the side of my face with more “imperfections” (the right side of the image below) given that it is described as having more coverage in comparison to the MAC F&B foundation.

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Bare skin. Left side will show MAC Face & Body, right side will show Dior Face & Body.

I also decided to apply both foundations with my fingers starting with a single light layer in order to level the playing field, since they are tools that most people are able to use readily. Right off the bat, both foundations are able to even out the skin tone with a sheer layer. The MAC F&B appears to give off a more dewy finish compared to the Dior F&B, which looks more matte.

mac face & body c3 swatch dior face & body 3WO warm olive swatch
Left: MAC Face & Body in C3, one layer applied with fingers. Right: Dior Face & Body in 3WO 3 Warm Olive, one layer applied with fingers

When finishing the face, I didn’t use powder to set the foundations to show how well other makeup applies on top of them. I had to use a second light layer on the side where I applied the Dior F&B because I had more areas that required heavier coverage. I didn’t have issues applying cream or powder products on top of either foundation even though I didn’t set with powder. It’s difficult to tell the finish of either foundation in the image below, but the Dior F&B foundation definitely felt more “set” and matte.

mac face & body c3 swatch dior face & body 3WO warm olive swatch
Finished look with makeup applied on top of foundations. Left: MAC Face & Body in C3, one layer applied with fingers. Right: Dior Face & Body in 3WO 3 Warm Olive, 2 layers applied with fingers

After about 5 hours, I took some pictures to document my skin texture. I have to admit, these pictures aren’t very flattering however it’s important to be ~*rEaL*~. I stayed at home most of the time since I’ve been working from home, but I went out to a store with a mask on for about an hour and it was fairly humid outside. While my skin definitely looks textured on both sides, the side where I applied the Dior F&B foundation seems more textured compared to the MAC F&B side. My pores and fine lines are more defined, it looks more oily, and the area where my sunglasses sat on my face shows more product disturbance.

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Foundations after 5 hours of wear. Left: MAC Face & Body in C3, one layer applied with fingers. Right: Dior Face & Body in 3WO 3 Warm Olive, 2 layers applied with fingers

Based on my experience with both foundations, which I’ve owned for over a year at this point, both hold up pretty well and are foundations I consider to be long-wearing. However, the MAC F&B foundation controls my oil better than the Dior F&B foundation. I also find that the MAC F&B foundation doesn’t feel as heavy on my skin. One thing to note about the Dior F&B foundation: it has some fragrance to it. I haven’t noticed any while using the MAC F&B foundation, and while the Dior fragrance doesn’t bother me, it’s something to consider if you have sensitivities.

Swatches

Dior Face & Body in 3WO 3 Warm Olive vs. MAC Face & Body in C3 vs. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in 6 vs. Estee Lauder Double Wear in 3W1.5 Fawn vs. NARS Natural Radiant Foundation in Stromboli vs. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Foundation in 290
Comparison of medium olive foundations: Dior Face & Body in 3WO 3 Warm Olive vs. MAC Face & Body in C3 vs. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in 6 vs. Estee Lauder Double Wear in 3W1.5 Fawn vs. NARS Natural Radiant Foundation in Stromboli vs. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation in 290.

I think either the Dior F&B in 3 Warm Olive or MAC F&B in C3 are great shade options if you have a medium olive skin tone. Of course the MAC F&B foundation is much more forgiving if the shade match is slightly off since it doesn’t have as much coverage as the Dior F&B foundation, but I’d say compared to my most ‘olive’ foundation shades, they stack up very well.

Final Thoughts

As much as I enjoy both foundations very much, I think all things considered, the MAC Face & Body Foundation wins this round. It does everything it is meant to do, is extremely reliable and easy to use, and looks incredible on the skin. I think this is such a great starter foundation for anyone who doesn’t want to look or feel like they’re wearing too much makeup, but provides enough coverage for someone who needs a little more (while using some concealer to finish off any areas that need a little more love). I need to give the Dior Face & Body Foundation some credit, though. It was the foundation I brought with me on a work trip to NYC last summer, and it withstood the week-long 37°C + humidity weather like a champ. However, I have to admit I can feel it and REALLY see it on my face after a long day unlike the MAC F&B.

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