Here we are: my first MAC compact. It was bound to happen eventually – and I’m glad that MAC Select Sheer/Pressed was the one I chose to go with.

Such a well thought-out and iconic design for a compact: clean, crisp, subtle, simplistic silver lettering on a charcoal grey base. I like. But let’s go beyond scratching the proverbial surface, shall we? 

Here’s what the MAC website says:

Micro-fine, sheer and silky. Pressed for portability. Goes on lightly. Won’t shift your shade or leave its mark. Lets skin’s natural vitality and freshness glow through. Comes with its own suede-finish sponge. Blurs lines. Makes skin look flawless.

Texture: This is one finely milled, densely packed powder compact, make no mistake. I really like it 🙂 It’s also very light, smooth,  and doesn’t feel cakey at all. In this department, MAC does extremely well.

Colour match: I was initially very surprised to be matched to NC20, as it looked very light in the pan. Take a look for yourselves.

I didn’t believe the SA when she pulled this shade out and said it would be a match, but I thought to humour her and let her test it on me anyway. To my surprise, although it went on quite fair, a couple of minutes later, it had oxidised on my oily skin and become quite the perfect match. Golly gee.

Performance: Coverage is sheer to medium, depending on how heavy-handed you choose to be with application. I tend to err on the sheer side and touch up over the course of the day (once a day is good if I’m in an air-conditioned room all day, twice if I’m darting between inside where it’s dry and outside where it’s sweltering buckets). If applied correctly, the powder’s finish is matte, but not flat. While I don’t mind the suede-finish sponge that comes with the compact, as it is quite smooth to the touch, great for portability purposes and deposits product reasonably well, it doesn’t always disperse the powder perfectly evenly – I get much better coverage control using a kabuki brush. And you can overapply with the sponge – building this powder up too much does result in a very cakey, one-dimensional matte look which is deeply unflattering, so take care! Also, this compact doesn’t profess to be an oil control powerhouse, but I do find that it takes reasonably longer to get shiny if I dust/pat some of this powder over my HG Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Tinted Moisturiser SPF15 before running out the door.

Pour conclure, I am happy with this MAC offering and will most likely repurchase once I run out. Seeing as I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and there’s hardly a dent in the surface though, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon 🙂

This compact retails in the US for USD23.00 and in Singapore for SGD40.00, which is pretty reasonable for 12g of product. Here’s a point of comparison: Bobbi Brown charges about SGD 65.00 for 13g of Illuminating Finish Powder Compact Foundation SPF12.


4 thoughts on “Review: MAC Select Sheer/Pressed in NC20

      • whoops! my mistake… well, never mind… both products seem to deliver satisfactory results! I’ll check ’em out! 🙂

        • No worries at all 🙂 And yes they do. MAC’s I think is sheerer, coverage wise, than Sephora’s though! Good to keep in mind 🙂

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