Save or Splurge: The MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus vs F&S Two-Way Cake

There is something about classic cult favorites that makes us emotionally attached. They always have a special place in our vanity kit that no matter what we do, and we always come back to them. Take the MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation for example; it remains a staple in many makeup artist kits because of it can be used alone, wet, and as a touch-up powder.

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I've had this in my beauty arsenal for a while now and love it to bits but I dread the day hit pan and need to repurchase because at P1,900, it's not so wallet-friendly. I have been searching high and low to find a cheaper alternative for my HG powder, and heard that the F&S Two-Way Cake Powder is a good dupe. Is it really? I decided to do a side by side comparison to find out!

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

The MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation is an all-in-one powder with a one-step application that provides a smooth, flawless matte texture with medium to full coverage. It has received a lot of raves online because a single layer of powder is long-wearing! Housed in a plain black compact, the powder feels very soft and velvety to the touch. It has a separate and breathable compartment for the accompanying sponge. MAC recommends using it dry and applied with the sponge for full coverage.

Features and Shades Two Way Cake Powder

Features and Shades Two Way Cake Powder

The Features and Shades Two Way Cake Powder is very affordable at only P525. The packaging is definitely very similar to MAC's! It also promises long-lasting performance with a mineral-formula that won't clog pores, and the powder feels very silky and velvety as well. There are major differences though: this powder promises medium coverage and has SPF 35 PA+++. As the photo shows, this powder has more kick-up so make sure to tap the excess off before applying. You can also buy a refillable pan for just P399!

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Though the MAC beauty assistant recommended using the sponge, I opted to use a dense kabuki brush for both products. I wore both powders at the same time on either side of my face with no primer or liquid face bases underneath to see how well each one applies, provides coverage, and lasts on my oily skin. I used the F&S powder on the right side of my face, and the MAC powder on the left.

Freshly applied: F&S Powder on the right (left side of the screen) vs MAC Studio Fix on the left (right of screen)

Freshly applied: F&S Powder on the right (left side of the screen) vs MAC Studio Fix on the left (right of screen)

Upon application, the MAC powder immediately covered my redness and blemishes with just one layer. It also blurred the appearance of my pores and evened out my skin tone. The F&S powder had to be layered several times to get the same level of coverage, which is to be expected since it only promises medium coverage. Both gave a very matte yet breathable finish. I didn’t notice any oxidation once the foundation set in after an hour.

After four hours, with flash

After four hours, with flash

Though both powders initially gave a powdery finish, it blended better into my skin later on. After about three to four hours, the F&S side showed a bit of shine compared to MAC, and it somehow emphasized my pores. I took my photo with flash and noticed a bit of a white cast on both sides.

After eight hours

After eight hours

By the end of my work day, my T-zone had gotten so oily that the powdery finish was completely gone. My redness and acne scars were beginning to to peek through on the F&S side, and some areas had gotten patchy. Meanwhile, the MAC side remained flawless and smooth, and I did not detect any patchy areas whatsoever.

MAC side after 8 hours

MAC side after 8 hours

F&S side after 8 hours

F&S side after 8 hours

In terms of quality, there is no doubt that the winner is the MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. I have to give it to MAC for its mastery of foundation bases - this classic powder is long-wearing, silky smooth, and offers amazing coverage. You can easily tote this If you need a quick touch-up or need to apply makeup on the go. This also works as a setting powder, if you want to add extra coverage to your liquid foundation or prolong the longevity of your face base.

If you are looking for a touch-up or blotting powder, you may go with the F&S Two Way Cake Powder but understand that it's really not a dupe. The F&S powder does not perform as well as MAC's for coverage and longevity so even at a much cheaper price, I'd rather spend the money on my HG instead. You can get away with just using one layer, so I expect the pan will be lasting me for quite longer!

Have you tried either of these powders? Would you splurge on MAC, or do you think that F&S performed well enough to replace the former?