MAC NC42 foundation dupes! Drugstore to high-end

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Finding the right foundation shade is always a struggle, especially for brown skin girls! Even after fifteen years, I’m still struggling and it usually takes me hours at Sephora. There have been plenty of times where I came home with a foundation shade that was way too light or the colour looked weird on my skin tone. I’m a Mac NC42 going to an NC44 during summer. I’ve tried all the foundations in the list myself. Here are all my Mac NC42 foundation dupes! From drugstore to high-end.

Before we’re moving on to the list, a quick disclaimer. Finding the perfect foundation match will be different for everybody. Nobody’s skin tone is exactly the same. When trying out a new foundation, I advise testing the colour in store to be sure. Especially when it comes to expensive high-end foundations.

*Updated July 2020

Mac Cosmetics NC42/ NC44 foundation dupes

L’oreal True Match – #W6.5 / #W7

Maybelline Fit Me – #320  / #330

Estee Lauder Double Wear – #4N1 / #4N2

Milani Conceal & Perfect Foundation – #7 / #08A

Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation – #300 / #330

Makeup For Ever HD Foundation – #Y415 / #Y405

L.A. Girl HD Pro Coverage Foundation – Tan / Soft honey

L’oreal Infallible – #320 / #330

Go-to foundation

Lately, my go-to foundation is the Milani Conceal & Perfect foundation in shade 7 or 08A. This foundation is super affordable, has a great staying power, a nice consistency and it looks good on my combination skin. I mix this foundation with a little bit of Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Bronze Light during summer to get a better match. A little goes a long way when using this foundation. This combination is perfect for everyday use and it’s so affordable. Milani Cosmetics is definitely one of my favourite drugstore brands.

nc42 comparable foundation shade
nc42 comparable foundation shade

High-end foundations

For special occasions, I’m using my Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in Y415. During winter I mix it with a little strobing cream in Peachlite from Mac or the L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Foundation (check out my review here) in Soft Honey when I’m not that tan. For summer this shade is a great match. I tested it during a hot summer day and I love how it looks on my skin. Even after a few hours and after sweating it still looks beautiful.

Matte foundations

During summer I sometimes reach more for my matte foundations like the Maybelline Fit Me (great affordable drugstore foundation!) or the Fenty Pro Filt’r foundation. In summer my combination skin gets a little more oily. Therefore I prefer to wear a more matte foundation to prevent my foundation from sweating off my skin immediately. I find the Fenty Pro Filt’r foundation too be a little difficult when it comes to the perfect shade and the foundation is a little too dry for my skin. So I end up mixing it with a tiny bit of strobing cream. The shades do change colour after applying, but the coverage is good.

nc42 comparable foundation shade

Dewy foundations

For winter my skin definitely needs a foundation that is more moisturising. I always use a rich moisturiser underneath it, like the Elizabeth Arden Visible Cream. The foundations that I love for winter are the Make Up Forever HD foundation, the L’oreal True Match (less staying power but affordable) or the Mac Cosmetics Fix Fluid.

NC42 foundation dupes

To look for other foundation shade dupes, you can check out www.findation.com. This website is a huge help when looking for a comparable shade in another brand. You just fill in the brands and shades you are currently using and you’ll get a complete list of other brands that are comparable!

I hope this Mac Cosmetics NC42 /NC44 foundation dupe list will be helpful when buying the right shade. Any other shades that should be added to the list? Please let me know in the comments below!

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mac nc42 foundation dupe
nc42 comparable foundation shade