So you wanna know the deets on the new MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35 eh? I’ve had it for several months now heck maybe it’s even been a year….I believe mine came from Duty Free in either Japan or Singapore, not sure which. This was around the original date when it was available within Asia only.
The tube I’m reviewing for you is from Asia but I do want to indulge in the one that has released on our shores as well just to see if the formulas are the same. I suspect they are but out of curiosity I will be buying the other version and comparing the two for any differences.
If you’re unfamiliar with BB Creams or have questions about them I do suggesting familiarizing yourself with them by clicking here.
A creamy base that contains SPF and can be worn alone or under makeup.
There is alot of hype at the moment that surrounds MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm because, well, it’s MAC. We all know, love, and trust MAC so we expect the very best from them particularly when it comes to products like BB Creams. Since BB Creams are just starting out their first steps in our market it’s natural we get excited that favorite brands, such as MAC, are the first to dabble their toes in the new product world of blemish balm cream.
There are things I both like and dislike about MAC’s version of a BB Cream.. First off it’s a very rich, creamy product that remains lightweight. The wear is very comfortable and it doesn’t oxidize nearly as quickly as regular foundation so you’re looking at extended wear times depending on your skin type. I can get 6 hours out of it without a touch up normally a BB Cream goes at least 8 for me but anything that works more than 5 hours is ace as far as I am concerned as my skin tends to suck foundation products right up and they disappear fairly quickly. Of course, wear time on this or any BB Cream will vary but I think you’ll be pleasantly happy with the length of wear compared to your normal foundation.
I don’t wear MAC foundation and I’m not familiar with their color range but I’m going to say that NC20-35 should be able to sport this shade fine. It should blend in seamlessly and really it should suit a range of medium fair skin types however not super fair/porcelain complexions and not tan, olive, or darker. It’s a shade that’s smack in the middle so anyone who wears medium shades should be fine. I’m personally an i20-i40 in Shiseido foundation range and this pretty much fits me fine color wise. The color is a warm beige but has a creamy lightness to it as well so it’s not an unflattering shade of beige.
The issues with the product are…
MAC recommends it as a face primer on their website which defeats the entire purpose of a BB Cream which is supposed to act as your foundation. Great a tinted face primer…that’s fab…but why label it a blemish balm cream? It does not contain any whitening agents or anti-aging ones two important factors of a BB Cream however it does contain an SPF 35.
Coverage is very sheer with very little pay off which could be why MAC dubs it a primer. I will say that anyone who has fairly good skin and doesn’t need alot of coverage will like that this evens out skin tone, blurs minor imperfections, and creates an overall flawless finish to skin. I did a little beauty mark test below so you can see how very little it covers.
However, those who need a heavier base to conceal acne, dark spots, or just general problem skin will be disappointed in the lack of coverage.
- Those wanting lightweight coverage for the Summer with a built in SPF.
- Those who want a foundation product that perfects, eases dullness, and blurs very minor imperfections.
- Those who have problem skin in need of extra coverage.
- Those with have tried traditional Asian BB Creams (this really doesn’t follow the guidelines of a traditional Asian BB Cream formula).
- Those want the entire BB Cream experience (this lacks anti-aging benefits, whitening, or treatment ingredients).
- Those with tan, olive, or darker skin tones.
- Those with very fair skin tones.
Basically MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm is a tinted moisturizer in the long run and not a true BB Cream. The product undoubtedly eases dullness and creates a fresher more vibrant finish on my skin plus the added benefit of SPF 35 is great and the extra long wear time however those who are looking for a pigmented BB Cream that creates a truly flawless experience may be disappointed here. It’s a product you definitely need to try before deciding if it’s for you or not however the $30 price tag for a 1 oz tube may be a little too much to splurge when you can get a real BB Cream that has better characteristics than this one.
Overall, MAC Prep + Primer Beauty Balm does much of what MAC says it will do but isn’t a BB Cream in the true sense of the word which could disappoint those who know and use BB Creams already.
For those that never tried a BB Cream before they may be pleased with the overall results so long as they don’t need a ton of coverage.
As someone who’s used alot of various BB Creams, MAC’s version proves disappointing…..the term “blemish balm cream” is loosely tossed around here when in fact that product is not exactly that.
It’s available starting May 31st from MAC if you’re wanting to try for yourself.
I hope to hear from those abroad who have already gotten there hands on this and tried it.
What did you think?
I will be updating with a review of the US version should their be any changes to the formula…!
This product was purchased by the Muse for review purposes.
Read my full disclosure statement here.