July 28, 2011

MAC Prep + Primer Transparent Finishing Powder Pressed Review

I love seeing celeb photos with the old translucent white powder mistake captured in a photo. Reminds me they are humans just like the rest of us…only humans with makeup artists that have heavy hands.

As for me? I’ve done the overdone translucent powder trick myself a time or two or several times. But I still use it…!

Stuff is solid gold joy for creating a flawless finish on your skin and it’s particularly a fav of mine for brightening up under my eyes and setting my concealer for all day wear.

MAC Prep + Primer Transparent Finishing Powder is now pressed! Bless be!

Check it!

I’m a fond fan of the loose version so when I heard MAC Prep + Primer Transparent Finishing Powder would be available in a press format I did cartwheels around my makeup room.

I actually can’t do a cartwheel but I can do a mean split….but cartwheels are so much more cooler so let’s pretend I did one but not actually address the fact I didn’t.

What was I saying?

Oh Yeah! Pressed Transparent Finishing Powder!

Joy! Happy Days!

Yup, now you too can experience the joys of a pressed transparent powder from MAC. I find I’m cool using the loose formula and this works the best under my eyes however I prefer the pressed version for any number of reasons one of which, most important of all, is the fact you can travel more easily with it for touch ups.

Working with a pressed powder always seems easier for me with alot less mess as I am that girl that spills an entire pigment onto my bathroom floor which proceeds to dye the titles hot pink for a few weeks no matter how hard I scrub. So yeah, pressed anything is just alot less work and mess for me.

You can use MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder to set your makeup, blur minor imperfections and larger pores, and just get that soft focused, flawless finish to your face. Although bright white in appearance the powder applies transparently so any skin tone can take advantage.

But please, be careful, it’s easy to get carried away.

Loves it.

Available from MAC, as part of the permanent collection, starting August 18.

Will you haul it?

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Ricepudding

    Those makeup artists for these celebrities use a sponge to press on the powder.. which looks fine in real life but horrible on camera.. they should’ve learned to brush off the excess….

  • Roseline

    Hey, can you please explain Muse, why people put transparent power under their eyes? Thanks! And which offers more coverage? Pressed and loose? What is the purpose of having the two? Thank-you!

    • the Muse

      it sets concealer for long wear roseline plus when done right it photographs very well and blurs imperfections under the eyes like darkness, fine lines, etc….gives the illusion of more youthful, brighter eyes. which offers more coverage? Not sure I understand the question…? can you explain? 🙂

  • the beauty alchemist

    I was so excited by this too. I am a powder fiend. Love it – loose, pressed whatever. I have a collection. And this is a good one.

  • Roseline

    Thank-you! What I meant is does loose powder or pressed power offer more coverage? Which one lol? =] And what’s the difference of the two? Why are there two different types on the market when they do the same thing?

    • the Muse

      hi roseline neither one offers coverage, they are setting powders, transparent. the difference is one is pressed and one is loose. hope this helps 🙂

  • ioanna

    love love love this powder i’m so excited for the pressed form!

  • Sarah S.

    Wow, I could never do the splits, not even as a child. But I think I could cartwheel! Anyhoos, I am so afraid of these white pressed powders, even though I have greasy-face by noon each day… I just use blotting papers and hope that’s adequate. Do you think blotting papers are enough, Muse? I hate giving myself ghost-face.

    • the Muse

      I suck at cartwells sarah such a major fail lol! Sure why not?! whatever works for you girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-D

  • Tabi

    As one of the earlier commenters mentioned, the transparent powder actually looks fine on those celebs in real life. The problem is that it reflects light to the camera when the picture is taken.

    Some powders are more liable to do this than others. Unfortunately, the one that most people love and highly review, Make Up For Ever HD Transparent Powder, does this. Wayne Goss did a video showing this, which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM4foAf1tHc. One side is MUFE HD Powder, and the other side is MUFE Super Matte Loose Powder. He does apply quite a bit of powder on both sides, but knocks some away at the end. When he then takes a photograph using the flash, the MUFE HD Powder side looks horribly white and powdery, but the Super Matte Loose side looks fine, so it is the HD Powder itself here causing a problem, not the application method.

    The makeup artists for these celebrities probably didn’t know that the Make Up For Ever HD Powder (or whatever transparent powder they used to set the under-eye concealer) reflected light in photographs. =( Hopefully, now they do!

    To avoid this personally, I’ve since switched to Laura Mercier’s Transparent Powder, and it’s truly awesome (even better than the MUFE HD Powder, in my opinion). I don’t think the LM powder reflects like the MUFE one does, but I haven’t personally tested it.

  • Jayne

    I’ve never quite ventured into the high-end setting powder territory (I use Mineral Veil if I use any powder at all! My skin clings to makeup for dear life, for some reason, and I rarely get too oily.)

    However, I have been noticing the heat of this summer causing my pores to look larger than usual (Thanks, Oklahoma, for 30 100+ degree days this summer!) so I may give this a shot. I prefer pressed powders any day so this looks quite nice!

    • Steph

      Muse have u tried macs invisible setting powder & blot? Trying to choose between those & the Prep + prime transparent. Need it to set concealer & keep oiles at bay.

      • the Muse

        isn’t invisible the loose version of P&P Transparent Pressed ? Or am I nuts? 😀

        • Steph

          On the website they’re listed separately. There’s the invisible setting loose powder, the prep & prime transparent loose AND pressed powder, & the blot pressed powder. Trying to choose between the 4. Hoping u or anyone here would know differences & the best. 🙂

        • stephanie

          darn last post must’ve not went thru. if you go on the mac website and search for prep + prime transparent loose powder and they setting powder…they come up separately, so both are 2 entirely different products. although they seem to have the purpose for the same thing? the prep + prime transparent has a pressed and loose version. the setting powder i think only has a loose version. was wondering if you’ve tried the setting version and if they’re much different and if one is better than the other?

          • stephanie

            i forgot to mention the set powder in invisibe is $27, the prep + prime transparent powder is $23,

  • K

    YES, absolutely I am going to run out and get this! In fact, when I saw your post I got so excited I went to the MAC website to order it immediately but when I couldn’t find it anywhere, I came back here to double-check you weren’t referring to some other product and found out I have to wait another month! Too bad.

  • Melody

    Oh I can’t wait! But in your opinion, what’s better for on the go touch-ups, this powder or MAC blot powder? Maybe they are supposed to do different things.

    • the Muse

      it’s kinda two diff products melody….I dunno how you retouch your makeup. Do you normally just blot and go? or do you apply a bit of power to perfect and mattify? entirely up to you 🙂

  • Ruthless

    I don’t even wear concealer under my eyes, foundation works fine-I have no dark circles. But I have been a victim of “looks good in mirror but OMG WTF” in photographs, so I feel the pain.

    I’m always looking for a portable touch up for shine control, I’ve got an el cheapo CG powder now but if this is good I will check it out

  • mich


    Love you blog and reviews!

    I’m planning of getting the pressed one. Wanted to try this for now as for the past I am using the Blot Powder. Can this be used on oily areas of the face to get rid of those oiliness and touch up again using Studio Fix Powder in my case or just use it alone to get rid of the oily areas?

    • the Muse

      just use it alone to mattify mich. under foundation and powder and as a touch up through the day but powder on top, since it is so creamy, might prove messy. one or the other.

      • mich

        I used it under Studio fix Powder Foundation then set my powder foundation with Studio Perfect. Then I just use Prep+Prime as touch up. Is this okay?
        What brush do you use to apply it?

  • mich

    Do you think it will look cakey if I still add up Studio Perfect after touching up using Prep+Prime?

  • malaysia

    hello i would like to know wats better ruby kisses setting powder or mac traslucent setting powder. see i have oily skin and i would love for my make up to be matte looking allll day long so wats a good setting powder and i have another question how come wen i take pics with the flash yu ee the powder how can i fix that

  • Asveen

    I live in India and since it’s a tropical country my face specially the part under my eyes tend to become oily. I’ve never used a translucent powder and I wanted to know what form is best the loose one or the pressed one ?