April 3, 2012

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother Review

The new MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother is one of thee most exciting releases to date for me. I love, I LOVE Mally’s Face Defender and this is along the same lines. My mentality was, if anyone was going to do an awesome product like this, it would have to be MAC right?

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother isn’t a new idea by any means although for some folks it might be unique and new as Mally’s version isn’t well known and a ton of people don’t realize that Dior also has a similiar product.

This next generation primer is very interesting and I had high hopes for it…

Take a look!

I didn’t love it but I do like it, Ha…I’m so negative.

I actually prefer Mally’s version and I highly suggest trying hers. Hell, if you can afford it, try both. QVC sells Mally’s version and has an excellent return policy so you can go ahead and indulge guilt free. And of course, Nordstrom has an equally generous return policy so you can try out MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother as well and see which is for you.

I’ll explain some of the reasons I like Mally’s version better and what the difference is between the two primers but let me get into some details about MAC’s version first.

For someone that’s never used a product like this before I typically describe it as your favorite silicone primer, poured into a compact, and solidified. That’s about the extent of it. It’s simply like having your favorite primer in compact form.

MAC made two mistakes with Prep + Prime Skin Smoother one of which is the overly emollient texture and feel of the product and secondly, they choose to piss me off by not including a sponge for application, seriously, it’s the little things.

This is a creamy balm that comes in a compact and promises to fill lines, wrinkles, and pores up to 28% by providing a silky, matte finish. I feel like the balmer, creamier feel of the product feels more emollient, not necessarily hydrating, but not matte. The typical powdery, velvety feel you get from a silicone primer is lacking here and the product feels more emollient almost greasy for lack of a better word as you apply. Needless to say I find the greasiness is most prominent during application with a sponge so maybe the lack of one was actually intentional and not poor marketing. MAC suggests using fingers for application and really most of us kinda feel a little icky about that particularly if we are traveling with the compact. On the upside, this actually works out better for application than a sponge does and the finish is a good deal smoother however it still remains less matte than what I expected.

Now without a doubt, the 28% smoothing claim could possibly be very real. The pores on my nose, the only really visible ones on my entire face look invisible after application. And really with application all over my face I can easily see how much smoother and flawless it looks.

MAC does things a little different with this as Mally’s version suggests use before foundation but strongly advises after. MAC suggests under foundation and powder or used as a touch up by lightly pressing into place or strippling onto oily areas.

The formula contains a mix of HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolmer, Silicia, T102, and Iron Oxide plus a blend of peptdes to boost skin’s smoothness which helps to improve collagen production.

The differences between Mally’s version and MAC’s are pretty defined here Mally Face Defender is denser, less balmy, less creamy. It works great to not only mattify skin but perfect it and fill pores and wrinkles. MAC’s version is creamier, more balmy, less dense, more emollient and hydrating if you will plus less likely to mattify skin as well as Mally’s version. I thought MAC’s version held out a little longer than Mally’s version though which needs a touch up ever few hours versus MAC’s which seems to get through a day very well, about six hours of wear. I didn’t feel like MAC’s version prolonged foundation wear however Mally’s seemed to do a good job keeping my base from oxidizing and allowing it to remain fresher, longer.

If it’s skin perfection you seek MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother delivers but if you want the best mattifying action I think Mally’s version does a better job. MAC Senior Artist, Luc Bouchard, calls it his “real life photoshop” and yes, that’s exactly the effect it has on skin. It perfects and beautifies.

It’s good, really good but it needs a little work to be perfect and a sponge wouldn’t have hurt guys.

I’m slapping a Muse Approval on it but I highly suggest trying out both Mally’s and this to get the best feel for both products.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother and heck, if you love the Mally Beauty one, do share your thoughts on that too.

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother releases this Thursday at MAC counters and is online at maccosmetics.com

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‘.

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      • Rawr

        “they choose to piss me off by not including a sponge for application, seriously, it’s the little things.” kind of shocked me LOL not used to reading something like that from you hahaha!!

        • the Muse

          ahhh…;-D sorry ’bout that lol I think I’ve said pissed a time or two around here though ;-D

          • Cj

            Shoot I’m pissed too! I’m gonna write Mac an angry letter!! And then melt my mally compact and pour it into the Mac one and pretend .___.

          • the Muse

            LOL! do you like mally’s version? I love it but had a shorter wear time, around 3-4 hours. MAC’s version is balmer…it feels like a silicone cream rather than a dense primer..does that make sense?

            I’d highly suggest trying and buying from nordies, if you hate, you can return with free shipping back! ;D

  • Sara elisabeth

    Looks interesting! Is this at all similar to Dr. feelgood? And does this prolong the wear of your foundation? Would you use this on top, under, or in place of a primer?

    • the Muse

      hi sara, explained how to use in the post. Yes πŸ™‚ like dr feel good. Doesn’t prolong foundation for me but mally’s version did.

  • JenJ

    No sponge!?! Come one now! Sheesh. Since I already have two of Mally’s I stick with it. πŸ™‚

  • Cj

    My heart just broke. After a year waiting for this to come out I am so disappointed πŸ™ just to be sure, your saying It doesn’t set, and it stays greasy all day? Have you tried it as an actual primer under foundation?

    • the Muse

      aw cj *hugs* did you try mally first off? curious if you have. It doesn’t stay greasy all day, but it has more of a hydrating texture and creaminess than Mally’s version which is far more dense, velvety, and powdery like a silicone primer. I tried it alone, under foundation, and as a touch up on specific parts of my face. I don’t see it being incredibly mattifying, I think Mally’s version proves better. However, flawlessness, no doubt, it feels pores and perfects skin to amazinginess.

      • Cj

        Yeah, I think I’m on my like 3rd Mally compact lol I love the stuff! I’m super sad this isn’t more like it. But I’m hoping this might work as a decent primer, I mean I is basically a silicone compact and silicone primers work pretty good for me… Meh I’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

        Btw if you need me for the rest of the day, I’ll be the one huddled in the corner weeping loudly.

        • the Muse

          *sits with you* it’s ok, tissue? want some chocolate? LOL! awww…! I REALLY REALLY want to hear your thoughts on this. I just didn’t feel like it was as good as mally. I was super pissed that they excluded a sponge and proceeded to say, “oh hai use fingers…” lol…what a cop out.

          • Cj

            *sniff* i…is…is it yummy chocolate :'(?? Lol, I’ll make sure to tell you my thoughts the day I receive it. And that’s really stupid use your fingers lol. Y SO CHEAP MAC??

          • the Muse

            but of course, hotel brand chocolate, yes? good solid british nomminess…it’ll make the pain go away lol! lol exactly! y u no give me a 99 cent sponge to apply with damn you!

          • Cj

            Omg those look really good rofl! Ooh one more question lol. Can you apply it with a brush? Or does it just not work like that

          • the Muse

            I didn’t like brush application. they suggest a fibre brush and a strippling effect but I thought it applied patchy like that :-/ and yes, hotel is SO nom. ugh I’m gaining weight thinking about it!

          • Cj

            I’ve been using this for the past few days and I know you wanted to hear my thoughts on this and I got a lot of em, so here we go lol.

            This is definitely not like mally’s, I wouldn’t even put them in the same category. While mally’s is like a multifunction product, this to me is just a primer. ItΒ kind of has a waxy feeling, I think the key to using it is having the right applicator.Β I can definitely see why they didn’t include a sponge, using a sponge apply’s way too much product and made my skin feel like I had a thick waxy mask on. When I applied it with my hourglass #2 brush, it applied much more sheer and didn’t have nearly as much of a waxy feeling. It does a decent job covering up pores and giving imperfections a kind of soft focus effect. I like using this with powder over it, either powder foundation or just a setting powder for a kind of my skin but better look

          • the Muse

            you scored it in a nutshell ;-D that’s exactly my feelings…! did you like it better than mally’s version? I liked mally’s better, just seemed like mac’s version was far to rich and needed plenty of time and patience to apply where as mally’s it is a simple swipe and go.

          • Cj

            Definitely no. Mally’s is way better. Since hers gives a powdery finish I could just wear that and be happy. With Mac’s I have to powder after it, so it’s like another unnecessary step.

            Now I’m really thinking of melting Mally’s into the Mac compact lol! I wonder if it would harden again :O EXPERIMENT TIME!! Lol

          • the Muse

            Agreed, it has a dewy, hydrating finish…it’s a bit too creamy and loose. Ooo don’t! Mally’s compact is so much nicer! ;-D it’s pink!

  • Courtney

    Have you tried NARS version of this? I picked it up a few weeks ago and use it over my foundation when I get oily throughout the day. It also does not come with a sponge but I do like it. Just curious as to how MACs and Mally’s compare to NARS

    • the Muse

      I did but hated the little jar it was in, I got when it originally released. NARS is much like Mally’s version in texture and finish. But not like MAC which is creamier, more balmy!

  • isabella

    I have the Mally and she demos it after you put on makeup, should I try it before?
    I do like the way it mattes down the face tho

    • the Muse

      hi isabella, I did explanation on application in the post πŸ™‚ hope it helps!

  • Victoria

    I have drier skin, and thus don’t like products that are too matte. That being said, what would be the better buy for me, MAC or Mally’s?

  • Makedonka

    I LOVE Mally’s defender … liked MAC prep+prime 50 SPF liquid version .. πŸ™‚ so looks like its time to combine them – MAC under, Mally on top ……. πŸ˜› of foundation of course! LOL

  • Hillary

    I now have both the Mally and Mac in my possession and I’m kind of wishing I could combine the two (I actually tried mixing them to see what would happen and it was a mess). Sadly, I’m not really sure that either of these does it for me. *sigh*

  • Tia

    Great review! Perfect airbrushed skin is what I’m after so despite my overall disappointment with many of the Prep + Prime products, your review pushed me to try this out. I gotta say…IM IN LOVE!!! I typically have a hate | hate relationship with overly silicone products, but this one is AWESOME!!! Used it today and could not stop looking at myself in the mirror because of how poreless and airbrushed my usually quite textured skin was. To top it off, at about 10pm my hubby asked if I did something different with my makeup today. I asked why and he said my makeup looked nice and fresh even after we had been out ALL day in the Hotlanta sun running errands. My husband never notices anything like that…so this one’s definitely a keeper!!! So pleased am I with this that I just ordered Mally’s version as well per your recommendation! Can’t wait to try it. ^_^

    • the Muse

      glad to hear you’re enjoying this tia! I think you’ll like mally’s version EVEN more ;-D!!!!!!!!