Review: MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35

BB creams have been a long-time favorite beauty product of mine for at least 10 years. Since then, BB creams/beauty balms have made it into the Western market. For me, personally, I still prefer the Asian-brand BB creams because they’re more effective; the color match is spot-on; and, the product can actually replace foundation all together.

I’ve remained very true to Japanese and Korean BB creams and they’ve never failed me. However, I can’t say I have a favorite or a go-to BB cream because at the end of the day, I’m a foundation wearer.

Before I continue with the review, I’d also like to note that I don’t normally put anything MAC on my face except for some blushes. So, for me, testing this product out was a major risk. I haven’t trusted MAC face products since it wreaked havoc on my skin a number of years ago. Since then, I never looked back and stuck with only their eye and lip products.

I found this product at my local CCO (the Cosmetic Company Outlet) at a discounted price of $21.00. Apparently they were newly released there but didn’t appear to be hugely popular because they were completely stocked. I didn’t even know MAC had its own BB cream; and, I’m pretty sure there’s still many who are unfamiliar with BB creams in general.

The tube looks rather small but it’s still the regular 1 oz. It’s compact and portable which makes it ideal for traveling and whatnot. That’s one of the things I appreciate about pretty much all BB creams – Western and Eastern brands alike – packaging is functional. As much as I love my treasured foundation bottles – they’re quite bulky because of the heavy glass and lid/cap.

The packaging is also glittery much like all of MAC’s products in the prep + prime range. The shimmer is subtle (even though it’s multi-colored). I don’t dislike it but I don’t completely like it either.

Precision-tip nozzle: excellent for portion control. It’s very practical since you can squeeze out exactly the amount you’re aiming for. The tip doesn’t seem to get clogged or messy which is a big deal for me. Many of my Asian BB creams have pumps attached to the tube and it pretty always gets clogged.

My shade doesn’t seem to have a name or color tone to go with it. Much like Asian BB creams, color selection is limited most of the time. I’ve heard rumours that versions of “light” and “light plus” exist, but mine isn’t labeled on the tube or on the box. But despite that, the color matches me well and adjusts instantly. This may be a huge problem for anyone past NC20, however.

The slightly pinky hue is a good match for me and I’m happy with the overall color. It’s not particularly hydrating but at least it doesn’t make me greasy. Coverage is minimal in all aspects – pores, pigmentation, acne, etc. This BB cream evens the skin tone beautifully, but all your spots, discoloration, and bumps will be extra obvious. If you pair this with powder foundation and concealer, you may achieve your ideal complexion coverage; but I feel that it defeats the purpose of using a BB cream – which is to be a one-stop/one-step beauty product.

I like this product, but it doesn’t do anything special for me. It looks nice on the skin if you already have good skin to begin with; and, if you’re looking for high coverage I’d recommend a full coverage foundation instead. The idea of this is nice, but Asian BB creams are winning by a long shot (and I certainly would not have paid full price for this item).

What are your thoughts on BB creams?

Made in Canada


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