MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF35 Swatches, Look and Review

I have reviewed a series of Korean/Taiwanese BB creams a couple of years ago; check them out here. Now that MAC came up with their own version of the BB cream, it's inevitable that they be compared to each other. First of all, the Korean BB creams are actually "blemish balm creams", whereas MAC calls their BB cream "beauty balm cream". Also, asian BB creams tend to have lofty claims about their products; they claim to be tinted moisturizers, skin soothers (for those who underwent laser peeling and acneic skin), skin whiteners, makeup base, sunscreen and foundation rolled into one. As for MAC's, though, it doesn't claim to be all these, but it just touts itself as a makeup primer with SPF35. MAC claims that their Beauty Balm is "lightly tinted in a nearly sheer beige tone to work on an array of complexions, it creamily re-texturizes the skin and then goes on to excel at being a face primer with high everyday UVA/UVB SPF 35 defense."

Review after the jump

BB cream blended

As with some of the asian BB creams I've tried, the MAC BB cream has a greyish cast to it. It is also very light on my skin, so much so that it cannot act as a tinted moisturizer for me (which as I said, MAC never claimed this product to be). It is not as creamy as the asian BB creams, nor is it as blendable. That is not to say that the MAC BB cream was difficult to blend, it just took an extra moment or two to buff it seamlessly into my face.

Since it is too light for me (NC30-35), I applied a light layer of my favorite mineral foundation, Joppa Minerals' full coverage foundation in Medium-Light 2.5:

Joppa full coverage mineral foundation in Medium Light 2.5

My foundation looked flawless, fresh, and stayed put the whole day (8 hours). The mineral foundation also minimized the luminosity of the MAC BB cream, which in effect gave a soft matte finish:

MAC Beauty Balm cream with a light layer of Joppa mineral foundation on top

I do not use asian BB creams all that much because they break me out. With the MAC BB cream, I'm glad to report that I have not experienced any breakouts yet, despite the fact that this is also dimethicone-based. I will keep trying out this product and will let you know if my skin reacts negatively to it. Right now, so far so good.

I guess the only downside of this product is the price ($30 for 30 ml of product), since you can get asian BB creams of the same size for ten bucks less. However, since I have not experienced breakouts using MAC's, I guess the price difference is worth it.

The Shades Of U Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Note: Media sample was provided by a representative of the company for consideration. All opinions are completely mine.


Nartian knits said...

Thanks for your review! And great timing too. I just jumped on the bb cream wagon recently (Dr G & The Face Shop bb creams), but decided to order this one as primer under my usual MAC foundations. I just ran out of my usual MAC Prep & Prime SPF 50 primer.

SilhouetteScreams said...

Thanks for the review. I've been looking for a tinted primer to try once my Jemma Kidd one runs out, so I may just try this one.