Light in coverage, but heavy duty in skincare – MAC Prep+Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35

As lover of MAC and of Tinted Moisturizers, I was delighted when they jumped on the band wagon and released their very own Beauty Balm a few years ago.

I didn’t even bother to test in in store, I ordered the color “Light” online without second thoughts. At this time there were only three shades to choose from (“Light”, “Medium”, “Dark”) as opposed to 12 nowadays.

MAC Prep+Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35

The last squeeze I saved for the purpose of writing a review.

What MAC claims:
This lightly tinted Beauty Balm comes in a nearly sheer beige tone to work with different complexions. It creamily re-texturizes the skin, moisturizing and reducing fine lines while providing high everyday UVA/UVB defense.

The Beauty Balm comes in a squeeze tube, containing 30 ml (1.0 fl oz) and retails for 32 € here.
There are 12 shades to choose from, ranging from Extra Light to Dark Deep.
When first applied, it smells a little like paint, but luckily the smell doesn’t linger.

Favorable ingredients:
– Tocopheryl Acetate: Vitamin E, antioxidant
– Sodium Hyaluronate: Moisturizing
– Glycerin: Moisturizing
– Lecithin: Smoothing
– Urea: Moisturizing
– Wheat Germ Extract: Moisturizing, contains Vitamin A, E and D (antioxidants)
– Barley Extract: Soothes and moisturizes, contains Linoleum acid
– Cucumber Extract: Soothing, depuffing, antiinflammatory
– Laminaria Saccharina Extract: Brown algae, fights impurities, controls sebum (also used by La Mer)
– Apple Extract: Natural AHAs that fight impurities
– Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract: Skin Whitening, contains flavinoids
– Oryzanol: Antioxidant
-Trehalose: Moisturizing

The sunscreen:
This BB Cream contains chemical sunscreen (Octinoxate, Oxybenzone) as well as physical sunscreen (Titanium Dioxide), with the emphasis on the chemical sunscreen, so the risk for flashback is low.

Unfavorable Ingredients:
– Silicones
– Silica (can lead to breakouts in some people)
– Preservatives

The finish is semi-matte, the coverage light to light-medium, and it lasts throughout a working day without settling into fine lines. I usually use a Beauty Blender or my fingers, both work equally well.

1. No foundation.
My skin is behaving well, no active blemishes, but some discoloration and scars.

No foundation, just under eye concealer

2. MAC Prep+Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35.
I applied a second layer on my cheeks for more coverage, but the discoloration still shines through.

Two layers of MAC Prep+Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35

3. Four hours later.
Scarring and discoloration are more visible, and there is shine on my cheeks and nose, but the overall appearance is more even than without the foundation.

How it wears, four hours later.

Does it live up to its claims?
Yes, with some minor exceptions.
The coverage is light, as claimed, it is moisturizing, but suitable for slightly oily skin, too. There are enough antioxidants to support the anti-aging claims and on the other hand AHAs and algae extracts to prevent breakouts.
The minor exception is the claimed “beige tone”. On my neutral to warm skin the product is a little pink, but as the coverage is sheer, it is barely noticeable.
As far as sunscreen goes: I wrote about it before, but just as a reminder: You will not get a SPF of 35 from this product, unless you apply about three times the amount you need for foundation purposes. Chemical filters spread a little easier than physical ones, but nevertheless, don’t rely on a foundation to give you sun protection.

Will I rebuy?
I like the product, but I am looking for a little more coverage to hide my discolorations and acne scars. If I could build it to medium coverage, I would repurchase for sure.

Who do I recommend it to?
People with minor skin concerns, just looking for a light base.
You really get a lot of skincare goodness, given this is a Tinted Moisturizer, but if you have multiple problem areas and are to impatient to work with concealer, you should probably try something else.
As far as skin type is concerned, it sits well on normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin. If you are either dry or oily, another product might be better.

Have you tried this product before?
Do you prefer Tinted Moisturizers or are you a Foundation-Fan?

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