I’m not a huge foundation fan, truth be told. It’s been years – years – since I’ve looked at a cream compact foundation, because I’m still nursing memories of trotting off to makeup college and having to learn my craft with thick, waxy and unforgiving creams. Ugh, ugh. Fast forward nearly ten years and I’m tentatively looking at cream foundations again, because other style of foundation creates a sculpted, porcelain finish face quite like a cream compact. Sometimes it’s nice to look done up, you feel me?
So! It was fortuitous that I recently tried out MAC Prep + Prime BB Compact SPF30+ in Light. Designed for normal to dry complexions, this cream compact is an extension of the Prep + Prime line of MAC’s primers and makeup prep products. Prep+Prime BB Compact is a modern compact foundation that blends together the best parts of BB creams and cream foundations, creating a skin effect that’s polished and smooth but still evocative of healthy clean skin.
I tend to prefer the texture and finish of Westernised BB creams over ‘true’ Korean and Japanese BB creams, so this BB compact is right up my alley: it’s creamy but not dense, dewy but not glossy, and with enough flexibility in its application that it can be worn as both a moisturising tinted priming product and as a purely cosmetic item.
Although this is technically a priming product, I still prefer to wear this as an actual foundation. Coverage is light to medium, enough to cover my freckles but still allow the texture of my skin to peep through. When I layer it over a primer it wears evenly and smoothly with a greatly extended makeup wear time and no colour shifting or obvious signs of product aging. If anything Prep + Prime BB Compact seems to get better with age when applied over primer and set with a dusting of powder, developing a gorgeous luminous finish that peaks around the five to six hour mark. I can easily wear this for a full 12-hour work day with only a wee little touch of blotting powder on my nose needed in the afternoon.
After applying my moisturiser and my primer of choice (Laura Mercier Hydrating Face Primer), I apply BB Cream with a stippling brush and work it into my skin with small even circles. The trick is to barely skate the white bristles of my brush against the compact and to only apply a little at a time; too much product on the brush can look thick and chalky, whereas a tiny bit of product can be buffed into my skin to create a plush and lush porcelain skin effect. If I need more coverage I can repeat this to build up opacity with light layers, all without looking thick or painted. I then set my face with a sweep of MAC Pressed Blotting Powder applied with a large fine brush.
The end result: satiny skin with a luminous smooth finish, with no flatness or chalkiness. Lovely!
Despite being someone who has been so wary about using cream foundations for so long, I’m very happy with this MAC Prep + Prime BB Compact. It’s creamy but light, with an outstandingly long weartime that doesn’t sacrifice comfort or wearability. At AU$42 it’s also a competitively priced middling-to-luxury foundation, making it very accessible for both long-time cream foundation fans and folks like me who are a little bit more cautious after less than stellar compact experiences in the past.
This item was kindly provided to swatchgirl.com.
From left to right:
- MAC Prep + Prime BB Compact SPF30 in Light
- MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF35 in Light Plus
- L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Cream in Light
- Make Up For Ever HD Liquid Foundation in #115
- MAC Face & Body foundation in N2
Keep an eye out next week because I’ll be reviewing MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF35, the liquid twin to this cream compact.