Ah, winter. The days are cooler, the air is drier, and it’s time to change my workday foundation. I’ve been a fan of L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream for a while now, but its definitely more of a summer foundation: the slightly powdery matte finish wears better during the humid months, and it looks a little flat in the winter light. I want something with a skin-like effect, luminous but not shiny, that enhances my complexion without hiding it. Cue MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF35 in Light Plus!
This is the second Prep + Prime Beauty Balm I’ve tried – a few months back I tried Prep + Prime Beauty Balm Compact in Light and quite liked it as a wearable, comfortable take on a classic cream foundation. I’m still a liquid foundation kinda gal though, so the cream wasn’t something I was comfortable wearing to work during the day – I’m a creature of habit, I guess! At any rate I liked the cream compact enough to chase down MAC’s BB liquid, hoping it would be the perfect marriage of the things I really liked about the cream compact and my preferred foundation texture.
The colour I’ve chosen was Light Plus, slightly warmer and fractionally darker than Light. It’s probably counterintuitive to be opting for a slightly darker foundation now that we’re sliding into winter, but my cool pink complexion could do with a slightly golden tint to warm up my face and ease my moon tan pallor. My ultra cool colouring could also make Light look a little ashy from time to time, depending on how much sun I’ve had (none, always) and how well I’m feeling (awful, usually). When in doubt, add a little warmth!
A most unattractive before and after shot, true, but this is the best way to show the kind of coverage and finish Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF35 offers! My skin on the left side of the picture is bare except for moisturiser, while my skin on the left has a standard touch of foundation applied with my fingertips. It easily covers my ruddy pink cheeks and takes the intensity from my freckles without looking heavy or opaque.
I tend to prefer sheer foundation as anything more than a wash of colour tends to make my complexion look flat and mask-ey, so this is pitch perfect for me. If you need more coverage, however, a tinted setting powder will bump up the opacity without sacrificing that desirable natural-skin-but-better effect.
Fingertips are absolutely the way to go with this foundation; the warmth and motion of my fingertips melts it into my skin and creates a skin-like luminous finish that ages well. While it works well enough with a stippling brush or standard foundation brush, I found that it tends to sit up a little high on my skin and can feel a little weighty and warm after a few hours. Working it into my skin straight away creates the best finish with the highest level of comfort and wearability.
One thing I should note is that I’m a die-hard face primer enthusiast. I have skin that’s on the dry side of normal-to-dry and I work in air conditioning that borders on arctic, so as far as I’m concerned there’s no such thing as too much primer. Even products that claim to have a built-in primer still get applied over my regular Laura Mercier Hydrating face primer, no ifs, no buts. While MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF35 is part of the Prep + Prime line and is as much a primer as it is a foundation, I still wear it over a separate, dedicated primer. The combo doesn’t feel weighty or warm, and wears comfortably for a solid nine hours without aging or oxidising. Primer, yo. It’s a miracle worker.
Overall I’m feeling very positive about MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF35 – it has a lovely comfortable texture, it ages beautifully when paired up with a dedicated primer, and most importantly it has an accessible price point of AUD$42. It’s everything I liked about the Prep + Prime BB Compact I originally tried, but in a formula that I prefer. Nice!
This item was purchased by 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
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