MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35 Photos, Swatches & Review

MAC Beauty Balm

MAC‘s latest product from their Prep + Prime range is a “BB Creme” otherwise known as Beauty Balm SPF 35.

What this Beauty Balm is, is a sort of all-in-one face primer. It’s very lightly tinted in a pale beige color (this is the only color for now) and comes in a little 1 oz tube.

You can use Beauty Balm as you would a regular primer, it helps to blur out tiny lines and cover pores. It also provides very light hydration (according to them anyways) and also UVA/UVB SPF 35 protection.

The SPF protection is my favorite part about this product actually because most primers do not contain any. HUGE bonus!

MAC Beauty Balm 2

I’ve been wearing this now for 4-5 days and haven’t had any breaking-out issues, which is good. I don’t often break-out with products but did recently with one I thought would be a fav of mine, but now it’s just ok. More on that another time.

The one thing I noticed right off the bat, is this is a product I have to use over a nice moisturizer, not just over my bare skin. It doesn’t glide on very easily and feels on the dry side to me. Even over a moisturizer it feels dry and definitely not as “spreadable” as a silicone-based primer feels.

MAC Beauty Balm Swatch
On NC20 skin (unblended)

MAC Beauty Balm Swatch Blended
On NC20 skin (blended)

For me the color is just about right. I’m an NC20 and it pretty much just disappears onto my face.

It does cover decently on it’s own, and I have worn it that way on lazier days, but general I don’t feel it gives me enough coverage all by itself. If I was to wear it normally I would probably still apply a foundation over it for a little more coverage.


I love that it has a fairly high SPF and the color works for me. I do feel it’s a little dry for me though and doesn’t give me the same primer effect that a lot of other primers I have used have given me. If you have dry skin this might not be the best primer for you.

Availability: July

Pricing: $30.00

Will you be trying this Beauty Balm when it comes out?


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  • June 9, 2011

    Unfortunately I have to skip this because of the dryness. And it’s a pity since I liked the fact that it’s fairly tinted and contains uv protection.

    • June 9, 2011

      Hi JenMei,

      Yeah I was disappointed it wasn’t as moisturizing as I hoped for, wah!

  • June 9, 2011

    I bought it and love it! It reminds me of this Prep+Prime primer that was Asia only that I got…

    • June 9, 2011

      Hi Corinne,

      Glad you like it!

  • June 9, 2011

    I’d give it a try! I use a moisturizer before I put my primer on anyways. I need that extra SPF!
    Skulda´s last post…Spreading the Solstice Scents Love!My Profile

  • June 9, 2011

    I may try to get a sample when it comes out, as I have pretty dry skin to begin with. But I love the concept! I love sheer, light coverage products, so if it doesn’t feel drying on my skin it’ll be a winner!
    Julie´s last post…Nfu Oh 61My Profile

  • June 9, 2011

    It’s great that it has a high SPF level, but pity about the light moisturizing it provides.

  • June 9, 2011

    Hmm, seems a wee bit pricey for such a small amount. Thank for the review! I think I’ll save my cash for the July baked color collection instead.

  • June 9, 2011

    I actually just bought the Hard Candy sheer primer that you’d reviewed/recommended (my first one) and I’m super excited to try it! Also, I’d like to thank you for reuniting me with MAC products. They are just so worth it.